Say hello to your cousins, Donald Trump


MATHEMATICAL studies of genealogy suggest everyone alive probably is related to Mohammed and Henry VIII.
And all of us are 40th cousins, at least, say computer scientists at Dublin City University and statisticians working independently at Yale University in the US.
If the theory is right, Donald Trump and the Muslim refugees are all related. So were Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon. So were Hermann Goering and Mother Teresa, Hitler and Gandhi.
The researchers suppose that the most recent common ancestor of every living person was someone in Europe about 600 years ago.
The theory is that 80 per cent of the population in 1400 were direct ancestors of all of us.
Such is the dense interconnectedness of the human family.
Scientists also believe that particles of air breathed by Cleopatra, Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha still circulate.
Albert Einstein once said a human was part of the whole “called by us universe, a part limited in time and space”.
Martin Luther King Jr said injustice anywhere was a threat to justice everywhere.
“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality — tied to a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one, directly affects all indirectly,” he said.
“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat.”
He’s right, but that does not mean we all believe in the same ways.
The difficulty in interconnectedness is establishing some kind of genuine and lasting brotherhood in a world of religious and cultural pluralism.
In a few decades, Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines, the Congo and the US are tipped to have 100 million Christians or more. The leading centre of Christianity will be Africa and Latin America..
By 2050, almost 20 of the 25 largest nations will be predominantly or entirely Christian or Muslim. The rest of the world is likely to be a smorgasbord of religions, or devoted to secularism.
And what of Australia? Surely it will be a land where Buddhist and Islamic temples will increasingly share streets with Christian churches. Living in religious isolation will be impossible.
We probably will be encouraged to express non-judgmental attitudes towards other faiths.
The official line may be that all religions are true. But it is more accurate to say most religions contain some elements of truth.
It is not true that God is revealed more or less equally through all religions. There are vastly contrary views of the universe and God in the Koran and the Bible, for instance. Hinduism has a plethora of gods and most branches of Buddhism ignore God.
Former US vice-president Al Gore expressed the problems of plurality when he said the roots of the global environmental crisis reflected the world’s inner spiritual confusion.
“We must heed the lessons of the past to build a better future,” said former Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
“We must speak the truth always, not compromise to spare another’s feelings. But we must also remember always to enhance the humanity of the other.”
Eastern philosopher Ram Das expressed hope amid pluralism.
“Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not,” he said. “Our actions and states of mind matter, because we’re so deeply interconnected.”


27 thoughts on “Say hello to your cousins, Donald Trump

  1. We don’t always get along even with siblings, and cousins can sometimes seem like aliens, I remember my experience in finding a group of people who seemed more like family than my own. I felt as though I might have been adopted out as a child and just found my birth family..

    People are only strangers until you get to know them. Their spiritual beliefs don’t have to be like mine, and I would hope no pointed efforts towards conversion were involved. But I would also hope to see their beliefs, not necessarily as ‘right’, but as valid. As likewise they might see my beliefs, not necessarily as right, but as valid.


      • Then I’m ridiculous, Monica. I can accept that. But I hope I didn’t imply that EVERY belief system is valid. We can get guidance. We can consider who Jesus would turn away from.

        I can’t imagine he would turn away from devout and good living people of any faith, much less those who believed in him, regardless of being able to recite certain creeds.


      • “I can’t imagine he would turn away from devout and good living people of any faith”

        Hi Strewth, Could you clarify what you mean by this please?


      • If he were physically present, and a person who loved God, believed in Jesus, and was striving to live the sort of life he taught, would he reject them? Would he require the recitation of some particular creed more than that?


      • “A broken and contrite heart God will not despise”. That’s the only thing I can be certain of Strewth. Thanks!


  2. I thought Buddhism, unlike say Christianity or Islam didn’t have a specific deity, but left it up to each individual whether or not they wanted to believe in a certain god or not… if that makes sense. (Probably not?)


    • . While not preaching of a deity, they do not preclude one, S. They preach more how to live, so their practices can be adapted to most beliefs. Even so, Buddhists do not all follow the original beliefs. Even early Buddhism had two very different teachings – Mahayana (typically Tibetan) and Theravada (typically Sri Lankan). footsteps.htm



    Our Father, which art in heaven,
    Hallowed be thy Name.
    Thy Kingdom come.
    Thy will be done in earth,
    As it is in heaven……

    God did not assign us to establish a religion. It was never part of God’s plan, and Jesus never established one either. Religion is man’s creation, not God’s. In the beginning God established His Kingdom on Earth and gave man dominion over it. Man lost his earthly Kingdom, and Christ came to bring it back. When Jesus came to Earth He did not bring a religion; He re-established the rule and government of His Father. Then He established His ekklesia, His Church, to sustain and expand that government throughout the world. The Kingdom of Heaven is not about religion, but relationship: a King relating to His children. And although it has government and law, the Kingdom of Heaven is not about legalism, but lifestyle.


    Kingdom citizens are people with their feet in two different worlds. One foot is planted squarely in the Kingdom community, where daily life is ordered by the righteous principles, standards, and culture of God Almighty, while the other stands securely in the society and culture of the world. At heart, the two worlds are incompatible because they operate according to principles and philosophies that are diametrically opposed to each other. Yet we live in both worlds simultaneously.


    One of the first attitude adjustments we must make is to get rid of our ”religious” thinking. Kingdom living has nothing to do with religion. For one thing, religious thinking believes in coexistence; it makes room for everybody: every sect, every denomination, every belief system, every philosophy; those with high values and those with no values at all; those who believe in many gods, one god, or no god. Coexistence says, “Let’s all try to get along. After all, there are many roads to the truth, and each road is just as valid as the next.” Coexistence makes room for Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Christian Science, Scientology, Unitarianism, Baha’i, Hare Krishna, witchcraft, animism, atheism, and all the rest. Coexistence regards accommodation as the highest value,

    There is no such thing as coexistence in the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom did not come to Earth to coexist. It came to take over and transform. In the Kingdom there is only one vision, one will, one standard, one law, one belief system, one value system, one moral code, one code of ethics, one code of conduct, and one culture—the King’s. The existence of any other constitutes rebellion. If the King’s word is law and absolute, how can there be multitudes of little “kingdoms” within the Kingdom? There can’t be. Since there is only one King and only one Kingdom, coexistence is impossible.

    God’s Kingdom is not here to coexist with the kingdoms of this world, but to supplant and transform them. The multi-faith rally in Mexico City that I attended and that I described in the beginning of Chapter One is a case in point. That rally was organized around the philosophy of coexistence. All of the world’s major religions (and many of the minor ones) were represented, and each one was afforded equal dignity, respect, and honor. All the speakers were received respectfully and politely, but when I stood up and talked about the Kingdom—not religion—everyone in the arena was clamoring for more. Why? The message of the Kingdom is like yeast in the dough of religion and worldly kingdoms. Yeast doesn’t believe in coexistence. It permeates and agitates and will not stop until it has transformed its environment into something completely new. The Kingdom of Heaven cannot simply and tidily be given a place sharing the stage with all the religions, philosophies, and faith systems of the world. It will grow and expand and overwhelm and transform until it alone is left.

    So all who are Kingdom citizens face the dilemma and challenge of how to live successfully and simultaneously in two worlds that are in inevitable conflict. One critical key to our successful navigation within these two worlds is to get it thoroughly into our heads that the Kingdom of Heaven is not a kingdom of coexistence but of transformation, and that it is the Kingdom, not the world, that will ultimately prevail.

    We cannot enter the Kingdom of God and continue to live like our unsaved friends. All of a sudden everything changes: our culture, our nature, our interests, our priorities, our tastes—everything. We are new creations in Christ; the old is gone and everything has become new (2 Cor. 5:17). Our assignment on Earth is not coexistence, compromise, or half measures. It is total transformation. It is love taking over a love-starved planet.

    ‘God’s Big Idea: Reclaiming God’s Original Purpose for Your Life’
    By Myles Munroe


  4. What is Christian tolerance? Should Christians be tolerant of other religious beliefs?

    The original definition of tolerance and the way in which the word is used now are quite different. Originally, tolerance meant to acknowledge that others have differing beliefs and accept that it is their right to do so. In this way, Christians are to absolutely be tolerant. Recently, tolerance has come to mean accepting that those other beliefs are true—something Christians absolutely cannot do.

    The Bible is specific that we should expect others to have different beliefs about God. Galatians 4:8 says that those who don’t know the true God are slaves to what are not gods. Romans 1:18-25 explains that although God has given evidence of His nature in creation, many will refuse to believe what their eyes tell them.

    Christians are to tolerate others when they have different beliefs about God. But are we to expect tolerance in return? It is foolish to expect tolerance from others toward our Christian beliefs, even if they demand tolerance for their own. God has told us clearly: we will not get it.

    Unfortunately, the world no longer defines “tolerance” as acknowledgement that others have a differing belief. It has come to mean full acceptance of those beliefs. Of course this definition makes no logical sense because to embrace this type of tolerance precludes any personal opinion or belief. Christians are not to endorse religious beliefs that run counter to what the Bible teaches.

    The problem with tolerance as it is now meant is that it rejects the possibility that objective truth exists. The Bible teaches that truth does exist, that God is truth, and that we are to follow in His truth. John 1:14 and 17 says that Jesus, who came from the Father, gives us truth. John 8:32 and Romans 6:16-23 says that the truth sets us free from the control of sin.

    The Bible is also clear regarding those who hide or distort the truth in the name of tolerance. Romans 1:18 says whoever suppresses the truth will receive the wrath of God. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says that our mission is to teach others of the truth about Him. John 14:6 says that Jesus is the truth. While Christians can acknowledge the right of others to have different beliefs, we cannot allow those beliefs to go unchallenged for one simple reason: it is not loving, and Jesus calls us to love (Luke 10:25-37).

    It’s inevitable that the world will call believers intolerant, but should a Christian be tolerant of others’ religious beliefs? Yes, in the classical sense. The Bible teaches that many will reject God. We should be prepared to accept that, as well as the fact that those who reject God will reject His followers. Christians should not be tolerant in the modern sense. We should not endorse the belief that all religions lead to God, that truth is a personal construct, or that everyone’s beliefs are valid. Jesus is the truth. Christians are called to tolerate – and even to love – people without accepting their false beliefs.


    • Hi Monica

      Romans 1:18 says whoever suppresses the truth will receive the wrath of God. In Matthew

      I was wondering if a person is saved by faith alone then how can a person receive the wrath of God for not performing an action such as hiding the truth ?

      Do monks in monastery suppress the truth by living in seclusion of the rest ?


      • Hi Dom,

        Hmm….you have asked a very serious question.

        Firstly, I am not a “once saved always saved” Christian. I believe with all my heart that God will do everything in His power to try and keep me on His ‘straight and narrow’ path, but that ultimately, I have free will to disobey Him, time and time again if I so choose. I also believe that God’s forgiveness has an expiration date when it comes to a Christian’s deliberate rebellion of God’s government over their lives. As I’ve been taught, when the cup of iniquity is full, then the judgment comes. But I am talking about deliberate unrighteousness/a love of sin, here, and if that’s the case then I believe that a Christian can go to Hell. Obviously, not all Christians believe as I do.

        We are saved by grace, ie., believing that forgiveness only comes through Jesus Christ, but that’s just the beginning of our faith journey. If we aren’t changing and becoming more Christlike as the years tick by, then something is radically wrong with our Christian walk and we are in real peril of judgment—“Get away from Me for I do not know you”. Some would say, in that case then, we were never really Christians; that we were never truly born again of the Spirit of God. I honestly don’t think so. God never overrides our free will.

        As for the Monks living in seclusion? No, I do not believe it is sin. Prayer is an enormous part of their lives and surely they would have to be called by God into that very hard life? “The heartfelt prayers of a righteous man availeth much.” Many of God’s prophets in the Old Testament disappeared for a time in seclusion to be taught of the Lord in preparation and obedience to God’s call. But God judges the heart, remember. We are in good hands. Hope that makes sense, and thanks for asking, Dom.


      • Dom, just to repeat a bit I put in ‘Now That’s Grace’.
        I was taught that though we are saved by grace, we then need to be justified by deeds. Not the other way around. Grace is of the first importance, but having received grace, the follow up is that one will automatically do, or continue to do, good works. If we don’t, then we must have rejected the grace freely offered, and are back to square one.


  5. “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality — tied to a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one, directly affects all indirectly,”

    This is why God hates sin. Like Yeast it will go through the whole batch. That is why darkness and light cannot mix. This is why we have heaven and hell. This is why Jesus came for us all. This is why there is the separation of the goats and the sheep.


  6. Monica, Strewth and others

    We all agree on Grace. But a few here believe you can lose salvation or as Strewth put it, “but having received grace, the follow up is that one will automatically do, or continue to do, good works. If we don’t, then we must have rejected the grace freely offered, and are back to square one.”

    If one “loses salvation” must we again receive Grace to be saved? If we lose salvation how many “bad” works must happen before we lose salvation? Is it only one “bad” deed? There are so many issues with losing salvation theory. Hebrews 6 is a big part of the scripture for losing salvation.
    Is not this then works, one must continue to do good works to keep salvation.

    Monica said it well this way, “I also believe that God’s forgiveness has an expiration date when it comes to a Christian’s deliberate rebellion of God’s government over their lives. As I’ve been taught, when the cup of iniquity is full, then the judgment comes.”

    What is the date for expiration? Again, how many “and” deeds. Why not just one?
    The cup of iniquity stood for non believers such as at Ninevah. Or is it?


    • Here is an example of losing salvation scripture.

      But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, “Raca,” is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, “You fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Mat 5:22)

      But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. (Mat 12:37)


      • “What is the expiration date?”

        Scripture says that God’s mercies are new every morning, and thank God for that! When we stumble we have God’s grace to fall on; the forgiveness of sin through Christ’s atonement, praise God. However, it is a different story for those who “practice” sin. And because that implies continual, repeated sin that is not repented of, there will be a point when God will bring swift judgment to our sin. As Rick Joyner says, “It is a tragic mistake to ever presume upon His grace because for a time we were able to get away with something.”


      • “The cup of iniquity stood for non believers such as at Ninevah. Or is it?”

        What is iniquity according to the Bible?

        The Hebrew word used most often for “iniquity” means “guilt worthy of punishment.” Iniquity is sin at its worst. Iniquity is premeditated, continuing, and escalating. When we give ourselves over to a sinful lifestyle, we are committing iniquity. Sin has become our god rather than the Lord (Romans 6:14). If we continue to choose sin, our hearts harden toward God. One sin leads to another, and iniquity begins to define our lives.

        The end result for those with such hardened hearts is that God turns them over to a “reprobate mind” (verse 28, KJV), and they no longer have the desire or ability to repent. Reprobate means “thoroughly depraved, given over to evil until the conscience is seared.” The Scripture is clear that God forgives even iniquity (Micah 7:18), but if we persist in it, we will reap the wages of sin, which is eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23).

        Got Questions Org


      • Is it possible for a Christian to become reprobate, Alexie?

        It seems absurd to think so, doesn’t it. I can’t wrap my mind around it, but I do believe that a Christian can fall from grace:

        “For if after they have escaped the pollutions (sins) of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (been saved) they are again entangled therein and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known (become Christians) the way of righteousness, than, after they had known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire”—2 Peter 2:20–22.

        How dangerous it is for a Christian to abandon themselves to their old sins. Salvation does not destroy our free moral agency. We still have the power of choice. We are still able to, at any time, choose evil and fall from grace the same as repent (turn from sin and towards Christ again)—choose grace. Now is always the time to have a change of mind/heart. God will not turn the penitent heart away, ever!


    • I explained only what I was taught, Alexei, not necessarily what I believed, so not into considering answers to your questions. I’m happy to leave judgement in God’s hands, whatever the ins and outs of it are. I did like Monica’s words.


    • Hi Alexie,

      “If one “loses salvation” must we again receive Grace to be saved?”

      Heb. 10:26-27: “For if we willfully continue to sin after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation….”

      What if I get to the stage that I love my sin so much that I lose my hatred for it and thus lose my connection with God? There goes my Holy Spirit conviction to not sin! What will become of me then? Here is God supposedly living inside of me, trying to minister to me, convict me of my sinfulness and be my Lord, but my determination to sin becomes entrenched inner darkness, so that I can no longer hear His voice. Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice”.

      If a Christian ever gets to that stage, then they had better fear God’s judgment as it will be set and there will be no going back.

      We can never work our way to Heaven. We are saved by grace, and grace alone, but if we choose to be mastered by sin, it will harden our heart towards repentance and we will not repent because we will no longer see it as sin, such is the deceitfulness of sin.


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