Thursday, 31 December 2015

A True Prophet..


Jesus said, "'Then if anyone says to you, "Look!  Here is the Messiah!" or "There he is!" - do not believe it.  For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.'" Matthew 24:23,24 (NRSV)

How are we to recognize a true prophet?

One who is close to God has an open, loving heart; personal integrity; and humble, simple ways.

His/her life is characterized by joy, non-violence, and gentleness.

He/she has a peace that is palpable.

Egotistical, self-obsessed, social climbing celebrities are best avoided.
It is unlikely they are close to God.  


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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Crucifixion.


Why did Jesus lose his life?

Fear.

The Pharisees' fear of losing their position of spiritual leadership when Jesus criticized them.

And the Romans' fear of an insurrection when Jesus was called the King of the Jews.

How can we avoid this happening to Progressive Christianity today?

We must assure those in positions of spiritual and temporal authority that we are not out to depose them but to allay their fears and touch their hearts.

If we can convince them that they have nothing to fear from opening their hearts to God and the people then the world may become a more compassionate and loving place.


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Tuesday, 29 December 2015

God's Business.


If you are

a businessman

pray to God

that His Love

may be expressed

through you.


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Monday, 28 December 2015

Death.


St. Paul wrote, "For the wages of sin is death."  Romans 6:23 (NRSV)

This is death to God and damnation.

Think Death Metal music which is overt Satanism in our culture.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Covert Satanism is rife in our music, movies, T.V., literature, and sports.

Sex and drugs and rock and roll equals death to God.

This is what we are being fed day and night.

We are living backwards in a perpetual dance of death.

But this death is not a real thing.
It is a concept - a negation.

There is no devil in reality.

Only God's 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.]

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Sunday, 27 December 2015

The Psychology of Satan.


What Generation X have done is resort to Satan in order to win.

Satan justifies any use of violence - verbal, emotional, psychic, or spiritual - to beat your opponent.

Generation X was so jealous of the power of the Baby-Boomer Generation that they were willing to corrupt themselves to beat them.

With the endorsement of Ronald Reagan and the neo-conservative political machine they succeeded in demonizing and intimidating a whole generation.

They then rationalized their behavior by obeying the powers of the world - the corporate plutocrats and C.E.O.s - so that they could claim goodness as the victors.

They then projected their evil onto their opponents.

They will even project violence and evil onto God.

To protect this dubious position they rely on the notion of moral relativism.

But to say that this is merely your opinion is not enough.

The light shows the absolute truth.

There is a truth which is not relative.

And that truth is that God is wholly good.
Satan and evil are not viable alternatives, even if you deny it and project it onto others.

And no amount of strength or force or violence can change that.

Eventually Generation X will have to face what they have done.
And that is to resort to evil and Satan in order to win privileges and power for themselves.

And that is the absolute truth.


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Saturday, 26 December 2015

Your Business.


Your business should be run like a family.

Your workers should be like your children.

Your employees should be like your brothers and sisters.

Your purpose should be to provide.

And your heart will be at peace.


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Friday, 25 December 2015

Suffering.


To be gay today is to experience prejudice and persecution, hatred and discrimination.

Those who die of AIDS experience hatred and rejection as well as suffering and pain.

These things are caused by fear.
Fear of disease and death.
Fear of difference.

But it is all too easy to think that others do not suffer.

Everyone suffers.

Those who are captive to materialism suffer.
Those who are captive to hedonism suffer.

Because they are rich or popular does not mean they do not suffer.

But if you turn to God you will experience a joy and peace which can be found nowhere else.

So turn to God and be healed.


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Thursday, 24 December 2015

God's Will.


"In the days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills.
"People shall stream to it, and many nations shall come and say: '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 4:1,2 (NRSV)

Many people seek to know the ways of God.

His ways are the ways of peace:
"They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."  Micah 4:3 (NRSV)

Many world leaders and powerful people have claimed to seek God's will.

But most will be surprised and saddened to learn that His ways are non-violent and merciful.  He is even-handed and gracious.

For God's will for us is that we should love one another.


[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.]

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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Star Wars.


It worries me when I see little children wearing Star Wars t-shirts which show Darth Vader and say, "Darth Vader in training".

It also worries me when I see Google with two light sabers - one blue, one red - saying, "Choose your side", as if evil was an equally legitimate option.

The awakening in the new movie seems to be an awakening of evil.

And there are no good guys.

It would seem that Star Wars is going the way of Harry Potter and pushing the idea that power comes from evil, or evil brings power.

This is neither helpful nor true.

There is a power that comes from God.

And that power is Love.


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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Gay Spirituality.


The first relationship between God and Adam was a same-sex relationship.

And because God was Father/Mother and Adam was male/female (i.e. this was before Eve was created from part of Adam) it closely resembles a modern same-sex relationship - a young gay man will often seek an older man who is a kind of father figure.

So gay men can relate to God as The Father.

This is the image that Jesus gave us of God - a loving Father.

Gay people also often create a family from their friends and lovers.
This relates to the spiritual idea that all people are our brothers and sisters.

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

Although same-sex relationships do not of themselves create children, modern technology and surrogacy can take the place of heterosexual sex and provide a gay couple with children.

So gay couples are closer than ever to equal status with heterosexual couples.

The last hurdle to overcome is the Biblical injunctions which seem to condemn homosexual acts.

These passages have been dealt with extensively by many modern scholars and most people seem now to be convinced that the Bible does not explicitly ban gay relationships as they exist in the modern world.

So there is no impediment to gay people being accepted as full members of the Church - receiving communion and marrying as others do.

The Bible was written in a time when homosexual orientation was not understood as it is today.  So homosexual acts were thought of as perversions of a heterosexual orientation and were therefore immoral.  This is the basis of Biblical moral objections to same-sex acts and it is based on a false premise.

So, if we accept that gay people are born with a same-sex orientation, then there can be no further objections to gay membership and marriage in the modern Church.

Finally, gay people go through a long process of identity development and suffering caused by the prejudice and hatred of society.

This forces gay people to develop in a way that heterosexual people may not.

So gay people have an extra dimension to their personalities which heterosexual people may not have.  Gay people are often more compassionate and sure of who they are than others.  And this makes them better qualified to practice a mature spirituality.

Unfortunately many gay people have been rejected by the Churches and have in turn rejected the concept of God and religion altogether.

So we are crying out for Gay Spirituality.

A spirituality which is accepting and celebrates our gay identities and relationships.

Perhaps the Age of Aquarius will provide us with this much needed covenant.    
   

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Monday, 21 December 2015

Hide and Seek.


A prominent progressive theologian once said that sometimes searching for God was like a game of hide and seek.

I believe that there is a good reason for this.

We are shown glimpses of the Divine but then God seems to withdraw.

This is because God does not want us to leave everything to Him.

He shows us His Love and then withdraws in order to allow us to respond - to love in return.

And not just to love Him but to love those around us in the world as we have been taught.

Jesus said to love God and love our neighbor.
He did not say to seek love (from God or others) but to give love.

In my experience when you do this God returns.

So God's hope for us is that we learn to love.

And love is its own reward.


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Beyond Cynicism.


As we grow up in a corrupt and unjust world we develop a cynical attitude to everything around us.

But there is something beyond cynicism.

Jesus said to enter the kingdom Of God we must become again like a little child.

This is post-cynical innocence.

And it comes from contact with God.


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Sunday, 20 December 2015

Deep Peace.


What people experience in the silence and the stillness of nature is a deep peace.

And it is this deep peace which they intuitively associate with God.

This is spirituality.

To hear nothing but the call of the birds and the wind in the trees is to experience spirituality.

And to commune with God.


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Saturday, 19 December 2015

Christmas.


When I was a teenager I hated Christmas.

Christmas was a heterosexual family conspiracy to make me suffer.

When I became a Christian I found the secular response to Christmas objectionable - it was mercenary and hypocritical.

Today I have come to a decision.

I have found a way to reconcile my beliefs about Christmas:

Christmas is the Season of Goodwill.

Secular society may not believe in Jesus Christ but they know what goodwill is.

The angels who appeared to the shepherds sang, "Peace on earth and goodwill to all."

This is the goodwill of God towards humanity which was reflected in the birth of the one who would embody the light.

We can all - secular and religious - show goodwill at Christmas.  


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Friday, 18 December 2015

Sex.


Sex and drugs and rock and roll lead to death to God and damnation.

This is what we are being fed.

Scorpio equals sex and death.

This is what they believe.

So we are constantly tempted with sex and drugs through rock and roll.

But these ideas do not correspond to reality.

In reality sex is a vital function which is an expression of life itself.

And as such it is intimately related to God, the author of life.

So do not fall for their sex equals death songs and videos.

We should cultivate a healthy and sensible attitude towards sex.


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Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Light.



It may seem that all around us is darkness, violence, and evil.

But God is at work in our world.

His hand can be seen in the development of Progressive Christian ideas and their counterparts in other religions.

This is the Light.

And the Light that comes from God will not be overcome by darkness.

Immerse yourself in the Light.

Pray.

God will answer.


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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Manicheism.


The doctrines of Manicheism claim that Satan is co-eternal with God.

An equal and opposite force.

"Lee said that the Devil reigned in all other heresies, but had rais'd his very throne in that of the Manichees."*


* From the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.

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Good Versus Evil.


The classic story of good versus evil is a misrepresentation of reality.

Storytellers deliberately represent evil as fascinating, mysterious, even glamorous.

The bad guys are given just enough time in the story to let us indulge our dark fantasies before the good guys win out in the end.

So don't feel safe just because good ultimately wins.

If the majority of the story is taken up with the activities of evil we are being deceived.


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Monday, 14 December 2015

Everyone.


What we have to realize is that everyone suffers.

While it is true that some suffer more than others the fact remains that all are worthy of God's Love.

If we turn to Him we experience joy and peace.

"Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth!  For I am God, and there is no other."  Isaiah 45:22 (NRSV)

Turn and be healed.

Healed in body, mind, and spirit.

Anyone can experience God's Love.

And everyone will enter into heaven.


[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.]

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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Open Your Eyes.


Before I experienced something of God I would walk around but not see what was around me.

I was in my mind and I would see what I was thinking about.

I was oblivious to my surroundings.

But God opened my eyes.

Now I see the beauty of nature, the changes of the seasons, the sunshine and the rain.....

And God is in all of this, even in the strangers that I meet in the street.

So God is with me.

And I see heaven on earth.


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Saturday, 12 December 2015

Mysticism.


People are calling the new revelation of God Mysticism.

Unfortunately the word Mysticism has connotations of something which is not central to the faith - a side-track, a parallel.

It has always been practiced in isolation, not in public churches.

It seems amorphous and ethereal.

But the new revelation is not like this.

It is at once simple and specific, universal and accessible.

It is that the soul or divine spark resides in the heart of every living being and it is animated by Love.


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Friday, 11 December 2015

After Modernism.


Modernism was a time of certainty - science knew everything, everything was enclosed within a Newtonian mindset, and progress was inevitable.

Post-Modernism is the time after Modernism when quantum mechanics and astronomy proved that Newtonianism was not universal, there were things that science did not know, and progress went backwards.

We are now moving forwards from the closed mind of modern materialism to a mind which is more open to spiritual dimensions - mysticism is emerging in the world's religions and people are becoming active through the internet.

We live in exciting times.

But it is important to remember what happened to the 1960s generation - their idealism was perverted and betrayed by their rock legends until their youthful purity was selfish and sinful, corrupt and criminal.

Nothing much remains of 60s idealism.

And what they have handed down to the next generation will suffer the same fate unless we see what betrayed them.


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Thursday, 10 December 2015

Historical Context.


Our historical context is the beginning of the 21st Century.

Our world is covered in darkness.

And this is not just the darkness which is lack of knowledge or ignorance.
This darkness is evil.

Those who have sold their souls create darkness and evil by accentuating the negatives of each sign of the zodiac, effectively sabotaging and cursing successive generations.

These are the rock stars and celebrities, the sports men and women who are the false messiahs of our time.

Add to this the darkness of modern economic materialism and the new atheism and it is dark indeed.

These things distract the mind with hatred and lies.
They immerse us in darkness and hopelessness and leave us nowhere and with nothing.

Do not follow them.

Turn to God and be delivered.

Go into your room and close the door.

Pray to God and He will hear.


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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Barabbas or Jesus?


Who do we choose?

Barabbas the rebel and freedom fighter, the heroic man of action.....

or

Jesus the non-violent spiritual teacher, the humble man of peace.....

?


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Monday, 7 December 2015

The Seventh Horcrux.


In the final book of the Harry Potter series it is revealed that Harry Potter has a fragment of the evil Voldemort's soul within him.

And it is this that gives him his power.

This is a highly disturbing concept for a children's book.

It is as if all magic power comes from evil.

It is Voldemort that gives Harry Potter his power.

In the end Harry rids himself of this fragment by dying and coming back to life.

A drastic solution indeed.

So tell your children that not all power comes from evil.

There is a power that comes from God.

And that power is Love.


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Sunday, 6 December 2015

Joy.


To experience God is to experience spontaneous joy.

And how do we experience God?

By prayer, and study of the scriptures, and contemplation, but most of all through Love.

Love God and love your neighbor as Jesus taught us and your joy will be complete.


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Saturday, 5 December 2015

Suffering.


To be alive is to experience suffering.

This is because of a lack of love in the world which is caused by fear.

But on top of this we have experienced hatred and evil from our rock legends.

These superstars have turned against God and saturated the popular culture with evil and sin.

To be turned away from Love and to indulge in sinful pleasures and corruption is to magnify your suffering tenfold.

This is why I warn young people about Satanism and black magic in the rock music they listen to.

My prayer is that they be spared the suffering that we have experienced through no fault of our own except that we liked music.

If you turn to God and open your heart God will deliver you from evil.


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Friday, 4 December 2015

The Eagle.


The eagle is the symbol of empires.

It was the symbol of Rome.

It is the symbol of America.

You will find it in churches.

It symbolizes dominance.

And it is to be avoided at all costs.


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Thursday, 3 December 2015

The Four Living Creatures.


The four living creatures which surround God's throne in Ezekiel's vision and in Revelation are astrological symbols.

They represent the four fixed signs which were the signs of the equinoxes and solstices in ancient times.

They are the Bull (Taurus), the Lion (Leo), the Eagle (Scorpio), and the Human (Aquarius).

What this means is that God is all the signs of the Zodiac - i.e. God is everything.

And we can approach God through any of the signs.


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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The Gospel of John.


While I don't think that many of the statements and long speeches attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John are historical, that does not mean that they are without value.

These passages are about Jesus rather than from Jesus.

They represent the thoughts and feelings of the followers of the disciple John late in the first century C.E..

Not many of these passages appear in the earlier Gospels.

But they represent a highly developed theology based on their experience of Jesus.

The passages that pertain to Jesus' commandment to love one another are particularly valuable for anyone who is serious about finding God.

For God is Love.

And anyone who approaches God must do so with love.  


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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Bottom Up.


We are used to authority systems which operate from the top down.

But God operates from the bottom up.

God is with the lowly, the poor, the disadvantaged.
He dwells with the disabled, the persecuted, the starving.

He lifts up the humble.

He hears their prayers.

And you, who are the winners of this world, what do you know of God?

What do you know of His ways?

Mercy, forgiveness, justice, compassion, love.....

You would do better to take your lead from the humble poor.

"'So the last will be first, and the first will be last.'"  Matthew 20:16 (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.]

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Sex.


Some people in our world try to claim that all sex is in the power of the devil.

This, of course, is ridiculous.

By pure persistence and force of will they claim all sex and pleasure is sin.

But these are lies.
And lies repeated can seem true.

In reality sex, as the prime creative force, is intimately connected with God, the creator of all.

Sex is not sin
Sex is not dirty.
Sex is not indecent.

Sex is an intrinsic part of God's good creation.

The seeds of sex are everywhere in nature.

They grow and flower in turn.

So do not believe those who tell you sex is sinful.

Sex is Life.

And God is the author of Life.


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