Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Conservatism.


There is a school of thought which suggests that if you just embrace political conservatism and adhere strictly to religious orthodoxy all will be well and you will be right with God.

Unfortunately this is not true.

Jesus said that the world did not know God.

And it still does not.

The political conservatism of the established religions owes more to the Pharisees than God.

It was the conservative religious authorities in league with the dominant power of the world which killed Jesus.

So the idea that we should conform to the expectations of the Church and the corporate plutocrats is bankrupt.

God does not punish us.

He nurtures us like a loving Father.

Hell is out of character for a loving God.

Rewards and punishments, heaven and hell are control techniques used by the conservative establishment.

They have been corrupted by the ways of the world.

God's ways are different:

Mercy, forgiveness, compassion, goodness, love.

All these things come from God.

And this is good news for us all.


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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Legacy.


The Beatles made us drug addicts.

Stairway to Heaven made us anti-Christ.

Madonna made us materialistic.

Michael Jackson made us bad.

Show no Mercy made us destroy.

Generation X made us pure evil.

Black made us hate.

Generation Y made us sin.

Grunge made us filthy.

Harry Potter made us wicked.

Twilight made us evil.


This is the legacy of Satanism in rock music and popular culture.


So Beware!


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Monday, 20 November 2017

Jubilee.


It was God's Will that after 7 times 7 years - i.e. in the 50th year - everything should be restored to its original fair distribution.

The land would revert to its original owners.

God realized that we would profit from others' misfortunes and some would become rich while others would be disinherited.

But this way of the world is not God's will.

So He stipulated in the Law that in the 50th year everything would revert to to its original state.

What does this tell us about God?

It shows us God's Will - all people are equal - and it shows us His forgiveness and mercy.

He writes off debts.

And He blots out our transgressions.

We can give thanks for that.


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Sunday, 19 November 2017

Deborah and Barak.


Today in church we had a reading from Judges in which Deborah summoned Barak to battle.

The reading began with the assumption that Israels military defeat by the Canaanite King Jabin was punishment on Israel for worshipping foreign gods.

And that the Judge Deborah's faithfulness would assure Israel's victory.

This is not true.

The outcome of battles is not decided by God.

Those with superior military strength win battles.

Losing a battle is not God's punishment.

And winning a battle is not God's favor.

We have seen these false perspectives used by both sides in modern wars.

"God is on our side" they say.

But God is not a god of war or violence.

He does not make war or punish anyone.

Jesus was the Prince of Peace.

He said, "'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.'"  Matthew 5:9 (NRSV)

Children of God means that they are like God.

So God must be a peacemaker not a warmaker.

In the East there is a spiritual principle called Ahimsa which means non-violence or harmlessness.

Why would God tell people to be non-violent if He was violent Himself?

So God must be non-violent.

So there can be no hell.

Make Peace.

Like the Holy Dove.


[Scripture quotation (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.]                             

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Saturday, 18 November 2017

Truth and Reconciliation.


Before there can be forgiveness there must be truth.

We cannot just pretend we never did anything wrong.

We must admit what we have done.

Only then can we receive forgiveness.

And experience reconciliation with God.


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Friday, 17 November 2017

Want.


We think that if we can only get what we want we will be happy.

But gratification of our desires does not bring happiness.

Rather it brings a frenzy of wanting which never ends.

Oscar Wilde said, "The cigarette is the perfect example of the perfect desire - after you've had it you're still not satisfied."

And this is how it is with all our desires.

But this is not to say that pleasure is bad or banned.

Moderation is the key to pleasure.

But pleasure does not guarantee happiness.

Happiness only comes from love.


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Thursday, 16 November 2017

Right Problem/Wrong Answer.


During the 1980s right-wing Evangelical Christians told us that all rock music was Satanism.

And while this has turned out to be the truth the answer which they were offering - conservatism, literalism, judgement, and hate - was wrong.

They even preached a kind of materialism.

So they may have had the right problem but  they had the wrong answer.

And the fact that they used this information for their own political and material advantage guaranteed its failure.

They did not treat the Hippies and Baby-Boomers as victims but blamed them and all left-wing philosophies for the world's problems.

This is scapegoating.

It is political abuse.

And that is why their message has failed.


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