Monday, 31 December 2012

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 of attitude is necessary.

"'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)

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 towards 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.)

Sunday, 30 December 2012

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.

Of course all of this is done by stealth in order to maintain a veneer of innocence.

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 kind of 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.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Forgiveness of Sins.

Jesus continually said, "your sins are forgiven."  Mark 2:5b (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 have known 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.  And this experience caused him to say "your sins are forgiven." Mark 2:5b (NRSV)
And he says it to everyone.

"'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 the 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.)

Friday, 28 December 2012

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 in 1993.

This is logical because 1993 saw the first conjunction of Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn - the first of the Aquarian aspects which were to last until 2011.

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

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Heaven.

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

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

There is no harm is God.

He forgives even the most heinous sinner.

And acts in a way which is beneficial to everyone.

God seeks to maximize the benefit in any situation 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.

And 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.)

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Flames.

While we were watching television on Christmas day a video of a famous singing group appeared.

What was extraordinary about this live performance was that behind the four singers, who were all dressed in black, was a huge video screen, and on this screen were flames.  Fire rose and spread across the whole of the background.

This did not appear to have anything to do with the song that the four men were singing.
And it kept returning.

These are the flames of Hell that famous singers use in their concerts.
These singers have sold their souls to the devil and use their performances to spread what they believe to be the devil's work in the hope of a reward.

This may seem incredible in 2012 but I can assure you that this is what is happening.

Others may use images of the Beast or 666 or death or darkness.

All rock musicians are involved so don't be fooled by their image, which is like a mask of respectability, even goodness, that hides their true intent.

They sell their souls for fame and fortune and they poison and curse their fans.

But there is no Satan.
He cannot reward them.

It works like subconscious sabotage and propaganda.

And the harm remains.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas.

I believe that Jesus had a normal conception and birth.

I don't believe that Mary and Joseph knew that he was to be the tutelary spirit of the age.

I don't believe that Jesus himself knew until his ministry began.

There may have been wise men who studied the stars and predicted the birth of such a spirit but it is unlikely that they were present shortly after his birth.

There is biblical evidence for this.

"When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, 'He has gone out of his mind.'"  Mark 3:21 (NRSV)

Why would Mary and Jesus' brothers and sisters try to restrain him if they knew that he was to be the Messiah?
They would not have believed that he had gone out of his mind.
They would have encouraged him.

So Mary and Jesus' brothers and sisters could not have known that Jesus was the tutelary spirit of the Age of Pisces.

This throws a different light on the whole of Jesus' life.
He was not a perfect human being.
He was not God incarnate.
He was a normal human being who made contact with God.
As such he was a teacher.

His death on the cross was not a ransom for the sins of the world.
It was a tragedy that saw the light leave the world.
For no one after Jesus had the same level of contact with God.

The crucifixion itself was triggered when Jesus became a threat to the established powers - the Pharisees and the occupying Roman forces.

It was not an act of God at all.


(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.)

Fear of God.

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 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.

God does not punish His children.

The Great Work begins.

Monday, 24 December 2012

God.

The problem is that most 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.

God sees good in us.

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

Sunday, 23 December 2012

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 blue helmets at 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 crime increases with 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 the 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 third world countries 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 is a start.

Oppression is fear.
We think that if we give them an equal chance they might outdo us so we don't give them a chance.
We use our military machine to intimidate and oppress all other nations on earth.

This is militarism.

Both Barak Obama and Julia Gillard have cut military spending.
This is a positive step.

The wars are ending and the troops are coming home.

Now we need to address the cause 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 world peace.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

The Media.

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

The distance and the objectivity 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 deliberately dehumanizes particular people or groups, sometimes demonizing them, in order to discredit their views.

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

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

This, combined with the Satanic influence 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 that life has left behind.

Rather than calling for harsher penalties, we should be more lenient - looking for the causes of crime and rebellion.

If we overcome our fear we will always show love.

Friday, 21 December 2012

The Wilderness.

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

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

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

Far from being tempted in the wilderness by a non-existent devil Jesus successfully made full 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, even as I have been fully known." 1 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.)

Thursday, 20 December 2012

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 were 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 (Matthew, Mark, and 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 it has no value.

But it must be remembered that the Gospel of John was written 100 years after the birth of Jesus.  It differs dramatically from the other Gospels in many ways and may in fact be a less reliable guide to the historical Jesus.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Misunderstanding.

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 component of faith.

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 for sin.

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 you vows to the Most High.'"  Psalm 50:13,14 (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 firstborn 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 sacrifices 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 said, "'Why do you call me "Lord, Lord" and do not what I tell you?'"  Luke 6:46 (NRSV)

Believing that Jesus is the Messiah is saying "Lord, Lord" and 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 you 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 you will listen to what he teaches.

At the transfiguration God says, "'This is my Son, the Beloved, listen to him.'" Mark 9:7b (NRSV)
He does not say believe in him.
He says to listen to him.
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 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 etc. is not to avoid punishment.
God does not punish us.
The point is to change the way we live n the world, to make life better for those who are suffering:
the poor, the marginalized, the disabled, the refugee.

To be agents of 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.)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Judas.

Judas was the first forgiven.

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

Judas had committed suicide.  He was the first to appear before the Father.

He was 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 constantly misunderstood Jesus.

And they continued to misunderstand after Jesus' death.

That is why Christianity developed the way that it did.

Misunderstandings.

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

"'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.)

Monday, 17 December 2012

Life is not Fair.

While we are young and without experience we think in terms of what's fair - good things should follow good behavior, bad things 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 begin to see things from a different  perspective.

God does not reward good behavior and punish bad behavior.
God treats everybody 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)


(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, 16 December 2012

The Islamic Bible.

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 - 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.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Age of Reason.

Australia officially came into being on January 1st 1901 when the states amalgamated to form the federation.
As such Australia and its constitution are children of the Enlightenment with its emphasis on reason and its separation of Church and State.

Australia is a modernist nation.

So Australia has grown up with a mechanistic view of nature and a materialist view of life.
Government is a social contract of self interests.

We were taught in school to view the world as a mechanical whirl of dead matter. God was distant - in heaven.  There was no life in inanimate objects.  There was no meaning in the world.

This has led to the modern experience of alienation.  The lack of meaning that the triumphant ego learns.  There was no great plan.  There were no supernatural beings.  Everything could be explained by science.

But with the advent of post-modernism everyone seems to have become disenchanted with these answers.
No one really believes them anymore but no one knows what to believe instead.
There is a philosophical vacuum.

There are random manifestations like a belief in magic or witchcraft, which seeks to impose the ego's will over reality, but the almost universal aversion to institutionalized religion has left the masses with nowhere to go.

Idealism wells up like a flood.

Suddenly it begins to appear on the internet as activist sites.
And thousands are subscribing.

This is an outlet for pent up idealism.

The collective power of the internet is able to express anonymously our desire to change things.
A desire which is denied us in our work, where we have to conform to the secular materialist philosophy of our almighty employers.

It is notable that many of these campaigns concern the environment and ways of preserving it.
This is post-modern spirituality - idealism and environmentalism.
It is individual and collective.
The internet provides an outlet for our our frustrated spirituality.

Here we can see interconnectedness, community with like minds, freedom, and action.
A new philosophy?

The collective aspects of the internet give it great power.
At last we can see the larger picture.

Is this a vision of a greater plan?

Is the new paradigm appearing here as well?

The internet empowers our idealism.

The larger, transpersonal principles appearing on the internet are:
Environmentalism.
Social Justice.
Egalitarianism.
Humanitarianism.
Compassion.
Generosity.
Human rights.

This would indicate a more political kind of spirituality - one which engages actively with the world and its powers.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Be Reconciled.

Jesus said, "'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)

This is the love of God for His prodigal sons and daughters.

God does not abandon His wayward children.
He understands them.
He waits for them to change.

He does not punish them.
He treats them well.
In the hope that they will change.

So we wait.
Wait until they see.
See the goodness of God.
And are reconciled.


(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, 13 December 2012

Sinners.

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

Why did Jesus forgive sinners?

Jesus said, "'A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  When they could not pay, he cancelled the debts for both of them.  Now which of them will love him more?'  Simon answered, 'I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the greater debt.'  And Jesus said to him, 'You have judged rightly.'"  Luke 7:41-43 (NRSV)

We are encouraged to forgive others as God has forgiven us.

We all make mistakes.
But God does not punish us.
No one is condemned.

It is human nature to divide the world into good and evil, us and them, right and wrong.....
But God does not see it thus.
Are the righteous any better than sinners?

Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the temple, "'Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you.'"  Matthew 21:31b (NRSV)

Our heavenly Father will not abandon us.
He understands our decisions.
And the tyranny of fear.

Help us to forgive others as we have been 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.)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

No Sides.

The distinguishing feature of the ultimate reality or God is that there are no sides.

Not only does God not take sides, He does not recognize our sides at all.

To Him there is no us and them.

So there is no profit in trying to win.
Trying to win our side against another side.

All are equal.
All are equally loved

We are encouraged to forgive.
To forgive others as God has forgiven us.

Then there are no sides.
Only imperfect human beings.

Human beings make mistakes.
Our mistakes are forgiven.

Forgive your enemies.
And be like God.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Backwards.

Satanism is orthodox religion backwards.

Orthodox religion is dominated by fear of God.

This fear of God motivates rebellion.

The rebels' image of God is of tyrannical morality, violence, judgment, punishment, and torture.

But this image is completely false.

They have taken the orthodox image of God and internalized it.

So their malice, their sabotage, their violence is based on a falsehood.

They prefer Satan.
To them Satan is reliable (a contract), dominant (the way of the world), desirable (pleasure, sex, fame etc), and consistent (evil).

But Satan does not exist in reality.
The effects of fame and fortune happen in any case whether you sell your soul or not.
It is the result of talent and hard work not some supernatural contract.

So all the damage that they do is for nothing.

It is an enormous misunderstanding.

But they will fall at the last hurdle.

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

Monday, 10 December 2012

Religious Fear.

The leaders of our world religions are full of fear.
Fear of God.
Fear of evil.

This fear has been passed down from generation to generation by those who obey their superiors.

Most see God as a rule maker.
And they assume that these rules are enforced with punishments and rewards.

They obey unquestioningly.

But they impose their fear on others by intimidation and force.

Fear begets fear.

So, rather than attacking them or threatening them, it is possible to feel sorry for them.
So tyrannized are they by fear.

We can pray for them to overcome their fear, to see God's true nature which is merciful and compassionate.

God is not a punisher of men and women.
He does not judge us.
Therefore there can be no hell.

There is no Satan to fear.

No anger, no wrath.

God is all good.

God is Love.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Blind.

When I look at the people of the world I see some going this way, some going that way, some leading, some following, some chasing, some fleeing.....

The blind leading the blind.

Leaders who, "'lock people out of the kingdom of heaven.  For you do not go in yourselves, and when others are going in, you stop them.'"  Matthew 23:13 (NRSV)

What has changed?

The leaders do not go in themselves because they use the power and authority of their position to subjugate the masses, not to empower them or lead them to God.

"But they refused to listen, and turned a stubborn shoulder, and stopped their ears in order not to  hear.  They made their hearts adamant in order not to hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his spirit through the former prophets." Zechariah 7:11,12a (NRSV)

These words were: "Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another; do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another."  Zechariah 7:9,10 (NRSV)

This is what God seeks for us not sacrifices, songs, fasting, or long prayers.....

Outside of the Church I see people chasing after the idols of this world: fame, wealth, pleasure, status, property, possessions.....
They corrupt themselves for them.
And still find no satisfaction.

For only one thing will bring fulfillment:

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.)

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Ask.

Ask not what your God can do for you.

Ask what you can do for your God.

Friday, 7 December 2012

My Testimony.

No doubt when I am dead and I can no longer speak for myself the powers of the world will claim me as one of their own.

They will put words into 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 theologies and I am certainly not going to judge anyone.

Jesus said, "'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)

The religious authorities made Jesus the Christ, thus elevating themselves to the position of absolute power.

Let this be my testimony:
I do not believe in original sin.
I do not support the theology of rewards and punishments.
I do not believe we need to sacrifice or suffer to atone for our sins.
I do not believe that God disapproves of homosexuality.
I do not believe that celibacy is necessary for a spiritual life.
I am not sexless.
I am not orthodox.

I am radical.
I believe in radical love.

And I believe that God is more radical than me.


(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.)

The Truth.

Who knows why we come into the world.

But while I am in the world I will bear witness to the truth.

And not just the truth as I discern it.

But the truth that I have heard from the Father.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Three Factors.

1.  Work - which is secular and pragmatic.

2.  Popular Culture - which is hedonistic and anti-religious.

3.  Heredity - which is idealistic.

Young people have pressure from employers directly through work and indirectly through the media (news and sport).

They also have pressure from Satanism in the popular culture directly through their headphones and indirectly through peer pressure.

Thirdly they have an inherited idealism, which has come down to them from the hippies and baby boomers, which makes the spiritual political.

Notions of God and spirituality are vague and confused.

Most are anti-religious.
This is the fashion.

So they are at once religious and anti-religious.

Sometimes, as happens with repressed energies, this comes out in a perverted form like a belief in magic.

This is re-enchantment gone wrong.

And fertile ground for Satanism.

Because popular Satanism works on the unconscious level you may find two contradictory beliefs existing at once.  For example a disbelief in God and a belief in Satan.  Or anti-religious beliefs and a belief in magic (which is based on the inverse of religious doctrines).

Our task is to bring what is in the unconscious up into the conscious mind so that it can be examined and resolved.  This is why I expose Satanists in the music and entertainment industries.  So that people can see them for what they are and decide for themselves.

This may mitigate some of the anti-religious feeling in society and allow spirituality to engage with the Emerging Church.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A Double Life.

Young Australians who privately admit to spirituality are living a double life.

Work dominates everything 24/7.

Work is secular, materialistic, pragmatic, cynical, and competitive.

Young people know what their employers want and they publicly adhere to their bosses' materialist philosophy.

But privately they are spiritual.
By this they mean that they are idealistic and non-materialistic.

They express their repressed goodwill by supporting internet campaigns.

To keep their jobs they tell their employers what they wants to hear.
Privately they may feel the exact opposite.

But this cannot be expressed in an official way.

Our politicians are cynical and pragmatic - as materialist as big business.

There is no room in our official culture for idealism.
Idealism is a dirty word to big business.
So we don't admit to any ideals.

But the internet sites that fight causes are growing every day.

Some politicians have caught sight of this but no one is prepared to take the risk.

So we have a stalemate.

But young people's real personalities appear on the internet.
So idealism will win out in the end.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

My Father.

As for my biological father, I now think of him more like a brother than a father.

It has been said that you become an adult when you realize that your parents are human beings just like you.

When I came to this understanding I realized that my father had done the best he could with a sensitive nature and a difficult upbringing.

For years I had blamed him for not showing us enough love and affection, but I realized that he had not been loved as a child and was incapable of loving us in the way that we needed.

I forgave him.

Now he is to me like a fellow traveler on the journey of life.

"'And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father - the one in heaven.'"  Matthew 23:9 (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, 3 December 2012

What We Need.

Political activity and charity work concentrate on supplying people's material needs.

While this is important we should not overlook people's spiritual needs.

This is where the philosophy of unconditional love comes into its own.

St. Paul said, "If I give away all my possessions, and I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing."  1 Corinthians 13:3 (NRSV)

People need food and shelter to survive.

What people need to live 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, 2 December 2012

Mixing Metaphors.

In the Gospel of John Jesus says:
"'I am the bread of life.'"  John 6:35 (NRSV)
"'I am the bread that came down from heaven.'"  John 6:41 (NRSV)
"'I am the living bread that came down from heaven.'"  John 6:51 (NRSV)
"'I am the light of the world.'"  John 8:12, John 9:5 (NRSV)
"'I am the gate for the sheep.'"  John 10:7 (NRSV)
"'I am the gate.'"  John 10:9 (NRSV)
"'I am the good shepherd.'"  John 10:11 (NRSV)
"'I am God's son.'"  John 10:36 (NRSV)
"'I am the resurrection and the life.'"  John 11:25 (NRSV)
"'I am the way, and the truth, and the life.'"  John 14:6 (NRSV)
'"I am in the Father , and the Father is in me.'"  John 14:10 (NRSV)
"'I am the true vine.'"  John 15:1 (NRSV)
"'I am the vine, you are the branches.'"  John 15:5 (NRSV)

There are at least 7 different metaphors.

Unfortunately this is mixing metaphors.
It is excessive and confusing.

Add to these John 4:10 "'he would have given you living water.'" (NRSV) and John 7:38 "'"Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water."'" (NRSV)

What did Jesus mean by these statements?

In all cases Jesus is saying that he embodies something which is essential for life.

I am conscious of mixing metaphors myself.

Aquarius is the water carrier.

What could the enigmatic waters in the jar be?

In my neighborhood there is a garden which is bordered by a street which begins as Water Street and ends as Love Street.  This street takes a turn half way down where Water Street becomes Love Street.

My experience of the water carrier is like this street.

As you draw closer to God you begin to see.
This is the spiritual knowledge which the waters of Aquarius are said to be.
And it is all about love.

The epigram for Aquarius is the Egyptian hieroglyph for water.
The hieroglyph for the jar is ab which means the heart.

"'"Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water."'"  John 7:38 (NRSV)

This can only be love.

No further metaphors are needed.


(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, 30 November 2012

14.

At the gay marriage demonstration last Saturday we were addressed by a 14 year old schoolgirl who had come out to her peers.

She spoke sadly of the way that the word gay was used by the students at her school.
She said it meant lame.
"That's so gay."

She also spoke of being called a faggot and the homophobia of her generation.
She said that many young people at her school were locked in the closet out of fear.

During her speech the crowd was very quiet and you could sense the shock and sympathy.

When I got home I felt frustration at not being able to reach these young people.
How could I help from so far away?

So I decided to write a message here for them to read:

You must never think of yourself as lame or sick.

It may seem incredible at the moment but everyone else is wrong and we are right about the naturalness and goodness of our homosexuality.
It took me 30 years to realize this.
But it is absolutely true.

When you are attacked or abused by others it is best to think of them as driven by fear.
Homophobia means fear of homosexuals.
If you can think of them as ignorant and fearful it may help you to maintain your own self-image as a loving and worthwhile individual.

It is also important that you know that there are older people who love and support you.
It is so easy to feel alone.
There is a whole community of gay people who have worked through these issues and emerged better, stronger people for it.

My prayer is that you will do the same.

And when you see Christians on the television telling you that you are condemned by God don't believe them.

There are plenty of progressive Christians who support and affirm gay people.

God loves you.
He accepts you as you are.
You are welcome at His table.
You will enter into Heaven when you die.
And you will partake of Eternal Life.

You have nothing to fear from God.
Cry out to Him.
And He will hear.

Don't let fear win.

You are beautiful, unique people.
Each and every one of you.

Know that you are loved.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Homosexuality and Spirituality.

Most people seem to think that homosexuality and spirituality are not compatible - that one cancels out the other.

This is caused by prejudice regarding homosexuality - that homosexuals are in some way more sexual or promiscuous than heterosexuals.

This is not the case.

Homosexual sexual activity is the same as heterosexual sexual activity.
The only differences are due to prejudices and stereotyping.

Homosexual people are as spiritual or otherwise as heterosexual people.

Being homosexual does not preclude you from a spiritual life.

For male homosexuals the image of God as a loving Father - in many cases the loving father they never had - is very appealing.

I feel quite comfortable with this image of God.

The practices of devotion to God and trust in God which derive from the Christian mystical tradition and reflect Islamic Sufism are quite compatible with this image of God.

Practices of non-violence and pacifism combine with prayer and contemplation to love God and draw near to Him.

Once contact has been made we can develop our relationship with God - growing closer in love and trust.

Paradoxically this brings us closer to the people around us as we realize that all people are our brothers and sisters.

"'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'"  Matthew 25:40 (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, 25 November 2012

God Loves Gays.

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: the Crusades, the Inquisition, Nazi Germany, and now same sex attracted people.....

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 fundamentalism they might see themselves.
But perhaps not!

God loves gay and lesbian people.

He invites us to His table.

We are welcome in Heaven.

And we partake of Eternal Life.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

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 has now spread to sports, movies, and novels as well as T.V. and advertising.

It now forms a web of evil which spans the media.

The internet is less affected because it is less controlled.
Individuals post their ideas on the internet and some may be involved in Satanism.
But on the whole the internet is more democratic.

Once you know what to look for it is easier to uncover.
(See What to Avoid, October 2012)

But this does not mean that they are right.

There is no devil in reality.
No hell to go to.

So they will fail in their purpose.
But their sins remain.
The damage done.

In reality there is only God's love.

Photo Credit: tempo via Compfight cc

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Facts.

No matter what your beliefs or worldview, sooner or later you will be confronted by the facts.

Corporate bosses will be confronted by the fact that God treats us all equally.

Fundamentalists will be confronted by the fact that there is no hell because God does not punish us.

Satanists will be confronted by the fact that there is no Satan only Gods love.

God is real and He loves us.

These are the facts.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Alienation.

The epidemic of our time is alienation.

This is caused by the coldness of our society, scientific mindsets, and the breakdown of relationships.

The number of one person households is at an all time high.
The older generation are almost all divorced.
And the younger generation are cautious of commitment.

This is good for the economy but disastrous for society.

There is no community.

Individuals are expected to look after themselves.

Our scientific education teaches us that all around us is dead matter, God is absent, and life has no meaning.

Add to this the negative effects of Satanism in the media and entertainment, especially rock music to which the young are plugged in day and night, and you have a very bleak picture indeed.

The new paradigm is teaching us that all life is interconnected.
We are not alone.
Even if we are isolated and lonely we are still connected to all the life around us.

The new paradigm also teaches that God is immanent - within everything around us.

We are surrounded by love.

Add to this that God wishes us to open our hearts and to give love to others and you have a very warm picture indeed.

Alienation is fear.
Fear of others, fear of strangers, fear of authority, fear of society.

The new paradigm teaches us that God is our Father and all people are our brothers and sisters.

Once we realize this our fear leaves us and we are able to live again.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Sexual Cosmology.

If we insist on characterizing nature as feminine and re-animating the dead matter of science with female sexual energy, we run the risk of excavating an ancient sexual cosmology that is riddled with dangers.

Not the least of these is the problem of homosexuality.  Where does the homosexual fit into this heterosexual system.  It leaves no place for homosexuals.

While it is true that the patriarchal religions have led to a desecration of the earth the answer does not lie in feminizing nature.

During the second millennium B.C.E. the patriarchal gods displaced the earth mothers as the dominant deities.  This is typified by Marduk's slaying of the female monster Tiamut (nature) and his founding of Babylon (the archetypal city = civilization).

In the Bible God says to the newly created Adam and Eve "'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.'"  Genesis 1:28 (NRSV)
This passage has resulted in humans subduing nature.  And has been tragically acted out, especially by western Europeans, as an injunction to dominate and control nature, resulting in the present ecological crisis.

Western industrialists plunder the earth for profit.

Indian yogis characterize all human sexual energy as feminine (shakti) and God's energy as masculine.
This is a strong structural element of homophobia in India - homosexuality is unnatural there.
Once again we are projecting a human trait - male sexuality onto God.
Once again we are generalizing into dualistic thinking.

Rather than characterizing the sky god as male and the earth god as female we need a model which represents the diversity of sexualities in nature.

God is much more than male and female.

The only homosexual cosmology in the Bible is in the second creation story where the sole male Adam loves his Father God.

Jesus' love for his Father is homosexual but it is noticeable that when his disciples crested a Church it was given a female nature because God was male.

Once again humans are projecting their own characteristics, in this case male and female sexualities, onto God  and His Church.

So are all male priests and ministers in a homosexual relationship with God?

You can see the problems that this kind of cosmology creates.

God is all sexualities and more.
It is foolish to restrict God's nature to male or female or even androgynous.

Sexual cosmology is very neat and convenient but it is basically wrong.

Suffice to say that we don't know.
God's nature is too vast and diverse to characterize as male or female.

For the moment it is a mystery.

(See He, August 2012)


(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, 19 November 2012

Aboriginal Reconciliation.

Were there to be reconciliation in Australia between the white Europeans and the Aboriginal people, not only would some of the wealth and ease of Australian white culture need to be transferred to the Aboriginal people, but some of our European cultural conventions, which cause Aboriginal people (and many white people) to feel alienated and alone, would need to be reconsidered.

Such things as: profit motive, consumerism, materialism, pragmatism, cynicism, work ethic, and the nuclear family.

These things cause our society to be harsh, especially to outsiders - immigrants, Aboriginal people, and minorities.  Our society is cold, hard, tough, and exclusive.

Reconsideration of these ideas can be brought about by listening.
Listening to the stories of Aboriginal people.
Hearing their cries for help.
Seeing their tears.

We must begin to see value in Aboriginal people.

Perhaps their wealth lies in their spirituality (something which is not highly valued in Australian or any western culture).

Hearing their cries of disconnection from the land is a beginning.

This would not only benefit Aboriginal people but white people as well.

When do our bare feet touch the earth?

When do we hear the silence of the bush?

We are surrounded by things of our own making:
radios, T.V.s, C.D. players, movies.....
There is constant chatter to distract us.

We are afraid of silence.
It makes us feel alone.

We are afraid of nature.
We try to tame it and control it.

Aboriginal people commune with nature.
This is the dreaming.
Nature is not their enemy but their mother.

This is the connection to the land which has been severed by white colonialists.

Perhaps a return to mother nature may help with the process of reconciliation.

White men and women live in an alien landscape.
Their cities and towns resemble Europe.
Europe is their home not Australia.

So while we live our lives in our little boxes with our manicured gardens of European flowers and trees we cannot be truly Australian.

We must place our bare feet on the red Australian earth to become truly Australian.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Aboriginal - European.

Aboriginal people describe the presence of God in nature.

We Europeans look at our environment - brick walls, tarred roads, steel and glass skyscrapers, houses like little boxes....
and our scientific education teaches us that this is dead (dead matter).
The white man seeks to impose his will on nature - everything is controlled, organized, ordered according to our will, our needs.

But it is not dead.

Each item from nature has been fashioned according to a man's or woman's creativity and is therefore alive - in its essence from nature.
                                      - infused with creative energy.
So each item - a wall, a road, a building.....has a history of being taken from nature and fashioned according to an individual's creativity - reflecting that individual's ideas and feelings.

We are co-creators with God.

Our creativity reflects out thinking.

If we think differently our creations will be different.

Our creativity can make beauty that can be seen, heard, or felt.
It can be wise and compassionate, uplifting, or revelatory.
It can also be depressing, even violent if expressed negatively.

Like energy that can be creative or destructive.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Human Fulfilment.

When we first embark on the quest for human fulfilment we think this means the realization of our desires.

So what is essentially a spiritual quest becomes a search for pleasure.

When we realize that pleasure does not always bring fulfilment we begin to see a deeper perspective of life.

The things that are fulfilling are the things of love - relationships, family, children.....

Work and achievement, creative activity all pale into insignificance when compared to love.

"And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing."  1 Corinthians: 13:2 (NRSV)

The "pursuit of happiness" which is enshrined in the American Declaration of Independence is usually a quest for pleasure and possessions.

It is ironic indeed that our personal fulfilment comes from unselfishness and becoming more other oriented.


(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, 16 November 2012

Holistic Thinking.

Holistic - emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.

Were we to think of the universe holistically what would that mean?

The universes are part of a whole.
These parts are interdependent.
Stars and black holes are not the only parts.
There are clouds within which stars are formed from the dust of older stars.

Everything is alive.

God is within everything.

The attractive force which causes the stars to form is love.

Everything is interdependent, ecological, symbiotic.

"No man is an island." - John Donne.

Even isolation is caused by interdependence - fear and insularity in others.
Prejudice and negative stereotyping are cause by fear.

If God is our Father then everyone is our brother or sister.

If one of the organs of the body is not working properly then the whole organism is affected.

This is true also of society - each individual has his or her own job to do, according to their gifts.  But if they are not doing it properly then the whole society suffers.

We are all parts of a whole - parts of society, parts of humanity, parts of the nature, parts of the earth, parts of the universe, parts of God.

Like a fish in the sea.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Dualistic Thinking.

We see dualistic thinking in science.
Theories of anti-matter and black holes etc..
This is an attempt to balance everything out.

There is dualistic thinking in the Bible, especially in the Gospel of John.
It appears in most religions.
Dualistic thinking in religion is an attempt to explain life's pain.
Religious dualism is false.
There is no Satan, no dark forces.
There is only one God and He is good.

God is everything, everywhere and more.....

What would it mean if we thought holistically.
God (good) would be everywhere, everyone.....

"God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good."  Genesis 1:31a (NRSV)

Evil is a generalization, a label.
It covers the truth :
That there are reasons for everything.

Suffering is caused by sin.
Sin is caused by fear.
So everything and everyone is forgivable.


(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, 14 November 2012

Life.

The consummation of love is sex.

Sex leads to the creation of new life.

This new life forms in the womb and then is born into the world as a separate entity.

The new entity then grows until about the age of 26 when it is fully formed.

From then the individual matures - grows stronger, more self assured until about the age of 60.

After the age of 60 the individual begins to age - become wiser, more stable, more perspicacious, the sexual passions diminish allowing the individual to become more peaceful.

As he or she nears the end the soul begins to prepare for the life to come.

Death is a door into another life.

"The universe has an orientation to the creation of life.
Life has an orientation to wholeness (health).
The soul has an orientation towards love."
- Durham Smith PCNV 22/7/2012.

The speaker was challenged by a man who said that from the age of 26 we are dying.
He identified with the Hindu god Siva - one of the triune godhead - Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), and Siva (the destroyer).

This is the theory of entropy.
Entropy must always increase.

I submit that entropy is a scientific fiction.
It looks at life the wrong way.

But this death, this decay is a concept rather than a fact.
Entropy is an effect rather than a force.

It is looking at things the wrong way round.

We should be looking for positives in maturing and ageing rather than calling them death.

Maturing and ageing are part of life and as such are positive stages of life not decay and death.

Death is a moment not a force.

This is the trap of dualistic thinking :
That everything has its opposite.

But the universe is holistic :
There is one God.

Life is abundant, irrepressible.
After a bushfire new life springs up, ancient seeds germinate.
After a drought new life appears in the waters, ancient eggs come to life.

The universe has an orientation towards life not death.

The mistake that people make is to conceptualize the negative then to objectify it as a fact.

But death is not a force.
Nor is it a place.
Death is no thing.

Death is a moment at most.

Dualism is false.

The universe is holistic.

Life abides in everything.

God is immanent - within everything.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

When Called Upon.

At a meeting of the Progressive Christian Network of Victoria, in response to the speaker's words about God intervening in her life, Lorraine Parkinson said that help had come from God "when called upon".

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

This may happen in order for it to be clear that it is God responding to the cry for help.
And this may bring us into relationship with God.

People who experience a hint or a nudge in the right direction, perhaps a warning, may already be in relationship with God.

This is my experience.
God responds "when called upon".

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Wattle.

In what sense am I and my writing Australian?

My writing is intensely anti-anti-authoritarian - a noted Australian character trait.  It is rebellious and revolutionary - the wild colonial boy - I do have  a tinge of red in my beard - but this is Irish - I have some Irish ancestors.

My writing is Christian with constant references to the Bible - Old and New Testaments - but this is British or European -  ancestors again.

My writing is socialist with roots in the French Revolution and Marxism - I have some French ancestors.

My theology is universalist with relevance to any culture.  The mind, the heart, the body all these things are universal.

But in what sense am I Australian?

Australia is an old country - the oldest place on earth - our mountains are rounded and worn down by millennia of wind and rain.  Our land is flat and vast.  Our rivers are old and slow.  Our trees are evergreen.  Our animals are marsupials - unique and strange.

But our society is new, post-enlightenment, modern.  We live in cities where the earth is covered over and the trees are European - deciduous and colorful.  Our culture was British, now it is American - a sit-com culture full of dark shadows and violence, superficial and glib.

The wattle is yellow - bright and profuse.  Our wildflowers are small but abundant. Our trees are old and wizened, tall and strong, their roots go deep into the earth.

In Aboriginal spirituality the spirit sinks down into the ground in true Antipodean fashion.
European spirits rise up into the sky and God is above.

Aboriginal art shows the ground as seen from above with a strong inward dimension. This can be expressed as within - like the Hopi Indians of America.
Aboriginal spirituality goes deeper, deeper within, and deeper into the earth.

This is Australian spirituality of the land.

The only Biblical reference which might be of some help is when Moses encounters God on Mount Sinai.  God tells him to take off his sandals because he is walking on holy ground.

"'Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.'"  Exodus 3:5 (NRSV)

This is closely related to Aboriginal spirituality - sacred sites.

The feet are also important to Aboriginal people - when dancing their sacred dances they stamp their feet on the earth, as if to penetrate deeper into the earth.

In post-modern Australia sinking into the earth is descending into the unconscious.

A strong sense of the bush and the sacredness of the wilderness is typically Australian.

Australia's sporting colors are gold and green - the colors of the wattle trees.

Gold is the color of the sun or light.  Green is the chlorophyll which absorbs the light.  So these national colors have something to do with light or enlightenment.  They are solar and life-giving.

Yellow is a very positive color.  Green is calming, healing.

The eucalyptus in the gum trees is an intoxicating drug.  Koala bears, which eat the gum leaves, are very casual and slow.  Australians are known for being laid back and casual "She'll be right mate, no worries."

It is the opposite of European angst and the British stiff upper lip - the Antipodes again.

Australians are very impatient with anyone who pussyfoots around or procrastinates "Have a go you mug" or of anyone who is not quite "true blue" (blue is the color of a working man's singlet).

But an Australian man and his mates can be quite intolerant of anyone who is different - homosexuals, immigrants, aboriginals.....and he can also be misogynistic.

The dominant western culture is male, secular, and materialist.
The media is violent, negative, and biased.  Their language is brutal and glib.  They win by violence and rule through fear.  In this respect they resemble the old aristocracy.
Perhaps that is what they aspire to be :
The plutocrats, the multi-national corporations, the board of directors.

But their culture is cynical, pragmatic, and criminal (until they get caught, then they blame an underling and claim ignorance.)

And we all work for them.
They own everything.

But somethings gotta give.
We cannot continue like this.

A new idealism is appearing on the internet - organisations dedicated to social reform and international justice.  They are independent and supported by thousands of anonymous donors.
This is the idealism of Aquarius beginning to manifest.  It is bubbling up from the unconscious and no one can stop it.
It is international and immediate, fraternal and altruistic.
It challenges the plutocrats and politicians.
And it is growing quickly.
Every day there are more - more web sites, more supporters.
The plutocrats are powerless to stop it.
The politicians are almost relieved to bow to their ideals.

This is the beginning of revolutionary global change.

It begins.....


(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, 11 November 2012

Magic.

In school our children are being taught maths and sciences without the humanities - languages, history, art and literature.....

This is combined with our oppressively rationalist (left brain), materialist society to repress the imaginative (right brain) nature altogether.

At present young people's repressed spirituality is being expressed as a fascination with magic and witchcraft.

Unfortunately this can lead to negative spiritual states and may lead to the dark side.

Many books are available which teach people these practices.

This may lead to dabbling in black magic and Satanism which is rife in the rock music and entertainment industries.

Unfortunately, if they succumb to the dark side, the Satanists will claim their souls and try to cast them into hell.

So we should be ready to rescue them if this happens.

The likelihood of this happening is tempered, however, by the fact that God does not damn people for something which is not their fault.

Even if they try to sell their souls they cannot go to hell because there is no hell to go to.

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

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Prejudice.

What we think of as 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 manifest.

So what we think about people matters.
If we are thinking negatively about someone this may cause them to behave in a negative fashion.

Of course this is only when our 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 pretend that bad is good, only to excuse and offer forgiveness.

Then we can value 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.)  

Friday, 9 November 2012

Astrology.

Before you say,"We're Christians, we don't believe in astrology" it may be profitable to take a look at the Bible and the New Testament in particular.

According to the theory of precession of the vernal equinox the Old Testament was written in the Age of Aries.
There are many references to rams, ram's horns (the shofar), blood sacrifice, the color red, war, beginnings (Abraham, Adam and Eve), the letter A,  Palestine etc..

But it is in the New Testament that we really find astrological symbols from the sign of Pisces :
fish*, fishermen, nets, water (baptism). the sea (Galilee), Jerusalem, boats, feet (washing), wine, vines, vineyards, spirits (evil), The Holy Spirit, faith, healing, prayer.....  

Not only this but the sign opposite Pisces - Virgo - which forms a duality with Pisces, is also featured :
the Virgin Mary, the virgin birth, hair-splitting arguments (the bane of Christianity), earth parables (seeds, growth, harvesting etc.).

So when I say that we are entering the Age of Aquarius (the Water Carrier) and point out the symbols of that sign :
homosexuality, equality, freedom, socialism, revolution, Russia, Sweden, feminism, humanism, charity, crystals, rainbows, rain, clouds, the sky, stars, drinking water, earthquakes, the new, the future, technology, space travel, the internet, mental illness, brain plasticity, genius.....
I am justified in suggesting that God is working through these symbols in a new way.

Astrology itself is ruled by Aquarius.

*The fish was an early symbol of the Christian community.  

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Darkest Hour.

It has been said that God returns with a new revelation when the world is at its darkest.

The world is dark now.

The official culture of the world is secular rational economic materialism.

This is superficial, left-brain only, unsatisfying, and imposed.

Add to this the evil anti-currents in the popular entertainment and it is dark indeed.

The spirits of human beings will not allow this to continue.  A rear guard action, rising from the unconscious, will force a crisis if the right-brain, imaginative, depth dimension is not addressed.

Economic rationalism is a failure.

We must find another way.

It is at this point, when the souls of the world are ripe, that God manifests among us.

God's hand is moving.

As yet there is no contact between Progressive Christianity and the general public, although social justice is a meeting point.

This is Aquarius manifesting.

We must find a way for this manifestation to reach the surface.

The crisis in religion is symptomatic of the situation.
If the deep psychic needs of individuals are not met then negative manifestations will appear - like the sexual abuse scandals in the Churches.

These needs are to do with the imaginative, artistic, religious side of human nature.
Their repression is manifest as overwork and lack of creative outlets, obsession with sport, celebrity culture, shopping, and magic.

We need a new spirituality.

This must be given official recognition or it will be forced down into the unconscious where it will cause psychosis and may manifest negatively as violence or anti-social behavior.

So the new spirit of freedom (symbolized by the internet) must find positive, sanctioned, outlets in our society or Aquarius is doomed to fail.

If not a new Church then what?

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

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 the thrills of pleasure and we experience ecstatic highs followed by bleak, depressive lows.

Rock music has been shown to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain.  We become addicted to this pleasure.  Drugs have a similar effect.  It is significant that a lot of rock music contains orgasmic guitar crescendos and dirge-like melodies.

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

Most of us spend our lives alternating between these peak experiences and despairing lows which we cure by another episode of pleasure in order to experience that high again.

This is the great illusion.

It is not that pleasure is bad.  It is just not the answer it appears to be.

Through the practice of yoga detachment 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 our moods are dependent on the presence or absence of the loved one (the beloved).

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

If we them expand the theater of our love to include everyone we experience a stable well-being.

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

When we become established in this marriage our anxieties recede.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Karma.

The law of karma obeys our notion of natural justice - rewards for good behavior and punishment for bad behavior.

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

The principle 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)

Perhaps these ideas are not universal laws at all.

Paul says to waive judgment according to understanding.

But life is not chaos.

There are constancies - day and night, summer and winter, light and dark etc..

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 experience.

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 to return good for our bad behavior.

So laws and rules are not what govern our lives, they are merely guidelines for our 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.]

Monday, 5 November 2012

The Laws.

It is the nature of the human mind to seek to find patterns.
These patterns are often condensed into rules which are said to be universal.
When rewards and punishments are attached to these rules we have the laws*.

How many books have been written which claim to outline the laws of human experience.
They would  even legalize love.

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

This is the nature of the legalistic religion of the Pharisees.
This is also the nature of fundamentalism in religion.
It makes us feel secure.

Jesus broke the law of the Jews on several occasions and said, "'The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath.'"  Mark 2:27 (NRSV)
By which he meant that humanity's wellbeing and happiness was more important than the rules.

So do not get hung up on the laws and the rules.
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 humankind, not humankind for the laws.

*Metaphysical laws not policing


(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, 4 November 2012

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 western 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 of Jesus, is quite different from the orthodox traditional images: the angry, harsh, judgmental God and the Lamb without spot who became a human blood sacrifice to take away the sins of the world, which were inherited from Adam and Eve.
They don't believe we are fallen and in need of redemption.  To them this is pure Machiavellian manipulation.

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

I believe they mean that they are idealistic.
These are the non-materialistic ideals of the hippies: equality, non-violence, socialism, compassion, forgiveness, a healthy attitude to the body and sexuality, 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!?

Saturday, 3 November 2012

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 do what others are afraid to do.

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

Open our hands to those who are paralyzed with fear.

Open our hands to our enemies.

Open our hands to help.

Friday, 2 November 2012

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 attack out of fear.

Open our hearts to our enemies.

Open our hearts to everyone.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Open Our Eyes.

Open our eyes to the poverty and suffering around us.

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

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

Open our eyes to see God more clearly.

Open our eyes to the injustice that motivates crime.

Open our eyes to the fear that motivates our enemies.

Open our eyes to the truth.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

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 the right and the 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 their captains attack left wing politicians is a complex set of fears based around poverty and loss.  As such theirs is not a set of policies based on the common good.  Even though it may masquerade as such.

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

How do we do this?

By replacing the image of a judging God with a compassionate, benevolent, and supportive God we take away the fear and insecurity which 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 truths 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.

"'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 can 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 reform to begin.

This is a long and perilous process.

The thing to remember is that it is fear that drives them.

If we can allay their fears then we will begin to 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.)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Prophets.

What we have to remember is that the Old Testament prophets did not write the books of the Bible themselves.  This was done by interpreters hundreds of years later.

So, as we see with the disciples, there is a lesser level of understanding - an orthodoxy, a primitive worldview, a worldly interpretation which we do not see with Jesus or the prophets themselves.

Those who had direct contact with God are not those who wrote down the books of the Bible.

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 have actually 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 violent stories in the Bible are misinterpretations of God's word or of historical events.

Most often it is an overlaying of assumptions of rewards and punishments projected from worldly authority figures like kings or pharaohs.

God is beyond violence.

God does not resolve conflicts with violence.

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

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Plutocracy.

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

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

What happens is that 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.

Therefore socialism, so hated by the aristocracy, is God's natural political position.

The conservatism of the establishment, which includes the Church, is a perversion  of God's will.

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

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

The blind lead the blind.

And Jesus is crucified.

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

At present the conservatives are using their newspaper, T.V., and radio outlets to vilify left wing politicians.

Why do mining magnates seek a stake in media outlets?
To influence public opinion to stop the mining tax.

They propagandize the election in order to establish their power over the masses.

But when the light rises we see both evil and good.

Satanic rock musicians, blue ribbon conservatives, and captains of industry :

The Plutocracy.

But Uranus is square.

Social activists are openly opposing the corrupt powers :
the corporations and their political puppets.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Set Up.

A whole generation of Hippies and Baby Boomers was set up by their rock stars to be condemned by their gurus and the religious right for drugs and pleasure (which their rock stars told them to do).

So the whole of Generation Z has been set up for practicing magic.
I have already seen a billboard with Merlin engulfed in flames.

What they do is tell you to do something which they know is a transgression and then damn you for it when the stars turn against you.

This is what happened in the 1980s when Generation X and reactionary political leaders blamed the Hippies and Baby Boomers for everything.  This was a political tool of the religious right.

Fortunately the political left will not resort to these extreme tactics.
They will not use damnation as a weapon.
On the whole they do not believe in damnation at all.

At present the religious right (led by the Pope) are trying to scapegoat gays and lesbians in order to create political power.

But it is not really working because powerful rock stars are endorsing gay rights including gay marriage.

So Satan's house is divided.

And the house that is divided must fall.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Stained Glass Windows.

Depending upon which Church you are attending your experience of God will be colored by the theological beliefs and practices of that particular Church.
As light is colored by stained glass windows.

The white light and power of God will reflect the theology of that Church.

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

So it is vital that our ideas are positive, helpful, and harmless.
Our hearts are open, soft, and warm.
And our hands are active.

Friday, 26 October 2012

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, and selfish.

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

Many people project the ways of the world onto God calling Him mighty, powerful, conqueror, glorious etc..

But we are in for a surprise.

God is in the still small voice - "a sound of sheer silence."  1 Kings 19:12b (NRSV)

"'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 is patient.

God is non-violent and forgiving.
Full of understanding and grace.

God does not use force.

God does not punish and reward in the way that the leaders of the world punish and reward.

God gives everyone 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, 25 October 2012

The Redemption of Adolf Hitler.

How many people have you heard say," I don't believe in hell except for people like Adolf Hitler"?

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

The way to do 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 offenses it relates to everyone.

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

So do not torment yourselves with 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, 24 October 2012

The Redemption of Dorian Gray.

Jesus said to love your enemies.

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

The dualistic mind set which sets up a battle between good and evil is not the way of Jesus nor is it the way of God.

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

A more 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 picture reverts to its original youthful image.

We are not told what becomes of the soul of Dorian Gray.
I believe that his soul is forgiven and reconciled with 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 call evil.

So evil is not to be battled against and destroyed.

Evil is to be forgiven and reconciled to God through love, the unseen hook.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Clear as Crystal.

When God speaks now it is as clear as crystal.

Life is about Love.
Giving and receiving love.

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

God comes last.
He is concerned with the least in our society.
Those who are 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 hearts.
And you will blossom like a flower.

Give love to God.
Give love to everyone.  

Monday, 22 October 2012

Vision.

When I was about three years old, in the middle of the night when everyone was asleep, I woke up and saw a vision of God hovering beside my bed.

The image itself was traditional - an old man with long hair and beard sitting on a throne - it was all white and shining like a watermark held up to the light.

He was quite handsome and strong across the chest and shoulders.

The vision seemed to emerge from within itself and radiate outwards like a brilliant white star.

And there was no fear, as if fear had never been invented.

And God breathed on me and spoke to me.

But I could not understand what He was saying - His voice was all breath and in a language I did not understand.

Later I came to know that in Hebrew the name of God is all aspirates or Hs, i.e. the breath of life or nephesh.

Later still I discovered that in the Gospel of John Jesus breathes on the disciples when he gives them the Holy Spirit.

This childhood experience was so vivid that I can still remember it now as if it was yesterday.

Today I realized that this was a call like the call of Isaiah or Samuel.

So God is calling me to be a prophet.

A prophet of Aquarius.

A prophet is a messenger.

And the message is Love.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A New Bar Mitzvah.

At the age of 13 Jewish people observe Bar Mitzvah* which celebrates their coming of age.

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

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 propose 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 each individual would then receive a blessing from God and no longer be a thorn in the side of adults.
They 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 object of desire.

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 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 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 individual.
If the desire that is experienced is tempered with respect for the other then there is no harm in sexuality - homosexual or otherwise.

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

The incidence of suicide in gay youth is 4 times that of heterosexual youth for these reasons.

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.

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

*Bat Mitzvah for girls.