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  The Moonwalker's Worldview

MJ's spin on planet earth

by Firpo Carr

August 19, 2010

In Earth Song (1995) a distraught Michael Joseph Jackson vividly expressed his concern for our environment. He was also intrigued whenever science and the Bible intersected. As a spiritual man who took on the moniker "Moonwalker" he became the very personification of this nexus. He stirred the pot that contained earth science, astronomy, and Scripture texts. Sensational hyperbaric chambers and failed biosphere domes aside, the Gloved One would've loved to handle the yurt.  

To Flirt with a Yurt: The yurt is a "non-traditional" mobile tent made of sheep's wool that nomadic societies have ‘flirted' with for millennia. It's "soft and round and keeps you warm in winter but cool in summer." (Awake! September 2010) Of the Hebrew word ohel, one Bible dictionary states: "This word refers to the mobile structure called a ‘tent.'" Although the familiar tents with pegs are mentioned in Scripture (Judges 4:21), one Hebrew lexicon defines ohel as "a house, or habitation of any kind." The Bible ties sheep and courier camels to tents (Deut 18:3, 4; Isa 30:6; 51:20), as does Becky Kemery in her 2006 book, Yurts--Living in the Round.

Earth, the "Round," Rotating Yurt?: Isaiah 40:22 states that God hovers above the rotating "round ball [Hebrew, chugh, "sphere"; Greek, gyro, "rotation"] of the earth." (Message Bible) This was written well before Columbus' day, and even before Greek philosophers like Pythagoras, Aristotle, Strabo, Ptolemy, and others (including African mathematician and astronomer Eratosthenes) chronicled earth's shape. Prior to Isaiah's recording, the inspired Prophet Moses, trained by Africans in Egypt (Acts 7:22), used chugh (later translated gyro) when he wrote the book of Job. (Job 22:14) No other ancient documentation--Egyptian or otherwise--reveals as much detail about a rotating earth--and heavens!--as is found in the Bible.

Yurt Reflects the Universe?: Isaiah 40:22 also states that Jehovah God "is stretching [Latin, ‘expanding']  out the heavens just as a fine gauze, who spreads them out like a tent [or yurt] in which to dwell." Thousands of years before scientist Edwin P. Hubble "discovered" the expanding universe in the 1920s, Isaiah reported it. And as previously noted Moses authenticated the same at Job 22:14. Taking a page from the Bible the ancient Romans, too, acknowledged a circuitous cosmos. When the Latin-based word "universe" is dissected, we find that uni means "one" (or "whole"), and vertere means "to turn." So, "universe" literally means, ‘the whole sphere that turns in one direction.'

The Christian Compass: Under divine afflatus Bible writer James--evidently an educated man--gave spiritual direction and simultaneously demonstrated an intriguing knowledge of astronomy. Being named the first of Mary's four natural-born sons, this half-brother of Jesus was perhaps the second oldest. (Mt 13:55; Mr 6:3) Whatever the case, here's what he wrote:

"Every good gift and every perfect present is from above, for it comes down from the Father of the celestial lights, and with him there is not a variation of the turning of the shadow." (Jas 1:17, New World Translation) Variations of turning shadows indicate rotation. One reputable Bible commentator states that the "celestial lights" are "heavenly bodies," and that the sun diffuses "its radiance over all worlds," effectively pouring "its rich effulgence on the farthest part of the universe." Interestingly, Awake! states that, like the earth, "the entrance of a yurt is positioned to face the sun." In short, according to James 5:11 Jesus' half brother was familiar with what Moses wrote about an expanding rotating universe at Job 22:14.

In my 2005 book The Theology Behind Scientific Thought (Vol. 1) I concluded: "Irrespective of how many shadows appear on the surface of the turning or spinning earthly globe; which shadows are caused by the revolving sun as it makes its way across the sky, ‘the Father of the celestial lights' does not modify or modulate his purposeful course of action." The Christian's moral compass remains reliable.

Conclusion: Author Kemery could not have put it better when she wrote: "Yurts inspire a sacred connection between people and their environment, between living and nature, between humankind and the forces that shape the world in which we live." Michael's concern was well founded. Because of mankind's abuse, the Earth's Yurt turf is hurt. But he knew God will make all things new. (Rev 21:1-5) Meanwhile, although there's no sound in space, as our Orb whizzes on its predetermined trajectory through a fluid, rotating universe, true believers hear the distinct, indescribable sound of the ebullient Earth Song. It's music to their ears. Hallelujah.