Friday, 31 May 2013

Pleasure.

When we are young we experience pleasure and it makes us feel better.
We then assume that more pleasure will make us feel better still.

What actually happens is that our bodies and minds become addicted to pleasure and we experience ecstatic highs followed by bleak, depressive lows.  We are soon burnt out.

Rock music has been shown to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain.
We become addicted to its pleasures.

Drugs have the same effect.

It is significant that a lot of rock music contains orgasmic guitar solos and crescendos.

Classical music has a completely different effect.
Much classical music puts the mind into an alpha state or meditative equilibrium.

Most of us spend our lives alternating between peak experiences and despairing troughs which we cure by inducing another episode of pleasure in order to experience that high once more.

This is the great illusion.
The answer does not lie here.

Yoga teaches us to practice detachment and it is through this practice that we are able to reduce the highs and lows and gain some equilibrium.

It is when we discover love, however, that the picture changes.

At first we crave love in a similar way to other pleasures.
Our moods are dependent on the presence or absence of the loved one.

When we discover that giving love is just as satisfying as receiving love we gain some control over our moods.
The more love we give the more love there is to give.

If we detach the love from the object of our love and expand the theater of our love to the whole of creation we experience a stable well-being.

Finally when, through the practice of prayer and contemplation, we make contact with the divine within us we discover that God is intimately involved with love.

At first this presence comes and goes as it does with David and the prophets.
But God withdraws in order to make a space for us to love into.

It is when we love those around us that we become established in this love and our anxieties diminish.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

When Called Upon.

At a meeting of the Progressive Christian Network of Victoria after the speaker had spoken about God intervening in her life Lorraine Parkinson questioned her about this and said that some help had come from God "when called upon".

This was significant.
It was consistent with my adult experience that nothing happened until I called upon God in my distress.
Then there was an answer.

This, however, does not apply to my childhood experience of seeing God in a vision.  My three year old self had not called upon God.
But this is consistent with the idea that it is God who instigates contact.
"We love because he first loved us."  1 John 4:19 (NRSV)

People who experience a hint or nudge in a particular direction, perhaps a warning, may already be in relationship with God and this could explain why some are warned and others are not.

It seems to me that this happens in order for it to be clear that it is God who is responding to their call for help, and this in order for them to come into relationship with God.

This is my experience.


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Prejudice.

What we think of ourselves is partially created by the perceptions of others.

"'The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.'"  John 3:8a (NRSV)

Prejudice and stereotypes in the collective unconscious affect us by projecting negative images upon us.  These negative images can produce negative behavior in line with the prejudice or stereotype.  It is not necessary for these projections to be conscious or objectively manifest.

So what we think about people matters.

If we think negatively about them this may cause them to behave in a negative fashion.

Of course this is only the case where our negative thinking is untrue or false.
If what we are thinking is true then it will have a lesser effect.

But people who are prejudiced think that what they are thinking is true.

So it is better to think positively about people and see the good in them.

This is not to delude ourselves or to pretend that bad is good.
Only to excuse and offer forgiveness.

Then we can accentuate the good in everyone.


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Spirituality.

What do people mean when they say, "I'm not religious but I'm spiritual"?

I believe they are stating, like the hippies of the 1960s and 1970s, that they do not subscribe to the moralistic, sex-phobic, hypocritical Christology of the Churches.
The fear/guilt manipulation of the conservative establishment.

But they do believe in God and they do agree with most of Jesus' teachings of forgiveness and compassion.

Their image of God, and indeed Jesus, is quite different from the traditional orthodox images: the angry, harsh, judgmental God and the Lamb Without Spot who becomes a human blood sacrifice to take away the sins of the world, which were inherited from Adam and Eve at the Fall.

They don't believe we are fallen and in need of redemption.
To them that is pure Machiavellian manipulation.

So what do they mean when they say they are spiritual?

I believe they mean that they are idealistic.
These are the non-materialistic ideals of the hippies: equality, non-violence, socialism, a positive attitude towards the body and sex, and the redistribution of wealth.....

This is combined with green values of preservation and protection of the environment.
The great Cathedral of Nature.

This vaguely connects with God as a benevolent creative force.
And Jesus as a spiritual teacher rather than a dying deity.

So this fits perfectly with Progressive Christianity: Original Blessing, a benevolent God, the historical Jesus, social justice, and ecology.

But Church?

Monday, 27 May 2013

Karma.

The law of karma obeys our notion of justice - rewards for good behavior, punishments for bad behavior.

When this does not happen in this life we project it into future lives, thus giving rise to the idea of reincarnation.

The notion of natural justice does not seem to apply in life.

Job says, "'Why do the wicked live on......and no rod of God is against them.'"  Job 21:7a,9b (NRSV)

So natural justice is projected into the afterlife as judgment.

Perhaps these ideas are not universal laws at all.

Perhaps we have free will to obey or break the rules depending on the circumstances.

Paul says to waive judgment according to understanding.

But life is not chaos.

There are constants - day and night, summer and winter, hot and cold.....

Newton's laws apply.

But even Newton's laws break down with the very small (atoms) and the very large (galaxies).

So where does that leave us?

We have free will to  make choices but even our free will is conditioned by our experiences.

We make mistakes.

In human experience the chances are that if we treat people badly they will treat us badly in return.
But this is not a law.
People may choose of their own free will to return sympathy or even good for our bad behavior.

So the patterns and the rules are not what govern our lives.
They are merely guidelines for our corporate well-being.

The cause and the purpose of life is Love.


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Laws.

It is the nature of the human mind to seek to find patterns in things.

These patterns are often condensed into rules which are then said to be universal.

When rewards and punishments are attached to obeying or breaking these rules we have laws.

How many books have been written which claim to outline the laws of human experience?

They would even legislate love!

Laws make us feel secure.
They are certain and unchanging.
We are in control.

This is the nature of legalistic religions like the Pharisees.

This is also the nature of fundamentalism in religion.

It makes us feel secure.

But these rules, these laws can be demonstrated to break down in certain situations.

Jesus broke the law of the Jews on many occasions and said that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
By which he meant that human's well-being and happiness were more important than the rules.
Or perhaps even the purpose of the rules.

Jesus indicated that the Pharisees thought that the rules were more important than human beings themselves.

So do not get hung up on the rules and the laws, they may not be as important as we think.

Making rules is one of the ways that we make sense out of life.

But God does not obey our rules.
God is unpredictable.
We cannot control God.

The Ten Commandments are not laws to be rewarded or punished they are guidelines for living.

The laws were made for man, not man for the laws.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Satan.

When I say that rock music and popular entertainment, including sports, are rife with Satanism and black magic I can hear you say, "But there is no Satan!"

Modern secular thinking rightly rejects the idea of a supernatural devil.

But because there is no Satan does not mean there are no Satanists.

There are people who believe in Satan and sell their souls with the objective of achieving fame and fortune.
Mostly rock stars.  But there are others in the entertainment industries and sports.

What they do is tempt us, lead us astray, and damn us.

Have you noticed that everything is going up in flames?

Their songs have double meanings.
Their music is the music of death.

Death, in theological terms, means separation from God and leads to damnation.

This is their objective.

They deceive us and betray us.

But in the end there is no Satan only God's love.

Friday, 24 May 2013

The Golden Rule of Chiron.

(The Wounded Healer.)

Make sure you don't do to others what others have done to you.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Open Our Hands.

Open our hands to the poor and the destitute.

Open our hands to the sick and the needy.

Open our hands to our neighbors.

Open our hands to do God's work in the world.

Open our hands to do what others are afraid to do.

Open our hands to those who are paralyzed by fear.

Open our hands to our enemies.

Open our hands to help.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Open Our Hearts.

Open our hearts to the least and the last in our world.

Open our hearts to the sick and the suffering.

Open our hearts to the marginalized and the outcast.

Open our hearts to God.

Open our hearts to those who are paralyzed with fear.

Open our hearts to those who attack out of fear.

Open our hearts to our enemies.

Open our hearts to everyone.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Open Our Eyes.

Open our eyes to see the poverty and suffering around us.

Open our eyes to see the corruption and exploitation in our world.

Open our eyes to see the lies and propaganda in the media.

Open our eyes to see the fear that motivates bigotry and violence.

Open our eyes to see the injustice that motivates crime.

Open our eyes to see the fear in an unforgiving heart.

Open our eyes to see the tears shed over hardened hearts.

Open our eyes to see the truth.

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Prophets.

What we have to remember is that the Old Testaments prophets did not write the Books of the Bible themselves.

That was done by interpreters many years later.

So, as we see with the disciples, there was a lesser understanding - an orthodoxy, a primitive worldview, a worldly interpretation - which we may not have seen in Jesus or the prophets themselves.

Those who had direct contact with God were not those who wrote the Books of the Bible.
The Books of the Bible have been interpreted, translated, and re-interpreted.

There is a large margin for error.

So where it says that Samuel cut a man to pieces in front of the altar, this may not be exactly what happened.
Either Samuel has misunderstood God or the writer of Samuel has misinterpreted the story.

In my experience God does not act violently towards anyone.
The stories of violence in the Bible are misinterpretations of God's word.

Most often it is an overlaying of assumptions of reward or punishment projected from worldly authority figures like kings or pharaohs.

God is beyond violence.

God does not resolve conflict with violence.

God waits for us to respond with love and compassion, even for our enemies.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Stained Glass Windows.

Depending upon which Church you are attending your experience of God will be colored by the theology, beliefs, and practices of that particular Church in the same way as light is colored by stained glass windows.

The white light of God will be colored by the character of that Church.

God works through people.
God's love is manifest in the world through us - through our minds, our hearts, and our hands.

We share in the work.

So it is vital that our ideas are positive and helpful (harmless), our hearts are open, and our hands are active.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Plutocracy.

It is the way of the world to think ourselves superior and live a life of privilege.

God is the great leveler, the great champion of the poor and underprivileged.

Unfortunately what happens is that the powers that be - the rich - usurp the power of God and change the religion of equality to suit themselves, placing themselves at the top.

To God all people are equal.

God's natural socialism has been perverted by the conservative establishment.

This was neatly rationalized by the rich to endorse their power and privilege.

So the Church endorsed monarchs, with their entourage of aristocrats, born to rule and usurp God's power.

But to God all people are equal.

Money and power always usurp the authority of God for themselves.

But God will not endorse them.

So the blind lead the blind.

And the light is crucified.

The rule of the aristocracy is established by violence and maintained by fear.

At present the conservatives are using violent language to attack left wing politicians.

This is to establish their power over the masses.

They use their media outlets to propagate fear and violence against their political opponents.

A constant barrage of negativity.

When the light rises you see evil as well as good.

The hidden evil - Satanism in the popular culture and propaganda in the media.

Conservative businessmen and politicians, blue ribbon conservatives and captains of industry.
The Plutocracy.

But Uranus is square.

Social activists are openly challenging the corrupt powers.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Out of the World.

When we start out we are of the world.

Our values and attitudes are shaped by our experiences in the world.
We are cynical, pragmatic, aggressive, materialistic, selfish.....

We assume that God will win by superior force and might, as people in the world win.

Many people project the ways of the world onto God calling Him mighty and powerful, King of Kings, conqueror, victorious, glorious.....

But we are in for a surprise.

God is in the still, small voice - the sound of sheer silence.

"'Not by might , nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts.'"  Zechariah 4:6b (NRSV)

"'for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.'"  1 Samuel 16:7b (NRSV)

God is gentle.

God does not force us.

God is patient.

The ways of God are non-violent, forgiving, full of understanding and grace.

God does not punish and reward as the leaders of this world do.

God loves everyone and gives all another chance.

There is no condemnation, no damnation.

Only Love.

God calls us out of the world.


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Redemption of Adolf Hitler.

How many people have I heard say, "I don't believe in hell but if anyone is in there its Adolf Hitler."

How can we reconcile our ideas of natural justice with a God who will forgive Adolf Hitler?

The way to so this is to look for the reasons that Adolf Hitler did what he did.
These lie in his childhood; his experiences, especially after World War 1; and his temperament.

"'Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.'"  John 8:7b (NRSV)
This saying of Jesus does not just relate to minor offences or sexual indiscretions, it relates to everyone.

Punishment and hell are out of character for a loving God.

So do not torment yourselves about past sins, they are forgiven, look to the future and "'do not sin again.'"  John 8:11b (NRSV)


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The Redemption of Dorian Gray.

Jesus said, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you."  Luke 6:27,28 (NRSV)

He did not say to destroy evil.
In fact he said not to resist evil.

The dualistic mindset which sets up a battle between good and evil is not the way of Jesus or God.

There is no supernatural source of evil, only people.

The parables of reconciliation: the lost sheep, the lost penny, the lost (prodigal) son show that God seeks redemption even to the last one.

A modern example of this is the story of Dorian Gray who corrupts himself completely through the temptation of eternal youth.
At the end his dead body resumes its corrupted state and the painting reverts to its original image.
We are not told what becomes of the soul of Dorian Gray.

I believe that the soul of Dorian Gray is forgiven and reconciled to God.
Why?
Because in my experience God punishes no one.
He seeks redemption to the very last one as we are taught in the parables of reconciliation.

God understands everyone, even those we would call evil.

So evil is not to be battled against and destroyed.
Evil is to be reconciled to God through Love, the unseen hook.


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Blame.

Just as a whole generation of hippies was set up by Satanists in the entertainment industries through drugs and sensualism, so a whole generation is being set up through magic.

I have already seen a billboard of Merlin in flames.

What they do is tell you to do something - drugs or magic - then damn you for it when things turn against you.

This is what happened in the 1980s when Generation X and Christian Fundamentalists damned hippies and gays.
This was a political tool of the religious right.

But the left does not damn people.
They refuse to resort to damnation as a weapon.
On the whole they do not believe in damnation unless it is for a mass murderer like Adolf Hitler.
This is why Satanists exaggerate and invent crimes.

More recently the religious right (led by Pope Benedict XVI) tried to scapegoat gays and lesbians in order to create political power.
But it failed.
The pro-gay lobby, supported by some rock stars, counter-balanced it.

So Satan's house is divided over homosexuality.
And the house that is divided must fall.

Monday, 13 May 2013

A New Bar Mitzvah.

At the age of 13 Jewish people celebrate Bar Mitzvah (Bat Mitzvah for girls) which marks their coming of age.

Afterwards youths and girls are considered responsible for their own actions and participate in the life of the community.

The equivalent in Christianity is Confirmation which is something quite different.
Confirmation ties the individual into a false theology of belief - the Christology of which Jesus knew nothing.

I believe that we should return to the rite of passage that celebrates puberty as a natural and joyful part of life.

Instead of guilt, fear, and shame we should encourage joy, happiness, and delight.
The sexual development of the individual would then receive a blessing from God and would no longer be a thorn in the side of adults.
Young people would no longer feel that their sexual feelings had to be hidden from parents and society.
They would feel more comfortable with their own sexuality as part of adult life in community with others.

There could even be education and training in responsible sexual activity - including homosexual activity - which respects the wishes and rights of the loved one.

There would no longer be this unhealthy separation of body and spirit which has so blighted Christianity.
The individual would experience a synthesis of body, sexuality, and spirituality (which is love) in a loving response to others.

Sex is the consummation of love.
The heart mediates between the body and the spirit.

In Jewish practice circumcision is the mark of consecration to God.
This creates a link between sexuality and God (the Creator) which allows the individual to feel more relaxed about sexual feelings.
This takes place at a deep unconscious level.

The development of sexuality coincides with feelings of love for another.
If the desire that is experienced is tempered with respect for the other then there is no harm in sexuality - homosexual or heterosexual.

The difficulty for homosexual people is the minority status of their feelings.
The number of people who will respond positively to homosexual advances are considerably less than those for heterosexual people.
Therefore homosexuals experience greater levels of rejection which can lead to suicidal feelings.

This is why it is vital to have gay sex education in schools - or even churches.
This education would help with rejection and feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing.

The incidence of suicide in gay youth is about four times that of heterosexual youth for the above reasons.

A rite of passage with education and training would help greatly to alleviate sexual abuse in our society.

The Next Generation.

We forget, when we have learned things or regard the things which humanity has achieve during our lifetime, that people born after us may not have learned those things.

So it is important to put in place in advance education that will pass on to later generations what we have learned.

Otherwise humanity is doomed to repeat our mistakes.

This can take the form of legislation (eg: gay marriage legislation) or education (eg: gay sex education in schools) or custom (eg: gay bashing is gutless).

Of course any of these things can be reversed by counter-revolutionary forces.  But once they are in place they tend to stay there.

So if Churches teach that there is no devil then future generations will not sell their souls and the problem of Satanism will die out.

This is part of a complete overhaul of religious thinking in our world.

At present many Churches still preach the devil and his angels.
So it is a small step to believing this and embracing the dark side.

They tell people that rock stars practiced Satanism and it and them famous, rich, and sex gods (dogs).

Of course that's not what happened.
But how do you prove that?

Those things happen to all stars and celebrities whether they sell their souls or not.
But how do you prove that?

No devil is a start.

In the end there is no Satan only God's Love.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Deterrence.

The whole theory of deterrence is wrong.

Punishment is a deterrent to crime.
Divine punishment is a deterrent to sin.

God is not a punisher of men and women.

We judge God by human standards.
God judges no one.

But this does not mean that God condones violence or crime.
He understands the motives and the reasons for the crime.

He forgives us.

We assume that there is judgment and punishment because this is the way of the world.

But it is not God's way.

All are forgiven.

None will perish.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Steadfast Love.

At first we expect God to be a kaleidoscope of colors and flashing lights.

But God, when we encounter Him, is a gentle guiding light and full of love and mercy.

God is kind and trustworthy.

When we are little children we are innocent and trusting.
But in the playground we are attacked by bullies.
(Bullies are people who are afraid of being bullied.  They defend themselves by attacking others who are weaker than themselves in order to look tough and unassailable.)

Fear begets fear.

So when we encounter God we are surprised that He is not aggressive.
"Why doesn't He attack evil and destroy it?"  "Why doesn't He force them to stop?"

But God is non-violent.
He will persevere in a non-violent fashion until we give up and accept His Love.

We mistake gentleness for weakness.
We think violence makes us look strong.
But people who are really strong are gentle.

We have huge armies.
If we were really as peace-loving as we make out we would not need them.
But we keep them because we really think we must be more violent and ruthless than anyone else.

So our peace and our benevolence is a lie.

When the ancient prophets encountered God and He revealed His holy name, "'The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness'"  Exodus 34:6b (NRSV)  They tacked on the end, "'yet by no means clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children's children, to the third and fourth generation.'" Exodus 34:7b (NRSV)  This last statement was later repudiated in Ezekiel 8.

So people attack the weak in order to look strong and invulnerable.

Bullies are people who are full of fear.

Big, strong men will quake at the sight of a homosexual.  They will run and hide. They will not consort with him lest people call them poofters.  Their fear is so great.  The terror is too much for them.  They may even become violent.
What men fear is humiliation and rejection.  He won't be one of the boys.  He will be cast out and kept at arms length.

Of course this may not actually happen but his fear is so great that it makes no difference.

But God has no such fears.
He is gentle and supportive, steadfast in love.


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

Thursday, 9 May 2013

What to Encourage.

Classical music.

Sacred choral music.

Chanting.

Prayer.

Silence..

Blessings.

Gratitude.

Benevolence.

Charity.

Generosity.

Courage.

Integrity.

Discipline.

Faith.

Truth.

Angels.

Doves.

Rainbows.

White.

Flowers.

Light.

Life.

Love.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

What to Avoid.

The sign of the devil (two fingers = horns).

Anything backwards or upside down.

Magical symbols or writing.

Hate, darkness, death (murder).

Skulls, snakes, spiders (webs).

Flames (hell).

Sex = death.

Apples (Garden of Eden = The Fall).

Fallen angels.

Devils or demons.

Sabotage :
taking the easy way out,
cutting corners,
shame, guilt,
ending faith,
drugs,
leaving love = divorce.

Love is sex.

Evil.

Hammers and nails (crucifixion).

Urine or excrement.

The toilet.

Knives or swords.

Broken hearts.

Korrupt (K = Scorpio = power)

Desecration.

Profanity.

Blasphemy.

Swearing or cursing.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Covenant.

The first version of the covenant between God and Moses would appear to be in Exodus 34 where the three festivals - the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of the Passover - are consecrated with the nation of Israel.

[Along with these not making idols, redeeming the first-born (animals and sons), and not boiling a kid in its mother's milk are recommended.]

So perhaps the legalistic language of the Ten Commandments was not Moses' but the mentality of the priests who wrote them 600 years later.

That being said the important part of the story is the covenant between God and the liberated Israelites.

The first covenant was the rainbow between God and Noah after the flood.

The second covenant was between God and Abraham and his descendants.

The third covenant was between God and Moses.

The fourth covenant would appear to be with King David.

The fifth covenant is through Jesus of Nazareth.

A sixth covenant could be said to be with Mohammed.

So God regularly renews His covenant not only with Israel but with all humankind.

Is it possible that there will be a new covenant between God and humanity through Aquarius?

They say that the darkest hour is just before the dawn.
It is certainly dark enough now.

The fertile ground is there with many Aquarian people on earth at this time.

God is certainly doing something new.
Nurturing our understanding and hinting at the direction.

After liberating theological thought from negative doctrines the rest is all about Love.

Love God and love your neighbor.

Monday, 6 May 2013

New Age Gurus.

The mistake that the New Age Gurus make is to try to create wealth and worldly success.

Jesus said, "You cannot serve God and wealth."  Luke 16:13b (NRSV)

In running after worldly success and money the New Age Gurus gain plenty of followers but it never really works.

This is because they mistake the purpose of life.
Life is not about achievements and money and possessions.
They will not make you happy.
Life is about Love - our relationships, and our relationship with God.

They are blind.
They call their methods spirituality but spirituality has nothing to do with achieving goals or accumulating wealth.
Spirituality is about developing spiritual qualities like love, compassion, charity, gratefulness, courage, integrity, honesty, truthfulness, harmlessness, gentleness, kindness, and faith.

Jesus said that the way of the world was evil.
"You cannot serve God and wealth."  Luke 16:13b (NRSV)


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Ideation.

The bane of Christianity has been negative ideation.

The notion that sex is a sin creates the most unpleasant feelings: it is cold, it is hard, it is bad, there is fear, there is shame.....

Another negative notion is suffering.
This, unfortunately, is associated with the sacred heart of Jesus.
If you look closely at the depictions the heart is surrounded by thorns and pierced by daggers.

These notions actually create pain and suffering in the unsuspecting practitioner.

So it is important to practice positive ideation.
Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Original blessing.
Sex is natural.

Life is a combination of pleasure and pain, joy and suffering, good and bad experiences.  Pain and suffering are bad, they are not a means to a reward in heaven.  They can develop compassion in the sufferer but that does not make them good or desirable.
Excessive pain and suffering should be alleviated so that everyone can live happy lives here on earth.

Guilt serves no positive purpose.
Shame is self-destructive.

The theology which grew up around the suffering and death of Jesus is a perversion of the truth.  It seeks to make of a failure a victory.  And makes of something which is inherently bad something good (Good Friday).

Therefore, because it is not facing the failure of Jesus' mission it creates aberrant theology.

Original Sin, Substitution Theology, The Blood of the Lamb, Universal Condemnation, Penance, and Atonement are all false doctrines because they do not face the failure of Jesus' mission on earth.

Can God fail?

Yes.

Pentecost is the aftermath but it never reaches the heights of Jesus' ministry.

The interpretations and beliefs of Peter and Paul are never quite as accurate as Jesus'.  The disciples did not have Jesus' experience of God.  They were always making mistakes, misunderstanding what Jesus said.  And they continued to make mistakes after Pentecost.

Mainly Peter sought to encourage people to believe that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, the fulfillment of the prophecies.

But Jesus does not always resemble the Jewish messiah - which is a military ruler and conqueror in some prophecies, a suffering servant in others.

Jesus was the tutelary spirit of the Age of Pisces rather than the savior for all time.

Look at the Piscean symbolism in the New Testament: fishermen, (shoes), fish, nets, water, lake Galilee, washing feet, spirits, the Holy Spirit, prayer, healing, forgiveness, dreams, vines, wine, vineyards, compassion, washing away sins, a House of Prayer, Jerusalem, faith.....

But it is Jesus' teachings - the teachings of love and compassion - that count.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Two Masters.

You cannot succeed in the world and serve God as well.
You will compromise your principles to achieve success.
Or you will sacrifice success to serve God.

"'No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and wealth.'"  Luke 16:13 (NRSV)

It is very rare for a person to achieve a high position in society and still be faithful to God.
They will be seriously flawed like David or John F. Kennedy, who was killed like his brother Robert and Martin Luther King Jnr., as were Gandhi and Anwar Sadat.

The only godly man to survive is Nelson Mandela, and he did not challenge big business.

Barak Obama is in constant danger because he is challenging the powers of the world - big business and conservative religion.

Ang San Su Kyi has been under house arrest and is always in danger.

Instead our leaders compromise with big business and conservatives.
In this way they survive but nothing changes.

Big business owns the media.
They use it for their own purposes.
To threaten political leaders and activists.
To promote those who serve their interests.

The world has no respect for the messenger of God.
He has no position.
He has no letters after his name.
He has no power.
So why should the world listen to him.
They will take what suits them.
And ignore the rest.

The ultimate purpose of God is to enlighten us.
And to enlighten us is to open our hearts.
Love is the ultimate purpose of life.
We learn to love.
And to do this we must overcome our fear.
Fear motivates the world
It triggers violence, stirs hatred, wants revenge.....
But God does none of these things because there is no fear in Him, only Love.
If we can address the fear which lies at the root of all evil we will find Love.

The covenant with God is a bond of Love.
Love God and love your neighbor.

God does not judge evil people because He understands what makes them evil.
And He forgives them.

So, "'Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.'"  Luke 6:27,28 (NRSV)

This is understanding.


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council Of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

Friday, 3 May 2013

Fragments of Light.

After Jesus' death the disciples interpreted the scriptures and the signs.
This was an inferior interpretation.

During his life Jesus was constantly telling the disciples that they had misunderstood him.

After his death they continued to misunderstand.

Paul saw only "in a mirror dimly"  1 Corinthians 13:12a (NRSV)

These are the fragments of light which the Kabbalah speaks of.

But we must filter out the fragments of light from the darkness that surrounds them.

This is what Progressive Christianity does.

It filters out the light from the darkness in the scriptures by studying the cultural and historical context of each passage.

The Old Testament God of punishment and wrath is projected by the prophets from their understanding of earthly authority, i.e. tyrants and kings.
This is darkness.

The God of love and mercy which Jonah saw is the light.


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

Thursday, 2 May 2013

A Loving God.

The indication that an experience is a genuine spiritual experience is that it has a positive outcome.

God does not punish us.
Therefore hell is totally out of character with a loving God.

God does not even hate his own enemies.
He understands what motivates them to turn against Him,
(i.e. the testimony of the religious authorities who are the descendants of the Pharisees and Sadducees).

God loves His enemies and wishes them to be reconciled to Him.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Love for Hate.


Love for Hate.

Goodness for Bad Behavior.

Compassion for Cruelty.

Forgiveness for Revenge.

Charity for Materialism.

Faith for Doubt.

Honesty for Corruption.


Truthfulness for Lies.

Moderation for Excess.

Sobriety for Drink and Drugs.

Respect for Desecration.

Discipline for Indulgence.

Discrimination for Confusion.

Non-violence for Violence.