Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Pluto In Scorpio.

During its passage through Scorpio from 1985 to 1995 Pluto was at its closest to the Sun (inside the orbit of Neptune) and travelling at its fastest.

So while Pluto was in its own sign we experienced an intense but short period of evil.

This included: hate, black (darkness), violence, lies, intimidation, force, cruelty, torture, the devil and hell - all overlaid with the lure of sex (particularly male strippers).

This was the disaster which befell humanity.

Since then, however, there has been some reactionary good - angels, white (light), colors, rainbows, fairies, pink, the New Paradigm, Progressive Christianity, spirituality, gay rights, charity, and love.

This began with the Uranus/Neptune conjunctions in Capricorn in 1993 and continued through to the Jupiter/Neptune conjunctions in Aquarius in 2009 and the Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions in Pisces in 2010.

The evil of Scorpio has passed away.
The goodness that followed endures.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Authority.

One of the first things that fundamentalist Christians talk to you about is authority.

The authority of Jesus and the Bible.

Jesus himself never spoke about authority.

Others spoke of his authority:
"for he taught them as one with authority."  Matthew 7:29a (NRSV)
"A new teaching - with authority."  Mark 1:27 (NRSV)
"They were astounded at his teaching , because he spoke with authority."  Luke 4: 32 (NRSV)

It is the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders who ask Jesus by what authority he is teaching and healing.
In response to which Jesus refuses to tell them - "'neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.'"  Mark 11:33b (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.]

Monday, 29 July 2013

Take Up the Cross.

When we first read the Bible we don't believe that anybody would put words into the mouth of Jesus.

The more we study the gospels the more evident it becomes that this is exactly what the writers of the Gospels have done.

One example is early in the Gospel of Matthew:
"'and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me.'"  Matthew 10:38 (NRSV)

Think about this for a moment.

How could Jesus have referred to taking up the cross in this way when he had not been crucified yet?

The expression taking up the cross refers to Jesus' self-sacrifice, and that expression could not have been in use before Jesus' crucifixion.

Jesus would not have spoken in this way so early in his ministry.

It is impossible.

So the Gospel writers, who were writing decades after Jesus' death on the cross, have put these words into Jesus' mouth to make a philosophical point - that you must suffer and sacrifice yourself for others.

But Jesus himself could never have said these words.


[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, 28 July 2013

The American Dream.

The pursuit of happiness is enshrined in the American constitution.

But it does not say what brings happiness.

The American dream is thought to mean making a success of yourself - making it.
This is the idea that success will make you happy because you get all the things you want.

It won't.

Most of our entertainment revolves around this notion of making it.
Our young people are indoctrinated with this notion and there is no one to contradict it.

The only thing that will truly bring happiness in life is Love.

Love is the cause and the purpose of life.

All the rest is window dressing.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Are We Having Fun Yet?

This was  a comment made at the height of the hedonistic 1970s.
The party had been going for about three hours and the clock was approaching midnight when the young man next to me asked, "So are we having fun yet?"

Could it be that sex, drugs, and rock and roll wasn't actually fun?

Some people say that the pursuit of pleasure creates a death wish.

But I would suggest that the death wish came from the music we were constantly listening to.

It was not for another decade that I discovered what rock music actually was - black Satanic magic.

But the question remains - is it the pursuit of pleasure that makes us happy?

I would suggest that it does not.

What brings us happiness is Love - our relationships with others and with God.

Pleasure is a pale facsimile.

But everything we see and hear tells us otherwise:
That house, that car, that job, more money, more possessions, status, power, respect.....
These things, we are told, will make us happy.

They won't.

"I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."  Ezekiel 36:26b (NRSV)

This means that God will give us a heart that loves people, not things.


[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, 26 July 2013

Winners and Losers.

It is our natural inclination to follow the winners: the celebrities, the rich and powerful, the stars.....
And neglect the losers: the nobodies, the battlers, the outcasts.....

To God all are equal.

So if we are to be like God a change a of attitude is necessary.

"'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)

Jesus used the expression "children of God" when he wanted people to be more like God.

To be like God we must look upon all people with a compassionate heart.

Rather than lauding the winners and seeking their favor we should be helping  the losers and comforting their pain.

Rather than embracing the hard philosophy of the winners we should be softening our hearts to the losers.

Perhaps we will get a surprise when God does not choose to be close to the winners but stands by the losers.

Cry out to God!

He will hear.


[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, 25 July 2013

Uncharted Waters.

When I was young I thought about the year 2000 and wondered what life would be like then.

Most people thought that our leisure time would increase and that there would be new inventions to do all the work.

This is not what happened.

As it turned out, although there were many new inventions, we were working longer hours than ever.

But at least we had some vision of what was to come.

The period after the millennium was not envisioned at all.
2000 was enough.

So now that the first decade of the new century is over we are sailing into uncharted waters.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A Red Rose.

The rose is the flower of love.

Passionate love is a red rose.

Sex is the consummation of love, and homosexual sex is no different from any other.

So, rather than thinking of gay sex as forbidden or dirty, we should think of gay sex as the consummation of love between two people of the same sex, like David and Jonathan in the Bible.

The rose is the flower of love.

And passionate love is a red rose.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Secret.


The great secret of our time is that since the 1960s rock stars have been selling their souls to the devil and practicing black magic and Satanism in their music.

This spread to sports, movies, and novels as well as T.V. commentators and advertising.

It now forms a web of evil that spans the media from music and T.V. to movies and sports.

The internet is less affected because it is less controlled.
Individuals post their ideas on the internet and some of them may be involved but on the whole it is more democratic.

Once you know this it is easier to uncover it (see What to Avoid - May 2013).

But this does not mean that they are right.
There is no devil in reality.
So they will fail in their purpose.

In reality there is only God's Love.


Photo Credit: Axusha_ via Compfight cc

Monday, 22 July 2013

I Own You.

The problem is that, since the 1980s, when everyone from ailing sporting institutions to individuals desperate for work turned to the corporations for support, the brutal and ruthless practices of the corporations have permeated everything.

Now they own everything from small businesses to football, basketball, and cricket.
Anything that makes a profit or has influence is owned by the corporations.

This is why you hear the constant refrain "work harder" from all your sporting heroes.
This is our corporate masters cracking the whip.

Everyone is aware of what their bosses require of them at work.
But they cannot control us at home.

More and more people are using the internet to express their ideals.
This is a protest against the brutal philosophy of our corporate bosses.

The anonymous nature of the internet makes it possible for individuals to amass collective power without risking reprisals.

And the corporate powers can do nothing to stop it.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Big Business.

What I have said about the corporate plutocrats and their conservative political representatives is true.  But this is not to create a political battle between right and left.

My understanding of the structure and motives of big business is that it is based on fear.
Fear of poverty, fear of loss, fear of justice, fear of death.....

The reason that they attack left wing politicians is a complex set of fears based on poverty and loss.  And as such is not a set of policies based on the common good. Even though it may masquerade as such.

So in addressing those fears we are in fact doing them a service - we are liberating them from their petrified prison.

How do we do this?

By replacing the image of a judgmental God with a compassionate, benevolent, and supportive God we take away the fear of harsh punishments that drives much of their behavior.

By establishing that God is on the side of the poor and marginalized we reveal God's will - that all are equal.

By addressing the fears that contradict these things we will help to scale down their opposition to change.

The real world.  Profit and loss.  The bottom line.
All these things are driven by fear, lack of faith, and cynicism.

"and many nations shall come and say:  'Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.'"  Micah 4:2a (NRSV)

If we convince the powers of the world that God will provide and that there will always be enough, then their fear will leave them and they may allow change to begin.

This is a long and perilous process.

The thing to remember is that it is their fears that drive them.

If we can allay their fears we will see progress.


[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.]

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Open Your Hearts.

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

Open your hearts to the sick and the suffering.

Open your hearts to the marginalized and the outcast.

Open your hearts to God.

Open your hearts to those who attack out of fear.

Open your hearts to your enemies.

Open your hearts to everyone.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Forgiveness of Sins.

Jesus continually said, "your sins are forgiven."  Mark2:5b (NRSV)

Why did he say this?

What did he know?

The most likely answer to these questions is that Jesus himself had been forgiven by God.

This, of course, contradicts the orthodox assertion that Jesus was without sin - the Lamb Without Spot.

But how would Jesus know that God forgives people's sins unless his own sins had been forgiven by God?

Contrary to the orthodox position I believe that Jesus was an ordinary human being like you or me.  An ordinary human being, with sins like any of us, who drew close to God through love.

His love for God brought him close to God and this experience caused him to say "your sins are forgiven."
And he says it to everyone who is healed.

"'For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.'"  Matthew 9:13b (NRSV)

"'For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.'"  Luke 19:10 (NRSV)

It is unlikely that Jesus would have had so much sympathy for sinners unless he had sinned himself.

"'Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.'"  John 8:7b (NRSV)

"'Why do you call me good?  No one is good but God alone.'"  Mark 10:18 (NRSV)

"forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations"  Luke 24:47 (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.]

Thursday, 18 July 2013

God Loves Gays.


Quite contrary to the fundamentalist view that God hates fags, which we see emblazoned  across their signs and billboards, God loves and supports gay men and women as a persecuted minority.

The fact that the people persecuting gays and lesbians are members of Churches is irrelevant.  The Churches have been wrong before: Nicea, the Crusades, the Inquisition, slavery, Nazi Germany, and now same-sex oriented people, the list goes on.....

In fact more crimes have been committed in the name of God than in any other name.

Perhaps if they looked more closely at Islamic jihad they might see themselves.  But perhaps not.

God loves gay and lesbian people.
He accepts us at His table.
We are welcome in Heaven.
And we partake of Eternal Life.


Photo Credit: Frank Guschmann Flickr via Compfight cc

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The Mystery of Heaven.

The mystery that we on earth have failed to comprehend is that God is wholly good.

God only acts in a way which is beneficial to us.

There is no harm in God.

He forgives even the most heinous sinners.

In any situation God seeks the maximum benefit for the maximum number of people.

God can bring good out of unfortunate events.

So do not fear God.
There is nothing to fear.

God only wants what is best for us all.

An when we pray, "Our Father in heaven"  Matthew 6:9b (NRSV)
Know that it is heaven because God is there.


[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, 16 July 2013

Crystal Clear.

When God speaks now it is crystal clear.

Life is about Love.
Giving and receiving Love.

Our experiences help us to develop the capacity to love others.

God comes last.
He is with the least in our society.
Those who have been left out and left behind.

Aquarius is about equality.
Equalizing the imbalance of wealth and power.
Nationally and internationally.

We are to care about and have compassion for everyone.

If we pray to God He will hear.
He may not answer in the way that we expect.
But He will answer none the less.

Open your heart.
You will blossom like a flower.
Give love to God.
Give love to everyone.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Millennium.

According to most astrologers Jesus' birth star was the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in the sign of Pisces.

This dates from 7 BCE.

So the Millennium was really 1993.

This is logical because 1993 was the first of the conjunctions of Uranus and Neptune - the first of the Aquarian aspects which were to last until 2011.

So if the Age of Aquarius started at the Millennium, it began with this conjunction in 1993.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Open the Gates.

Whenever the issue of gay marriage  comes up in the media we are confronted by Christians saying that God does not accept homosexuality and that gay people are not welcome in the Church unless they repress or change their sexuality.

This is a blanket position.
You never hear otherwise.

But I am an openly gay member of the Uniting Church in Australia.
I enjoy full membership and serve on the Church Council.
I also receive communion and partake of Jesus' covenant with God.

I worry, however, about others, especially young people, who have never heard this message:  God accepts and loves you as you are - sexually active same-sex-attracted people.

There is nothing wrong with gay sex.

It is only a problem in the minds of Christians who persecute and torture innocent gay people.

I hope and pray that gays and lesbians hear the truth.

God loves you as you are and the Gates of Heaven are open.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Deliverance.

Have you ever wondered why nothing seems to work as it should?

That relationship that didn't blossom.
That new found independence that led to isolation.
That ideal job that went wrong.
That friendship that didn't last.
Those meditations that went awry.
Those drugs that led to mental illness.

There is a reason for them all.
It is the music and television and movies that we listen to and watch.

There is a secret.
And that secret is Satanism.
Rock musicians, T.V. and movie stars and directors, sportsmen and women sell their souls to the devil and push dark arts upon us.

They poison all our attempts to relate and sabotage the spiritual quest.
With the result that nothing works as it should.

Give up rock music and T.V. (including sports) and pray to God for deliverance.
He will hear.
And deliver you from evil.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Fear.

The greatest problem in the world is fear.

Prejudice, oppression, violence, hatred, war - all these things spring from fear.

If we could get people to the point where they can see this, then there would be hope - a light at the end of the tunnel - instead of constant conflict.

If we could get people to see that it is fear that motivates them then we could begin the process of removing those fears.

Beginning and ending with the fear of God.

You have nothing to fear from God.

The fear that you feel in respect to God is fear of your own father who punished you, or fear of an authority figure who threatened you.

You have nothing to fear from God.

God loves you.

He does not punish His children.

The Great Work begins.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

God.

The problem is that people's image of God is wrong.

The idea that God is mighty and powerful gives birth to the notion that God wins by asserting might and power.

This is incorrect.

God enlightens us.

When we see the truths which God asserts we change our minds and we change our behavior.

God is not a punisher of men and women.
Neither does He use force or violence.

God is not an enforcer of moral rules.

God is our lover.
He forgives and encourages us.

He sees good in us.

Until we change this false image of God things will not change.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

World Peace.

In recent times there has been a return to the idea that peace can be achieved by violent means.

From the coalition in Iraq to the blue helmets of the United Nations the global military machine grinds on.

Peace keeping forces and foreign armies are merely band-aids which do not address the root causes of war.

It is an observable fact that lawlessness increases with the injustice and oppression in a country.

This also applies globally.

Third world countries feel as if the west will not give them a chance so they resort to violence in order to gain power in their own countries so that they can compete.

World War 2 would never have happened if the powers had not tried to crush Germany after World war 1.

It is noticeable that after World war 2 the victorious powers rectified their earlier mistake by economic aid to Germany and Japan.

This was a successful strategy.

Peace was the result.

So if the west continues its oppression of the third world it can expect more wars.

The way to break the cycle of violence is not to retaliate but to address the causes of war - usually economic inequality.

Increasing aid and commitment to diplomatic means are a start.

Oppression is fear:
"If we give them a chance they might outdo us so don't give them a chance."
"Use our military machine to intimidate and oppress all the other nations of the world."

This is militarism.

Cutting military spending is a step towards world peace.

Wars are ending and the troops are coming home.

Now we need to address the causes of war - economic inequality (greed) and oppression (fear).

If we can commit ourselves to these goals and strengthen our commitment to diplomacy we can make major advances towards a peaceful globe.

(N.B. Greed is also fear - fear of not having enough).

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

John.

When the Jesus Seminar assessed the Gospels they decided that none of the sayings which are attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John was definitely uttered by him.

The Gospel of John is a highly developed piece of theology known as Christology. And the sayings attributed to Jesus are theological statements rather than the teachings and parables which appear in the Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew, & Luke).

So, rather than a portrait of the historical Jesus, the Gospel of John describes ideas which grew up around the figure of Jesus after his death.

That is not to say that they have no value.

But it must be remembered that the Gospel of John differs dramatically from the other Gospels in many ways and may in fact be a less reliable guide to the historical Jesus.

Monday, 8 July 2013

A Mistake.

Peter at Pentecost, the Gospel of John, and the Book of Acts all make the same mistake.

Or was the mistake made by subsequent generations?

They all say that believing that Jesus is the Messiah is the most important thing.

Later generations made Jesus the Christ (Greek for Messiah) and developed a theology based on the figure of Christ as savior, redeemer, and sacrificial atonement.

But God says, "Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?  Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High."  Psalm 80:14 (NRSV)

"With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high?
"Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
"Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with tens of thousands of rivers of oil?
"Shall I give my first born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
"He has told you , O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you  but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"  Micah 6:6-8 (NRSV)

It is clear from these passages that what God requires of us is not ritual sacrifice or empty belief, what God requires is a change in the way we live, to become more just, more honest, more compassionate and merciful.

Jesus says, "'Why do you call me "Lord, Lord" and do not do what I tell you?'" Luke 6:46 (NRSV)

Believing that Jesus is the Messiah is saying "Lord, Lord", but that is not enough.
We must do what Jesus tells us to do.
That means listening to his teachings.

There is no point in believing that Jesus is the Christ - some magical figure who will save us from damnation.
Salvation consists of listening to his words and acting upon them.
This means changing the way we live in the world so that we become more just, more honest, more compassionate and merciful.

And this would change the world.

The point of believing that Jesus is the Messiah (the Christ) is that then you listen to what he teaches.

At the transfiguration God says, "'This is my Son, my Beloved, listen to him.'" Mark 9:7b (NRSV)
He does not say believe in him.
He does not say follow him.
He says listen to him.
Listen to his teachings.
Not some speculative theology based on the power of the Christ.

The Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, these are teachings about how we should live in the world.
And if we lived by these teachings we would establish the Kingdom of God on earth.

And this does not mean that we earn our salvation by good works.
We are not in the business of gaining enough points to avoid some threatened damnation.
Damnation does not exist.
The point of salvation, redemption, atonement is not to avoid punishment.
God does not punish us.
The point is to change the way we live in the world, to make life better for those who are suffering - the poor, the marginalized, the disabled, the stranger.....

To be agents of God's Love in 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.]

Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Media.

The media works against God's purpose by making us more insular.

The distance created by news reporting in particular causes us to harden our hearts.

We don't see those on the screen as real people.

On occasion the media will deliberately dehumanize particular people or groups, sometimes demonizing them, in order to discredit their views.

This is done particularly to welfare recipients and  asylum seekers.
Sometimes it is done to minority groups, such as gays and lesbians, in order to create moral ease for a national majority.

All of this works against God's purpose, which is to develop loving and compassionate hearts.

This, combined with Satanic influences in entertainment, works to keep people from the development which is the purpose of life.

So we should always care.
We should always see people as fellow human beings.
We should always show love and understanding even to the least - the deadbeats, the losers, those who life has lest behind.

If we overcome our fear we will always show love.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

The Wilderness.

The reason that Jesus went into the wilderness was to escape the temptations and distractions of society and the world.

Whilst you live in society it is very difficult to detach yourself from the values of the world.

So saints, and monks have always separated themselves from society in order to gain clear contact with God.

Jesus was called "'out of the world.'"  John 15:19 (NRSV)

This is also why most of the scriptures are a mixture of light and darkness.
Because they do not receive the full revelation of God, only glimpses.

As Paul says, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully."  ! Corinthians 13:12 (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.]

Friday, 5 July 2013

The Time.

We think that we live in a time of light.
But our world is full of darkness disguised as light.

Our culture is materialistic an superficial.
Our entertainment is dark and violent.

Rock musicians practice black magic and Satanism.
They white their sepulchers with charity and altruism.
But this is a pose.
They are servants of the darkness.

So unplug your headphones and exit the theater.
They only want you money.
And their works are the works of darkness.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Misunderstandings.

Judas was the first forgiven.

After the crucifixion, when Jesus went to his Father, Judas was the first forgiven.

Why?

Because Judas had misunderstood.
He had misunderstood Jesus and he had misunderstood the Pharisees.

Jesus forgave him.

God does not condemn anyone.

The disciples misunderstood Jesus all the time.

And they continued to misunderstand after Jesus was dead.

This is why Christianity developed as it did.

Misunderstandings.

Those that came after Jesus did not have the same level of understanding as Jesus.

"'The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they?  The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.'"  Matthew 9:15 (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, 3 July 2013

How It Is.

While we are young and without experience we think in terms of what's fair - i.e. good things should follow good behavior, bad things should follow bad behavior.

But this does not happen.

Life is not fair.

Often the wicked prosper and the good suffer.

When we experience some contact with God, however, we see things from a different perspective.

God does not reward good behavior and punish bad behavior.
God treats us all equally.
The good and the bad.

God seeks the lost sheep, the black sheep, to redeem them.

No one is destroyed.

No one goes to hell.

God is like a father with a bad child.
He will not reject or condemn the child.
He will try to help.

God sees good in us, even in those we call evil.

And so we stop judging people.
We stop labeling people bad or evil.

We are all equal in the sight of God.

"'Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.'"  Luke 15:7 (NRSV)

So we should work towards that end.
Not Judging or punishing.
But forgiving and redeeming.

We should think of ourselves as more fortunate.
We have had the opportunity to draw close to God.
Others have not had the experience necessary for this to happen.
This is not their fault.

So we should tell people the good news.
That all are forgiven.


[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, 2 July 2013

The Koran.

At first sight the Koran appears to justify violence and terror.

On reflection, however, it is similar to the Bible.

The Bible can also be read to justify violence and terror.

As we are selective of the passages we read in the Bible so should we be selective of the passages we read in the Koran.

If we read the Koran in the same way as we read the Bible - i.e. editing out the violence and punishment - there is much to be learned from both the Koran and the Bible.

We should be looking at the positive teachings of Islam as we do with Christianity.

We should not let our fear take over.

Monday, 1 July 2013

My Testimony.

No doubt when I am dead and I can no longer speak for myself the forces of conservatism will claim me as one of their own.
They will put words in my mouth and say that I supported orthodox theologies like rewards and punishments and penal substitution.
They will say that I really thought like them.

This, of course, is a complete falsehood.
I do not support these things and I am certainly not coming back to judge anyone.

I understand how Jesus must feel.

"'Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, and you say, "If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets."
"' Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets.'"  Matthew 23:29-31 (NRSV)

After his death the figure of Jesus was usurped by the forces of conservatism and turned into one of them.
They put words in his mouth and returned his teaching of unconditional love to the orthodox theology of rewards and punishments.  Thus elevating themselves to the position of absolute authority and power.

They made Jesus The Christ = God.

Let these words be my testimony:

I do not support the theology of rewards and punishments.
I do not believe in original sin.
I do not believe we need sacrifice or suffering to atone for our sins.
I do not believe that God disapproves of homosexuality.
I do not believe in celibacy.
I am not sexless.
I am not conservative.

I am radical.
I believe in radical love.

And I believe that God is more radical than I am.


[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.]