Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Sodom.

For the sake of those who assert that every word of the Bible is the literal word of God:

"I will restore their fortunes, the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters, and I will restore your fortunes along with theirs."  Ezekiel 16:56 (NRSV)

"Was not your sister Sodom a byword in your mouth in the day of your pride, before your wickedness was uncovered?"  Ezekiel 16:56 (NRSV)

These passages come well after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and indicate that God will restore their fortunes.

You don't hear fundamentalist Christians who are anti-gay quoting these passages of the Bible.

Gay is for them a byword as Sodom was for Israel.

So don't take the literal passages that fundamentalists quote too seriously - they are selective - this passage and the passages about David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel indicate that God's attitude towards homosexuality is not as severe as they suggest.

And these are passages from the Bible.


[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, 25 May 2013

No Enemy.

There is no enemy.

There are no sides.

Evil is a reaction to false doctrines.

False doctrines are made out of fear.

Mistakes made out of fear are forgiven.

God forgives everyone.

There are no sides.

There is no enemy.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Sexual Abuse.

Of all places for sexual abuse to take place why does it happen in the Church?

You would think that the high moral standards of the Church would protect it from such crimes.

But perhaps it is this very thing which is causing the problem.

In the past sex was never mentioned in church.
Such things were left at home.

Consequently any sexual impulses were forced down into a little box which was never opened.

This was very unhealthy and resulted in perversions of the sexual impulse.

This is why we see child sex abuse in the Church and its institutions.

The reason for this comes from the writings of St. Paul and his doctrinal descendants.

Paul set up a conflict between body/sexuality and spirit.
The spirit was pure and good, the body was carnal and corrupt.

Later St. Augustine linked sex to original sin to complete the complex.

Fear of losing contact with God caused Christians to repress their strong natural urges.

This has resulted in the current sex abuse scandals.

And this is not new.
John Chrysostom reported widespread abuse among the bishops of Antioch in the 6th century.

There is a lot of fear surrounding sex in the Church.
Even more now that the abuse scandals have broken.

Fear is not the answer.
Fear is the problem.

The Church will never outgrow sexual abuse until it develops a healthy attitude towards sex.

Sex is a natural part of God's good creation.

That is why I am calling for a new Bar Mitzvah - a coming of age celebration which would normalize sexual development in teenagers - both heterosexual and homosexual.

This would go a long way to reducing the fear surrounding sex in the Church.

And it can not come too soon.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Your Vote.

Have you noticed how the media plays up any threat to the community by feeding fear and panic?

This is done deliberately in order to create alarm in the community.

It is done nationally in relation to crime and internationally in relation to terrorism or nuclear threats.

The reason for this is that they can then present their election candidate (the conservative candidate) as the only one who is strong enough to defeat the threat.

This will be someone with a national policy of law and order and an international policy of military intervention.

This is why the right wing media romanticizes the military.
Quite apart from the fact that they believe that the military is there to protect their wealth like the police.

So be wary of any attempt to overplay the threat of crime or terrorism or nuclear attack.
It is an attempt to control you and win your vote.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Afterlife.

If we accept that life is a process of learning.
That we progress from darkness to light.

Then perhaps the afterlife; rather than being a place of reward or punishment for what we have done in life, or a place where punishment is paid off; is a place where we continue to learn and progress towards enlightenment.

Mediums who contact the dead would suggest that this is the case.
People that have passed over are with their loved ones who are helping them.

I would suggest that this indicates a continued process of learning.

So, rather than fearing judgment or punishment after death, we should anticipate a continuation of the learning process that we experience in life.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Spiritual Development.

Spirituality does not mean that everything works out perfectly.

New Age Gurus make the mistake of substituting happiness and success for spiritual development.

Spiritual development consists of the opening of the heart and the nurturing of the caring and compassionate feelings which lead to actions on behalf of others.

This does not always mean that things work out for us.
It quite often means trouble and inconvenience.
It may make us feel uncomfortable.
Certainly it will challenge our comfort zone.

For Jesus it led to the cross.

So, rather than judging people by how well their lives are going, we should look to the development of the heart and its attendant compassionate actions.

There may be frustrations, even pain, but opening your heart to others is the key to spiritual development.

This is enlightenment.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Prayer of the Sacred Heart.

Heavenly Father,

Open our eyes to the suffering and injustice in our world.

Open our ears to hear their cries.

Open our hearts to feel compassion and love for those who are suffering.

Help us to love you, our Father, with our whole heart as we have been instructed.

Help us to love each other as Jesus taught us.

Open our hands to help those around us who are in need.

Send us out into the world as agents of Love.

Amen.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Rejection.

When a family member was causing trouble every time she came to visit I asked my mother why she didn't tell her not to come.

Her answer was that she would take that as a rejection - that she had been rejected by her own mother - and she would not do that to her.

So the visits continued.

God is our divine Father.
He will not reject His children.
Even those who have turned against Him will get another chance.

God punishes no one.
He waits for us to realize.
He delivers us when called upon.

God will not reject anyone.
Even the most hardened criminals are His children and He will not reject them.
If called upon He will help them.

That is why criminals should be reconciled with the community.

But society is slow to forgive.

Unlike God who is the first to forgive.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Answers.

Modernism is the period in which hope was inspired by scientific progress.

Universal education and universal faith in science led to the idea that science had all the answers to the problems of humanity.

This, combined with economics, made us feel that inevitable progress was leading us to a kind of Utopia.

Post-modernism is the period when this went sour.
The feeling that everything was controlled by impersonal laws and an indifferent nature led to alienation and psychological problems associated with meaninglessness.
Depression and psychosis became widespread and lead to escapism through drugs and alcohol.
Life had become so impersonal that it was unbearable.

We have now entered a dark night of materialism.
We worship success, fame, celebrity, and wealth.
Economics rules.
Men and women are expendable units in profit making machines.
Life has been reduced to working and shopping.

But the answer is not to be found in these things.
Happiness will only be found in people.
And then only in Love.

Love is the answer to our human problems.
Not science, not economics, not success or personal achievement.....

How long will it take humanity to learn this truth.
Or will we go off on another tangent?

All roads lead home.
And home is in the human heart.