Sunday, March 20, 2005
BCE, CE, and Christianity
The artifacts from indians on the Columbia river and later artifacts from the Etruscan and Roman empires are all dated "BCE" or "CE". We asked one of the curators as we were leaving, "What's with the BCE and CE?" Didn't it used to be "BC" and "AD"? Turns out it did. Seems some groups were upset with "Before Christ" and "Anno Domino - In the year of our Lord" . Now artifacts are labeled Before the Common Era (BCE) or Common Era (CE). It's the same dividing line between BCE and CE as BC and AD. I don't know how they explain that!
Isn't it ironic. It's the athieists and others who have succeeded in ridding the schools of God, yet in Europe, Muslims are agitating the public schools to include Islam instruction in the schools so the children don't lose the Muslim heritage. Well, damn, I'm afraid my grandkids will lose their Judaic-Christian heritage!
Speaking of Christian, when I was a kid, one might be asked , "Do you go to church?" or "What church do you belong to?" I was brought up Methodist and took classes to become a member of the Montavilla Methodist Church. The minister was Mr. Wilson, whose son (a true preacher's kid) and I shared classes at Vestal Grade School. Later, my parents and I attended the Unity Church, kind of a stripped down church, concentrating more on the teachings of Jesus and less on the rituals. I remember a girl I was seeing who was Baptist. She was afraid I was attending the Unitarian Church and before I could date her, further, her parents wanted to make sure I believed in The Trinity. I swear I had to be coached to know what The Trinity was.
I remember one time I saw some kind of religious movie at the Hollywood theater. At the end of the movie every one in the audience was invited to come down front to "accept Jesus Christ as my Personal Savior". I know I sat there for some time debating whether I should get up out of my seat, in front of everyone sitting, and go down front. In the end I did and wondered if my life would change somehow. I looked for signs for some time. I don't recall that it was a life changing experience for me.
The other day I was asked, was I a Christian? This to me is almost like a slap to the head with a wet washrag, it's so personal. "Of Course!", I answered. Somehow, I wonder, if life changed. When did we drop the awareness of religion and a church and simplify to just Christian, I suspect it may have had something with Dr Robert Shuler and his Crystal Cathedral. It apparently is non-denominational, just teaches the power of Christ.
I also wonder if the question, "Are you a Christian?" is code for "Are you "born again"? I had an uncle I liked a lot die, last year who was very active in his church, The Church of the Nazarene. I guess that this church is similar to being an orthodox Jew, pretty conservative. My uncle would have a conversation with anyone and everyone. He never failed to ask during the conversation, "have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as you personal savior?"
Where's that wet washrag?
I have been blessed with a wife who loves me, children who love me and blessed with two grand kids. My parents are both alive, as are Bev's. I don't anticipate we'll be eating cat food in our retirement years. I try to discover God's will for me. All I know, is that my higher power has been with me, giving me strength through the hard times and filling me with love and graditude in the good times.