Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The Burning Bush.


What is the mystery of the burning bush through which God spoke to Moses on Mount Horeb?

I believe that the key to this is the fact that the bush was on fire but was not consumed.

Moses was born in Egypt and grew up there.

The Egyptians worshiped the sun (Ra).
And the sun is a fiery image which will consume you if you go too close.

So Moses' unconscious image of God was of a consuming fire.

The fact that the bush was on fire was but not consumed allowed Moses to approach God without fear.

So the burning bush is able to be the medium through which God can communicate with Moses without triggering his unconscious fears.

The name I Am is also compatible with Egyptian cosmological understandings.


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Monday, 27 April 2015

Outcomes.


Jesus said, "'No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit.'"  Luke 6:43,44a (NRSV)

I would suggest that celibacy or more accurately the sexual abstinence of male priests in the Catholic Church has produced the fruit of child sex abuse.

Likewise the literal interpretation of passages in the Bible which relate to homosexuality have led to persecution and violence against gay people.

Belief in the Rapture, Judgement, Satan, Hell, and the End Times have all produced bad ethical outcomes.

"'each tree is known by its own fruit.'" Luke 6:44a (NRSV)

To judge doctrines and dogmas by their ethical outcomes rather than their Biblical inclusion is the first step to discrimination.

And discrimination is an essential part of spiritual growth.


[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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Saturday, 25 April 2015

Brothers and Sisters.


"'Look towards heaven and count the stars.....So shall your descendants be.'"  Genesis 15:5 (NRSV)

This was God's promise to Abraham.

If you count all the Jews (sons of Isaac), the Muslims (sons of Ishmael), and Christians (followers of Jesus) who have ever lived, then Abraham's descendants would number in the billions and rival the stars in the heavens.  

So as Christians we are spiritual descendants of the same father (Abraham) as all the Jews and all the Muslims.

They are our brothers and sisters.

Abraham worshiped the one true God.

If we count this one God as our Father, as Jesus taught us (Matthew 23:9), then all the people of the world are our brothers and sisters.


[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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Thursday, 23 April 2015

A Sign.


When the leaves turn red.

And the red berries appear

on the trees.

We know that

it is autumn.


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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Camellias.


Amid the bracing

chill of autumn,

the golden hearts

of camellia flowers.


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Saturday, 18 April 2015

Abundance.


God outdoes the chance of death by sheer abundance.

Billions of stars and planets, plants and flowers, seeds and sperm ensure that life outnumbers death caused by mishap, chance, or sickness.

So that life flourishes and comes to consciousness and love.


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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Hippies.


When the Hippies rejected the Church in the 1960s they were rejecting the hypocrisy and sex-phobia of the institution.

They never rejected Jesus.
And they never rejected God.

In fact the pacifism and non-violent resistance which the Hippies adopted was derived from Jesus' teachings.

Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jnr. both acknowledged that their methods of non-violent resistance came from their faith in Jesus.

The principle of unconditional love also derives from Jesus' teaching to love the Father, love our neighbor, and love our enemies.

So, far from being Jesus' enemies, the Hippies are still in fact followers of Jesus.


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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The Nature Channel.


If you watch the nature channel on your T.V. you will think that nature, and therefore life, is about dog eat dog and copulating.

Little is made of faithfulness or nurture and there is seldom any mention of growth or abundance.

But life is so much more than this.

Giving and sacrifice and love are all aspects of the animal kingdom.

While humans develop culture and invention and art.

But without religion we would not have developed the spiritual dimension of life.

Ideals like non-violence, vegetarianism, charity, equality, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, peace, justice, and unconditional love would not have developed in our world.

The existence of these spiritual qualities is an argument for the existence of God.
Quite apart from the testimony of billions.

So; despite the divisions, the wars, the massacres, the torture; religion and God have made significant contributions to the welfare of humankind.


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Sunday, 12 April 2015

Psalm.


Blessed be the Lord God.

For He has rescued me from those who would enslave me to the power of death.

And He has saved me from those who would put me in hell.

Blessed be the Lord God.

His tender mercies endure forever.


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Friday, 10 April 2015

Security.


People who are aggressive and domineering are basically insecure.

Their fear of domination causes them to attack and dominate others.

This is the fight or flight impulse which is triggered when their underlying fear is stimulated.

The aggressive response is the fight impulse.

Truly secure people (which are rare) are gentle and loving.

They feel no need to defend themselves against others.

The ultimate example of this is Jesus.


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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Celebrity Culture.


We are constantly bombarded with images and articles about celebrities.

As if we hang on every word and deed of these modern day idols.

You would do well to treat this tidal wave of information with discrimination.

Much of what we are being sold is of dubious value.
Some of it is outright destructive.

We were not put on this earth to live the vicarious lives of celebrities.

Many of these stars are dark and self-destructive.

This is not a model we should follow.

It makes for sensational headlines not personal growth.

So do not look to egotistical superstars for your lead.

A more positive example will be found amongst the humble good.


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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Logical Satanism.


If the purpose of life is to be harder and tougher than everyone else then Satanism is the logical religion.

Satanism teaches you to be the biggest, baddest beast in the jungle.
The Tyrannosaurus Rex of the world.

It also teaches that evil is power.
And darkness hides you.

So the world may see you as successful and rich and not see the evil that you do.

But this is not the purpose of life.

Life is about love - developing a loving heart.

Try living without love and your philosophy will soon fail.

What profit is it to gain the whole world if you have not love?

And love is the theater of God.


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Sunday, 5 April 2015

The Gay Panic Defense.


The Anglican Archbishop has joined with a Catholic priest in Queensland, Australia to challenge the state's gay panic defense.

The gay panic defense is a justification for assault and murder if a person makes a homosexual advance towards you.

It was controversially reinstated in Queensland and has been used in other countries as a defense for murder.

The law discriminates unjustly against gay people and should be scrapped immediately.

If the situation was reversed and a heterosexual woman made an advance to a gay man would that be considered a justification for murder?

The law is ridiculously discriminatory and portrays gay people as less than human.

For too long we have been treated as second-class citizens.

The time has come to recognize our equality and scrap the gay panic defense for good.


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Friday, 3 April 2015

A Penny Each.


In the parable of the vineyard laborers the workers each receive a penny for their work no matter how long they have labored.

Perhaps the afterlife will be like this parable.

God punishes no one, so there can be no hell.

Perhaps there is also no special reward for obedience and service.

Perhaps everyone will be treated the same.

If God is understanding of my failings and forgives my transgressions then perhaps He is understanding and forgiving of everyone.

And we will receive a penny each.


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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Blind Guides.


"Listen, you who are deaf; and you who are blind look up and see!
Who is blind like my servant, or deaf like my messenger whom I send?
Who is blind like my dedicated one, or blind like the servant of the Lord?
He sees many things, but does not observe them; his ears are open, but he does not hear."  Isaiah 42:18-20 (NRSV)

Jesus called the Pharisees (the servants of God) "'blind guides of the blind.'" Matthew 15:14a (NRSV)

These quotations represent the situation in which we find that those in authority (the servants of God) are blind.

They teach "'"human precepts as doctrines."'"  Matthew 15:9b (NRSV)

This is the situation we find ourselves in today.
God's priests and ministers preach an imperial Christology which assumes absolute power while ignoring Jesus' teachings of unconditional love and forgiveness.

They use Machiavellian power plays to control the masses.

They water down the Gospel and uphold the status quo.

Blind guides!

How can the Church be saved?

You preach violence and hatred and resist all change.

Can you not see the Love of God?

Can you not hear the whispers?

Unless you wake from your dreadful sleep God's Church will die.

Listen!  Look up and see!

A new thing is coming from the Lord.

A new way of preaching that does not use violence or threat but God's abundant Love.

There is nothing to fear.

God will not punish us.

God punishes no one.

Throw off the yoke that you have placed around our necks.

And preach the Gospel 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.]


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