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Posted by on Jun 3, 2017 in Anthony's Blog Posts (misc) | 0 comments

WITHOUT A MASK

WITHOUT A MASK

By Anthony W. Brown

The semantic shift of the word hypocrite has drastically changed from its original connotation 2,000 years ago. Today it is thought of as someone who does the opposite of what he or she says. In addition, a hypocrite can be viewed as one doing the same thing that he or she condemns. However, that was not the archaic meaning of the word. For example in the Greek or Aramaic, the word described a person who was not the person who they portrayed to be, hence, an actor.

It is socially acceptable to play the role of an actor nowadays. In this tech-driven world, we have a new dimension of social interaction we call social media. MySpace had the correct name describing the new way of socializing. Many connections and introductions have been made by way of socializing on the many platforms out there. Many times people have fell victim to a profile illusion. In fact, people can be an avatar in real life by revealing things that inflate his or her status or by becoming someone else. We even have a reality show out now that makes entertainment of people tricking others by being who they are not.

A lot of jobs today has the requirement for the applicants to provide social media links to see if he or she is a good fit for the company. Indeed, these companies have an image to protect. Many companies even have training sessions on how to use your social media appropriately. Ironically, many powerful entities are ethically flawed but pay a lot of money to promote a good image. If you have taken an ethics class in college, I am sure you may have had the project where you learn about some of these companies. However, that is not the focus of this article. The focus here is that often times in the business world we have to encounter actors. Imagine a whole conglomerate where there are but a few people who are authentic.

The underlying impetuses to this tragedy are greed and selfishness. Think about the salesman who starts small talk so he or she can get his or her pitch. Personally, if I sense that one is doing this often times I cut them short. Then there is the rhetoric. Marketing is based on psychological influences to persuade. Since the majority of society believes in the ideological view of evolution, I would propose the question, is this what we evolved into? A world where lies are called alternative facts? Sadly, this trend is progressing rapidly. Sometimes I consider if I should join this masquerade because of my understanding of humanities weaknesses surely I could climb this latter. God forbid! Instead, I choose to be myself and the same wherever I am at. Oh what a joy to be who you are without having to be a sycophant or a puppet to make a living. A joy where you can be who you are with a love for your neighbor regardless of race or belief. Alas! The Golden Rule has lost value and has become gold plated.

Thankfully, I have met some real people over the last few years who have encouraged me. I am thankful for the hypocrites too; although, I am not happy that they are trapped in such a state. One thing I promised myself on this journey called life is that when I get in the position that my destiny has called me to be in is to pay it forward to the ones who are working diligently to become a true asset to society. In other words, my ear is not to the affluent but it is to the ones often time are overlooked. This is way I having a saying “that the answer to a lot of problems is not in the box but outside of the box.” Inside of the box is a world of falsities and alternative realities, just like a Hollywood movie. Thus, a need for actors will remain in high demand. The good news is that knowing the Truth will allow you to take off the mask and be thankful for who you were created to be.

Anthony Brown
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Posted by on Mar 23, 2017 in Anthony's Blog Posts (misc) | 0 comments

See Yourself Blessed!

See Yourself Blessed!

BLESSINGS, DREAMS, CURSES, ENEMIES, REBIRTH, & LIBERATION

Let me make my case eye to eye although I know at times I will look to the hills. What a joy I get when I see someone grasp hold of understanding and knowledge. Especially so, if the grace is on them to share it correctly with others out of love. Two areas that stand out in my mind that I believe is of great importance. One is  as a believer rightfully dividing the word of Truth, and two is in the efforts being made to teach the underprivileged skills in relation to technology.  

For the sake of me not having sources and such I will not make this a history lesson. However, we can look at this in the abstract or a pragmatic view. Because I have to look at things from a Biblical viewpoint, it has helped me to be meek and not develop bitterness in light of people’s quest for dominance. The focus of this article is in relation to Africans and African Americans; however, I will not exclude the ones from other ethnic group that were deemed outcasts or poor. Also, let me  make this point clear. My love is for all people and just as I have a heart for the ones who have been oppressed I also have a heart for the ones that eyes are blinded by the belief in  social darwinism whether the engrafted belief is known or unknown to the individual or masked in disguise under the pretense of Biblical foundation. Indeed, it is the heart of man which is wicked and deceitful. Man’s heart in juxtaposition of history will point to a sovereign purpose working itself out. As I ponder these things, and I study world civilization coupled with the Bible I have concluded that it is not my purpose to change what is to be. Alas, I would not dare use that conclusion to act in complacency.

When I was around maybe six or seven I was looking in a medical encyclopedia and discovered the word immunologist. Thus, I learned how to spell it and pronounce it. I knew it was not a commonly used word so I would tell people that is what I wanted to be when I grew up. In fact, that is what I wanted to be. Around the ages of six and seven is a great time to ask a kid what they want to be when they get old. Even in the roughest of inner city hoods hardly will you ever receive a response that a kid aspires to be a drug dealer, or definitely not a prostitute, drug addict, thief, crook, felon, or a person living paycheck to paycheck. Therefore, most people who end up like that had a vision or idea either in theory or reality at some point in life to be more than what he or she has become. It is an absolute truth that the world will always have the poor on this side of judgment. But when you consider that certain demographics are expected to fall into one of the groups, then you would have to look at the causes. Of course many factors are contributable to the cycle that at one time seemed endless. There is no argument that a person is responsible for his or her choices. However, if you look a little closer you can find  and trace root causes up to a point apart from the effects from sin.. For African Americans, it begin with the Atlantic slave trade. America gained much of its wealth during this time. Ironically, while Africans were making the slave owners money the slave owner’s children were getting educated. It was prohibited on the majority of plantations for a slave to read. Hence, the jumpstart in society was not just financially but in all other areas of advancement also. This  seriously placed an entire ethnic group in position that it would seem they would never catch up.

Because of the Enlightenment period and Industrial revolution Europeans saw themselves in a special light as superior and they viewed people of “colored” skin as being lesser. Quite often African Americans were belittled. Inevitability, it was discovered that African Americans could do some smart things too. After slavery ended a plethora of injustices towards African Americans continued to place them at a disadvantage. If you look at how the economic structure is set up—a low income group has to exist so that the mechanics of the ole supply and demand wheel stays in motion creating a bigger expanse between the poor and the rich.  But I am not going to get into all the cruel social systems that followed and the intricate details. Most assuredly I would like to point out that none of the attacks that has been executed on African Americans give cause to the foolishness and attitudes that has been around for many years within the ethnic group and especially when it started affecting the communities. Today we have made a lot of progress but there are still many communities across the nation that seem like that they will remain with caught in a progressive cycle of high incarceration rates, drugs, violence, and broken families.

Whew, I had to paint a picture. Many times I have questioned all of this, prayed, etc. Then I am reminded that in this life we will have trials and tribulations. Then you would ask why the joy? African Americans should be warned now to not look at themselves as a superior race or the seeds sown will produce the same way it will did or will do in the former crop. In fact, if you look at all the prior crops throughout history you will discover some things were sown  along the way that produced its fruit. Ultimately, making room for the next crop to be established in the land.

It is my belief that technology will be favorable to African Americans, Africans, and the other less fortunate. Outside of the box thinkers were often viewed as slow or anti-social (by the way, that word means that you can not conform to society.) but they will be a  factor in this new revolution that we are in which is called the Information Revolution. That is why a hunger that seems unquenchable is awaking in such persons who desire to gain knowledge and understanding. Imagine many years of discouragement, then all of sudden there is encouragement and hope. Once one recognize a lie that has been embedded in one’s psyche for so long a quest for truth is awakened.  Hopefully, while on this new journey they will also discover the One who is the The Way, The Truth, and The life. However, this revolution has crept in and lies are being unfolded while the ones blinded are still believing lies. Although many attempts will be enacted to curve the path of this global and dynamic change it can not stop the course of events. Maybe I am totally off point and the Lord Jesus returns before something like this ever occurs. But for me, to learn these skills is a must to raise out of the snares that has been placed on my path.  Again the ones who act in love and compassion to other ethnic groups will be blessed. In the event, I am right remember the lessons of times past—Love God with all your heart, love your neighbor as yourself no matter what color, remember the poor.  Thanks for letting me share why I get joy when I see African Americans in numbers being introduced to the tech world. Reach for the stars and pay it forward!

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Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Anthony's Blog Posts (misc) | 0 comments

What is the Point?

What is the Point?

Most of the time I write I like to have sources . That habit developed while I was an inmate law clerk . Interestingly, I learned how to maneuver that process well. However, there are times when I fell a little philosophical , and I just want to vent. One thing that is standing out in my mind is that the fact there are principalities in high places . In other words, there are unseen spiritual influences. Another thing that stands out in my mind is how we as people are like sheep. Needless to say whoever one’s shepherd is depending on that person . I can not answer some of life’s mysteries . All I can believe is what I believe and since I am a Christian I believe what the Bible says .

Often I ponder other people in other countries that all he or she knows is another god or gods. While pondering I consider the life I live and how it is what it is. To some extent I have a choice, and in other areas I do not. I do not decide my birth sex, race , features, etc. I do not decide where I am born or who I am born too. Then I consider what makes me happy. It might not be the same as what makes you happy. Systems and governments rule. People cry, and prominent individuals rise to a cause. Who controls this? Who is right? Who am I to ask? I can answer this in different ways and you can accept it on whatever you believe. Obviously, there is good and evil. Then what if there was no afterlife. Then life would be pointless. A person would be mere spec in the universe that creates a continuum to nothing. So I must believe that there is a point in existence. Therefore, I can find solace in knowing that the place that I will spend longer than the present will be in a place that the evil present will not be relevant. Oh but it is relevant now . So what do I do? As I watch and listen to the media, politicians, religious institutes, and the like spew nonsense according to his or her own agenda , I ask myself what is the point . Then, I look at history, and I see there is a point. People have gone mad trying to figure it out.

Then some people have been immersed in their own-selves and agenda they miss the whole point . Well, then why would I believe the Bible. I will tell you. It is because it is the only place I have found truth to the answers that I ponder in my mind and heart. At one time, I could not see or understand it. Then, I look at history and ponder the fact that people throughout centuries have tried to make sense of life. Most people miss the fact that the enemy or the evil one has rule for now on this earth. Maybe I am just that naive to believe the Bible. However, I would argue that it is evident . Although I did not live the life King Solomon did, I can relate when he said it is all vanity. If life did not equate to fearing God and keeping His commandments then I would have to believe in something other than God. And if that is the case, then I would be a part of the thought of a universal continuum of nothing. Thank you for letting me share and vent.

anthonywbrown.com

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Posted by on Dec 21, 2016 in Anthony's Blog Posts (misc) | 0 comments

Signs & Symbols in Christian Art During the Early Italian Renaissance and Renaissance

Signs & Symbols in Christian Art During the Early Italian Renaissance and Renaissance

“When language was not transcendental enough to complete the meaning of revelation, symbols were relied upon for teaching, and familiar images, chosen from the known, were made to mirror the unknown spiritual truth.” One, among many things, that was phenomenal during the Renaissance period, was the artist’s’ ability to convey truths through signs and symbols in their paintings while experimenting with new technologies i.e. perspective and relative proportion. Although all art was not in direct connection to Christianity, there were many paintings that were.

Many Christian themed works conveys a message whether it is subtle or obvious. According to the author Douglas Fields of Scientific American, the shroud in the [Creation of Adam] by Michelangelo God the Father has a connection to the human brain. Perhaps a link to the supreme human intelligence that is attributed to the mind that God has bestowed to humans. Apart from Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, there is evidence that signs and symbols were very much real in the Renaissance period. Moreover, it is said that Michelangelo did care too much for Pope Julius II who hailed from the Della Rovere family. Therefore, Michelangelo placed little innuendos throughout the fresco. For instance, the two mischievous-looking angels behind Pope Julius’s head are seen “making the fig”–sticking the thumb between the index and middle fingers–the most obscene gesture of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Gardner’s Art Through the Ages: A Global History 2013).

It will be quite interesting to see where these innuendos will be placed today. Maybe in some code, logo, databased, cloud, etc. It is quite clear that we are in the beginning of a common day renaissance. Technology is moving at rate that is hard to keep up with. Imagine through AI, cloud, 3d printing, and virtual reality the possibilities that exist to create as the thoughts flow.  Signs and symbols are imperative to understanding the times.We must not seek for anything new because there is nothing new under the sun. However, we can pay close attention to Scripture and the gifted artist who in the renaissance were learning a new technology. Thus, the innovation of technology has always been there. The wonderful talent of Michelangelo to envision a simple shroud and making it a sign of a complex human brain and a connection to God who is beyond all understanding is phenomenal.

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Posted by on Dec 20, 2016 in Anthony's Blog Posts (misc) | 0 comments

“Dangers of Propaganda in America”

“Dangers of Propaganda in America”

“…[T]he office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications,” Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist Papers. One of the wisest decisions made was one that allowed a provision for a small number of persons who possess the information and discernment to ultimately decide who would be the President of the United States. Moreover, such provision establishes a safe guard for one of the concerns that prevents a person who does not have the capacity to run a country, nor the pre-eminence for ability, nor virtue from becoming the President of the United States. Recently, I had an opportunity to engage in a dialogue with the typical All-American male about his stance in supporting Donald Trump. It was quite interesting to hear his views as a Christian and his views as to why Hillary Clinton should not become the President of the United States. Also, I have been at an event where other Christians in my area were present who promoted electing Donald Trump and often times the phrase “choosing the lesser of the two evils” was voiced. The area I reside in is the Northwest Florida area, which is mostly Republican. Thus, the majority of voters in my area are voting for Donald Trump. Interestingly, the reasons that are being used to support him quickly reminds me of the Framers of the Constitution who feared that placing absolute power in the hands of the common people to make an epic decision without sufficient information and facts would be catastrophic.

For the record, I am neither Democratic nor Republican, and I will sway either way depending on the policies that are presented. Additionally, I do favor the Republican’s views on a lot of issues. Although I am fully convinced that this article may not persuade anyone to step back, pray, and stop the spread of propaganda, I do pray that it does to some degree. The evidence and reasons for supporting Donald Trump that the gentleman I spoke with gave me were just plan frightening. Ironically, he stated that I was blind and that the god of this world has blinded my eyes. I would beg to differ. It is the other way around and my heart is troubled and saddened that it has infected and affected the Church. However, I am reminded that the “gates of hell would not prevail” (Jesus). Whenever there is deception involved, it is a good indicator that Satan or satanic influence is involved. This gentleman showed me articles, videos, images, and newsfeeds that would provoke the emotions in most individuals. There was one image of a Christian who was murdered and dead hanging from a cross-like structure in Libya. Another image was one of an unborn baby who was not fully developed. There were partially informed news-feeds that shared some facts intertwined with deception. Such material is similar to what the Nazi’s, North Koreans, Russians, and countless others have used to brainwash and persuade the people. Furthermore, and even more troublesome, is the fact that Scriptures from the Bible are misinterpreted to support that “God” is using Donald Trump to “build a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that it should not be destroyed…” (Ezekiel 22:30) This should be a major concern for any Bible-believing Christian; however, I am so grateful that such insight and wisdom was given in drafting the Constitution.

Indeed, I would argue about our country ever being a Christian nation; I would agree that God had a direct influence on our country and that there was Divine wisdom in the formation of this nation. In another article, I wrote indirectly about how people would choose what is evil over what is good. It was entitled, “Once Upon a Time, the People Yelled, ‘Give us Barabbas!’ “Going back to the title of this article, I would implore Christians to earnestly pray according to 1 Timothy 2:1 “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men 2) for all kings and ALL those in AUTHORITY, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. 3) This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior…”By contrast, I would also beseech that you should refrain from spreading propaganda concerning areas that you are not wholly informed.” Our elected officials and the officials that have been put in place are equipped for this. Those persons have the insight, knowledge base, and endowment to make a more informed decision. Moreover, I am not promoting Hillary Clinton, per se, but I am arguing that the underlying reasons that are given to support Trump are erroneous and deceptive in nature.

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Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 in Anthony's Blog Posts (misc) | 0 comments

Anti-intellectualism

Anti-intellectualism

The life of the mind in conjunction with cultivating the mind is an integral part of the believer’s life. Just as a believer is a member of the body of Christ and the mind a member of the believer’s body, the body will function properly if each member is doing its part accordingly. If a part of the body, such as the mind, is not functioning properly then there is a deficiency in the body. This is idea manifests today in the state of the church. There are many culprits that has affected the functions of the members of the body; however, we will look at anti-intellectualism and its role in negatively impacting the body individually and collectively. Specifically, looking at two arguments J.P. Morgan presents in weakened world missions and the spawning of an irrelevant gospel.[i] Each of these arguments are direct consequences of anti-intellectualism.

Commonly we will see modern churches in America highlight an emotional or feel good service. Absent or barely present is the intellectual part of discipleship. In J.P. Morgan’s argument of weakened world missions, he presents an encounter where the mission agencies were asked to stop sending evangelists to a specific country. ibid This was based on a form of theology that supported anti-intellectualism and on one that rests on the foundation that the Holy Spirit will teach him or her directly. Thus it is so that the same idea is present in American churches; therefore, it should not be a surprise that the same theology is taken overseas. Whereas some missionaries may be counterproductive as Morgan pointed out that the new converts that were taught on faulty theology were easily persuaded to join in a movement that had nothing to do with Christianity. Looking stateside, anti-intellectualism has infiltrated the American Church and has gained a lot of momentum. This is largely due to the humanistic nature of people liking to hear things that are pleasant or what can make one feel good about themselves. On the other hand, I would not discount the spiritual forces that are work to continue to promote the confusion and handicap within the church.

Following this same vein, is the reality of an existing irrelevant gospel. A gospel that “primarily purpose is to address felt needs.”[i] Rather pointing out the good news that there is Savior that has reconciled one back to God if he or she believes. In essence the irrelevant gospel tries to appeal to a persons need or want at the moment; hence, treating Jesus as if He is a genie in a bottle. The good news was never intended to appeal to a person’s emotions or feelings in a way that there is a void of reasoning or foundation. Contrawise, the gospel can appeal or cause one to use his or her intellect or reasoning capacities. Sadly, a large number of church members do not even know why or how they are saved. This goes back to anti-intellectualism where it is a reality of the current time and season or state of today’s church. Teachers, ministers, and lay persons that are aware this problem need to actively pursue teaching and correct approaches that emphasizes the life of the mind, sound doctrine, and the relevant gospel.

The proper renewing, cultivation, and training of the mind is essential to combating the well accepted doctrine of anti-intellectualism. That will have to come from teachers, preachers, and lay-persons who are gifted and trained in the area to enact a type antidote to the infection. Although it may not wholly eradicate the problem, it would produce Biblically sound individuals that exercise the use of the mind. As pointed out by Morgan, once the proper prospective of the soul, body, and mind in is harmony, maturity begins. What is interesting is that the life of the mind is a component in spiritual growth in maturity. “The ancient Greeks and the Fathers of the church were right to believe that a virtuous, mature person is an individual with a well ordered soul.”[i] Interestingly, is the view that the ancient Greeks were the thinkers in the philosophical sense and the Fathers of the church had a firm understanding in spiritual matters that the two concluded the same thing when it came down to the soul. Whereas the mind, (intellect) has a direct connection to the soul. Ibid It is people in their respectful capacities that are addressing the matter of intellectualism and rightfully dividing the word of truth such as Morgan. More persons are needed to make a movement in the church to produce mature Christians that can effectively share the gospel with others and let God give the increase. There is an order as things are in place in order by our Creator and a part of that order in our understanding things and things of the spirit is the mind or the life of the mind. By properly interpreting Scripture and rejecting anti-intellectualism concepts, the body of Christ can recover to a degree from the damage that has been inflected by a harmful doctrine. This doctrine has permeated in such a way that all types of new revelations are so called spring forth in today’s church. Thus, leaders, ministers, teachers, and lay-person should actively feel compelled in carrying forth the gospel and the life of the mind in a manner that is worthy of their calling.

 

 

 

[i] J.P Moreland, Love Your God With All Your Mind (Navpress: Tyndale, 2012), 86

 

 

 

 

[i] J.P Moreland, Love Your God With All Your Mind (Navpress: Tyndale, 2012), 74

 

 

[i] . J.P Moreland, Love Your God With All Your Mind (Navpress: Tyndale, 2012), 23-25

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