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Archive for July 2010

What if?

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‘Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’

I’ve taken this quote to heart. Over the course of my life, I’ve dreamed of being everything from a baseball/football player, professional wrestler (not to mention I have a fascination with ladies wrestling), chef, writer, movie director/producer, etc… Ten years ago, my big dream was to work my way into the TV industry, then eventually move to Nashville or L.A. and work in the music or movie business. Let’s just say they don’t make em like they used to. While it is nice to want to be the next Alfred Hitchcock, there is no point in reinventing the wheel.

Since my first layoff in 2001, I’ve worked a number of jobs and even went back to school thinking I would work as a paralegal. But while I enjoying reading court cases and have a good understanding of legal terminology, I’m not cut out for being stuck behind a desk or being in courtroom all day. I should note that while legal dramas like Law and Order are generally pretty good, court cases don’t get resolved in one hour. More like several years if it goes to trial at all.

Taken at Bengals-Texans game in 2005.

Having enrolled in college again a year ago, having handled videotaping duties for the football team and done some student teaching, I know for certain that coaching/teaching is the path for me. I’m keeping my options open and will relocate for the right opportunity. I also bring my insights about the world, my experience and values to the profession too.  While I love to win and enjoy making money as much as anyone else, they are not the sole reason for my being.

“The average professional career is 3.5 years. Eternity is forever. There is no comparison.” Ken Sparks

If and when I were to ever work in the NFL, I would enjoy being a scout or General Manager the most. Being an NFL scout is much like being a traveling salesman or a detective.

One scenario I often picture myself would be what if I had been the Cincinnati Bengals G.M. beginning say around 1991 or so. Technically, the team has never really had a bona fide G.M. I’ve been a Bengals fan since 1985. I turned on the T.V. and saw Boomer Esiason warming up on the sidelines. I think mostly I liked the uniforms. They then beat the Cowboys 50-24. The Bengals and Cowboys are my personal picks for the Super Bowl this year.

The Bengals were one of the most competitive teams from the mid 1980’s-1990 including a Super Bowl appearance in 1988. Most of the players who formed the nucleus of those teams aside from Anthony Munoz, Bruce Kozerski, Boomer Esiason, James Brooks, and Tim Krumrie peaked at the same time and then either fell off drastically in terms of production, were injured or left the team. This is particularly true of the players drafted between 1985-1990.

You build a foundation which almost always starts with a head coach, quarterback plus ideally some franchise or long-term players at several spots along the lines and skill positions and work to build a solid supporting cast around them.

James Francis, the Bengals 1st round pick in 1990 had a fine rookie year, then he started getting too happy on the Happy Meals. Linebacker was a need after Reggie Williams retired, but you should always draft the best player available, not the position. Otherwise, you would have to address the need later on anyways. In this case, Emmitt Smith should have been the pick to replace Ickey Woods whose complete recovery was questionable. Then the Bengals could have drafted Keith Sims with the 2nd round pick instead of Harold Green who was

one of the top running backs in that draft and he would have a few good years. Then the years of not drafting AND developing good offensive linemen took its toll especially after Max Montoya left, Munoz retired and basically the rest of the linemen weren’t getting any younger. Alfred Williams made sense and eventually he would go on to have a productive career with the Broncos. But all in all, the 1990 and 1991 drafts were just plain embarrassing. The lack of investing in a professional scouting department with a head man (or woman) to run it was starting to show an early sign of demise that would set the team back for the next 12 years.

That being said, I wouldn’t have fired Sam Wyche or traded Boomer Esiason. Instead, I would have signed them to long-term deals.


So that would have brought me to the 1992 draft. Since Esiason was my quarterback, I wouldn’t have drafted David Klinger. I would have been split between Troy Vincent and Bob Whitfield and probably settled it on a coin toss. Darryl Williams was a good pick, but my personal preference would have been for either John Fina or Darren Woodson especially since David Fulcher was nearing 30. So basically, I would have gone with an offensive tackle with one pick and a defensive back with the other pick.

Carl Pickens would have been an easy choice and he had a fine career. Leonard Wheeler, Ricardo McDonald and Craig Thompson were basically role players, but not much else. I would have chosen center Jeff Cristy, defensive end Keith Hamilton and linebacker Ed McDaniel with those picks.  The rest of the draft wasn’t too good either and I suppose that would be true for most of the teams.

The 1993 Draft had some good choices at offensive tackle and defensive end and I probably would have taken Willie Roaf anyways and move Whitfield or Fina to left guard. But having addressed the positions in the 1992 draft, I would have been free to choose a running back like Jerome Bettis who would have been a great compliment for Harold Green. Tony McGee, Steve Tovar and Doug Pelfrey would go on to have productive careers. There isn’t much worth mentioning about the other picks.

Having addressed the key positions for the long-term, I would have spent the 1994-1998 drafts just filling spots with the right players. Dan Wilkinson and Ki-Jana Carter were not so good. But it wouldn’t have been fatal. But to think of the players the Bengals could have chosen like Marshall Faulk, Larry Allen, or Steve McNair makes me pound my head.  Willie Anderson was a terrific pick. Takeo Spikes and Brian Simmons were good players for about 5-7 years. I wasn’t high on Reinard Wilson knowing that he was being asked to do too much for a defense that sorely needed defensive line help not to mention the coaching staff didn’t do a good job developing players.  I preferred Kenny Holmes or Dwayne Rudd.

The other draft that sticks out like a sore thumb is the 1999 NFL Draft. It was probably the deepest draft to come out in the previous 30 years, but for Bengal fans, it was a nightmare. Just how does one choose Akili Smith over Edgerrin James, Champ Bailey (my personal choice), or Chris McAlister? Of course, with the level of success that could have happened in the previous 5-7 years, the team would have been picking in the latter part of the draft for someone like Al Wilson.  Then I recall the grief that Bill Polian received over choosing Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James and Reggie Wayne 🙂

Of course, hindsight is easy. But I wonder how much more successful the Bengals would have been in the 1990’s had they managed those drafts better.

Written by chrisforliberty

July 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Posted in General

Who are the Rothschilds?

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(Originally published November 2009)

How many people are familiar with Bill Gates? Warren Buffet? John Rockefeller or perhaps J.P. Morgan? It is safe bet that most people have heard the name even if they aren’t entirely familiar with everything about them. If you were guessing that one of these at one time or another was the “World’s Richest Man” or amongst the “World’s Richest Families”, you would be partially correct. Now would you like to take a guess as to who the world’s richest family would be? It is a safe bet that it would be by the last name of Rothschild. It is odd how no image shows up when viewing this slide.

Little is known about the Rothschild family other than scattered information on the net. No photographs are known to exist publicly and their own “Rothschild Archive” is pretty standard especially for having the level of international influence that they have had over the past two centuries.

From what research I have done over the past ten years or so is that the Rothschild (which means either “at the sign of the red shield” or “red shield”) family began in local textile trading and currency exchange. Via shrewd maneuvering, beginning with Mayer Amschel Rothschild, they financed the French Revolution, then Napoleon’s rise to power and eventual fall. They even knew the outcome of the Battle of Waterloo before the field commanders did.

Beginning in 1809, the Rothschilds began to deal in gold bullion exploited from Africa and South America. Mayer Rothschild also speculated in financial instruments such as foreign bills and government securities related to such ventures as the theft of entire countries and their resources later eumphemistically described as colonialism. It was about this time that he first began in the slave trade while making a few public statements claiming that he was opposed to slavery. The Rothschild’s operations with human trafficking continues to this day.

The Rothschild branch in London financed the North while the Rothschild branch in Paris financed the South during the American Civil War. It was a way to claim interest on the bonds that were being underwritten by Rothschild, bought by the government with promises via taxation to repay and then made a fortune on the bonds when they became due.

The Rothschilds are also one of the principal stockholders in the Federal Reserve, financed all the royal families of Europe during World War I, the Russian Revolution as payback for the Russians refusing to establish a central bank a century earlier, Hitler and Stalin’s rise to power not to mention up into current times, manipulating the stock market to usher in recessions and depressions.

It has been contended that Hitler is related to the Rothschilds via his grandmother Maria Schicklgruber being impregnated by Lionel de Rothschild and bore Alois.  At that time she was employed as a servant in the home of Baron Rothschild.  You are free to draw your own conclusions.

For all this, and we know so little about them. At least for those who are even remotely aware that they exist, so little is known about them. By the way, they also have a wonderful vacation spot at Corfu off the western coast of Greece.

Written by chrisforliberty

July 30, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Don’t Believe The Unemployment Statistics

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(Originally published January 2009, updated August 5, 2010)

How far off is the real number of unemployed to the “official” number? You have to look deep into the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly report to find this out. Buried in footnote U-6 of Table A-15 (page 26) of the monthly report is a rate of unemployment that comes pretty close to the real rate. The official rate (U-3)  is 9.5%; the actual number of people out of work and who want to work is 16.5%.

By comparison, the unemployment numbers for January 2009 was official unemployment rate of 7.6%. The real rate was 13.9%.  Keep in mind that contractors such as most construction workers and truck drivers aren’t counted and millions in those industries have been hit with job losses since the “recession” began in December 2007. So we are actually looking at closer to 20%-25%. This would translate to around 30 million people either unemployed, under employed or out of work but simply not counted because of their “non-employee” status.

The last time the rate was this high was in the 1930’s.  Of course, keep in mind that only white men were counted. So the real rate would have been around 50% if women and minorities were counted. The total population of the U.S. was around 123 million people. Numerically speaking, around the same number of people were out of work then as now. The unemployment rate was in double digits every year between 1931-1942 and was only reduced because the U.S. was gearing up for a war-time economy that would eventually kill as many as 60 million people.

So it didn’t matter whether Bush or Obama was in the White House. The system is designed this way and this system can be attributed to upstanding folks like John Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and Nelson Aldrich.

Written by chrisforliberty

July 29, 2010 at 1:09 am

What is not being addressed in the immigration debate

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The issue of immigration has really been on the front pages this year. Whether it is purely for political purposes or come as the result of realizing that has gone awry is anyone’s guess.

Of course, if we truly wanted to be consistent about immigration, legal or illegal, how come nothing is being done about the immigration coming from Canada, Europe and Asia? I am sure the natives would have something to say about that. To really understand the root cause of this, one must first understand the rather unfortunate state of affairs south of the border. A little history is in order.

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.” Smedley Butler, “War Is A Racket”

The pre-dominant economic system in the Eastern and Western Hemisphere is one that is a mix of fascism aka the corporate state and communism aka the poor person’s statism. I do agree with some that NAFTA to a large degree has played a role in the economic collapses that we’ve been witnessing lately. But it was merely a symptom of the problem, not the cause of the problem. As Alan Greenspan so succiently put it (before he went over to the dark side):

“In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.”

Folks, while I don’t enjoy upsetting your apple care (then again, I’ve done it quite a bit over the past 10-15 years), the economic problems we are experiencing isn’t because of the free market, but in spite of it. We are in fact witnessing the end results of the welfare state. The economies of welfare states inevitably collapse. It has happened in numerous other countries and yes, it has been happening in the United States, the land of the free and the home of the brave. But I’ve been having my doubts as to whether we are as “free” and “brave” as we like to claim. Perhaps I should insert “the few” along with the free and brave.

While we address this “immigration problem”, don’t ignore the underlying causes of it. Otherwise, we are just going around in circles. Only by embracing liberty-oriented options can it be solved. We must be careful to not adopt statist measures to address a problem that was caused by statism in the first place.

Written by chrisforliberty

July 28, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Preview of SEC 2010

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The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win. Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way – SCORE. If at first the game – or the breaks – go against you, don’t let up… put on more steam. Protect our kickers, our QB, our lead and our ball game. Ball, oskie, cover, block, cut and slice, pursue and gang tackle… for this is the WINNING EDGE. Press the kicking game. Here is where the breaks are made. Carry the fight to our opponent and keep it there for 60 minutes.

Florida Gators

Until someone other than the Gators win the SEC East, they are still the ones to beat.  Sure Tim Tebow is gone and that will mean schematic changes to better suit John Brantley’s abilities. I don’t see the offense dropping off much statistically if indeed Brantley is as good as some people say he is.

Replacing Brandon Spikes at middle linebacker would normally be a real task, but due to solid recruiting and development of depth, the play shouldn’t drop off too much.  The bigger question on defense is who is going to be the defensive coordinator?  Charlie Strong was replaced by some guy named George who bolted for the Buffalo Bills after one month. Chan Gailey must have done a masterful selling job to get anyone to leave sunny Florida for that place.

But the biggest question of all is what act will Urban Meyer pull? While he may have had some chest pains, I still suspect now as I did then that he was pulling some prank.  He didn’t help his case by going off on a reporter last spring. It displayed either a fragile ego or self-doubt about whether in his own mind the Gators can repeat as champs. Only time will tell, but again they are the champs until someone knocks them off.

Georgia Bulldogs

Unfortunately for Richt, the SEC, more than any other BCS conference, is a “what have you done for me lately?” league.  Despite a stellar record of 90-27, since taking over for the Bulldogs, to fans and boosters in Athens, Richt still has not been able to win the ‘big one,”and a repeat performance of last season’s 4-4 conference record could send him job hunting next January. Georgia should still be a solid team, but clearly they have slipped from where they were a few years ago.  The key will be how well the defense recovers from last year’s dismal showing.

Georgia is still going to recruit well, but this year more than ever could decide whether Georgia stays on top of the helm or possibly seeing a new head coach in a few years especially as the other teams in the division regain their footing.

South Carolina Gamecocks

“The Old Ball Coach” has made a very small splash since returning to the SEC five years ago.  Long gone are the days of his “fun ‘n gun” offenses he had when he led the Florida Gators to their first National Championship.  The Gamecocks expected big things from Spurrier, and although his overall record since taking the helm in Columbia, his SEC record is an average 18-22 in his five-year tenure.  I still think he could coach a few more years.  After all, if he was to be fired, who would South Carolina replace him with?

I could see the Gamecocks pulling off an upset or two and challenge for 2nd place in the division.  This year is their best chance to make some real noise before he hangs it up.

Tennessee Volunteers

Plenty has already been written about the tales in Big Orange Country over the past two years. My initial impression of Derek Dooley is he will right the ship, but true success won’t be realized until around 2012 or so. It always takes a good 2-3 recruiting classes to get going in the right direction unless you have the luxury of coaching in Florida, Texas or California. Then of course, you have to develop the players and he has on paper assembled a fine coaching staff. Now it is a matter of seeing it all jell together.

The biggest question mark for Tennessee this off-season has been the roster turnover. Between Kiffin and Dooley, around 15 players have left the team for various reasons. So depth and getting everyone on the same page are going to be issues as the season moves forward.  I’m thinking the Vols will win in the neighborhood of 5-7 games.

Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky finally welcomed its head coach in waiting to take over the job, after Rich Brooks stepped down after the ’09 season.  Joker Phillips hopes to pick up right where Brooks left off and continue taking Kentucky to new heights.  If Kentucky makes a bowl in 2010 it will be their fifth consecutive. That was virtually unheard of when Brooks took over in 2003.

Kentucky has an extremely talented offensive weapon in Randall Cobb and  also boasts one of the top running backs in Derrick Locke. The problem is finding a quarterback.  Morgan Newton filled in admirably for Mike Hartline last season.  But the offseason competition for the starting job in 2010 continues into the fall, between those two.  If that quarterback question is answered, Kentucky can make a decent run and even pull an upset somewhere along the lines.

Vanderbilt Commodores

It was already going to be a rough season in Nashville. The last thing the Commodores needed was to lose their most successful coach of the last 25 years.  When Bobby Johnson abruptly retired last week, it garnered the most buzz in recent history for Vanderbilt. It was almost as big as Johnson taking Vanderbilt to its first bowl game since 1983 and its first bowl win since the ’50s.  Interim coach Robbie Caldwell steps in at least for this season, with a huge mountain to climb. Although SEC Freshman of the Year RB Warren Norman returns, they will have to replace their entire offensive line.

Vandy might win a few games in 2010. But the bigger question remains, who will the team go after for a head coach at seasons end? Will it be someone like Phillip Fulmer? Would anyone want to take the job that Bobby Johnson left after a “successful” eight seasons in which he took the team to a 29-66 overall record?  One thing is for sure about coaching as is illustrated at a place like Vanderbilt that is rarely mentioned: if you are wanting to coach on the basis of money and fame, you are getting into this profession for the wrong reasons.

Alabama Crimson Tide

They are in a similar situation to Florida. Who can knock them off? Alabama has reloaded and will deservedly be ranked No. 1 in the preseason. This offense could be one of the best that the Crimson Tide has had in a long time. There are playmakers everywhere on that side of the ball.

But in case you didn’t watch them play at all last season, defense is what kept the team undefeated for the second straight regular season.  Now, nine of the starters have either graduated or gone on to the NFL.  Can Alabama replace them with equally-talented players? It’s only natural to expect some sort of drop-off, at least for the first few weeks of the season.  The SEC West is theirs to lose.

At least, their coaching situation is more settled. Saban having realized that he is not cut out for the NFL should be content to remain at Alabama for as long as they allow him to stay.

LSU Tigers

LSU is the one team that should make Alabama nervous.  Speaking of LSU, the Tigers are coming off a “bad” season by their own measures.

It was a year in which injuries forced running back by committee, and QB Jordan Jefferson just wasn’t consistent enough to win some close games.  Throw in Les Miles inability to manage a clock and his head-scratching play calls, at times, and you have a volatile mixture that could land the ’07 National Champion head coach in the unemployment line.

I realize that’s tough for most to swallow, but this is the SEC. It’s a win big, win now, and don’t take a step back mentality.  If LSU struggles again in 2010, while losing five or more games, Les Miles will likely be looking for a new job next year. I could see him going to Michigan.

Auburn Tigers

Gene Chizek has the Tigers on the right path, but it will still be a good year or two before they can be a consistent threat for the championship.  They need to find a new quarterback and some new defensive players.  They could pull a few surprises, but at best they are looking at a third place finish.

The Tigers finished with a Top Ten recruiting class and should land a few good prospects in the upcoming season.

Arkansas Razorbacks

Bobby Petrino has a fine quarterback in Ryan Mallett and some running backs to work with.  But the defense was bad and there is no indication that it has improved. I could see them winning 5-7 games this year.  They are capable of playing some interesting games and possibly winning out over Georgia and LSU especially if those teams overlook them.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

The Bulldogs have a fine head coach in Dan Mullen who will make them more competitive in a Vanderbilt like way.  They will still need a few more years of good recruiting classes to maximize the potential that Mullen is capable of bringing to this team and possibly even contend for a title down the road.  But when you are coaching here, the stars are aligned against you.

Ole Miss Rebels

The Rebels had their best chance last year with a top quarterback, good  talent at the other skill positions, a top defense, and a good head coach, but the ‘Rebs still couldn’t get it done.

Now it has lost much of that talent and it will take a few years before they are back in that position.  Houston Nutt will keep them in the conversation for a while, but a killer October/November schedule will cause the Rebels to fade fast down the stretch.  At least he doesn’t have to contend with the pressure cooker that Miles or Richt is contending with.

Written by chrisforliberty

July 20, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Posted in General

This summer is flying by

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I expected the summer to fly by and sure enough it has.  I didn’t work a “regular” summer job despite a number of interviews and filled out applications. But I did keep busy by doing animal transports. This month, I transported one adult dog and 18 puppies.

Football practice starts in two weeks and the semester starts in five weeks. I”m taking a full load with 17 hours and videotaping practices/games for the Carson-Newman football team. Hopefully by this time next year, I will know for certain whether I will have a coaching and/or teaching position. If not, I may consider pursuing a Master’s degree. I decided to go back to school last year with the idea that I would keep my options open in regards to potential opportunities.  I’m open to teaching at the private or secondary school level. I would also be interested in coaching at this level or college and even the NFL, but that is a long shot since I don’t know any coaches by name at that level. Plus there is the possibility of a lockout next year, so who knows how that will shape up.

Written by chrisforliberty

July 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Posted in General

Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?

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Was Jesus born on December 25? It might help to know about the Winter Solstice. Here is a hint: the Bible never mentions what day Jesus was born.

Was Jesus born in an inn? I don’t think they had hotel chains back in the day. There is also no mention of an innkeeper much less an inn.

Did Paul really say that men should abuse their wives? That is what Planned Parenthood and NOW claim. But we know how credible they are when it comes to issues relating to marriage, family and what not.  Actually Paul was saying that men should love their wives just as Jesus loved the church. This notion of marriage was quite radical for its time. Generally in the ancient world, marriage was for economic reasons (it wasn’t as if women could just fill out an application and get a job).  Our modern notion of marriage is based mostly on physical attraction more than economic necessity or genuine love.

Now what does this have to do with a fig tree? It is important to actually read the text and put it into proper context instead of allowing modern day interpretations and imagery to fill in the details.

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree is found in Luke 13:6-9.  The fig tree is a symbol of Israel and this passage may have been saying that Jesus was offering the nation one last chance at repentance.

There is the The Parable of the Budding Fig Tree found in Matthew 24:32-35, Mark 13:28-31, and Luke 21:29-33.  Essentially these are signs to look for as part of the Olivet discourse.  This is not to be confused with Dispensationalism which is a false gospel that advocates Jesus as yet again a warrior king/politician type.  Victory in Christ was spiritual, not physical. The lamb wins over the lion.

The Parable of the Cursing of the Fig Tree can be found in Mark 11:12-12, Matthew 21:12, and Matthew 21:17-19.

He curses the temple comparing it to a fig tree that no longer bear fruit. What do you do with a tree that no longer bears fruit? Contrary to how it is often been reported, he didn’t clean the temple. The reason the cursing of the temple account was bracketed between the cursing of the fig tree (Mark 11:12-22) was so that the reader would not miss the point that the writer was intending to make.

Yet to this day, people miss the point because they don’t read what was written and just assume that Jesus was going on some rant about people being at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday.  Modern day twists to this account include among other things that you can’t drink beer on Sunday or that small business owners are evil.  This is not what Jesus was referring to.  There are others that say we should let the courts determine right and wrong or let’s set up another government run program to help the poor.  You can make all the laws you want, but they don’t address the true cause of the problems.  The purpose of this cursing was to address spiritual shortcomings, not physical ones. Whether you think people should mow the grass on Sunday is a matter of personal opinion.  I certainly don’t think it is any of the government’s business.

Jesus was essentially making the point that salvation can’t be bought and sold, but only through Christ can it be obtained.  When you curse someone or something, you are essentially saying you will die. Sure enough, the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.

Salvation in ancient times was thought to be communal or part of corporate responsibility.  Being part of the right family or tribe was thought to be the key to eternal life.  Thus the emphasis on bloodline and having grand pageantry to “show” you were in God’s good graces.  To be physically rich was thought to be proof of this.  Yet, Christ came for the blind, the poor, and the outcasts.  This was as much a spiritual quest as it was a physical one.  With Christ, salvation is truly personal.  It is a personal decision to be reconciled in Christ and no one else can make that decision for you.

Written by chrisforliberty

July 17, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Posted in General