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The devil made me do it! Part II

Last week, I began to explore the process of multiplication as observed in human conception. In so doing, I began an attempt to demonstrate how demon spirits came into being. I discussed how both parents contribute equally to the chromosomal makeup of their offspring.

But is this 50/50 split the case with the spirit of the child, the breath of life, which actually gives the child life and makes the child to become a living soul? If everything in the reproductive process is a 50/50 split between the mother and the father, then why does the Bible universally say the father begat the children?

Many people assume that the spirit of a child is deposited by God at the time of conception, like God reaches down from heaven adding an individual new spirit into the child. But God says that we reproduce by “multiplication”, not addition.

If the spirit of a child was added by God, or was 50/50 from the mother and father, along with the child’s body or soul being 50/50 from the mother and father, then it would seem counter-intuitive that the Bible always speaks of men begetting children.

In fact, as solely the mother’s body grows the child’s body in pregnancy, it would make more sense for her to be said to beget the children, all things being equal. Yet it is always the father who begets the child, and God the Father who begot Jesus Christ.

As the spirit of the child, the breath of life, is what makes the child to be alive and a living soul, then this is essential to the child being alive. If the father alone were to contribute the spirit giving life to the child, this could explain why a child is begat only by their father.

And this essential ingredient to a living child would also balance with the mother’s larger contribution in pregnancy. Only the mother can go through pregnancy, perhaps in the same way only the father can give the spirit, the breath of life, and this is what it means that the father begets the child. There is more in the Bible which seems to verify this idea.

"For the man is not out of the woman, but the woman is out of the man; For just as the woman is out of the man, in this manner also the man is through the woman; but all together from God.” 1 Corinthians 11:8,12. The Bible says the children came through Eve, as in “passing through”. The word here “dia” means “a motion through”.

The distinction is clearly made that while Eve came “out of” Adam, that her sons “passed through” her. And so also, while sons and daughters come “out of” their fathers, all children have come “through” their mother, not “out of” her. It cannot be physical birth that is spoken of here, as obviously babies come out of their mothers. It could not be the multiplication of the body that is referenced to here, as we know the child body is multiplied from both the parents equally.

Rather, this stated difference must reference to spiritual multiplication. Applying this to Eve, this means her children came through her, but solely “out of” Adam. It must be the spirit that is referenced here, the breath of life, an essential ingredient, which when added to the body makes a child to become a new living soul. This is indicative that the spirit of a child (male or female) comes only from the father of a child, and is multiplied from him alone.

But on the other hand the body and soul of a child clearly have traits of both of the child’s parents. If begetting means giving life, and the spirit is the breath of life, then it makes sense that the spirit would come only from the father of the child, because the Bible says that fathers alone beget children.

And in the larger scheme of things, if the father solely was the source of multiplication for a child’s spirit, this would balance the larger contribution of the mother in the “multiplication” of the child’s body in pregnancy. There is more in the Bible to confirm this idea. In keeping with this, the Bible confirms that it was by Adam alone (not Eve) who passed the sinful/dying spiritual state to all of humanity.

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned – for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:12-21 NASB.

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45. It seems the spiritual change that occurred when Adam ate from the tree, when his eyes were opened, and his spirit became in a dead/sinful state, passed from him alone to all of humanity.

The Bible makes clear that this spiritual state came from Adam alone, and not from Eve. This would make the most sense if all of his children were multiplied solely from his own spirit. It seems after him eating from the tree, his spirit gained these qualities of a dead/sinful state, and all spirits multiplied from his original would inherit this quality as well. These passages parallel Adam and Jesus very closely. It is true that through Jesus Christ, singularly, all Christians become spiritually born again to life.

This matches most closely with the concept that through Adam, singularly, all people were born spiritually to death. In the same way that in Adam alone all die spiritually, all are made alive spiritually by Jesus Christ alone, through a new birth by the Holy Spirit.

And so there are several conclusive points that the Bible seems to make about how humans reproduce by multiplication, which align with what is known of Jesus Christ. If human multiplication was set up by God so that the mother’s spirit is not multiplied to the child in any portion, then this would allow for Jesus Christ to have been fully God spiritually, His spirit being begotten solely by God the Father.

Some teachings seem to argue that how Jesus was fully God and fully man is a mystery. But this teaching here would allow for Jesus Christ to have been fully God spiritually without anything having happened in reproduction that violated the way God set up human multiplication to work, in the beginning.

This teaching makes the fully God spiritual nature of Jesus Christ to be completely consistent with the process of reproduction through multiplication which God set up originally. If all people receive their spirit as multiplied solely from the spirit of their father, then Jesus Christ being fully God would work without inconsistency.

But if the spirit of the mother was also multiplied in combination to grow the spirit of the child, then this could be argued to have been at odds with Jesus being fully God spiritually. He was not half-man spiritually, but fully God spiritually. Jesus surely was not half-man spiritually and half-God spiritually, with a contribution from his mother Mary affecting his spiritual full God-ness, but rather Jesus Christ was fully God.

This lines up with the spirit of the child coming solely from the spirit of the father. At the same time, Jesus was fully man in His body, receiving both from his mother… and paradoxically from Himself… as He is the image of the invisible God.

“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (Col 1:15). The 50/50 contribution of Jesus’ body from God the Father and from Mary, can only be understood in that Jesus Christ is eternal, and always was… so His paternal bodily blueprint came from Himself. This is not meant in that Jesus was His own father, as that would contradict that God is His Father, and I am not stating otherwise, nor blurring the lines of the persons of the Godhead or Trinity.

But what I do mean is found in the truth Jesus spoke, "Before Abraham was, I AM”, in that Jesus Christ eternally always was, is, and will be God, and here before He made time itself, a paradox that is only solved by Jesus Christ eternally existing. Colossians 1:15 also means we all were made in the image of God, which means we all were made in the image of Jesus Christ, from the beginning. He always was.

The body of a child comes from, is multiplied from, both the mother and father, as seen in Adam and Eve. And the body is grown solely by the mother in pregnancy. But at the same time the spirit, breath of life, of the child is multiplied solely from the spirit of the father of the child. This seems to be the definition of “begetting”.

And the spirit of the child therefore inherits the qualities of the spirit of the father, such as the example of a sinful spiritual nature and death passing from Adam to all of his children. And so it seems that the Bible teaches that in multiplication the body of the child will be half from the mother, and half from the father, but that the spirit of the child will come solely from the father of the child, which gives the breath of life, which makes the child to become a new living soul.

Understanding this to be the case, there is an account in the Bible which sticks out, in regards to where demons came from. It sticks out because understanding this about human multiplication; this account requires some strange implications.

Going back to the first wave of fallen angels, the “sons of God”, messenger-type angels who looked like men: “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.” Genesis 6:1-4. Here the “sons of God” had children with human women. Based on what we have covered, this has some interesting implications.

These “sons of God” were of the messenger type of angels, who universally are described to look like human men. Apparently, they were able to reproduce, in having a bodily form of human men. Another thing we know about angels is that they are immortal spirits. Their children are described to have been mighty men, and giants (Nephilim in Hebrew).

They are described as men, and so they looked human, but were giants. What would happen if a human-looking male angel had children with a human woman? If this was the case, then the result as described here were giant men.

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Can we cure ourselves from the cancer of corruption?

28th October 2020
DCEC DIRECTOR: Tymon Katholo

Bokani Lisa Motsu

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” Carl Sagan

Corruption is a heavy price to pay. The clean ones pay and suffer at the mercy of people who cannot have enough. They always want to eat and eat so selfishly like a bunch of ugly masked shrews. I hope God forgives me for ridiculing his creatures, but that mammal is so greedy. But corruption is not the new kid on the block, because it has always been everywhere.

This of course begs the question, why that is so? The common answer was and still is – abuse and misuse of power by those in power and weak institutions, disempowered to control the leaders. In 1996, the then President of The World Bank, James D. Wolfensohn named the ‘C-Word’ for the first time during an annual meeting of the Bretton Woods Institutions. A global fight against corruption started. Transparency International began its work. Internal and external audits mushroomed; commissions of inquiry followed and ever convoluted public tender procedures have become a bureaucratic nightmare to the private sector, trying to fight red tape.

The result is sobering corruption today is worse than it was 25 years ago. There is no denying that strong institutions help, but how does it come that in the annual Transparency International Ranking the same group of countries tend to be on the top while another group of countries, many African among them, tend to be on the bottom? Before one jumps to simple and seductive conclusions let us step back a moment.

Wolfensohn called corruption a cancer that destroys economies like a cancer destroys a body. A cancer is, simplified, good cells in a body gone bad, taking control of more and more good cells until the entire body is contaminated and eventually dies. So, let us look at the good cells of society first: they are family ties, clan and tribe affiliation, group cohesion, loyalty, empathy, reciprocity.

Most ordinary people like the reader of these lines or myself would claim to share such values. Once we ordinary people must make decisions, these good cells kick in: why should I hire a Mrs. Unknown, if I can hire my niece whose strengths and weaknesses I know? If I hire the niece, she will owe me and support my objectives.

Why should I purchase office furniture from that unknown company if I know that my friend’s business has good quality stuff? If I buy from him, he will make an extra effort to deliver his best and provide quality after sales service? So, why go through a convoluted tender process with uncertain outcome? In the unlikely case my friend does not perform as expected, I have many informal means to make him deliver, rather than going through a lengthy legal proceeding?

This sounds like common sense and natural and our private lives do work mostly that way and mostly quite well.

The problem is scale. Scale of power, scale of potential gains, scale of temptations, scale of risk. And who among us could throw the first stone were we in positions of power and claim not to succumb to the temptations of scale? Like in a body, cancer cells start growing out of proportion.

So, before we call out for new leaders – experience shows they are rarely better than the old ones – we need to look at ourselves first. But how easy is that? If I were the niece who gets the job through nepotism, why should I be overly critical? If I got a big furniture contract from a friend, why should I spill the beans? What right do I have to assume that, if I were a president or a minister or a corporate chief procurement officer I would not be tempted?

This is where we need to learn. What is useful, quick, efficient, and effective within a family or within a clan or a small community can become counterproductive and costly and destructive at larger corporate or national scale. Our empathy with small scale reciprocity easily permeates into complacency and complicity with large scale corruption and into an acquiescence with weak institutions to control it.

Our institutions can only be as strong as we wish them to be.

I was probably around ten years old and have always been that keen enthusiastic child that also liked to sing the favourite line of, ‘the world will become a better place.’  I would literally stand in front of a mirror and use my mom’s torch as a mic and sing along Michael Jackson’s hit song, ‘We are the world.’

Despite my horrible voice, I still believed in the message.  Few years later, my annoyance towards the world’s corrupt system wonders whether I was just too naïve. Few years later and I am still in doubt so as to whether I should go on blabbing that same old boring line. ‘The world is going to be a better place.’ The question is, when?

The answer is – as always: now.

This is pessimistic if not fatalistic – I challenge Sagan’s outlook with a paraphrased adage of unknown origin: Some people can be bamboozled all of the time, all people can be bamboozled some of the time, but never will all people be bamboozled all of the time.

We, the people are the only ones who can heal society from the cancer of corruption. We need to understand the temptation of scale and address it. We need to stop seeing ourselves just a victim of a disease that sleeps in all of us. We need to give power to the institutions that we have put in place to control corruption: parliaments, separation of power, the press, the ballot box. And sometimes we need to say as a niece – no, I do not want that job as a favour, I want it because I have proven to be better than other contenders.

It is going to be a struggle, because it will mean sacrifices, but sacrifices that we have chosen, not those imposed on us.

Let us start today.

*Bokani Lisa Motsu is a student at University of Botswana

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Accounting Officers are out of touch with reality

19th October 2020

Parliament, the second arm of State through its parliamentary committees are one of Botswana’s most powerful mechanisms to ensure that government is held accountable at all times. The Accounting Officers are mostly Permanent Secretaries across government Ministries and Chief Executive Officers, Director Generals, Managing Directors of parastatals, state owned enterprises and Civil Society.

So parliament plays its oversight authority via the legislators sitting on a parliamentary committee and Accounting Officers sitting in the hot chair.  When left with no proper checks and balances, the Executive is prone to abuse the arrangement and so systematic oversight of the executive is usually carried out by parliamentary committees.  They track the work of various government departments and ministries, and conduct scrutiny into important aspects of their policy, direction and administration.

It is not rocket science that effective oversight requires that committees be totally independent and able to set their own agendas and have the power to summon ministers and top civil servants to appear and answer questions. Naturally, Accounting Officers are the highest ranking officials in the government hierarchy apart from cabinet Ministers and as such wield much power and influence in the performance of government.  To illustrate further, government performance is largely owed to the strategic and policy direction of top technocrats in various Ministries.

It is disheartening to point out that the recent parliament committees — as has been the case all over the years — has laid bare the incompetency, inadequacy and ineptitude of people bestowed with great responsibilities in public offices. To say that they are ineffective and inefficient sounds as an understatement. Some appear useless and hopeless when it comes to running the government despite the huge responsibility they possess.

If we were uncertain about the degree at which the Accounting Officers are incompetent, the ongoing parliament committees provide a glaring answer.  It is not an exaggeration to say that ordinary people on the streets have been held ransom by these technocrats who enjoy their air conditioned offices and relish being chauffeured around in luxurious BX SUV’s while the rest of the citizenry continue to suffer. Because of such high life the Accounting Officers seem to have, with time, they have gotten out of touch with the people they are supposed to serve.

An example; when appearing before the recent Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Office of the President Permanent Secretary, Thuso Ramodimoosi, looked reluctant to admit misuse of public funds. Although it is clear funds were misused, he looked unbothered when committee members grilled him over the P80 million Orapa House building that has since morphed into a white elephant for close to 10 successive years. To him, it seems it did not matter much and PAC members were worried for nothing.

On a separate day, another Accounting officer, Director of Public Service Management (DPSM), Naledi Mosalakatane, was not shy to reveal to PAC upon cross-examination that there exist more than 6 000 vacancies in government. Whatever reasons she gave as an excuse, they were not convincing and the committee looked sceptical too. She was faltering and seemed not to have a sense of urgency over the matter no matter how critical it is to the populace.

Botswana’s unemployment rate hoovers around 18 percent in a country where majority of the population is the youth, and the most affected by unemployment. It is still unclear why DPSM could underplay such a critical matter that may threaten the peace and stability of the country.
Accounting Officers clearly appear out of touch with the reality out there – if the PAC examinations are anything to go by.

Ideally the DPSM Director could be dropping the vacancy post digits while sourcing funds and setting timelines for the spaces to be filled as a matter of urgency so that the citizens get employed to feed their families and get out of unemployment and poverty ravaging the country.
The country should thank parliamentary committees such as PAC to expose these abnormalities and the behaviour of our leaders when in public office. How can a full Accounting Officer downplay the magnitude of the landless problem in Botswana and fail to come with direct solutions tailor made to provide Batswana with the land they desperately need?

Land is a life and death matter for some citizens, as we would know.

When Bonolo Khumotaka, the Accounting Officer in the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, whom as a top official probably with a lucrative pay too appears to be lacking sense of urgency as she is failing on her key mandate of working around the clock to award the citizens with land especially those who need it most like the marginalised.  If government purports they need P94 billion to service land to address the land crisis what is plan B for government? Are we going to accept it the way it is?

Government should wake up from its slumber and intervene to avoid the 30 years unnecessary waiting period in State land and 13 years in Tribal land.  Accounting Officers are custodians of government policy, they should ensure it is effective and serve its purpose. What we have been doing over the years, has proved that it is not effective, and clearly there is a need for change of direction.

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Is it possible to make people part of your business resilience planning after the State of Public Emergency?

12th October 2020

THABO MAJOLA

His Excellency Dr Mokgweetsi EK Masisi, the President of the Republic of Botswana found it appropriate to invoke Section 17 (1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Botswana, using the powers vested in him to declare a State of Public Emergency starting from the 2nd April 2020 at midnight.

The constitutional provision under Section 17 (2b) only provided that such a declaration could be up to a maximum of 21 days. His Excellency further invoked Section 93 (1) to convene an extra- ordinary meeting of Parliament to have the opportunity to consult members of parliament on measures that have been put in place to address the spread and transmission of the virus. At this meeting Members of Parliament passed a resolution on the legal instruments and regulations governing the period of the state of emergency, and extended its duration by six (6) months.

The passing of the State of Emergency is considered as a very crucial step in fighting the near apocalyptic potential of the Novel COVID-19 virus. One of the interesting initiatives that was developed and extended to the business community was a 3-month wage subsidy that came with a condition that no businesses would retrench for the duration of the State of Public Emergency. This has potentially saved many people’s jobs as most companies would have been extremely quick to reduce expenses by downsizing. Self-preservation as some would call it.

Most organisations would have tried to reduce costs by letting go of people, retreated and tried their best to live long enough to fight another day. In my view there is silver lining that we need to look at and consider. The fact that organisations are not allowed to retrench has forced certain companies to look at the people with a long-term view.

Most leaders have probably had to wonder how they are going to ensure that their people are resilient. Do they have team members who innovate and add value to the organisation during these testing times? Do they even have resilient people or are they just waiting for the inevitable end? Can they really train people and make them resilient? How can your team members be part of your recovery plan? What can they do to avoid losing the capabilities they need to operate meaningfully for the duration of the State of Public Emergency and beyond?

The above questions have forced companies to reimagine the future of work. The truth is that no organisation can operate to its full potential without resilient people. In the normal business cycle, new teams come on board; new business streams open, operations or production sites launch or close; new markets develop, and technology is introduced. All of this provides fresh opportunities – and risks.

The best analogy I have seen of people-focused resilience planning reframes employees as your organisation’s immune system, ready and prepared to anticipate risks and ensure they can tackle challenges, fend off illness and bounce back more quickly.  So, how do you supercharge your organizational immune system to become resilient?

COVID-19 has helped many organisations realize they were not as prepared as they believed themselves to be. Now is the time to take stock and reset for the future. All the strategies and plans prior to COVID-19 arriving in Botswana need to be thrown out of the window and you need to develop a new plan today. There is no room for tweaking or reframing. Botswana has been disrupted and we need to accept and embrace the change. What we initially anticipated as a disease that would take a short term is turning out to be something we are going to have to live with for a much longer time. It is going to be a marathon and therefore businesses need to have a plan to complete this marathon.

Start planning. Planning for change can help reduce employee stress, anxiety, and overall fear, boosting the confidence of staff and stakeholders. Think about conducting and then regularly refreshing a strategic business impact analysis, look at your employee engagement scores, dig into your customer metrics and explore the way people work alongside your behaviours and culture. This research will help to identify what you really want to protect, the risks that you need to plan for and what you need to survive during disruption. Don’t forget to ask your team members for their input. In many cases they are closest to critical business areas and already have ideas to make processes and systems more robust.

Revisit your organisational purpose. Purpose, values and principles are powerful tools. By putting your organisation’s purpose and values front and center, you provide clear decision-making guidelines for yourself and your organisation. There are very tough and interesting decisions to make which have to be made fast; so having guiding principles on which the business believes in will help and assist all decision makers with sanity checking the choices that are in front of them. One noticeable characteristic of companies that adapt well during change is that they have a strong sense of identity. Leaders and employees have a shared sense of purpose and a common performance culture; they know what the company stands for beyond shareholder value and how to get things done right.

Revisit your purpose and values. Understand if they have been internalised and are proving useful. If so, find ways to increase their use. If not, adapt them as necessities, to help inspire and guide people while immunizing yourself against future disruption. Design your employee experience. The most resilient, adaptive and high performing companies are made up of people who know each other, like each other, and support each other.

Adaptability requires us to teach other, speak up and discuss problems, and have a collective sense of belonging. Listening to your team members is a powerful and disruptive thing to do. It has the potential to transform the way you manage your organisation. Enlisting employees to help shape employee experience, motivates better performance, increases employee retention and helps you spot issues and risks sooner. More importantly, it gives employees a voice so you can get active and constructive suggestions to make your business more robust by adopting an inclusive approach.

Leaders need to show they care. If you want to build resilience, you must build on a basis of trust. And this means leaders should listen, care, and respond. It’s time to build the entire business model around trust and empathy. Many of the employees will be working under extreme pressure due to the looming question around what will happen when companies have to retrench. As a leader of a company transparency and open communication are the most critical aspects that need to be illustrated.

Take your team member into confidence because if you do have to go through the dreaded excise of retrenchment you have to remember that those people the company retains will judge you based on the process you follow. If you illustrate that the business or organization has no regard for loyalty and commitment, they will never commit to the long-term plans of the organisation which will leave you worse off in the end. Its an absolutely delicate balance but it must all be done in good faith. Hopefully, your organization will avoid this!

This is the best time to revisit your identify and train your people to encourage qualities that build strong, empathetic leadership; self-awareness and control, communication, kindness and psychological safety.  Resilience is the glue that binds functional silos and integrates partners, improves communications, helps you prepare, listen and understand. Most importantly, people-focused resilience helps individuals and teams to think collectively and with empathy – helping you respond and recover faster.

Article written by Thabo Majola, a brand communications expert with a wealth of experience in the field and is Managing Director of Incepta Communications.

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