Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Beyond Dualistic Thinking.


"The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being." Genesis 2:7 (NRSV)

God is the source of all life.

So if you think dualistically there must be death and a source of death.

This is the bane of religious thinking.

Death was thought to be the condition of men and women separated from God, a way of life not conforming to the commandments of God.

"For the wages of sin is death."  Romans 6:23a (NRSV)

And the source of death was thought to be the devil.

"the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil."  Hebrews 2:14b (NRSV)

But this is a false dichotomy.

Progressive Christianity invites us to think of God holistically, i.e. as an integrated whole.

Dualistic thinking is like the pre-school of religious thought.

But there is no devil in reality, no death, no hell.

Evil is a human concept.
It is the result of dualistic thinking.

Animals have no concept of evil.
Nature cannot be evil.

It is only humans who can choose evil as an alternative to good, which is God.

But God is transcendent - i.e. beyond sin and evil - which is not to say that God is a blending of the opposites.

God is light without shadow, life without death, love without hatred.

God is infinite and sublime - beyond our primitive dualistic thinking.

God is panentheistic and immanent.

God is One.

There is no other.


[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.]

Photo Credit: L.Cheryl Flickr via Compfight cc

Monday, 30 January 2017

Manicheism.

                            

The doctrines of Manicheism claim that Satan is co-eternal with God.

An equal and opposite force.

"Leo said that the Devil reigned in all other heresies, but had raised his very throne in that of the Manichees."*


*From the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.

Photo Credit: zharth via Compfight cc

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Good Versus Evil.

                            

The classic story of good versus evil is a misrepresentation of reality.

Storytellers deliberately represent evil as fascinating, mysterious, even glamorous.

The bad guys are given just enough time in the story to let us indulge our dark fantasies before the good guys win out in the end.

So don't feel safe just because good ultimately wins.

If the majority of the story is taken up with the activities of evil we are being deceived.


Photo Credit: Phil Dragash via Compfight cc

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Travail.


The world is in travail:

The left and the right.
The old and the new.
The gay and the straight.
The street and the pew.

The West and the East
with weapons of war
attack one another
for one dollar more.

The end of the age
brings trouble and strife.
A world in travail:
the birth-pangs of Life.


Photo Credit: Saskia711 Flickr via Compfight cc

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Everyone.


What we have to understand is that everyone suffers.

While it is true that some suffer more than others the fact remains that all are worthy of God's Love.

"Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth!  For I am God, and there is no other."  Isaiah 45:22 (NRSV)

Turn and be healed.

Healed in body, mind, and spirit.

Anyone can experience God's Love.

And everyone will enter into Heaven.


[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.]

Photo Credit: zen via Compfight cc

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Open Your Eyes.


Before I experienced something of God I would walk around but not see what was around me.

I was in my mind and I would see what I was thinking.

I was oblivious to my surroundings.

But God opened my eyes.

Now I see the beauty of nature, the changes of the seasons, the sunshine and the rain.....

And God is in all of this, even in the strangers I meet in the street.....

So God is with me.

And I see heaven on earth.


Photo Credit: CJS*64 A man with a camera via Compfight cc

Friday, 20 January 2017

Mysticism.


People are calling the new revelation of God Mysticism.

Unfortunately the word mysticism has connotations of something which is not central to the faith - a sidetrack, a parallel.

It has always been practised in isolation, not in public churches.

It seems amorphous and ethereal.

But the new revelation is not like this.

It is at once simple and specific, universal and accessible.

It is that the soul or divine spark resides in the heart of every living being and it is animated by love.


Photo Credit: Lisy via Compfight cc

Thursday, 19 January 2017

The Eagle.


The eagle is a symbol of empires.

It was the symbol of Rome.

It is the symbol of America.

You will even find it in churches.

It symbolizes dominance.

And it is to be avoided at all costs.


Photo Credit: ladybugbkt via Compfight cc

Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Four Living Creatures.


The four living creatures which surround the throne of God in Ezekiel's vision and in the Book of Revelation are astrological symbols.

They represent the four fixed signs of the zodiac which were the signs of the equinoxes and solstices in ancient times.

They are the Bull (Taurus), the Lion (Leo), the Eagle (Scorpio), and the Human (Aquarius).

What this means is that God is all twelve signs - i.e. God is everything.

And we can approach God through any of the signs.


Photo Credit: Lawrence OP via Compfight cc

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Joy.


To experience God is to experience spontaneous joy.

And how do we experience God?

By prayer, and study of the scriptures; by contemplation; but most of all through love.

Love God and love your neighbor as Jesus taught us and your joy will be complete.


Photo Credit: mahmud.rassel via Compfight cc

Friday, 6 January 2017

Media.


The media is owned by our corporate masters.

They use it to manipulate public opinion and control what people think.

They humanize the rich and powerful and dehumanize the poor, the sick, foreigners, and refugees.

They stereotype and slander their enemies.
And they conduct fear and smear campaigns against any perceived threat.  The rest is distraction with celebrity worship and sports.

And they know what they are doing is evil.
But they rationalize it and deny it.

So turn of  the T.V..
And cancel your subscriptions.

In this way you will reclaim your own mind.

And return to your own life.


Photo Credit: DG Jones via Compfight cc

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Suffering.


To be alive is to experience suffering.

This is because of a lack of love in the world which is caused by fear.

But on top of this we have experienced hatred and evil from our rock legends.

These superstars have turned against God and saturated the popular culture with evil and sin.

To be turned away from Love and to indulge in sinful pleasures and corruption is to magnify your suffering tenfold.

This is why I warn young people about Satanism and black magic in the rock music they listen to.

My prayer is that they be spared the suffering that we have experienced through no fault of our own other than that we liked music.

If you turn to God and open your heart God will deliver you from evil.


Photo Credit: Meredith Leigh Collins via Compfight cc

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Prince of Peace.


To be sung to Picardy.

Let all angry voices be silent
And all burning tempers allayed.
Let all wrathful weapons of bygone
Eras nevermore be displayed.
Christ the Lord has come to save us
From our warring states betrayed.

Rank on rank the towering cedars
Pointing up into the sky.
Breathe the air of forest stillness
From the canopy on high.
In this verdant vale of Heaven
God's cathedral will be found.

And the Light is coming to us
Guiding us along the way.
God the Father always with us
In the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At His throne we bow down gladly
Praying that His will be done.
Light of Love above and around us
Fills our hearts with endless joy.
Alleluia, alleluia,
Alleluia, Lord most high.


Photo Credit: Momentchensammler Flickr via Compfight cc

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The Gospel of John.


While I don't think that many of the statements and long speeches attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John are historical, that does not mean that they are without value.

These passages are about Jesus rather than from Jesus.

They represent the thoughts and feelings of the followers of the disciple John late in the first century C.E..

Not many of these passages appear in the earlier Gospels.

But they represent a highly developed theology based in their experience of Jesus.

The passages that pertain to Jesus commandment to love one another are particularly valuable for anyone who is serious about finding God.

For God is Love.

And anyone who approaches God must do so with love.


Photo Credit: Nick in exsilio via Compfight cc

Monday, 2 January 2017

Barabbas or Jesus?


Whom do we choose?

Barabbas the rebel and freedom fighter, the heroic man of action.....

or

Jesus the non-violent spiritual teacher, the humble man of peace.....

?


Photo Credit: Waiting For The Word via Compfight cc

Sunday, 1 January 2017

The Light.


It may seem that all around us is darkness, violence, and evil.

But God is at work in our world.

His hand may be seen in the development of Progressive Christian ideas and their counterparts in other religions.

This is the Light.

And the Light that comes from God will not be overcome by darkness.

Immerse yourself in the Light.

Pray.

God will answer.


Photo Credit: Malinda Rathnayake via Compfight cc