Sarah and Abraham are the first inactive members of their Church in Ur, mostly because the corrupt priest and priestess class was using it's religion to get money, power, make up more immortal figures than was even necessary (more Gods and Goddesses=more donations=more jobs for the priest(ess)class=more power), and then they went way to far and started killing people like Hamite princesses ( Abraham 1:11), and the kids of other church members, like Abraham and Sarai. Yaweh saves Abraham's life in a blaze of glory, and Sarah and Abraham decide that maybe organized religion isn't for them after all. They move out of their ward and try Egypt ( which is the intellectual center of the world) and it's big city life. It's like the big university city feel. Sarai and Abram ( later to be Sarah and Abraham)catch up on all that hot new Egyptian religious theory, astronomy and alchemy (preserved from studies by some guy named Enoch) and apparently live it up ( their slaves were probably rolling their eyes behind their backs and pulling hoaxes on them. If I was a slave I would.)
Sarai seems to fit right into the classy, intellectual social scene ( Sarai means "princess"), but that becomes a problem when her classy intellectual hotness begins to draw some attention. Yaweh warns Abram, "Hey, Sarai your wife is classy and attractive. Just tell everyone that she's your relation, and not your wife, so that no one will kill you."
Eventually the cat gets out of the bag, and Sarai and Abram decide that, while they don't like hyper-orthodox religiosity ( which is easily corrupted), hyper intellectualism has it's own moral-free corruption problems.
They decide to move out to the rural middle of nowhere and raise sheep together while they both get revelation and angelic visitations to help them function out there.
They worship Elohim (the father of their spirits), Asharah (the mother of their spirits. The symbol of Asharah is usually a "tree of life" or a "grove". Abraham built a "grove" to her outside Beer-sheba [Gen 21:33] and Jacob's wife Leah named one of her sons Asher after her [Gen 30:13](Asherah means "happiness"...as in the great plan of "happiness"..as in the "tree of life".), Yaweh, their son...and the Holy Spirit, a personage of spirit ( quite possibly Sophia, or including Sophia or wisdom ( the spirit Solomon asked for later) who sometimes shows up looking like "fire" or "Shechinah".
Then Issac....then Jacob whose son Joseph ends up, through an inspirational series of events, as practically King of Egypt.
The whole Abraham-ite-used-to-be-city-now-rural-Walton-like-Family moves to Egypt where they live it up by association.
About 400 years later, they become the oppressed racial minority where they are oppressed and enslaved.
It's time for Moses, Miriam and Aaron to save the day! Moses, kid with all that great Egyptian education, goes and lives with some Midianites, who were not decendents of Abraham, but worshiped Elohim, Asharah, Yaweh, and Holy Spirit (Sophia). He combines his Egyptian high culture learning with a new understanding of religion from people close to his heritage. Then Yaweh comes to him and tells him that HE will free the Israelites if they promise to serve him exclusively as a covenant.
Moses Aaron and Mariam free the Israelites with some SERIOUS help from Yaweh. In exchange the Israelites now get to worship only Yaweh ( in preparation for the great eternal atoning sacrifice) through a whole new set of super specific laws and ordinances. When the Israelites build a giant Bull statue (symbol of Elohim), they get in trouble because they promised that it was going to be all about Yaweh from now on.
They eventually get back to the Promised land where Abraham originally lived, where they get really serious about keeping their "All Yaweh, all the time" covenants. They go around knocking down all the shrines to other dieties which they don't identify with Yaweh. Many shrines to Elohim seem to survive because Elohim and Yaweh seemed pretty similar and could be combined into one person. Asharah, definitely not Yaweh, isn't part of the covenant and so her worship is discouraged. Baal, more of a made-up walmart brand Yaweh, is used to fund a new priest class, and so is sought out and destroyed. Every once in a while the other deities get to help out (Solomon prays for Sophia [translated as wisdom] to help him run the kingdom). Mostly everyone is just paranoid about breaking their "All Yaweh All the Time" covenant because every time they do, they tend to get invaded,oppressed and beat up. Just to make sure this doesn't happen they start to build laws around the laws around the laws to prevent the covenant being broken.
Years and Years and Years and Years of This....
Jesus Christ is born, fulfills the Yaweh Covenant and things get to go back to the way they were before the Aaronic covenants ( eat ham! Elohim and others are back in the picture!).
Who’ll Be a Witness for My Lord? - This week the Church announced changes to the proxy-baptism liturgy, one of which I’d like to focus on: witnesses. Before last week, the baptismal liturgy ...
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