Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Freemason Street Baptist Church

I wonder if pastor Dr. Stephen Jolly of Freemason Street Baptist Church ever rants against the Freemasons like our friend Josh the Baptist does at his church? Somehow, I doubt it. Take a look at one of Dr. Jolly's recent sermons, this one titled "God's Guiding Hand." Dr. Jolly says:

...[H]ow do we... grasp this guiding hand of God provided by His Spirit? How do I listen to God’s dreams for my future when serious decisions are placed before me? How do I find the still, calm voice of the Almighty amid the chaos of my life when everything I’ve known is suddenly turned upside down? Let me say, I don’t claim to have all the answers — far from it. But between the great minds I’ve read and my own life experience, let me suggest four check points.

First, apply the marvelous mind God has given you toward any significant decision. Apply the logic of love to the formula — will my actions help others? Does my decision fit into what I understand is God’s will for my life? Is this consistent with the ethic of Jesus to which I’ve committed my life? Will it make be a better person?

Journalist Norman Cousins once interviewed the great medical missionary Albert Schweitzer. Schweitzer had previously had a highly successful academic career as a theologian and musician. He gave all that up to go to medical school and then spent his life in service to the rural poor in the jungles of Africa. Cousins asked Schweitzer why he made such a change. Did he hear a voice or have some mystical spiritual experience? Schweitzer replied he knew some people who claimed such moments, but they were not his. Rather, he saw a need, understood he had the ability to meet that need and, believing Jesus’ command to love others as self, chose to alter his life. The missionary noted his choice was logical. So, if you want the guidance of God, first apply the mind God gave you.

Second, pray. If you want to hear the voice of God, you have to listen for it. Again, this may not be a "bells and whistles" moment. God usually speaks in gentle nudges and quiet impressions. Most directions from our Lord are not in some supernatural sign but an inner voice that confirms what we knew was right all along. One of the most legitimate prayers lifted is "Lord, what would you have me do?" And if you sense an answer, do it.

Third, rely on the wisdom of a person of faith you trust. This isn’t just lunch talk to a co-worker or chat with your spouse — although those might be appropriate. The ancients called one a "spiritual guide." Contemporary evangelicals often name them "prayer warriors." You might call such a "Christian friend." The key is seek out an objective perspective from one in which you sense God at work. They can honestly ask not "what do you want to do" but "what does God want you to do?" They will nudge you toward seeing your choices from above rather than from the middle of the hurricane. I believe one reason we gather as a church is because God’s wisdom often is heard through the voice of trusted fellow pilgrims.

Fourth, if at all possible, give yourself some space between the answer and the action. The early church fathers said if you could "rest" with a decision — that is, be comfortable and glean a sense of heartfelt peace — you could know God’s Holy Spirit — the "Comforter" — was in the decision. The decision may bring the chaos of the fires of hell down upon your head, but your heart is calm in knowing you’re doing the right thing.

In 1555, Protestant reformer Nicholas Ridley was sentenced to be burned at the stake for heresy by Catholic powers. On the night before his execution, his brother offered to stay with him in the prison cell as support and comfort. However, Ridley declined the offer because he planned to go to bed and sleep that night. He noted, he knew the peace of God and could rest in the strength of God’s gracious arms to meet his need. To "rest" with a choice finds calm even amid the chaos.

Finally, let me underscore one thing about God’s providence. In seeking God’s direction for your life, don’t expect to get a flashbulb insight or a vision into the decades. Life is often more a tangled mess than a single thread. We usually get thrown curves for which we’re totally unprepared. That means each day has it’s own struggles and we must ask daily for God’s wisdom and will. Theologian Karl Barth was asked late in life how he kept his faith. He indicated he simply kept a look out for God at work in the now of his life. "As I see it," he said, "my career has been a ‘succession of present moments.’"

Compare and contrast the love of God and the obvious compassion of Pastor Steve Jolly with the derisive and inflammatory comments we've heard from Pastor Josh Buice, who has written:

Science? Hahaha!... A gentleman — rather intellectual — named Kent Hovind — [the creationist who believes dinosaurs lived 6,000 years ago — click here for an unflattering analysis of Hovind] has a standing offer for anyone who can prove evolution.... I am going to a literal heaven which has [12] literal foundations, a literal street of gold, 12 literal gates made of one literal pearl (per gate), and a literal city that is garnished with literal precious stones!.... I personally believe that the Masons are worshipping a false god.... Freemasonry is radical heresy and a true religious cult.... It embraces false gods and false religions. It forces people to deny Jesus Christ.... Freemasonry is dangerous and should be avoided and exposed... [Satan] has fooled, deceived, or tricked you into believing a lie.... your comments and rantings come across as pre-historic and primate... I oppose... [the Christian ministry of a fellow Southern Baptist ministry — JC's Girls — as] vile sin!

Now compare and contrast that version of Southern Baptist venom with Freemason Street Baptist Church....

From the Freemason Street Baptist Church website:
Continually progressive, Freemason Street has always promoted an inclusive attitude. Following the Civil War, it openly welcomed northern Christians and over the years has taken a stand for racial equality, care of refugees, the poor and the status of women. Such an attitude led the church to vote to leave the Southern Baptist Convention in 1993 and affiliate with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Freemason Street Baptist Church, located in downtown Norfolk, has a long and proud history of leadership and strength in local Baptist denominational affairs and that today is characterized by a formal worship service and a diverse congregation of independent believers who work to create an environment where people feel they are members of a warm and caring Christian family, and who are presently striving to revitalize their church’s role in the community.

I wonder how comfortable members of Freemason Street Baptist Church might be in Josh's "Mason's are going to hell" Southern Baptist church?

Heck, even the Widow's Son might fit in at Freemason Street Baptist Church....

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Masonic Rite of the Rose Cross of Gold unveils website upgrade

The Rite of the Rose Cross of Gold, a Masonic Rite with its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, working under the United Grand Lodge of America, unveiled today its upgraded website. While much of the information presented hasn't changed, the site sports a new look and a new logo.

True Freemasonry is a continuation of the ideals and philosophy of the great minds of the Age of Enlightenment. The Brotherhood of the Rose Cross of Gold continues in their footsteps keeping alive the Masonic goal of a Universal Brotherhood of All Mankind Under the All-Seeing Eye of Deity.

Previous Masonic articles on Burning Taper:

The New Seven Wonders of the World

So you think it's fun voting for an American Idol?

How would you like to vote for seven international idols, er, for the Seven Wonders of the World?

Yes, there were seven wonders of the ancient world, but six of them have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Only the Pyramids of Giza remain.

The other six? The Lighthouse of Alexandria was leveled by an earthquake; so was the Colossus of Rhodes. The Temple of Artemis was burned, the razed by Goths. Knights destroyed the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus to build a fortress. Caligula tried to steal the Statue of Zeus, and broke it. And the Hanging Gardens of Babylon... probably never even existed.

Swiss-born adventurer/filmmaker/entrepreneur Bernard Weber decided to a new list was needed. In 2000 he started the New 7 Wonders foundation, and by the end of this year, his dream will become a reality.

His idea has led to a movement involving engineers, academics, architects and former government officials, as well as 19 million Earth citizens who wanted to vote on something.

After preliminary nominations of manmade sites, 77 top vote-getters advanced to the second round. In January the list was narrowed to 21 by a panel of seven world-famous architects.

Now, you get to vote. For the price of a two-minute international phone call, you get to help decide the Seven Wonders of the World.

On January 1, 2007, the new list of the Seven Wonders of the World will be announced during a live, televised event.

The growing promotional effort has raising a lot of money. At least half the income from the project is earmarked to protect the final picks and some runners-up.

Top 21 contenders [photos]:
  • Easter Island statues, Chile

  • Machu Picchu, Peru

  • Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico

  • Statue of Liberty, New York

  • Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Timbuktu, Mali

  • Alhambra, Granada, Spain

  • Stonehenge, Jamesbury, United Kingdom

  • Eiffel Tower, Paris

  • Neuschwanstein Castle, Fussen, Germany

  • Colosseum, Rome

  • Acropolis, Athens

  • Haggia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

  • Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

  • Kremlin / St. Basil, Moscow

  • Petra, Jordan

  • Taj Mahal, Agra, India

  • Great Wall, China

  • Angkor, Cambodia

  • Kiyomizu Temple, Japan

  • Sydney Opera House, Australia

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This article is cross-posted on Sacred Fems.


From Taking Flight, by Father Anthony de Mello (1931-1987), Jesuit priest, reprinted at Church of the Churchless
The priest announced that Jesus Christ himself was coming to church the following Sunday. People turned up in large numbers to see him. Everybody expected him to preach, but he only smiled when introduced and said, “Hello.”

Everyone offered him hospitality for the night, especially the priest, but he refused politely. He said he would spend the night in church. How fitting, everybody thought.

He slipped away early next morning before the church doors were opened. And, to their horror, the priest and people found their church had been vandalized. Scribbled everywhere on the walls was the single word, “Beware.”

No part of the church was spared: the doors and windows, the pillars and the pulpit, the altar, even the Bible that rested on the lectern. “Beware.” Scratched in large letters and in small, in pencil and pen and paint of every conceivable color. Wherever the eye rested one could see the words: “Beware, beware, Beware, Beware, beware, beware…”

Shocking. Irritating. Confusing. Fascinating. Terrifying. What were they supposed to beware of? It did not say. It just said “Beware.”

The first impulse of the people was to wipe out every trace of this defilement, this sacrilege. They were restrained from doing this only by the thought that it was Jesus himself who had done this deed. Now that mysterious word “Beware” began to sink into the minds of the people each time they came to church.

They began to beware of the Scriptures, so they were able to profit from the Scriptures without falling into bigotry. They began to beware of sacraments, so they were sanctified without becoming superstitious. The priest began to beware of his power over the people, so he was able to help without controlling.

And everybody began to beware of religion which leads the unwary to self-righteousness. They became law-abiding, yet compassionate to the weak. They began to beware of prayer, so it no longer stopped them from becoming self-reliant. They even began to beware of their notions of God so they were able to recognize him outside the narrow confines of their church.

They have now inscribed the shocking word over the entrance of their church and as you drive past at night you can see it blazing above the church in multicolored neon lights.

Brother Greg Stewart pointed me toward the Vatican's "Notification" to Catholics regarding Fr. de Mello's writings, which the present Pope Benedict in his pre-papal guise as Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine and Faith (the Inquisition), said would cause "grave harm" to anyone who read de Mello's work. Apparently the Pope thinks we should "Beware" Father de Mello's writings.

I think we'll be looking into Father de Mello's work more in the coming days.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Egyptian sun temple found under marketplace

A pharaonic sun temple with huge statues believed to be of Ramses II has been discovered underneath an outdoor marketplace in Cairo, Egypt, CNN said on Monday.

The ancient city of Heliopolis, the center of sun worship, was located in what is now the Aim Shams and Matariya districts of Cairo.

A four to five ton pink granite statue resembling Ramses II is among the artifacts found. Also found: a five-foot-high statue of a seated figure with with hieroglyphics that include three tablets with the name of Ramses II inscribed.

The green pavement stones of the temple's floor were also uncovered.

King Ramses II, also known as "Ramses the Great," ruled Egypt for 66 years from 1270 to 1213 B.C. He erected monuments up and down the Nile with records of his achievements, as well as building temples — including Abu Simbel, erected near what is known as Upper Egypt, near the southern border.

In 1836, the 227-ton Obelisk of Ramses II was moved from Luxor, Egypt, and installed along the River Seine at the Place de la Concorde, Paris's largest public square [see photo].

Previous Burning Taper article:Previous Sacred Fems article:
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Censorship in the name of God

Fresh off their success at getting NBC to cancel The Book of Daniel, Donald Wildmon and his American Family Association have called for a boycott of advertisers who sponsor Desperate Housewives.

Not content to let viewers see a characterization of Jesus not Christian-approved, they are neither willing to let America watch the antics of sexy (and desperate) housewives.

One of my closest Masonic brothers used to regularly send me (and everyone on his email list) the latest "boycott this" list from fanatic Wildmon. I'd laugh (and sometimes cringe) every time I received one of these emails, asking myself why a Mason would be so intolerant of others that he'd be a part of an organization that stiffarms its way into boardrooms across America — much like Jesse Jackson does, but with a different agenda. It was only out of respect for my brother and a sense of maintaining Masonic "peace and harmony" that I didn't take issue with his emails in a public venue before.

Wildmon is getting more media-savvy, I'll have to admit. Anticipating his critics who will say, "Just turn off the TV!" before they've even spoken, he asks, "Why should we have to do that? Why do our children need to be exposed to such trash? Why do the networks keep putting out trash?"

Why do the networks show the programs they do? Because they think people will watch them, thereby providing eyeballs for the advertisers. Last week's Nielsens show that Desperate Housewives had 23.4 million viewers, more than the Olympics. It was the #4 show for the week, behind two episodes of American Idol and the drama Grey's Anatomy.

Wildmon's general attitude says quite clearly that he believes that he has the right to demand that society bend to his version of morality, or moral correctness. His labeling of things on television that he doesn't like as "trash" makes me realize that once he's gotten his way on this, there will be many more things we accept in a free society that he won't approve of, and once again he'll call upon his "one million" myrmidons to make it right for Jesus.

These are the same type of people who have been writing about the satanic messages in The Smurfs and My Little Pony.

Cover up your tattoos, hide your body piercings, lock away your satanic mp3-playing iPods. Cut your hair, shut down your evil blogs, and get yourself to Sunday School dressed only in Wildmon-approved clothing.

Wildmon is like a scary reincarnational blend of neo-phobic Ned Ludd and Anthony Comstock, who for a while managed to make medical school anatomy books be treated as pornography. God save us!

What is it about Christianity that makes people want to control other people? Which of the Ten Commandments says "police the morals of others"?

More nuttiness in Jesus's name:
  • The guys at Jesus-is-savior.com hold that all versions of the Bible other than the King James version are sinful, and come right out and say that beloved Pope John Paul II, recently deceased, is now roasting in Hell. He's in the company of the dead Beatles, Charles Darwin, Elvis, Jim Morrison of the Doors, and is with or soon will be joined by the Rolling Stones, the current Pope, all Catholics, all homosexuals, the murderers of Terri Shiavo, the rest of the Beatles, everyone who drinks beer, Alan Greenspan, and pretty much all U.S. presidents with the possible exception of Thomas Jefferson. Also soon to be eternally ablaze are billions of other people, presumably including you and me. What rage! What hatred! What paranoia! In case you've been flashing a little too much skin, these guys even provide you with a link to modest patterns so you can sew your own sackcloth.

  • Westboro Baptist Church, the anti-gay anti-soldier kooks from Kansas we've written about before, continue to attend soldiers' funerals carrying signs saying "Thank God for IED's" (bombs) and "God Hates Fags." Their leaders pretty much say that every bad thing that happens these days is a sign that God is pissed off.

  • Josh Buice's Southern Baptist rants against Masons and science.

  • Whoremonger and TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart on November 10, 2002 denounced the Prophet Muhammad as a "pervert" and a "sex deviant," and in 2005 said during one of his televised sermons, "I'm going to be blunt and plain: If [a homosexual] ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died."

  • Cutting Edge Ministries has links, books and videos galore telling how Freemasons worship Lucifer. Not only are they spreading these lies, they're making a handsome profit doing so.
According to Matthew 22:34-40, when a lawyer once asked Jesus what the most important thing He was teaching was, He said this: "Love God... and love your neighbor as yourself."

That's it! According to verse 39, the second part, about loving your neighbor, is as important as the first part, about loving God. And verse 40 clinches it, that That's All There Is To It, by saying, "These are the greatest commandments."

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Know Thyself

"When you recognize that there is a voice in your head that pretends to be you and never stops speaking, you are awakening out of your unconscious identification with the stream of thinking. When you notice that voice, you realize that who you are is not the voice — the thinker — but the one who is aware of it.

"Knowing yourself as the awareness behind the voice is freedom." — Eckart Tolle

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Researchers sue Dan Brown for using their data

Dan Brown, author of the insanely popular novel The Da Vinci Code, is being sued for using someone else's research in his fiction. Brown's book has sold over 44 million copies and been translated into dozens of languages.

Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh are suing their own publishers, Random House, which also published The Da Vinci Code. The pair say that Brown's book draws heavily on their bestseller Holy Blood, Holy Grail, first published in 1982.

Those familiar with Holy Blood, Holy Grail weren't surprised at Brown's storyline — that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had married, had a child, and that after Jesus' crucifixion Mary and the child fled to France, where the bloodline continues to the present day. Not only was it recognized that HBHG was Brown's inspiration; Brown actually credited Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln's book within his fictional story. (Lincoln, the third author of HBHG, is not a party to the lawsuit.)

The court proceedings are expected to last about two weeks, barring a settlement, and its outcome could hold up release of the upcoming theatrical version of The Da Vinci Code in Britain, scheduled for May. The case is likely to clarify how far an author can go in using other people's research under existing copyright laws.

With the Vatican now claiming copyright for the Pope's own Papal Bulls, and researchers claiming copyright over the information they discover, how much longer will it be before the descendants of Britain's King James claim copyright for the Bible, and descendants of Frances Bacon try to copyright unwritten Masonic ritual?

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The painting Et in Aracdia Ego is by Nicolas Poussin. If you don't know why we've chosen to use it to illustrate this article, you really should read Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Behold your brothers!

Tattoos have been around at least 5,000 years, maybe longer, as evidenced by Otzi the Ice Man, whose frozen corpse was found on a mountain between Austria and Italy in 1991. His body was the canvas for 57 different tattoos. Tattooed mummies and other tattooed bodies have been found in Russia and Egypt dating back nearly as far in time.

The electric tattooing machine was invented in 1891 by Samuel O'Reilly, who improved upon a machine originally invented by Thomas Edison, that failed commercially.

Today, many Freemasons sport tattoos of the Square and Compasses or other Masonic symbols. The The Master's Jewel website features several dozen photos of brothers proudly showing their Masonic tattoos. Behold your brothers!

The tattoo feature here belongs to Bro. Jason Runion, Past Master of Zoneton Lodge No. 964, located just outside of Louisville, Kentucky.

As usual, it seems Christians have an opinion on everything. Recently I read a blog called From the Morning on the subject "Can a Christian get a tattoo?" The article in part asks and then answers itself: "Isn't your body a temple? Absolutely. I want my body to 'be a temple,' for certain. I'm not about to get a pagan or idolatrous tattoo. I got a Jesus glorifying tattoo."

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The Devil made me say it

"If you will but worship me, all will be yours." — Luke 4:7

Apparently, if you're going to quote the Bible, you should have actually read it first.

The St. James United Church of Christ of Limerick, Pennsylvania, recently posted the above Bible verse on their website, surely with the intention of steering sinning websurfers right into Jesus's outstretched arms.

Only one problem — the above verse is a quote from Satan, spoken by him to Jesus during the 40-days-in-the-desert-temptation scene right after Jesus's baptism.

In the fourth century and again in the 13th and 14th, gnostics and later the Albigensians / Cathars were burned at the stake for the heresy of suggesting that Jehovah was really the Devil, the God of "this world," and that a higher God ruled over Him.

St. James' church retracted and apologized for the error later on their website, but not before a few bloggers noticed the, uh, misquote.

To their credit, and in spite of their lack of Biblical reading ability, St. James sounds like a cooler-than-usual church, judging from their top ten list, which touts their variety and their acceptance of alternative lifestyles. They call themselves "God's Party Church."

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Beelzebob artwork courtesy Papa Joe Mama

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Beam me up, Scotty!

As Masons, we continue to desire more Light.

Quantum physicists have figured out a way to give us a double dose, according to the journal Physical Review Letters (vol 96, 060504).

Using laser beams, scientists have created a teleportation machine that generates two near-identical copies of the original.

Why only near-identical? Because Quantum Mechanics dictates that just measuring the position of a particle disturbs it and so limits the accuracy to which it can be reliably replicated — a concept known as the uncertainty principle. This makes producing an exact clone of the beam impossible.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Happy Birthday, Brother George Washington

Reckoned by the modern calendar, today, February 22, is George Washington's birthday.

Bro. Washington was born in 1732, and died in 1799. He was Raised a Mason in 1753, at age 20. In 1753, he became a soldier and fought in the French and Indian War, eventually being promoted to the rank of Major. As General in 1776, he led the colonies in the revolt against England. In 1787, he presided over the Constitutional Convention that drafted the United States Constitution, and, in 1789, was the unanimous choice to become the first President of the United States.

According to Wikipedia, Brother Washington participated in the laying of the cornerstone of the Capitol Building as a Mason, was Master of Alexandria Masonic Lodge and was buried with Masonic honors. He was even suggested for the position of General Grand Master of Masons in America (which he did not pursue). It is generally accepted that if he would have taken the position that the individual state grand lodges would have united into one Grand Lodge of the United States.

Happy Birthday, Brother George.

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Motorcyclists rally against Baptists' anti-gay protests at military funerals

Those idiot protesters from Westboro Baptist Church, led by Pastor Fred Phelps, are again disrupting military funerals.

According the CNN and other reports, these hateful zombies-for-Jesus are attending funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, wrapping themselves in upside-down American flags and shouting vulgarities condeming both soldiers and homosexuals.

I support their right to protest... this is America, and we all have fredom of speech. I also support my right to say, "My god, what a bunch of insensitive, misguided morons!"

Carrying signs thanking God for IED's, explosive devices that have killed many U.S. servicemen, these pinheads are finding themselves more and more surrounded by patriotic Americans who aren't gonna take it anymore.

CNN reports: "Shirley Phelps-Roper, a daughter of Fred Phelps and an attorney for the Topeka, Kansas-based church, said neither state laws nor the Patriot Guard can silence their message that God killed the soldiers because they fought for a country that embraces homosexuals."

"The scriptures are crystal clear that when God sets out to punish a nation, it is with the sword. An IED is just a broken-up sword," Phelps-Roper said. "Since that is his weapon of choice, our forum of choice has got to be a dead soldier's funeral."

The Patriot Guard project's deputy director, Heidi Beirich, said other groups have tried to counter Phelps' message, but none has been as organized as the Patriot Guard.

"I'm not sure anybody has gone to this length to stand in solidarity," she said. "It's nice that these veterans and their supporters are trying to do something. I can't imagine anything worse, your loved one is killed in Iraq and you've got to deal with Fred Phelps."

While searching for a photo to accompany this article, I stumbled upon a website supportive of the zealots at Phelp's Westboro Baptist Church. The site is called "God Hates Fags." The home page proudly boasts "Warning!! Gospel Preaching Ahead" Page after page of vitriol and Bible quotes, plus a long list of photos from their protest events is available. These sick and twisted ****s have no love in them at all.

This is gonna get ugly, soon.... Violence begets violence.

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Previous Burning Taper article:

The Amadeus Code and other musical secrets

Dan Brown, the author of the Da Vinci Code, is not the only writer who plays around with codes in his works.

Many of the classical composers, some of them Freemasons or rumored to be members of the Rosicrucians, Priory of Sion, Knights Templar or other secret societies, often hid coded messages in their music.

According to an article in The Weekend Australian, Johann Sebastian Bach "signed his compositions 'Soli Dei Gloria' — to the glory of God alone — but he also signed within his works a tribute to himself, using the letters of his surname. In English notation, only the letters A to G are used in the musical scale; in German, the letter H denotes B-natural. So Bach was able to sign his own name, with the notes B-A-C-H, in such magisterial works as The Art of Fugue."

The article continues: "Other composers took to this idea of musical Scrabble. The Irish composer John Field wrote melodies on the themes of B-E-E-F and C-A-B-B-A-G-E; the pious Frenchman, Olivier Messiaen, used entire quotations from Thomas Aquinas in his organ work, Meditations on the Mystery of the Holy Trinity."

Erik Satie, a writer for the piano, was a Rosicrucian. He "structured some of his pieces with the so-called divine ratio, the number denoted by the Greek letter phi, that is thought to give especially pleasing or auspicious dimensions."

Mozart's The Magic Flute is ripe with Masonic symbology:
The number three is prevalent — in the key of E-flat, in the three boys, in the three-note motifs said to echo the secret Masonic "knock." It refers to the three pillars of the Masonic temple: wisdom, beauty and strength.

Characters would be understood as taking part in a Masonic drama: the prince Tamino is the new initiate who must go through a ritual purification; Sarastro is the Persian prophet Zoroaster; the Queen of the Night refers to the realm of darkness and ignorance; the moor Monostatos is said to refer to the assassin of King Solomon's architect, Hiram.

The Flute can be read as a parable of the triumph of light over darkness, an end to superstition and the beginning of a new age of peace.
Numerology, astronomy and astrology, nods and winks to friends — you'll find all these "secrets" and more if you investigate classical music.

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Previous Burning Taper articles:Previous Sacred Fems article:

The painting is of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Holy Hotties buy lap dances for Jesus

She's a self-proclaimed Holy Hottie. Ex-stripper Heather Veitch still works the topless bars, but not as a dancer. She works for Jesus now, you see.

On her frequent trips to strip clubs, she even pays for lap dances, so she can get up close and personal with the girls, to talk about God.

Vietch, a 31-year-old married mother of two, is a co-founder with two other women, Tanya and Lori, of her own ministry, J.C.'s Girls Girls Girls.

A former Las Vegas stripper, when Veitch became a Christian she started sharing her faith with her former co-workers.

Her ministry's website features glamour shots of Veitch and her two partners, taken by a porn director. The website “almost” looks like a porn site; some of the shots of the three women are quite provocative, but they appear clothed, some shots showing a bit of cleavage, some shots in very tight T-shirts with the JC's Girls Girls Girls logo imprinted.

They attend porn conventions, where they pass out Bibles wrapped in T-shirts that read Holy Hottie.

The 1,700-member Sandals Church of Riverside, California, a Southern Baptist Convention congregation, has donated $50,000 to the JC's Girls Girls Girls ministry.

In addition to visiting strip clubs and porn conventions, the ministry operates Matthew's House in Riverside, a ministry for sex industry workers and those “addicted to pornography.”

Veitch said strippers and porn stars don't have to quit their jobs before entering a church. She said, "Do we ask gluttons to stop eating too much before they come to church?" She added, "sin is sin."

Photos: Heather, Lori and Tanya, in that order.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Satan's Snowboard

El Diablo is at it again. Now that he's through with Job, Ol' Nick is messin' with athletes at the Winter Olympics, or so they say. ESPN and Mercury News both report that something evil this way comes in Turin, Italy. Downhill wipeouts, missed buses, mysterious 45th parallel ley lines, gates to Hell....

Beelzebub and his minions are happy this month. Old Scratch, that Hellion, is just having a field day, reports indicate.

Over on the Satanic Side of the Web, Mephistopheles claims Hell will host the 2008 Summer Olympics:
Excerpt from Press Release, April 28, 1996: A confidential source revealed today that the 2008 Summer Olympic games will take place in Hell. Satan, a long-time Olympic fan (ever since he discovered Tonya Harding), was reportedly overcome with joy at hearing the news. Satan had earlier attempted a bid for the 2006 Winter games, but was turned down when Olympic officials learned the frequency of cold days in Hell.
That ol' Prince of Darkness — such a scamp! If the Devil didn't exist, someone would just have to make him up.

Fortunately, the Benedictine monks are praying for the Olympics, so it'll all work out.

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The Divine Liturgies Music Project

Take a tranquility break. Listen to this incredibly beautiful Gregorian Chant.

The unaccompanied, monophonic Gregorian chant takes its name from Pope St. Gregory the Great, who brought it to the West from Bytantine. Traditionally sung by monks during religious services, its use was at its height during 800-1000 A.D. It is probably descended from the Jews, who supposedly sang the Psalms in this manner.

To learn more about Gregorian chants, read the entry at Wikipedia. To hear more early doxologies, chants and related music, check out the Divine Liturgies Music Project.

The Project's website contains more than 1000 pages of Byzantine music, transcribed into Western notation according to the style of chanting used on the Holy Mountain. The scope of this project covers the liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great, St. James, and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, as well as various doxologies. The words of the hymns are provided in Elizabethan English, Modern English, and Greek.

A special thanks goes out to Fellowcraft Mason Jason Voss for clueing us into the Project's website.

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True Masonry: True Stories

Worshipful Brother Tim Bryce of Florida has posted his second installment of True Masonry: True Stories.

Part One of the series was first posted in December.

Also, you can find a compilation of his articles at the Lodge Room UK, an Internet discussion group based in London.

California Brother Greg Stewart's Freemason Information site is host to Brother Bryce's writings as well as provides hours of reading on Masonic subjects, discussions of Masonic symbolism, links to other Masonic sites, Masonic trivia, links to anti-Masonic sites and much more.

Brothers Bryce and Stewart are fine examples of true Masons. Hats off to both these fine men for the work they're doing!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Seek, and you shall find

About an hour ago, a visitor named Tom left a comment on the next article down, the one titled "The Power of Myth: Thou Art That." He was responding specifically to one of Pastor Josh's "God is great!" comments. Since not everyone reads the comments section, I'm putting it here. (Also, I don't have any other topics in mind for a post today.)

Here's what Tom wrote:
Josh, thank you for clarifying that point. Although this site always provides good information about freemasonry — I always get the picture that freemasonry is the way to heaven — so it seems in the writings on this site. Blessings, Tom

I've been thinking lately that perhaps we've been too hard here on Baptists, or even Christianity, lately. Maybe even some of my Masonic brothers who follow this blog might think so. Tolerance is a Masonic virtue, one I'm still learning. Perhaps learning to tolerate Josh is my test.

But since tolerance is a virtue, I'm sure my Masonic brethren, even those who are Baptists, understand, accept and support my search for Light outside of the Christian dogma.

Here's what I wrote to Tom:

Glad to have you here.

As I've written many times here and as it says in the disclaimer at the bottom of the page, this website does not reflect any official position of Freemasonry. We are not here trying to point you or anyone to Heaven.

Had it not been for Josh's attacks on Freemasonry on his own blog, the tone and direction of our blog would probably have been different. So yes, Josh has had a positive influence upon us, but not in the way he must think.

Mary and I are seekers after Truth. I spent many — too many — years as a baptized, believing member of a Baptist church, and I can gum-flap and parrot Bible verses as well as Josh can, maybe better. Mary's religious background is more diverse. Her upbringing wasn't very religious, but as an adult she's been a member of both a Baptist church and a Mormon church, and investigated other Christian groups and denominations, finding little of value in any of them. Neither of us today buys into Josh's version of the Myth.

We're not here to save anyone. Your Journey back to the Center is your own, and we wish you well.

We're just here sharing what we've learned, pointing the reader to things he or she may not have discovered yet on his or her own through reading, surfing the web, or meditation.

Right now I have an interest in what has been called Astro-theology. The "gods of the sky" seem to have been the basis of, or influenced most religions, major and minor, as well as the Mystery Schools, including Freemasonry.

Enjoy. Learn. Believe if you want to. But find your own way to Heaven. We're not selling tickets here.

The painting is of John the Baptist, by Leonardo da Vinci. It is not Weird Al Yankovic, as has been rumored.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Power of Myth: Thou Art That

Recently on Jeffrey Parham's blog Masonic Reflections, I found these words in an article called "Once a Mason," where he was reflecting upon the passing of a brother:
At the core “being” of everyone is the “I Am” or “I Be.” This is an undeniable statement of worth, for if you are included in the Grand Design to be given that spark of life, [then] that droplet of the divine resides within all of us, to give us that quintessential worth of being.

The outer core or influence is what our biological natures have evolved to survive; it is the “I Do,” the behaviors that our personality has developed to get us through life’s trials.

Masonry seeks to support these elements of our nature by validating the “I Am” and supporting the “I Do” through the degrees of Masonry and the societal structure of the fraternity. The final vestige of the Master is the “I Will Be,” the culmination and acceptance in a life well spent that prepares us for that Celestial Lodge above.

Worshipful Brother Parham's words are quite beautiful, but they strike a deeper chord with me than merely literary. In these words I see the understanding that each of us is infinitely worthy, and that while we may rise and fall, succeed and struggle, we're all not just "children of God" but are a part of the Whole that is God, the All That Is.

I don't see us as little lost sheep in need of saving. We are Divine Sparks of the Whole, seeking our way back to the Center. Every man, woman and child is a Star.

In W. Bro. Parham's address during his installation as Master of his lodge, he said simply, "Masonry is a living myth, the story of the hero, who after a series of trials overcomes evil by his innate goodness."

Masonry reflects a man's life. Masonry is life. We're all living the Myth. And we are all the Hero with a Thousand Faces.

Professor Joseph Campbell's book Hero with a Thousand Faces describes the universal hero's monomyth. The monomyth not only describes every myth and religious story you've ever heard, and most every movie you've ever seen, in general — it describes your life!

I. Departure
  • The Call to Adventure
  • Refusal of the Call
  • Supernatural Aid
  • The Crossing of the First Threshold
  • The Belly of the Whale
II. Initiation
  • The Road of Trials
  • The Meeting with the Goddess
  • Woman as the Temptress
  • Atonement with the Father
  • Apotheosis
  • The Ultimate Boon
III. Return
  • Refusal of the Return
  • The Magic Flight
  • Rescue from Without
  • The Crossing of the Return Threshold
  • Master of the Two Worlds
  • Freedom to Live

How to Read a Myth: Joseph Campbell’s Ten Commandments for Reading Mythology

1. Read myths with the eyes of wonder: the myths transparent to their universal meaning, their meaning transparent to its mysterious source.

2. Read myths in the present tense: Eternity is now.

3. Read myths in the first person plural: the Gods and Goddesses of ancient mythology still live within you.

4. Any myth worth its salt exerts a powerful magnetism. Notice the images and stories that you are drawn to and repelled by. Investigate the field of associated images and stories.

5. Look for patterns; don’t get lost in the details. What is needed is not more specialized scholarship, but more interdisciplinary vision. Make connections; break old patterns of thought.

6. Resacrilize the secular: even a dollar bill reveals the imprint of Eternity.

7. If God is everywhere, then myths can be generated anywhere, anytime, by anything. Don’t let your Romantic aversion to science blind you to the Buddha in the computer chip.

8. Know your tribe! Myths never arise in a vacuum; they are the connective tissue of the social body which enjoys synergistic relations with dreams (private myths) and rituals (the enactment of a myth).

9. Expand your horizon! Any mythology worth remembering will be global in scope. The earth is our home and humankind is our family.

10. Read between the lines! Literalism kills; imagination quickens.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Let there be Light!

The following excerpt from an article titled "Spiritual and Astrotheological Motifs Related to Light" is reproduced with permission from the February 13, 2006 issue of the Kentroversy Papers blog. On the Kentroversy site it's printed in purplish text, which I find difficult to read; therefore we're reposting it here. We don't necessarily agree with all of its conclusions, but we find it most enlightening and quite fascinating.
In the ancient times of pre-history, man was in awe of the heavenly dance of the spheres.

In fact, ancient man was so infatuated with the daily and nightly parade across the sky, he soon saw an entire religion spring up. This is now known as Astrotheology, a system of theology based upon what is known about the heavenly bodies, and the laws that regulate their movement across the sky. This worship of the heavenly bodies was based upon superstition and fear; would the sun of the creator arrive in the morning? Or, was it destined to fade away forever, once it set at the end of each day?

Astrotheology represents one of the most closely-held secrets behind all global religions of today’s world. This is because it is Astrotheology that provided the template upon which these later religions would be based. The first clues were provided within the professed belief systems of world cultures that were far flung across the globe, and really should have had no connection with one another.

Just consider this one single fact; there are no less than sixteen religious saviors that were crucified, reborn, and celebrated their birthdays on December 25th. With each succeeding example, it becomes decreasingly likely that this was all mere coincidence, or an accident of fate, as the religious establishment would like us all to believe.

They are hiding a very big secret....

When I was a little boy, I grew up in a typical Christian household. We went to church each Sunday, obeyed the commandments, and feared a punitive and vengeful God, hoping that confession would wipe the slate clean, keeping that ticket to heaven well within reach. Through all the Hail Mary and Our Father prayers, something in the back of my mind was beginning to bother me.

When I was eleven years old, I had a conversation with my grandfather about the existence of God. I had tested with an extremely high intelligence, and even from that early time of my life, I was asking questions that would get me into all sorts of trouble. I was asking for proof of the existence of God and of Jesus Christ, and for some reason, my grandparents had gotten incredibly angry with me about these issues, and I wouldn’t know why for quite a number of years.

When I first heard the word Astrotheology, it was in the context of a course on global religious mythology. It was then that I heard about the many similarities between the various religious systems, with no fewer than sixteen ‘saviors’ before Christ; who all were born of a virgin mother, had died and was resurrected three days later, and they all had December 25th as their birthday. The coincidence was too much to bear, and I felt compelled and obligated to look into it further.

The church was hiding something. But, what could it be, that they were hiding? The answer to what they were hiding, can be found within the reason WHY the saviors of sixteen separate religions on this planet, all share the following in common:
  • All sixteen were born of a virgin mother, and were all born on December 25th.
  • All sixteen were involved with prophecies, and stars pointing out the time and place of their births.
  • All sixteen were crucified on either a cross or a tree, and were resurrected three days later.
  • All sixteen were considered to be the saviors of their people.
  • All sixteen had angels, shepherds, and magi (magicians) present at their births, or shortly after.
  • All sixteen were described by using words related to light.
  • And so on it goes....
And, just who were these sixteen crucified saviors identical to Jesus Christ?
  • Thulis of Egypt – 1700 B.C.
  • Chrishna of India – 1200 B.C.
  • Crite of Chaldea – 1200 B.C.
  • Atys of Phrygia – 1170 B.C.
  • Tammuz of Syria – 1160 B.C.
  • Hesus of the Celtic Druids – 834 B.C.
  • Indra of Tibet – 725 B.C.
  • Bali of Orissa – 725 B.C.
  • IAO of Nepal – 622 B.C.
  • Sakia of the Hindus – 600 B.C.
  • Alcestos of Euripides – 600 B.C.
  • Mithra of Persia – 600 B.C.
  • Quetzalcoatl of Mexico – 587 B.C.
  • Wittoba of the Telingonesh – 552 B.C.
  • Prometheus of Caucasus – 547 B.C.
  • Quirinus of Rome – 506 B.C.
NOTE: The list of sixteen crucified saviors was taken from the book The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors by Kersey Graves (1999), 436 pgs.

I began to study the theological religious systems of the world, and as I would like to point out, the study of theology does NOT stop at just one religion, but encompasses the entire global religious system, where ALL religions are studied. To aid me in this research, I was able to collect the bibles of all major religions of the planet. Whereas it took me many years and much money to collect these important spiritual books, thanks to a wonderful man named John B. Hare, these important spiritual books are now available through the Internet Sacred Text Archive on a CD-ROM that is very reasonably priced,

especially considering that it contains 940 complete books in HTML format, including all diagrams, artwork, and the full text of each book. The Internet Sacred Text Archive is a phenomenal resource, and one that I recommend highly to those who are interested in such a collection.

I was brought up in a Catholic household, with very devout grandparents, who took care of me in between my father’s five marriages. I left the church when the aunt of one of my girlfriends had gotten very sick, and required surgery and a lengthy stay in the hospital. When I was visiting with this woman for Christmas 1986 with my then girlfriend Kim, Kim’s aunt told me that she had gotten an actual billing invoice for the four months of church services she missed.

Her priest did not send her a letter asking her if she was all right, and never sent her a get-well card, but sent her a bill instead. She showed it to me right on the spot, and it said at the bottom: “Failure to pay this invoice within 30 days will result in additional interest, at 1.5% per month, for an 18% annual interest-rate.”

This was an actual bill, and it stated that it was for PEW RENTAL — this was completely outrageous, to say the very least. I asked this woman what she was going to do about this bill she had received, and she told me that she called the priest on the telephone, and immediately asked that her name be removed from the list of parishioners. She said that she had left the church, and she was quite upset about things, which I did not blame her one single bit.

I don’t know WHY she was sent this invoice, but, it gave the impression that the church was more interested in her money than they were in her health and welfare. At that time, I expressed the fact that donations by their very nature, are voluntary, and should not be expected by those to whom we donate our hard-earned money.

I discovered that there is a very intriguing connection between Christianity and Astrotheology, the worship of the stars, planets, the sun, and their movements in the sky. High-level initiates of Freemasonry and other secret societies are told the following, which is a ‘secret’ one learns when they become a 32nd degree Freemason, which is called Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.

But, what is this Royal Secret?

Men who reach the 32nd degree in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry are told, among other things, that Jesus Christ is the S-U-N of God. Jesus Christ is the S-U-N of God. The sun in the sky, is what they are talking about. In the book entitled The Christ Conspiracy: The Biggest Story Ever Sold, the following information provides evidence of the Astrotheological basis of the mythology associated with Jesus Christ.

Here is what that book says about the Sun of God (pgs. 154-156):


Within the Sun Book or Holy Bible was incorporated by such priestcraft the most consolidated version of the celestial mythos ever assembled, the story of the “son of God.” First, we have seen that “God” is the Sun. Second in Job 38 the stars are called “sons of God,” hence one star would be the son of God is the Sun of God. The solar mythos, in fact, explains why the narratives of the sons of God previously examined are so similar, with a godman who is crucified and resurrected, who does miracles and has 12 disciples, etc. To wit, these stories were in actuality based on the movements of the sun through the heavens. In other words, Jesus Christ and the others upon whom he is predicated are personifications of the sun, and the gospel fable is merely a repeat of a mythological formula revolving around the movements of the sun through the heavens.

For example, many of the world’s crucified godmen have their traditional birthdays on December 25th (“Christmas”). This date is set because the ancients recognized that, from a geocentric perspective in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun makes an annual descent southward until after midnight of December 21st, the winter solstice, when it stops moving southerly for three days and then starts to move northward again. During this time, the ancients declared that “God’s Sun” had “died” for three days and was “born again” after midnight of December 24th. Thus, these many different cultures celebrated with great joy the “Sun of God’s” birthday on December 25th.

The following are some characteristics of the “Sun of God”:
  • The sun “dies” for three days at the winter solstice, to be born again on December 25th.
  • The Sun of God is “born of a virgin,” which refers to both the new or “virgin” moon and the constellation of Virgo.
  • The Sun’s “birth” is attended by the “bright star,” either Sirius/Sothis or the planet Venus, and by the “Three Kings,” representing the three stars in the belt of Orion.
  • The sun at its zenith, or 12 noon, is in the house or heavenly temple of the “Most High;” thus, “he” begins “his father’s work” at “age” 12. Jordan Maxwell relates, “At that point, all Egypt offered prayers to the “Most High God.”
  • The Sun enters into each zodiac sign at 30 degrees; hence, the “Sun of God” begins his ministry at “age” 30. The Sun of the visible heavens has moved northward 30 degrees and stands at the gate of Aquarius, the water-bearer, or John the Baptist of the mystic planisphere, and here begins his work of ministry in Palestine.
  • The “Sun of God” is the “Carpenter” who builds his daily “houses” of 12 two-hour divisions.
  • The “followers” or “disciples” of the “Sun of God” are the 12 signs of the zodiac, through which the Sun must pass.
  • The “Sun of God” is “anointed” when its rays dip into the sea.
  • The “Sun of God” “changes water into wine” by creating rain, ripening the grape on the vine and fermenting the grape juice.
  • The “Sun of God” “walks on water,” referring to its’ reflection upon the waters' surface.
  • The “Sun of God” “calms the sea,” as he rests in the boat of heaven. (Matthew 8:23-27)
  • When the “Sun of God” is annually and monthly re-born, he brings life to his former self, raising it from the dead.
  • The “Sun of God” triumphantly “rides an ass and her foal” into the “City of Peace” when it enters the sign of Cancer, which contains two stars called “little asses,” and reaches its fullness.
  • The “Sun of God” is the “Lion” when in Leo, the hottest time of the year, called the “throne of the Lord.”
  • The “Sun of God” is “betrayed” by the constellation of the Scorpion, the backbiter, the time of the year when the solar hero loses his strength. [NOTE: This is also the origin of the term backstabber, which also indicates betrayal].
  • The “Sun of God” is hung on a cross, which represents its passing through the equinoxes, the vernal equinox being Easter.
  • The “Sun of God” darkens when it “dies.” The solar god as the sun of evening or autumn was the suffering, dying Sun, or the dead sun buried in the netherworld.
  • The “Sun of God” is with us “always, to the close of the age,” (Matthew 28:20) referring to the ages of the procession of the equinoxes. [NOTE: The procession of the equinoxes takes 26,000 years to complete one cycle.]
  • The “Sun of God” is the “Light of the World” and “comes on clouds, and every eye shall see him.”
  • The “Sun of God” rising in the morning is the “Savior of mankind.”
  • The “Sun of God” wears a corona, a “crown of thorns,” or halo.

Figure 1 — The Crown of Thorns and a Solar Corona
  • The “Sun of God” was called the “Son of the Sky,” “All seeing,” the “Comforter,” “Healer,” “Savior,” “Creator,” “Preserver,” “Ruler of the World,” and “Giver of Life.”
  • The “Sun of God” is the Word or Logos of God.
  • The all-seeing Sun, or “Eye of God,” was considered the judge of the living and dead who returned to Earth on a “White Horse.”

The book further states:

“The history of the sun is the history of Jesus Christ. The Sun of God is born on the 25th of December, the birthday of Jesus Christ. The first and greatest of his labors of Jesus Christ is his victory over the serpent, the evil principle, or the devil. In his first labor, Hercules strangled the serpent, as did Chrishna, Bacchus, etc. This is the sun triumphing over the powers of darkness, and as he increases, he prevails, till he is crucified in the heavens, or is decussated in the form of a cross, when he passes the equator at the vernal equinox.”

Figure 2 — DaVinci's Last Supper shows the four seasons

When examining ancient religious artwork, the Astrotheological and Astrological aspects are there right under our collective noses. DaVinci’s Last Supper painting is very interesting in this regard. If we accept what high-level freemasons are taught, namely that Jesus Christ is the Sun of God, then The Last Supper painting takes on an entirely new meaning.

From left to right, the figures represented in the painting are as follows: St. Bartholomew (Libra); St. James The Less (Gemini); St. Andrew (Peter’s brother) (Cancer); Judas (Scorpio); St. Peter (Aries); St. John (Leo); Jesus Christ (Sun of God); St. Thomas (Pisces); St. James The Great (Sagittarius); St. Phillip (Virgo); St. Matthew (Capricorn); St. Jude (Aquarius); and St. Simon (Taurus).

Figure 3 — The four seasons surround the Sun of God

In Da Vinci’s Last Supper painting, we see the twelve disciples surrounding the Sun of God, in which they are separated into four groups of three. This is directly attributable to the four seasons of the year, which contain three months each. The twelve disciples each represent one month of the year, or more specifically, one zodiac sign of the year.

The Last Supper is in reality a harvest dinner, much like our thanksgiving. If one examines the offerings spread out across the table, it resembles what a Thanksgiving dinner of those times must have looked like. Harvest time was celebrated by huge feasts all throughout history.

At harvest, we eat the flesh of the fruit, which figuratively relates to the flesh of Jesus, the Sun, which makes this fruit grow. We drink the wine of the harvest, and as we have been told in church services, the wine is symbolic of the blood of the savior. Again, it is the Sun, which makes the grapes grow. Without the flesh and blood of the harvest, we would cease to exist.

After the Last Supper, Jesus is betrayed by Judas, who represents Scorpio, in the month of October. Judas was said to have betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, which represent the thirty days of the average monthly interval, and the increasing darkness as the Sun makes its way to the Winter Solstice in the third week of December.

Silver here is a dead giveaway, because silver is the metal associated with the Moon, and thus, darkness. If the reader would care to take note, the Moon looks like a silver coin hanging in the nighttime sky, just as the Sun looks like a golden coin hanging in the daytime sky. To provide further evidence of this symbolism — gold is associated with the Sun, and thus, solar energy, and the light of day; and silver is associated with lunar energy, and the dark of night.

Another familiar symbol is the Solar Cross:

Figure 4 - The Solar Cross, which relates to the yearly Equinoxes and Solstices

The Solar Cross continues the esoteric symbolism of Astrotheology, with its direct reference to the yearly equinoxes and solstices. The system is quite simple, as the Sun is at its’ highest point in the sky during the Summer Solstice, and at its lowest point during the Winter Solstice. Both equinoxes represent the equal day and night that is experienced during those points of the year. This is why the positions are taken in the precise manner as can be seen in the diagram above. Any time you see this symbol (as on the right), know that you are looking at a symbolic representation of these four cardinal times of the year, and all other explanations are null and void.

I could go on with this subject on a much deeper level, but I choose to stop here, as my point appears to have been sufficiently made. With so many references to light, I began to think about how our English language deals with its’ influences from Astrology and Astrotheology. I began to think about words, phrases, and names that appear to have had their beginnings from within the ideas associated with Astrology and Astrotheology. If there is NOTHING behind the esoteric principle that Jesus Christ is the Sun of God, then there should be nothing much to find. However, the opposite was found to be the case. There were many references to both Astrology and Astrotheology found within the English language. I focused on the obvious, which were the numerous references to LIGHT. It was there where I would either confirm or disprove my thesis.

The Kentroversy Papers continue here a long discussion and list of references to the word "light" in everyday language and in a historical context.

One final item from his essay is of special interest to Freemasons, in that it references King Solomon:

Solomon — A name that refers to the Sun in three languages.
  • Sol is Latin for Sun, which is from where the word solar originates. It is also the basis of the Inner Light of the human being, which is referred to as our soul [sol].
  • Om is the Hindu word for a representative concept that relates to the Sun. Om or Aum is also used as a primary mantra in the forms of meditation that have their basis in Eastern philosophy.
  • On is the Coptic [Egyptian Christianity] word for Sun, which is from where we get the word horizon (Horus-On), Horus is one of the Egyptian deities relating to the Sun. On is also an Egyptian term for the Sun as it travels across the afternoon sky.

Taking these three definitions into full consideration, Sol-Om-On is a name that denotes the triple power of the Sun. It has been suggested that Sol-Om-On is a numeric code for the triple number of the Sun, which is 666. In the Qabalistic Tree of Life, the sepheria (sphere) related to the Sun carries the number 6.

The name of Sol-Om-On contains three instances of one vowel, which is the letter O. The letter O is the 15th letter of the English alphabet. In numerology, multiple digit numbers are always reduced to a single number. Thus, 15 becomes the following mathematical equation:

15 = 1+5 = 6

And so, the three letters of O add up to the following:

15 + 15 + 15 = (1+5) + (1+5) + (1+5) = 666

The original pre-Christ meaning of the number 666 referred to the triple power of the Sun, and had nothing whatever to do with demons, Satan, or devil-worship of any kind. And, anyone reading these words that doubts the truth of this — you are welcome to look this up for yourself, to verify that this is in fact, true.

There is much more to this interesting essay. Please read it in its entirety.

The Nine Billion Names of God

In the comments section attached to the recent article "Josh the Baptist calls Christian's God false," Saint Josh tells us that God has but one Name, and that we darn well should use it when we talk to Him or about Him, or else He'll get ticked off.

The Christian site CharacterBuildingforFamilies.com lists 603 names that are acceptable unto God, most of which are English phrases that represent some Aspect or Trait of God. Examples include "Buckler to all those that trust in him," "Creator of the ends of the earth," and "King of Heaven." Why are these Names acceptable to Christians but "Great Architect of the Universe" isn't?

The same webpage also lists another dozen or so "Name of God" variations on the Names El and Yahweh, which is translated into Greek as Jehovah.

Lambert Dolphin presents an excellent webpage listing Old and New Testment Names for God. These names include El, Elohim, El Shaddai, Adonai, Jehovah, Jehovah-Jirah, Jehovah-Rophe, Jehovah-Nissi, Jehovah M'Kaddesh, and Jehovah-Shalom. Other Names of God used in the Old Testament include Shepherd (in Psalms, Genesis, and Isaiah), Judge (Isaiah), Jehovah-Elohim, Jehovah-Tsidkenu, Jehovah-Rohi, Jehovah-Shammah, Jehovah-Sabaoth, El Elyon, Abhir, Branch, Kadosh, Shaphat, El Roi, Kanna, Palet, Yeshu, Gaol, Magen, Stone, Eyaluth, Tsaddiq, El-Olam, El-Berith, El-Gibhor, Zur, Attiq Yomin, Melekh, Father, First and Last.

In the New Testament we find many Names, mostly translated into Greek, that are attributed to Jesus and/or God, such as Kurios, Despotes, Theos, I Am, Theotes, Hupsistos, Soter, and Logos.

The Name Jesus, as most people know, is the Greek translation for Joshua, which itself is actually Yeshua, sometimes written Y'shua. Originally it meant "Jehovah is Salvation." If you google a bit further, you can find devout Christians who have worked themselves into a frenzy, tirading against the use of the Name "Jesus," saying that It is a false Name, and that the Son of God, Savior of the World should properly and reverently only be referred to as Yeshua, the name He went by on earth. The folks at EvangelicalOutreach.org argue against this point, saying Jesus is the only name of God. According to their website, the "call Jesus Yeshua" movement are "Yeshua people... spreading amazing lies, fabrications and misinformation about the name that makes demons shudder and brings salvation and therefore they need to be corrected and opposed."

One of the earliest used Names for the Hebrew God, El, is interestingly enough also the root word origin of another now-common Name for God, Allah. I'm sure many Christians would argue that Jehovah and Allah aren't really the same God, but I digress.

Dolphin tells us that other New Testament titles for Jesus include Shepherd of the Sheep; Master; King of kings; Lord of lords; Bishop and Guardian of our Souls; Daystar, Deliverer, Advocate, Last (or Second) Adam, Ancient of Days, Branch, Chief Cornerstone, Immanuel, First Born, Head of the Body, Physician, Rock, Root of Jesse, Stone, Potentate; Chief Apostle; Great High Priest; Pioneer and Perfecter of our Faith (or Author and Finisher); Lamb of God; Lamb Slain before the Foundation of the World; Lord God Almighty.

It's nice to see that thoughtful Christians have looked into this matter... it's refreshing to know that not all Christians are literalists who don't have to end everything they write with a shouted "for the living God!" A well-presented, scholarly discourse on the Names of God from a Hebrew-Christian perspective can be found at Hebrews4Christians.com. Another good reference is Bible.org's article The Names of God.

You may also wish to wade through Nathan Stone's The Names of God, a 1944 scholarly treatise on the God-Names El, Adonai and Jehovah. Or just google the phrase "names of God."

But for a really quick, easy and quite enjoyable five-minute online read, check out Arthur C. Clarke's The Nine Billion Names of God.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Josh the Baptist calls Christian's God "false"

I've tried, I really have... to stop bothering to read Josh the Baptist's ridiculous anti-Masonic blog. But noooooo... I just couldn't stay away.

I see that yesterday a very polite but opinionated man who identified himself as both a Mason and a Christian left a post on Pastor J's blog. The J-man tried to slice him to ribbons, calling the visitor's God a "false one."

I couldn't help myself — I just had to throw a thought-grenade back into the fray. I'm re-printing it here, 'cause Joshua has taken to deleting posts left on his blog that he doesn't like.
Josh sez: Freemasonry does not bring honor to God! He is not pleased with the organization. I would not desire to be part of a club that forces me to bow to and respect other gods.

I say: Josh, you're so far offbase you're standing outside the stadium getting hit with foul balls. You presume to speak for God now? 'Cause you read something in a 2,500 year old book and think it refers to Freemasonry?

You are so illogical and pompous and yes, full of yourself — not God's love but your own distorted misguided ego-driven pseudo-agape love — that it's frightening. Do you really think God spends His day running around like Donald Trump, saying, "Pleased with that... and that one... and yep, that one... but WHOA! Those Freemasons are ticking Me off!"

I'm starting to wonder if the God YOU believe in is the false one... He's so jealous and mean and petty and easily ticked off.

Oooh... was that sacrilege? I can't say your God isn't the real one? That's what you say about the one referenced in Freemasonry...

The kind and gentle man who didn't sign his name, the latest Mr. Anonymous, comes along and tries to explain to you that he is both a Christian and a Mason, and you have the blanking audacity to call the God he worships — Jehovah God Jesus Christ Holy Ghost Almighty — a false god?

Since you're fond of quoting what others have written, allow me to do the same:

"The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens have ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history." — Robert A. Heinlein in Time Enough for Love

—Widow's Son

The Lost Weekend instant film contest

Our California friends at the SoCal Film Group are hosting the Lost Weekend Instant Film Contest next month. If you're a film-maker, or a film-maker wannabe, or even a film-maker groupie, this post's for you.

The press release goes like this:

The Lost Weekend instant film contest at the 2006 Silver Lake Film Festival

Taking place the first weekend of the Silver Lake Film Festival (March 24-26), the "Lost Weekend" short film competition gives teams of contestants 48 hours to conceive, write, cast, film, edit, and premiere a short film, based on specific parameters assigned at the beginning of the contest.

The contest will officially begin the evening of Friday, March 24th when the filmmaking teams receive their instructions. Teams then have until the evening of Sunday, March 26th to complete their films.

The completed films will be shown at a special Silver Lake Film Festival screening at the Monte Cristo club (3100 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles) on March 28th. Prior to the viewing, all films will be reviewed and judged by a special panel appointed by SoCal Film Group. At the screening, the “Lost Weekend” awards will be announced, along with prizes provided by participating sponsors.

Lost Weekend entry spaces are limited.

Information on The Lost Weekend Instant Film Contest timeline, prizes, and rules now available! To register, contact us at lostweekend@socalfilm.com. Please include "Lost Weekend" in the subject.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for interested companies and individuals. For more information, please email Steve Barr or Tim Clark.

The Burning Taper would love to see some camera-savvy Masons take this challenge. Who knows what parameters will be assigned that weekend, but you can put a Masonic twist on pretty much everything. Pack up your equipment and your crew and "move to Beverly.... Hills, that is."

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