Thursday, 21 June 2018

The Kingdom of God.


A few weeks ago we had the reading from 1 Samuel where the people of Israel wanted a king like other nations.

Previously Israel had been ruled by Judges who were instructed by God Himself.

God says to Samuel, "'they have rejected me from being king over them.'"  1 Samuel 8:7 (NRSV)

This throws a whole new light on the Lord's Prayer where Jesus says, "'Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'"  Matthew 6:10 (NRSV)

Was Jesus proposing a return to the rule of God?

It is interesting that the early Christian martyrs were mostly executed for refusing to bow down to Caesar.

They insisted that Jesus was their king.

So what does it mean to accept God as king over you?

It means accepting the ways of God which are the ways of mercy and compassion.

And rejecting the ways of the world which are materialistic, self-serving, egotistical, ruthless, cold, hard, and violent.

It means that every decision we make is informed by the Love of God through prayer and devotion.
 
This is what it means to build the Kingdom of God on earth.


[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, 20 June 2018

Hearts of Stone.


Contrary to the opinion that hearts of stone are the result of toughness and strength I say that hearts of stone are the result of fear.

So if your heart is hard and unforgiving.

If you are selfish and miserly.

You are most likely afraid.

This is why it is important not to preach fear.

Fear of judgement, fear of punishment for sins, fear of hell create a heart that is cold and hard.

The result is violence and force.

But contact with the true God softens our fears and softens our hearts.

We feel love and compassion.

We care and we help.

We have hearts of flesh.


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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Fear.


There are only two things in the world:

Love and Fear.

Whether directly or indirectly all evil, violence, and hatred in our world comes from fear.

Whether it be deliberate evil chosen as an alternative to a fearful image of God.

Or force and violence in response to fear of hell and damnation.

All these abominations stem from fear.

But God does not punish us.

God is our loving Father.

And a father does not condemn his children.

The traditional image of God as a harsh and vindictive punisher of men and women is false.

It stems from fear.

But "perfect love casts out fear".  1 John 4:18 (NRSV)

The Love of God overcomes our fears.

Love God and love your neighbor.

And your fear will dissolve like the mist.


[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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Monday, 18 June 2018

Satanism in the World.


There is Satanism in rock music, sports, and entertainment.

It curses and poisons us.

We are disturbed and distracted.

But it is hidden behind a mask of glamour and celebrity.

It is disguised as harmless fun and pleasure.

But it is not harmless.

Drugs, divorce, depression, hedonism, excess, insanity, suicide.....

All these things derive from Satanism in our world.

And it is from this that we need Salvation.


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Sunday, 17 June 2018

Dogs and Divas.


People who have sold their souls - rock stars, celebrities, sports men and women - believe that because they have paid with their souls they are entitled to fame and fortune and the perfection of their art.

They expect "money for nothing and their chicks for free".

They have confidence in the power of Satan to deliver these things and also to hide them in the darkness.

This is the arena of the dark arts: black magic, witchcraft, and Satanism.

But they are false prophets.

Dogs and divas.

They distract and they disturb.

They divert and they deceive.

So beware!

We have been betrayed.


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Saturday, 16 June 2018

The Beatitudes.


When we first hear the Beatitudes they seem enigmatic, even unreal.

They seem to turn our experience of the world on its head.

But the key to understanding the Beatitudes is that they represent the values of the Kingdom of God not the values of the world.

These are the attitudes and values which come from God.

And it is these that Jesus was attempting to establish on earth.

So as disciples of Jesus of Nazareth we should strive to embody the values of the Kingdom of God,

As set out in the Beatitudes.


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Friday, 15 June 2018

Traditional/Progressive.


The Church has traditionally taught the Fall/Redemption model of Christianity.

That is: we are all condemned because of the Original Sin of Adam and Eve but Jesus has paid the price for our sins on the cross.

We have been told that sex is a sin.

And that we must earn our place in Heaven by doing good works.

It is no coincidence that these good works, as set out in Matthew 25, are accompanied by terrifying threats of damnation.

Progressive Christianity, however, teaches that Jesus commandment was to love.

To love God and love our neighbor.

To love one another as he loved us.

And that Matthew 25 teaches us that everyone is our neighbor.

Many Progressive Christians believe that God does not judge us.

So there can be no hell.

Hell is totally out of character for a loving God.

And God is Love.

So we seek to replace the motivation of fear with a motivation of love.


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Thursday, 14 June 2018

Gay.


What do you see when I say the word Gay?

Do you see an effeminate?

Do you see a prodigal?

Do you see a libertine?

Do you see a devil?

Or:

Do you see a sensitive soul?

Do you see a creative genius?

Do you see a free spirit?

Do you see an angel?


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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Her Career.


Some women will sell their souls for fame and power.

They will consort with Satanists in our media who will advise them how to sell themselves.

They can be good girls or bad girls.

They can be spiritual divas.

Or they can be sex kittens.

Either way she is promoting her career.


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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

One.


Although countering the negative messages put out by Satanism in our popular culture is worthwhile we should avoid splitting everyone into two camps.

The temptations of Dualism will perpetuate endless conflict between us and them.

Better to be mindful of the fact that all these things are done by people.

And as such we are all equal in the sight of God.

Even those who follow Satan.

God does not battle against them.
Or try to destroy them.

God offers Light to them as He does to others.

They will stop when they see.

God is One.

And so we enlighten everyone.


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Monday, 11 June 2018

Rock Music.


The Religious Right say that all rock music is Satanism.

But they associate this with liberalism and left-wing politics.

This is why they call Obama the Anti-Christ.

But this is to take what rock music presents at face value.

In fact Satanism is right-wing (Nazism) and Orthodoxy backwards.

What they present on the surface is a lure.

Evil is hidden beneath.

For example: peace and love are important teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

Social Justice is a strong aspect of Old Testament prophets.

But rock legends turned peace and love into sex and drugs and rock and roll.

And Social Justice into license.

So they are wrong to treat the Hippies as agents of Satan.

They are the victims of Satan.

And they are wrong to treat Socialism as godless Communism.

Their assumptions have missed the mark.

And they have resulted in much evil in our world.

The time has come to make peace.

We can all pray for that.


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Sunday, 10 June 2018

After-Image.


After spiritual teachers have died their disciples and followers apply their limited knowledge to the memory of that teacher.

This is why the original vision, which is transcendent and free, is subjected to ideas of barter and atonement.

Fantastic stories grow up around them and their message is compromised.

Good News becomes condemnation.

And forgiveness becomes penitence.

The message may even be usurped by the teacher's enemies and modified to meet the needs of the establishment.

In this way the carrot and stick religion of rewards and punishments is re-established as the norm.

They put words into his mouth and write back their Machiavellian philosophy into the legend.

But all of this is a perversion of the original revelation which was good news indeed.

And that news is that we are all forgiven and loved by God.

He does not punish us or judge us.

He loves us like a Father.

And therefore there can be no hell.

Hell is the weapon that the conservative establishment uses to subjugate the masses.

It has nothing to do with God.

God loves us.

And we go to be with Him when we die.


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Saturday, 9 June 2018

Good Works.


If we are acting mostly out of fear of damnation and hell then are our works good at all?

Are we not just spreading fear in the world?

And if we are acting out of compelling mental principles are we not just spreading ideology?

But if we open our hearts and do what our hearts say we will be acting out of love.

And spreading love throughout the world.


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Friday, 8 June 2018

1955.


If Jesus saves.

And the churches were full every Sunday.

Why then was it: "a jungle out there".

Either they were teaching them the wrong things.

Or they were just not doing it.

Or both.


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Thursday, 7 June 2018

Christian Countries.


How could it be that Christian countries claim to support the poor when the majority of the economic development which reached the Millennium Development Goals took place in godless Communist China and idolatrous Hindu India?

Evangelical Christians in America voted for millionaire Donald Trump and called Barak Obama evil.

Donald Trump has just slashed corporate taxes increasing the inequality of wealth in our world.

Obamacare supported health care for the poorest in America.

And yet Christians claim to worship God.

How can they worship God and oppress the poor, and persecute minorities, and call evil good, and good evil*?

Even the Pope was called a Marxist by Fox News.

The rich (Christian) countries of the world must look to their practices and conventions if we are to address poverty in our world.

We need look no further than our own System.


*(See Isaiah 5:20)

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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

I'm Alive!


I am a gay man.

I am sexually active.

And I'm Alive!

By Alive I mean in a loving relationship with God.

Homosexuality is not a sin.

So it does not induce death - i.e. separation from God - if that were possible.

Neither does it warrant hell.

I know that I will go to Heaven when I die.

God has promised this.

And not just me but all gay men.

I am a gay man.

And I'm Alive!


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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Pharisees.


The Religious Right is made up of Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, Pentecostalists, Orthodox Christians, and some elements of the Catholic and Anglican Churches.

In the story of Jesus the Religious Right is represented by the Pharisees.

And the Pharisees conspired with the dominant power - the Romans - which is now the Corporate Plutocrats - to kill Jesus.

So, far from representing God on earth, the Religious Right has conspired against God to establish their own position of power and privilege in the world.

This can be clearly seen in their attitude to authority.

The first thing they talk to you about is authority.

By which they mean their authority over you.

In the Bible it is the Pharisees who question Jesus about authority.

"'By what authority are you doing these things?  Who gave you this authority to do them?'"  Mark 11:28 (NRSV)

To which Jesus responds with a question: "'Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?'"  Mark 11:30 (NRSV)

When they answered that they did not know Jesus refused to tell them by what authority he was acting.

So the issue of authority was central to the philosophy of the Pharisees because it was by this authority that they established their power and privilege on earth.

It is the same with the Religious Right. 


[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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Monday, 4 June 2018

Voices.


My thesis is that the voices which torment people with schizophrenia are evil.

They come from evil around us in society and work across the collective unconscious.

Rock music is secretly Satanic.

This has been the case from the beginning.

Who was it who told young people to take drugs in the first place?

It was the rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s.

And the mental illness which resulted is not all chemical in nature.

Schizophrenia is a kind of clairaudience.

And the voices they hear are the result of evil which is hidden from us.

So a spiritual approach in conjunction with medication can be helpful.

Prayer and contemplation and study can help to counter negative voices.

Sacred choral music may be helpful.

You may even experience helpful voices.

This may be the key to schizophrenia.

But a word of warning.

Anyone who says that you are possessed by evil spirits is mistaken.

The voices are to do with the collective unconscious and as such relate to real individuals and perceptions around us.

Exorcism is not an appropriate response.

This approach can be quite damaging to people who have voices and hallucinations.

A spiritual blessing may help.

But archaic worldviews will not.

We must stay with modern psychological realities if we are to have any success.

 
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Sunday, 3 June 2018

New Wineskins.


"'And no one puts new wine into old wineskins, otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.'"  Mark 2:22 (NRSV)

Just so, we do not seek to preach the new vision to elderly people who are too old to change their ways.

We seek to enlighten young people who have never heard the Good News and can accommodate it without prejudice.

And so we do not preach in church but on the Internet where we can reach fresh minds and hearts.


[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, 2 June 2018

Gold.


An Indian Yogi once said to me, "At the moment you are like a barren field.  But if you strike Gold....."


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Friday, 1 June 2018

What Remains.


Some people say that once you start changing things and getting rid of the negative doctrines of the Church that there will be nothing left.

But this is not true.

Once we replace the rigid rules associated with religion what is left is not nothing.

What remains is the unconditional Love of God.


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