Thursday, 31 May 2012

A Saint.


A saint is not a violent, judgemental wowser.

A saint is a harmless, forgiving lover.

A Tsunami of Compassion.

We can be overcome with misfortune by accidents of nature or the misdeeds of our brothers and sisters.  But God is not in the accidents or the misdeeds, God is in the helping hand and the acts of kindness and compassion which follow upon misfortune.

God "is patient with you, not wanting any to perish"*(NRSV) and God requires of His followers that they should be the same.  Otherwise "what more are you doing than others?"**(NRSV).

*2 Peter 3:9.
**Matthew 5:47.


(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.)

God in His Universal Form.

The paradigm shift from the theistic God to the universal God is paralleled almost perfectly in the Bhagavad-Gita when the personal form of God in Krishna, Arjuna's charioteer, shows Arjuna his universal form with it's myriad eyes, its thousand suns, all the sages, and the holy serpents....birthless, deathless....shining....

If we disregard the fear images at the end of the vision - the bloodthirsty mouths etc. - the Shape of the Infinite God fits almost perfectly the new paradigm which is everyone and everything and more (panentheiistic).

At the end Krishna re-assumes his human form to bring peace back to Arjuna.

God can appear in any form but would seem to assume the form which the individual experiencing the vision will recognize as God.

Inasmuch as the personal form of God is the Father, the universal form of God is the Father of Fathers.

  

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Mass Media.

Most people these days get their values from the mass media.

If you listen to the media
the purpose if life is :

Making money.
Shopping.
Watching (T.V., D.V.D.s, movies).
Partying (i.e. getting smashed).

Sport :
Winning at all costs.
Working harder.
Bullying.
Losing is pain.

Music videos :
Fast cars.
Nasty sex.
Status.
Bad (is good).
Violence.
Abuse of women.
Materialism.
The dark side.
Partying.

True happiness comes from :
Loving relationships.
Integrity.
Honesty.
Self-respect.
Moderation.
Courage.
Compassion.
Understanding.
Patience.
Generosity.

You cannot be happy without self-discipline.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

What Kind of God?

Why does God allow violence, abuse, murder.....?

1.  It's not God doing it.
     We do these things of our own free will.

2.  There will be a reason for it.
     Psychological reasons.
     Birth, experience, education, environment.

3.  Natural justice (rewarding good and punishing evil) is a human construct.
     There is no evidence that God acts in this way.

4.  "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'"  Matthew 5:43.
     "'For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?  Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others?  Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  Be perfect therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.'"  Matthew 5:46-48 (NRSV)
     God is transcendent - beyond our human understanding of justice.

5.  The greater forgiveness is to forgive those that harm you even while they are causing you pain.
     Forgive your tormentors as God forgives you.  We suffer these things for their (the perpetrators) sake.
     That they may be forgiven.

6.  When some transgression occurs society reacts by calling for harsh penalties, even calling for the perpetrator to burn in hell for ever.
     That's throwing rocks.
     "'Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.'"  John 8:7 (NRSV)

7.  Rather than looking to punish the offender we should be looking for the things that caused them to behave that way in the first place.
     Then we may be able to forgive them as God forgives them.
    
8.  God answers prayers.    


(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 Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.)

Business Conventions.


Those who fear poverty (captains of industry) dominate those who do not.

The Conventions of Business :

Leave your private life at home.
All considerations are sacrificed to profit.
There is no reciprocal obligation for management.
Business has no responsibility to the community.
There is no consideration for personal problems.
"This is not a charitable institution."
Financial information is private (secret).
Get the next guy before he gets you.
No charitable donations without publicity.
No consultation about political donations.
No consultation about management bonuses.
The market rules.
Dog eat dog.

These conventions are fueled by fear.
They have petrified into customs.

Pray for the captains of industry to overcome their fears and become good corporate citizens.
Support shareholder activism.

"For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life?" Matthew 16:26 (NRSV)


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


Photo Credit: Financial Times photos via Compfight cc

Monday, 28 May 2012

A Prayer.

Our Creator,
In whom we live and breath and have our being,
Be with us each day
In our sufferings and our joys.
Help us to see your hand at work in our world
And to understand each other.
Give us today our daily food.
Touch our hearts that we may love each other.
Forgive us and help us to forgive others.
May we all be your children on earth.

Amen.

Nature Gods.

 If you watch T.V. documentaries the image that you get of nature is that it is predatory, violent, and copulating.

But nature has other aspects which correspond to the ancient pantheon of gods : abundance (Osiris), nurturing (Isis), faithfulness (Mut), growth (Osiris), healing (Thoth), creativity (Ra),  adaptability (Mercury), intelligence (Hermes), intuition (Bast), beauty (Venus), Ingenuity (Hephaestus).....

The ancient world was filled with the supernatural.

At school we are taught a scientific mid set : the natural world is devoid of gods, mechanical, dead matter, has no intelligence, is devoid of meaning, is separate from God.

The old image of God is : distant, indifferent, inactive, to be blamed, a bastard, hates his own creation (his children), tough, judgemental.

An alternate Image of God (the new paradigm) is : present, a gardener, caring, active, innocent, goodness, love, sensitive, understanding, forgiving.

If science takes all meaning out of life then the new paradigm can provide that meaning without the battle for supremacy which the old image inspired.

Posture.

God is love.

We all have free will.

No one should perish.

Even Satanists can be reconciled to God.  Their image of God is the orthodox fear image of the Church.  This image is subject to change due to the new paradigm.  A God of unconditional love, forgiveness, and compassion.  Then Satan would become redundant.

Those who smite Satan can be reconciled to the God of love through forgiveness.  The sword may be renounced and we may love our enemies.

Religious authorities should be challenged.  Repressed homosexuality should be outed.  Abusive priests may pray for their problems to be taken from them.

Everyone is forgiven.

Sexuality may be tempered by discipline out of love.

Mutuality : sometimes I help you, sometimes you help me.

Whatever we do to anyone we are doing to God.


Sex.

Sex is not a sin.

Sex is certainly not the reason for the fall of humanity.

Humanity is not fallen.

Sex is the consummation of love.

Homosexual love and heterosexual love are equally valid and identical.

It is best, however, to refrain from sex when :
                                        1. the object of desire has not given their permission.
                                        2. sexual activity violates vows (a) marriage vows.
                                                                                             (b) vows of sexual chastity.

Why?

Out of respect for the object of desire (the beloved).

Love brings with it both desire and respect.
Discipline honors that love.

God's law is love.

Love overcomes fear.

Love transcends fear.

What do you feel for the person you love?

Love.

Desire.

Concern.

Respect.

Passion.

Generosity

Forgiveness.

The desire to communicate.

The desire for union (marriage).

The desire to share yourself.

Affection.

Intimacy.

Joy.


Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Church.

The conservative establishment (bishops) usurped the message of Jesus at Nicaea, put words into his mouth, and changed Jesus into a king and conqueror, later to be used to conquer other nations.

Jesus' message of unconditional love and forgiveness was subordinated to the Machiavellian mass control techniques of the establishment - the fall/redemption, penal substitution theology of the conservatives.  Jesus the teacher of love became Christ the almighty king.

Later St. Augustine and St. Jerome extended this control to sex, making sex the reason for the fall, and using guilt and disgust to make men and women feel unworthy of God's love, then providing worthiness (forgiveness)
for the price of obedience.

Jesus was then said to be returning to judge mankind (something which he refused to do in life) in the end times and the theology of rewards and punishments (which Jesus had rejected) was returned to the place of power which the priests of Yahweh had established.

So Jesus' message of unconditional love and forgiveness from God was lost to the world and in its place we have the Church.

P.S.  If we can successfully remove the fear of God from the world's religions we may be able to prevent this from happening again (i.e. in the age of Aquarius).
    

The New Paradigm.

Unconditional love.


Original blessing.


Inclusiveness (marginalized people).


Non-exclusiveness (other religions).


Equality for women.


Acceptance of homosexuals.


Sex is not a sin.


No judgement.


Positive self-image.


No guilt manipulation.


No fear (of God, punishment etc.).


Consideration for others (out of love).

Contemplation.

Awareness of God.

Understanding of God.

Direct experience of God.


The gift of grace :
                      God's presence and His very self.


God is real.

God loves you.

Prayer is communication with God.

God answers prayers.

God works in the world through people.

We share in the work.


The cause of suffering is sin.

The cause of sin is fear.

Therefore no one is guilty.

God forgives everyone.


Whatever you do to anyone
you do to me.


We are here to experience.
Our lives are like Shakespearean dramas of which we are the protagonists.


We learn to love.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Satanism on the Phone.

Satan is not a real being but an explanation for why bad things happen to good people.

But because there is no Satan does not mean that there are no Satanists (people who believe in Satan and act accordingly).

There are elements within our popular culture which sell their souls and practice Satanism and black magic for the purposes of a perceived material reward.  Mostly rock stars but also some movie stars and directors, some sportsmen and women, some media people and writers.

This is heavily disguised.

The effect of this is :

Any attempt at enlightenment or spirituality will be manifest backwards.

The spiritual search or quest will be sabotaged.

Religious or spiritual people will be persecuted.

Vulnerable people will be preyed upon.

Distraction from your purpose.

Selling their own products.

What to look out for :

Death, darkness, black, flames, skulls, snakes, spiders, spiderwebs, horns, anything upside down or backwards, blasphemy, profanity, magic.....

Their arena is the unconscious, where they manipulate images, sounds, even smells in order to produce negative mind states, sometimes resulting in suicide.

They deal in death and torture.

But death is a theological fiction.  Evil only exists as a reactionary mental concept.

In the end there is only God's love.

What to do :

Pray.  (Ask,seek, knock).

Stop listening to their music and watching their shows.

Reverse negative input with positive images etc..

Listen to classical sacred and choral music.


The Word of God.

(In God's presence these words were spoken)

Love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.
Love your neighbor as yourself.(NRSV)

Love your enemies.
Bless those who curse you.
Pray for those who abuse you.(NRSV)

God is not a punisher of men and women.
God is our divine father.

There is no Hell.
Only God's love.

"Satan" is God's prodigal son.
He is loved as God loves "the Christ".

There is no fear in the presence of God.
As if fear had never been invented.

There are only two things in the world :
Love and fear.

God is not to blame for what we do to each other.
To blame God is unfair.

The physical body is sacred also.
Sacred matter.

Sex is not a sin.  (Homosexuality is good.)
Moderation in all things.


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

Friday, 25 May 2012

Progressive Christianity.

 I DON'T BELIEVE :

1.  Don't believe that the Bible is the literal word of God.

2.  Don't believe in the Fall/Redemption model of Christianity.

3.  Don't believe in the virgin birth.

4.  Don't believe in the physical resuscitation of Jesus body.

5.  Don't believe in the three tiered universe (and therefore the ascension).

6.  Don't believe that sex is a sin.

7.  Don't believe that people should be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race, creed, or sexual orientation.

8.  Don't believe that religion should control people using fear and guilt.

9.  Don't believe that Jesus is the only path to God.

10.Don't believe that Jesus is divine in a way that others are not.

11.Don't believe in the judgement - personal or collective.


 I DO BELIEVE :

1.  Do believe that the Bible should be interpreted as poetry and metaphor.  (Taking into account the individual authorship and the cultural and historical context of each piece of writing.)

2.  Do believe in original blessing.  (God's good creation.)

3.  Do believe that God is love.

4.  Do believe that God is compassionate.

5.  Do believe that we should work towards "The Kingdom Of God" on earth (ie. not just a reward in heaven).

6.  Do believe that "The Kingdom of God" is characterized by justice, equality, understanding, and peace.

7.  Do believe that God is immanent and panentheistic.

8.  Do believe that homosexuality is a legitimate expression of God's good creation.

9.  Do believe that women are equal to men.

10.Do believe that people are free to worship God in any way that they see fit.

11.Do believe in life after death for everyone.









  

Monday, 14 May 2012

The Flower of Love (novella).

Read my novella about homosexuality and Progressive Christianity.
"The Flower of Love".
Download it free from www.michaeleeast.wordpress.com