Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Celebrity Satanists.

It has been said that there are only two things in the world - Love and Fear.

So could it be said that those rock stars, movie stars, and sportsmen and women who have sold their souls to the devil were motivated by fear?

(a)  There is a fear of failure which motivates this kind of cheating.

The idea of a contract with Satan lends certainty to the transaction.
They seem to prefer this to the uncertainty of faith in God.
The uncertainty of the devil's existence they ignore.
They credulously accept reports of what has gone before.

But if they tell you to lie the chances are that they are lying to you in the first place.

(b)  The major fear that motivates them, however, is the fear of God which caused them to turn away in the first place.

Believing the negative theology of the Churches (and internalizing it) they feel that they have been rejected by God and thus go to the opposition - the devil.

The fear of God, which is everywhere in the Churches, kick-starts Satanism and causes some people to prefer the devil.

So fear is intimately involved in the process and effects their decision to sell their souls both directly and indirectly.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Strong.

What is it that makes a person say I will make myself strong (invulnerable).

Once again it is fear.
Fear of being overpowered, fear of being bullied, fear of going under, fear of humiliation.....

During the 1980s it was notable that many men in the gay community practiced bodybuilding.
This was to make themselves strong.
They felt so threatened by AIDS and society's reaction to AIDS that they felt they had to be stronger mentally and physically.

This at first seems a kind of answer to life.
But this leads to power struggles and tests of strength which are counter-productive to our development.

The better response is to open our heart to those around us.

To do this we must overcome our fears.
Fear of strangers, fear of sickness, fear of commitment.....

And in doing this we develop our hearts and increase our capacity to love.
Even to love our enemies.

It is this Love which is the cause and the purpose of life.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The News.

Where does our fear come from?

Mostly it comes from the television news.

Television creates a distance between us and the people we see on the screen, who are strangers.

Objective reporting does not humanize people.

We hear of people being raped and murdered and our reaction is to be sensible about it and steer clear, not to take any risks, and stay safe.

This combines with our instinctive fear of strangers to create the society that we now live in.

Many people in Church will act according to the news rather than the Gospel.
That is why it does not go past the church's door.

Unless, of course, our fear of God is greater than our fear of others.
This is hypocrisy.
Greater fear is not the answer.

It is the absence of fear in the presence of God that will open our hearts to others.

Then we can love God and our neighbor.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

The Good Samaritan.

In the story of the Good Samaritan the priest and the Levite pass the bashed and bleeding man on the other side of the road.

What is it that makes them behave in this way?

It is Fear:
Fear of being attacked or robbed.
Fear of being ambushed.
Fear of blood.

It is the despised Samaritan who has the courage, or perhaps the lack of fear, to help the injured man.

We see this in our society today.
People who have been attacked in the street are ignored by passers-by.
And good Samaritans are often attacked.

So instead of making moral judgments about who is charitable and who is not, we should be addressing our fears.

What is it that makes us overcome our fears and act in a loving and charitable manner?

Tears melt the heart.
Compassion for others suffering can help us to overcome our fears.
Then we can feel love for our neighbor.

Who is my neighbor?

If God is our Father then all men and women are our neighbors.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Back to the 50s.

Many people in the Church are nostalgic about the 1950s - the time when the churches were full.

But my recollection of Church in the 1950s is that it was dead.

The Anglican Church used a set service in which they repeated the same words week in and week out.
It seemed to me that people were just reciting the words by rote and not thinking about what they meant at all.

Apart from that the Churches were teaching Fall/Redemption Christology.
And it was made perfectly clear that obedience to God meant obedience to those in positions of worldly authority, namely the rich conservative establishment.

There may have been bums on seats and money in the coffers but, in my experience, no one was practicing Christianity, even as it was presented.

So there is no point going back to the 50s.
It wasn't any good then.

What is required is a New Reformation - a total overhaul of the Churches' teachings.
Church theology should be purged of the negative ideas that have grown up like weeds around the figure of Jesus and they should be replaced by positive ideas like Original Blessing and Unconditional Love.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

The First World.

Why is it that we in the First World allow the inequalities and injustices that plague our world?

We work long hours and are on call 24/7.  This occupies a lot of our mental panorama.

We are obsessed with sports and celebrities.
This distracts us from any idealistic endeavor.

We rely on shopping and expensive holidays to compensate for overwork.
This is very good for the economy, and ensures that we have to work hard to pay for it all.

The media is controlled to such an extent that we seldom see what is happening in the Third World.  There is no news of exploitation or land grabs because the media is owned by those who exploit and grab.

All financial information is private.
This ensures that no one finds out who is perpetrating injustices in the world.

We sit back and take our dividends and never ask any questions.
Our questions will not be answered if we do ask them.

The occasional begging letter registers as a minor irritation.

So everything is geared towards the status-quo.

In fact the gap between the world's rich and poor has increased since the free-market economy became our god.

We are just now beginning to see that we have been deceived.
But we were willing participants in this deception.
We deceived ourselves.

We readily accept our First World moral ease.
We are so good.

But this is a veneer which hides what our companies and governments do.

No one wants to question the status-quo.

We blame refugees and immigrants and ignore the poor and the hungry.

Is it any wonder that Third World people resort to violence and war to escape poverty?

We oppress them indirectly through our companies and corporations.

And no one asks any questions.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Up To Date.

I am now up to date.
So I will not be posting every day from now on.
Check this site every 2 or 3 days for new posts.

If you wish to follow the retrospective you can do so daily at:
www.michaeledwineast.blogspot.com.au

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Unconditional Love.

It may be said that unconditional love is not an immediately apparent aspect of Aquarius, which is ruled by Uranus and Saturn.

But, apart from the fact that the spiritual knowledge which the water in the jar is said to represent is all about love, there are several astrological aspects which relate to the planet Venus which represents love.

In the myth of Uranus (the sky god) he is married to Gaia (the earth) and is castrated by his son Saturn who conspires with his mother Gaia as revenge for burying her children deep in the underworld.

Gaia is represented by the Zodiac sign of Taurus which is ruled by Venus.

Aphrodite was said to be born, like the foam of the sea, from the severed genitals of Uranus.

Aphrodite (Venus) rules the zodiac sign of Libra.

So both Taurus and Libra - the two signs that are ruled by Venus - feature prominently in the myth of Uranus.

It may be said that Uranus regains his power (his severed genitals) through love (Libra/Venus) and is thus reunited with his wife Gaia (Taurus/Venus).

Traditionally Aquarius is associated with brotherly love or universal love but the unconditional love of Taurus/Libra gives power to Aquarius and harmonizes with the other aspects which relate to love in the symbolism of Aquarius.

Monday, 4 February 2013

15 Crosses.

When Greg Zanis, a carpenter from Illinois, made crosses for the people who were killed in the Columbine High School massacre he included 2 for the gunmen who died along with the 13 victims.

This was controversial at the time.  But perhaps it is closer to a true Christian approach than screaming for harsh penalties or hoping that they burn in hell for ever.

Jesus told us to pray for our enemies as well as our friends.  We are also told to visit criminals in prison.

So perhaps the picture is not so black and white as some may believe.

Perhaps the gunmen may also be forgiven.

What was done to them to make then act in the way that they did?

What did we do to them?

It is worth thinking about.

Others have been influenced by Satanic entertainment - music, movies, video games.....

They have been bullied and rejected.

May they also partake of the healing love that God provides.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Drunkenness.

Why is it that there is so much peer pressure to indulge in alcohol when we are socializing?

I know why the powers that be do not oppose drinking culture - it is very good for the economy - a lot of money is spent on alcohol while we are socializing.

But why does a man think it is preferable to have a drink with his mates after work rather than going home to his wife and family, as if intoxication is a substitute for the love and affection of his family?

The work hard/play hard ethos of the corporations and hard-nosed business men has suffused the whole of our society, especially the young who have no other mentor.

These are myths.

Drugs are overrated.  They have mild effects but they cost a lot of money and are addictive.  The side effects can be disastrous.

Peer pressure once again.
And messages in rock music.

It is time to explode the myths and show young people that drinking and taking drugs will not lead to happiness.
More like a headache and a red face.
This is no substitute for real relationships and the thing we are all looking for - Love.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

The Rod.



What is it that drives the conservatives and the plutocrats to take over and control everything; even religion; and, if it were possible, God Himself?

It can only be fear.

Mistaking the actions of men and women and the indifference of nature for the nature of God they develop a tough philosophy that is realistic and pragmatic.

In fact there is no evidence that there is a God at all.
So they pursue purely worldly goals.

The fear that you feel in the schoolyard is the fear that drives them:
Everyone will laugh at me.  Everyone will pick on me.  Everyone will spit on me. Everyone will reject me.  Everyone will take advantage of me.

So, out of fear, he strikes first:
Get the other guy before he gets you.
Dog eat dog.

He has no idea that he can appeal to God for help.
He has no idea of God other than the purely reactive  - life is tough.
He is hard, cold, merciless, violent, hypocritical, brutal.....
He blames God and crucifies Jesus.
All out of fear of what everyone will do.
He dare not show a weakness.
He dare not show mercy or compassion.

Business is business.
Everyone will take advantage of me.

So we are locked into this grid of fear.

Why are financial details always kept private and confidential?
Because the rich are afraid of what might happen if people find out how much money they have and how they make it.

We fear losing our riches: our money, our possessions, our privileges.....

Our fear is so great that it overrides our principles.

It's sink or swim.

And they impose these conditions on everyone.

The Board of Directors, the C.E.O., the shareholders.
They report the bottom line: the profit.
Not how they made it or how they treated their employees.
And if someone does find out that they exploit child labor, or they steal third world land, or they avoid billions in tax there is always a fall guy who "acted independently and of whom the executives and Board of Directors had no knowledge".  As if they did not know what was happening in their own companies.

This tough philosophy finds a companion in fundamentalist religion.
The severe and stingy God.  As if we make God in our own image.

Driven by their fear of God they restrict freedoms and resist change.

How could this happen?  How could people who are leaders in a Church and worship God still be ignorant of His nature?

What is his motivation?
Why is he there?

"'Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.'"  Matthew 24:28 (NRSV)

Does he want power?
Does he want authority?
Does he want magnificent robes and pure gold candlesticks?
Does he want a throne?
Does he want a palace?

These are things which we are reluctant to relinquish.

And perhaps this is why Jesus said of them, "'You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.'"  Luke 11:52b (NRSV)

This is the unholy alliance of the fundamentalists and the corporations.
A pact which worships money and power.

Their fear of poverty is so great that it overrides their principles.

The rod has flourished.
And the key is lost.


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

Photo Credit: CARLISLEHVAC via Compfight cc

Friday, 1 February 2013

Isaiah 61.

"'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
"'He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.'"  Luke 4:18,19 (NRSV)

When these words, which Jesus spoke at the beginning of his mission, were read out in Church last Sunday we were informed that some passages from Isaiah 61 were missing.

When I got home I looked it up.
Apart from some paraphrasing the obvious omission came at the end of the reading.
Isaiah 61 has "'and the day of the vengeance of of our God.'"  Isaiah 61:2b (NRSV) after "'the year of the Lord's favor.'"  Isaiah 61:2a (NRSV)

Could it be that, like myself and many other Progressive Christians, Jesus did not believe that God was vengeful.

The overwhelming spirit of Jesus' mission was love, forgiveness, compassion, and generosity (abundance).

It has been demonstrated elsewhere that the writers of the Gospels put words retrospectively into Jesus' mouth.

Could it be that we are being given justification for our practice of removing from the end of passages about God's nature the additional lines of vengeance and punishment.

This occurs elsewhere in the Bible.

Jonah's declaration of the nature of God (Jonah 4:2b) which refers to Exodus 34:6,7 omits the last lines about guilt and punishment.

Could it be that later writers discerned more clearly the nature of God?
The image of God evolves in the Bible from a primitive tribal god to be appeased to the benevolent, loving Father of all that Jesus showed us.

I am prepare to say that the Old Testament prophets were wrong when they spoke of vengeance and punishment from God.

God is all-loving, all-forgiving, and all-compassionate.
His nature is the abundance of life.
His light has no shadow.
And His heart is full of 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.)