Something Cool is Rolling On the Lebanese Roads

 There is nothing commercial for once! It’s simply a display that might have value to some, inspiration to others or could be passed unseen by many.

The cab with a rooftop sign scrolling the Bible quotes in Arabic.

  
It’s too bad it wasn’t practical to film more of the quotes displaying. Happy driving, happy reading! 

The Forbidden Fruit

“You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”

forbidden fruit

There is a general assumption that the forbidden fruit refers to the physical or sexual temptations to which humans are susceptible. It probably lies in the term “forbidden” itself, with what it carries from allusions to social restrictions or taboos and those are firstly related to sex. The “Forbidden Fruit” is also the core of references to the Genesis story about the beginning, depicting a naked man and a naked woman living together as the first lonely couple in this life.

adam and eve

The immediate association of this term with sex could more or less be from our denial of its obvious and real significance and the meaning behind the “original sin” story. It is in simple words “The Power”, or more specifically the human abuse of that power. It’s deadlier than the poison of the snake and it’s the fruit that makes you take the good for bad and the bad for good.

What a dangerous authority God gives humanity when he gives it such power; a power to rule others and decide for them.

By leaving that forbidden tree available for them, and yet warning them from its deadliest effect, God gave Adam and Eve a great power. They were given the authority to decide themselves and they have abused it by disobeying his warning. God used on Adam and Eve the game of “Fear” and “Power”. He intentionally gave what he forbid them to have a name so tempting: the “knowledge of good and evil“. Yet he also put enough fear in their hearts by associating death to that temptation. God wanted to remind them that the ultimate power is in his hands, which made life and by the same ultimate power he can take it.

The Love of power was stronger than the fear of death.

There are many tempting dangers we face everyday, including money, pleasure, failure to weakness and many more, but the most tempting danger and deadliest is the given power. It is the test of life, and rare are those who passed it, because human nature has failed the original test from the beginning.

The real essence of Lent

Jesus

For me, it really doesn’t matter which religious practice we follow and the particular church that guides them, when they are all based on one essence. Doctrine is what we believe in, and my personal view is whenever I feel mislaid in the beliefs and rules set around me, I put it all aside and go back to the essence: the Bible and particularly the “New Testament“.  Simply because it is the heart of Christianity and all the sets of doctrines that shaped the different churches and Christian groups diverged from it.

The language of the Bible could be a barrier to reading and understanding it, notably with the widespread old English version, while from a personal viewpoint, the Arabic version is clear and interestingly pleasant to read. The point is to get the message which is repeated along the chapters, the stories and the Gospels, for all those versions are adaptations of the real texts, which are believed to be written in Greek and not in Hebrew as it is generally assumed (Language of the New Testament From Wikipedia).

Image

Faith is not an obligation and worship is not a display, all the same, the church is the cradle for our sense of belonging.

The “Real Lent”

The usual words we hear at the church on the last Sunday before lent, are mainly from two references of the Bible: Mathews 25: 40,45 and Isaiah 58: 6,7. Those verses don’t talk about diet, cutting out meat, alcohol or sweets, they mention food for the time we missed to feed a hungry person, and drinks when we failed to pass water to someone thirsty. Can someone tell me where do people get their shallow practices in lent from? They seem so serious in their faith fasting as they watch the clock and only feed themselves as it strikes a digit. They get grumpy and treat others with arrogance and blame it on the stress of fasting!

Those practices with absolutely no substance, put burdens on our faith and make it look more like a dreadful chain which is precisely the contrary of what lent is. Doesn’t the Bible read that fast is to loose the chains, get rid of the heavy burdens that come from wickedness, and to let the oppressed go free?

‘The truth is, anything you did for any of my people here, you also did for me … anything you refused to do for any of my people here, you refused to do for me.’

This is the essence of f lent, if one has to follow, let one follow it right.