Welcome to this week's edition of "The Pepper Mill" -- where we grind the latest rumours in the gossip column, add a little spice and fill your life with hot topics to talk about.
• People are wondering about the true nature of the relationship between the commander of the armed forces and a prominent member of his army. Of course, they liaise on tactical matters, but just what sort of liaison is this really? They're frequently seen together and it doesn't look like an ordinary friendship. The way they look at each other; could it be -- love? What happens between them in the army barracks at dead of night? Will they 'come out'?
• Bad company corrupts good men, they say. Leaders should choose their company carefully if they are to lead with credibility. So what is one to think when a prominent leader is seen frequently with a prostitute? What everyone thinks, of course! The woman makes no effort to hide her obvious affection for him. Neither does he rebuff her displays. What's happening behind the scenes? People are wondering.
• As if the religious community isn't divided enough already, there's a new kid on the block seeking to divide it further. Claiming "messiah" status for a person who never claimed it for himself, he is causing havoc among the religious right and elevating a merely good man to god-like status. He's gathering a large crowd of narrow-minded followers who are heading for trouble. It just shows what damage a fanatic and a gullible crowd can do.
• There's a story going round that some of the themes of one of the best, most popular books on the philosophy of life have been plagiarised from ancient Hindu writings. As if that weren't enough to shake one's faith in it, it seems considerable portions have been altered to suit the philosophical leanings of the publishers. This was not a random thing, but a group of well known leaders actually met secretly and conspired to change the contents, omitting vital portions that would have altered the tenor of the book. Just who can you trust, these days, to come up with the truth?
Well, that's all from the gossip mill this week. Just like a pepper mill does with peppercorns, we take the wholesome truth and grind it into unrecognisable, distorted dark fragments. Then we mix in what we like to feed on. It makes it hot and spicy, but in the end, is guaranteed to burn in the pit of our souls.
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The above 'rumours' are taken from current (recurring) interpretations of Bible themes one hears from its detractors, seeking to discredit the Bible and Christianity:
1. There are those who claim David and Jonathan had a homosexual relationship.
2. Some (including commentators on Discovery Channel!) claim that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were lovers. (Some even say they were married.)
3. Some, including many Muslims, say that Jesus never actually claimed to be God. They assert it was Paul who propagated this idea.
4. Many allege that some Bible authors borrowed their concepts from the Vedas of Hinduism. Also, they say, the members of the Council of Nicea selectively chose what was to be included in the Bible to suit their secret agenda.
Like most gossip, the facts need not be verifiable to be accepted; as long as they are sufficiently spicy or outrageous.
But as for us, let us "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks (us) to give the reason for the hope that (we) have." (1Pet 3:15)
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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