The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

does Christ have a fake ID?

December26

I started this post abut a week ago, but kept losing both my enthusiasm and focus.

that was until I ran towards a thought, as opposed to from one.

Emma Jo still exhibits too much wonder and joy this time of year, and I worked hard to savor every moment of that. then I saw an article reminding us, collectively, that there is no validated evidence that Jesus Christ was, in truth, born on December 25th. that started to really bug me. however, Saturday I had a very good run at North Park. I started out a bit sore and thinking I might want to dial it back a bit. but, by the second circuit I was feeling pretty light-footed and decided to put some steam into play. the “zone” realized itself and my mind wandered with my good form. that’s when I was (thunder) struck by the notion that I believed Christ rose from the dead.

just like that.

no justification. no debate. not even a “why not”, to allow for some wiggle-room.

there was this sense that I could not prove it did not happen. and, I’d been playing the Heterodox card so long I had forgotten the circular argument that, ultimately, believing in a thing (any thing) is potentially much like believing in oneself. there are times when we prevail against great odds. and, I’m certain faith has it’s role in that.

so, I’ve elected to keep some of the early thinking alive in this post. however, now you know, as do I.

meanwhile, I fully understand that this post is going to generate a great deal of consternation. I expect the shaking of fists, and possibly teeth gnashing. lofty-minded opinions may be hurled my way.

so… was Jesus really born on December 25th?

does it matter?

original thinking that geared this controversial topic must needs be, and should be attributed to Angie Mosteller, and probably God, for that matter.

but, we must also submit ourselves, collectively to the aforementioned Heterodox.

I’m confident that Jesus walked the earth and died on a cross. I don’t know that He rose from the dead (as we think we understand death) to seal the deal around a covenant between Himself, God and the rest of us. however, I’m genuinely satisfied that this is the case though because there is a clear advantage there for all of us. and, we’ll make that assumption going forward with this post so we don’t get bogged-down with tangental discourse.

you may be pausing, right about now and taking your own wonder at the veritable lack of drama, here. but, in truth, it’s more calm, for me – much like the way after I feel after a good run.

make a note that I also think I know that Jesus was a Rabbi leading up to his death. although I can’t point to the relevant scripture, His being a Rabbi, from the line of David (through Mary, and possibly Joseph as well) is mentioned throughout the New Testament (Books of Matthew and John 1:14, for example) /1.

…there’s some random thinking, for you. I love and value random, heart-felt, unrestricted, irreverent, untamed, Kobayashi Maru-drenched, thought.

by the way…

“Most people who profess a deep love of the Bible have never actually read the book,” Rabbi Rami Shapiro told CNN during a recent interview. “They have memorized parts of texts that they can string together to prove the biblical basis for whatever it is they believe in, but they ignore the vast majority of the text.”

these baring points are relevant, here, because the point of this post is to pin-down points of logic hopefully based in fact but impacted by sequential logistics that include science in the form of astrology, technology (the press), and matters of convenience, ironically originating from the catholic Church.

I grew up delighted with the calendar event of Christmas day and the date of December 25th. now I relish Emma Jo’s own delight. but, there are rumblings a-plenty that date was chosen in an effort to “Christianize” a pagan holiday. Tim Barker recently shared with me an article on just that topic. I contemplated adding my own research and perspective. but, I love interest in that in the face of calm perspective. however, it’s (the, and other, related articles) subsequently been a terrific source of lively debate between myself and a few buddies, and an interesting teaching opportunity for my own kids (although we need to tread lightly around the Santa Claus element for the time being).

in any event, like everything else in our lives, the Heterodox inevitably rears it’s head for me and creates the “truth-of-the day” based on current information. but, I’m still fascinated by how the date of December 25th was potentially selected.

though the gospels of Matthew and Luke both give an account of Christ’s birth, neither one provides a date for this great event. Though it may sound strange to our modern minds, it is likely that early Christians did not place any particular value on birthdays.

it was not until the third century that various pockets of Christians began to show interest in the date of Christ’s birth, and it would take another century for the Church to begin celebrating it with some uniformity. the first clear record of Christ’s birth on December 25 was not until 336 AD, but it is possible that the church had accepted the date long before and that it was already common knowledge. regardless, even if the dating of Christ’s birth was owed in part to the pagan holiday, “The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun,” the influence was probably only secondary. it appears that the primary goal of the Church was to determine an appropriate date, one that Christians expected to be rich in symbolism. if this date, December 25, also happened to give the Church a sacred feast with which to counter pagan celebrations, then it was arguably the best possible choice for the day on which to honor Christ’s birth.

by the third century, it appears that some Christians had started celebrating Christ’s birth, as well as his death, on March 25th.

go look it up. do it!

so, why were Christians celebrating Christ’s birth and death on the same day? well… there’s an ancient Jewish tradition of “integral age” or “whole year theory” that evidently influenced this practice. it is a belief that the life of a Jewish prophet began and ended on the same day. most good Rabbi’s know this. a third century Christian, Sextus Julius Africanus (note: most of the valid research evidently occurred in the third century), added an interesting component to this theory. he argued that Christ’s life began not at birth, but at conception (thus the Catholic views around birth contro?). his case proves to be of particular relevance, because if Christ was conceived on March 25th, he would have been born roughly nine months later on December 25th, the date on which our current discussion is focused, eh.

but look… you can Google, Bing, or, what-ever “facts around Christ’s birth”, and get all manner of data and information. but, it really does not matter. dates don’t matter. calendars have changed and evolved. man has clearly manipulated fact and information. however, God gave us discernment. and, mine is edged with faith, now. I’ve tried to intellectualize all of it. all of it, mind you. but, that does not work for me, today. so, that’s the sublime beauty of the Heterodox – I’ve realized my truth of the day, and will remain satisfied that darkness can try and prove otherwise. that’s how I nimbly side-step the hypocrisy issue.

so, perhaps more simply stated, I believe in Jesus. in part, because I believe in myself. I’m of the opinion that God relishes my own thinking and He designed me for such purposes. thank God.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

1/ Men better than myself, teachers, tell me that Rabbi’s start memorizing scripture (i.e. the Torah – which is largely the first five books of the Old Testament) as soon as they are able to read along with any other good (subjective) Jew. then at the age of twelve they either took up the family trade or become a Rabbi (this entailed memorizing the rest of the Old Testament). Point-of-reference: There is the story where Mary and Joseph left Jesus in town and upon their return came back they found him studying scripture with the “other” Rabbis.  Also, I believe that when he is much older He goes to Peter, James, and John (who are in the family trade of fishing) and asks them to drop their nets and follow Him. I’m advised that they would not have done so unless he had authority (being anointed by God, nonetheless). If they followed Him they could potentially become a Rabbi themselves, and move-up in social class.

you have to understand evil to appreciate goodness

December18

you can also listen to me narrate this post, here: you have to understand evil to appreciate goodness by brian patrick cork.

when I was much younger (which is all the more relevant now that I’m near one hundred years of age), my Nana (Mom’s Grand Mother) said, “where there is greatest good is where you will find evil’s best opportunity”. of course, she said it with a very raspy Italian accent, but I clearly understood.

mind you, Nana ran boot-leg gin out of her bathroom during the depression in Old Sacramento. but, she also taught my Mom how to high-dive, think independently, and to love “fiercely”.

I think she meant that you have to understand evil to appreciate goodness.

I am not hypocrite, just like I can’t claim to be an evangelical Christian. but, I talk about subjects and discuss topics realized in the Bible because the book is so relevant with it’s perspective and point-of-ageless example.

in any event, dedicated readers of this blog and long-time stalwarts of mine understand that I don’t know for certain that Christ rose from the dead to make his point and save us all. but, I do look around myself daily with confidence there is a higher power that influences and compels my actions around doing good things. so, I’m hip with God. I’ve always been quite matter-of-fact about that. its seems obvious to me God is our ultimate cause-and-effect. I’ve never seen any point in debating against it. call that instinct, but I know it’s conviction.

so…

Satan might be a frame-of-mind. but, that perspective is what offers the greatest hope that good can prevail. maybe that propels our actions. were there no comparison, we would have no baring-point to align those actions. the fear of death and fading to black nothingness awakened God in our hearts. and for God to hold us accountable there must needs be something to lose. that makes Satan darkness, and God light.

if only life were always that simple. then again, perhaps it is. ironically, death is the proving ground, eh.

so… I’m typically focused on doing good work. most of the time it’s easier than the alternative, anyway. especially if you surround yourself with people that generally feel the same way and conduct themselves accordingly. I still get offended and surprised when people are bad or do things that seem out-of-sync with my sense of fairness or fair-play (that occurred just late last week with a guy in my business life named Marcus, for example). but, that’s the best potential to stay on-point, right?

I ask God every day to keep introducing me to good and better men. when bad things happen I keep learning and refining my own sense of virtu, by comparison.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

A WORD of love can make a WORLD of difference.

November25

Evil might be over-rated. At least when it comes to intent.

I’m pondering what it means to: “do the devils work”. I believe innocent people can do evil things – just like evil can happen to good people.

Meanwhile, as most of you know I don’t lay claim to being a Christian. There are many good examples of those people in our world. But, there are likely an equal number of them that aren’t – just like any faith, and especially religion.. But, that’s all a matter of perspective, as well.

God likely dropped discernment in most of our DNA and allows that to help sort matters out.

Today is Thanksgiving, and I’m doing that very thing. My heart is open and I’m looking around myself and seeing a great deal of inspiration. So, ironically, I’ll include some effort from the Bible, here. Some call it the Word, others a rule book. For the most part I find that it covers a lot of common sense witnessed and reinforced by many generations of people that realize the worst mistakes your can make are the ones you repeat.

The point I’m trying to make, here is: A word of love can make a world of difference.

According to the Bible, God calls us to love one another, which requires living in a way that is for one another – because love apparently puts others first. Throughout the Bible, we are called to put others first, and live in a way that blesses other people.

For example, God calls us to be devoted to and honor one another (Romans 12:10); to live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16); to love one another (Romans 13:8; 1 John 4:11; John 13:34-35); to accept one another (Romans 15:14); to care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25); to serve one another (Galatians 5:12); to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to one another (Ephesians 4:32); and to bear with one another (Colossians 3:13).

Putting another before yourself – that is, loving other people, can possibly  transform us because an act of love has the power to change lives.

I don’t know if Christ rose from the dead to make God’s point. But, I do know He set the stage for change and that message impacts us all daily, and only for the better. There’s the thinking of a Heterodox, for you.

I can’t find it, but I think the Bible offers some passages around the notion (wording?) that God “spoke” his word of love in the form of Jesus into the world. It was, thusly, transformed.

I’m listening  to John Lennon, today – and, his song: Love. I’ve done that before. I’ll do it again. And, I’ll share a video of that live effort for you as well (sorry about Yoko; so say we all):

I’ll trust you all to have a Happy Thanksgiving.

“Love is real. Real is Love”.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

many things Are not Pointless

January13

So…

It’s been nip-and-tuck on this Blog going on two days now over my last post: there might be demons and there are ALWAYS questions.

It’s particularly ferocious doings in the comments sections with my Christian brothers Drew, George and John game-fully wading in, hearts fully exposed (I am not, by definition, a Christian, but they are still my brothers).

However, under his own steam, the inestimable Aaron Masih (a warrior, in any light) has set forth his views on his Blog: A Life of Passion. The post is called: The Struggle Worth Having.

I’ll suggest you consider reading it, within it’s entirety.

Do it!

Just to wet your appetite – following was my own comment, under that worthy effort:

“I think I’m honored.

God issued me discernment. And, with it a keen desire to live my life in a way that glorifies everything that I can recognize around me. I used to refer to this as living my life like Christ. But, as time went by I felt like that was similar to wearing a medal I had not earned. There is, not so simply, a bar, some how set.

So, living by that code, while remaining uncertain about, how and where, I might end-up sometimes feels like standing on the ledge preparing to tower jump.

But, some how I think I’m going to make it – because it wasn’t me that created wind that can be used to offset gravity.”

And, I have such terrific friends, “good men in a storm”, to be sure, standing by to break my fall.

There is virtu, here. And, fortuna! Yes, Dr. Pappas, my worlds converge. My hunger naught but builds to not only learn, but to truly, I say, understand.

Readers of this Blog, rally to me – give me that word! …if it isn’t understanding.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

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All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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