Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Vibe of Rahab

Rahab turns a dollar for tricks, or in other words, she sells her body for money. Whether she lives in a whorehouse or just works out of her own bedroom is unclear, but her den of vice is built into the wall that surrounds the city of Jericho. When Joshua takes charge of the three million or so Jews still wandering in the Sinai Desert after the death of Moses, he sends spies into Jericho to see how the land lies. The men go straight to Rahab’s house, no doubt because she knows the mood of the city very well, having slept with so many of its townsfolk. Here, she assures them that the city is utterly terrified of the mass of Israelites over the hill, especially as word of the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea has got out. Still, the spies are spotted and the King of Jericho sends soldiers to arrest them at which point Rahab assures them that the men have long since left the city. In reality, she has hidden the spies under bundles of flax on the roof of her brothel. The soldiers buy Rahab’s story that the Israelites have already left and hurry off in pursuit, shutting the city gates after them. Rahab then bags a deal with the spies that, should they choose to destroy Jericho, they will spare her and her family. The men agree and are able to escape from a window and climb down the city wall using a rope and a basket. Before they leave, they give Rahab a scarlet cord to tie in her window and tell her to make sure it is visible and that her entire family is in her house when they return, otherwise they cannot be accountable for the terrible vibes that might be unleashed. Sure enough, Jericho is looted and burned by the Israelites but Rahab and her family survive and live happily among their new neighbours. As if to complete Rahab’s rehabilitation, her son Boaz becomes the great grandfather of King David, and a direct bloodline to Joseph, father of Jesus.

General vibe of Rahab: Tart with a heart

Factvibe: The red cord in Rahab’s window is a precursor of brothels using red lights to tell customers that they are open for business.

Amsterdam-Red-Light-District-Museum-of-Prostitution-Small-e1401285088188

Red light in a brothel window – a vibe which many think began with Rahab

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The Vibe of the Lord’s Prayer

For those unsure of what to put into a prayer and what to keep out, the vibe of the Lord’s Prayer is a good place to start. The prayer is suggested by Jesus during an open air sermon on a mountain overlooking the Sea of Galilee and is short, simple and to the point. The first line, ‘Our Father in Heaven’ gets God’s attention while acknowledging that he is the heavenly father of the person praying – as creator of people God is seen by believers as the father of everyone in the world. ‘Hallowed be your name’ suggests that God’s name is holy and shouldn’t be used in vain – those who shreik ‘OMG!’ when they win a radio phone-in, beware. ‘Your kingdom come’ is not so much as a demand for the End Times to get a move on, it shows a hankering for a more heavenly way of life here on Earth. ‘Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’ is pretty straightforward – the believer’s job is to do what God wants them to, rather than push on regardless with their own plans. ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ is another simple vibe – we just need enough food to sustain us for a day: tomorrow’s prayer can take care of tomorrow. ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us’ is not about ignoring KEEP OUT signs, it’s about not holding grudges and accepting that people are sorry for the wrong things they have done that have hurt us. ‘Lead us not into temptation’ is an honest acceptance that we are easily led astray. Anything from chocolate éclairs to pretty girls and lottery jackpots sets our minds wandering and a daily dose of Lord’s Prayer ensures that believers at least try and stay on the straight and narrow. ‘Deliver us from evil’ may sound like something out of The Exorcist but really is a request for protection from anything that might harm us physically, mentally or spiritually. The prayer, which is also known by its Latin name, the Paternoster, was an instant hit with Jesus’ followers and is still recited regularly by around two billion Christians around the planet.

General vibe of the Lord’s Prayer: Pray this way

Factvibe: the addition of ‘For thine is the kingdom the power and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen’ was first added to the Lords Prayer in the second century AD.

bread

Bread. Worth praying for long before it came sliced and wrapped in polythene.

The Vibe of Heresy

Heresy sits comfortably along its fellow vibes, apostasy and blasphemy. However, heresy is seen as more serious as it questions the central vibe of Christian teaching. Apostasy is switching to a different religion and blasphemy is really about being rude, dismissive or otherwise flippant about the things that the Bible holds dear. Throughout history, heretics have had a rough ride. The vibe, it would seem, is the vibe, and anyone who dares mess with the programme does so at their own risk. In the days when there was only one true faith and that faith was organized and governed by the Roman Catholic church, popes and bishops did not take kindly to any local ‘re-interpretation’ of the vibe. That was a place that only a few bold and enlightened souls dared to go. To their credit, many of these alternative believers stuck to their guns, even when the torture chambers of the Spanish Inquisition or the flames of the bonfire began to kick in. A lesser punishment for not towing the Catholic party line is excommunication, where a Pope informs you that you have been kicked out of the church for good (or at least until you change your mind about God), but many church bigwigs were able to take this one step further and hand out the death penalty. For many of these hardcore Catholics, the party ended when Martin Luther nailed a list of complaints against Roman Catholicism to a church door in Wittemburg and invented Protestantism. Now it was the turn of Protestant kings and queens to burn Catholics, many of whom ended up being made into saints. In the last two hundred years, the church has chilled out a little, especially as it has lost much of its power to the state. People are free to practice whatever religion they want, although the Roman Catholic Church continues to excommunicate people who claim to be Catholics but then break rules that Catholics are meant to keep. All in all, an ugly vibe that was dealt with very badly for hundreds of years and sent many otherwise good people to a premature and violent grave.

General vibe of Heretics: Believers who dare to differ.

Factvibe: Jackie Kennedy Onassis was excommunicated for marrying the divorcee, Aristotle Onassis without getting permission from the church first.

ideal-clipart-bonfire3

A bonfire. Often the final station stop for heretics in less enlightened times.

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