Thursday, 19 July 2018

No Hell.


Jesus said, "'love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.  Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.'"  Luke 6:35 (NRSV)

If God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked then how can there be a hell?

"'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven, for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends his rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.'"  Matthew 5:44,45 (NRSV)

If God sends light and rain to evil people how can we say He will punish them in hell forever?

To be children of God is to be like God.

And Jesus says that God does not punish evil people.

Rather He loves them and helps them.

So we need not fear hell.

If God helps evil people how much more will He help those who love Him.


[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, 18 July 2018

Come and See!


Twice in the early part of John's Gospel we are invited to "Come and see."

When the two disciples of John the Baptist ask Jesus where he is staying he answers: "Come and see."

And when Philip calls Nathaniel he says to him that he has found the Messiah, "Come and see."

Jesus is the Light of the World.

And we are all invited to "Come and see!"


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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Safe.


"'"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind."'"  Matthew 22:37 (NRSV)
"'"You shall love your neighbor as yourself."'"  Matthew 22"39 (NRSV)

When we love God with all our heart what we discover is that we are perfectly safe.

Our love is accepted.
Our love is requited.

Therefore it is perfectly safe to open our hearts.

In life in this world we seldom feel safe enough to open our hearts.

And if we do our love is often rejected.

Life on earth is the vale of the broken-hearted.

But if we open our hearts to God He will not reject us.

This enables us to feel confident enough to open our hearts to others.

This is how the Kingdom of God expands.

We are all Children of God.

God rejects no one.

And He mends our broken 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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Monday, 16 July 2018

An Adjunct of Love.


Sex is an adjunct of love.

Sex is not a sin or even a moral consideration.

You will not fall or be condemned or damned.

You will not die.

Sex is not the dominion of the devil.

If there was a devil.

Sex is an aspect of God's good creation.

"God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply.'"  Genesis 1:28 (NRSV)

And before you say this excludes same-sex relationships there is no indication that the male and female creation is exclusive.

Homosexuality exists in nature.

There are asexual plants.

Creation is diversity itself.

And homosexuality is an expression of that diversity.

And as such homosexuality is good.

So do not listen to those who tell you sex is bad.

Sex is the consummation of love.

And it is blessed by God.


[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, 15 July 2018

Scriptures.


Great spiritual teachers attain a refined vision of God and humanity.

Unfortunately they are often unable to effectively communicate this vision to their disciples.

Therefore we get a lesser vision in scriptures.

And so we must know the authors and writers of scriptures in order to discern the truth.

The authors and writers of the scriptures can only express their understanding of the vision according to what they themselves can understand.

"The water takes on the color of the container."  (Sufi saying)

And so we must decipher what we read.


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Saturday, 14 July 2018

Idols.


There are many idols in our world:

Rock stars, celebrities, sporting heroes. money, possessions, fame, status, witches. false prophets, dogs, divas.....

These things are empty.

They cannot bring happiness.

Instead of human and material gods we should worship the One Living God which is Love.

Put your faith in Him.

Pray to Him when you are in distress.

Wait on  the Lord.

And He will answer you.


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Friday, 13 July 2018

Gay Weddings.


It's done!

Gay weddings will be celebrated in the Uniting Church.

Last night the Uniting Church in Australia adopted a second statement that says marriage is between two people.

This opens the way for gay weddings.

Congratulations to the Uniting Church for their tireless work and perseverance.

At last there is a Church where gay people have equal rights.

At last our relationships will have God's official blessing.

They are to be commended for their foresight and vision.

Thank you! 


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Thursday, 12 July 2018

Fear of AIDS.


Fear of AIDS drives homophobia:

From moral panic and damnation.

To straightening and torture.

To violence and hate.

It is inspired by fear.

So now that AIDS is no longer a death sentence.

We must pray that we all overcome our fear and return to life and peace.


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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Gay Marriages.


A proposal containing two optional statements on same-gender marriages is to go before the Uniting Church in Australia National Assembly.

One statement preserves the 1997 position that marriage is between a man and a woman.

But a second statement says that marriage is between two people.

If the proposal is accepted Gay Marriages will be celebrated in the Uniting Church.

This is a major move for the Church.

And it is great news for the Gay Community who have been told that God hates them.

The celebration of Gay Marriages is a positive step that would help to redress years of persecution by the Church.

If we can spread the good news that not all God's Churches preach gay-hate then we may go a little way towards realizing the truth:

God loves gay people as they are.


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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Fathers and Mothers.


Pope Francis says in his book Happiness in this Life that when celibate priests and sisters are dissatisfied with their lives there is no joy.  They are sad.

Joy, he says, comes when they are fathers and mothers to their communities.

And the reason for this is when, as a single person, you are cut off from others, you are cut off from love.

Your heart is dead.  And you are sad.

When you are a father or a mother to others love flows through you.

Your heart is alive.

And joy flows from this.


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Monday, 9 July 2018

Eunuchs.


Modern scholars have said that the word eunuch was used in the ancient world to describe any man who could not have children.

This was said to include men with a homosexual orientation.

This is quite important because the only possible reference to homosexual men that is attributed to Jesus uses the word eunuch.

In the context of speaking about men who do not marry Jesus said, "'For their are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and their are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.'"  Matthew 19:12 (NRSV)

Now it is evident that Jesus was not merely talking about men who had been castrated because no one is castrated for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.  This refers to voluntary celibacy.

So if we take the wider interpretation of the word eunuch to include homosexual men then Jesus is saying that some men are born homosexual.

This is important because St. Paul's objection to homosexual acts is based on the false premise that those who act in homosexual ways are perverting their natural God-given heterosexuality.

So Jesus' attitude is in line with our modern understanding of homosexuality.  That some men are born with a homosexual orientation.

Therefore they are acting in a way that is perfectly natural and good to them.

If we can accept that homosexuality is a part of the diversity of God's good creation then there can be no further objections to homosexuality in religion on moral grounds.


{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, 8 July 2018

Breaking Down the Walls.


When we read the Bible it becomes apparent that God is in the business of breaking down the walls that divide us.

In the Old Testament God speaks of foreigners joined to the Lord, even eunuchs (banned from the Temple) within His walls.  (Isaiah 56)

God often speaks of those excluded: the widow, the orphan, the alien.....those who are neglected by society.

"for my house shall be called a house of prayer, for all peoples."  Isaiah 56:7 (NRSV)

In the New Testament Jesus speaks to women (forbidden in Jewish society) and foreigners: the Samaritan woman by the well and the Syrophoenician woman.

The first convert to Christianity was a black Ethiopian eunuch.

And when Arab people were excluded from His religion God sent the prophet Mohammed to them.

So it should be no surprise that in the Age of Aquarius God has manifested in the gay community.

God stands on the other side of the wall and says: "Here I am."

He does this in order to break down the invisible walls between us.

So that His House can be a House of Prayer for all peoples.


[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, 7 July 2018

Myron.


During the gay rights movement of the 1970s Gore Vidal published a novel called Myron.

In it the alter-ego of Myra Breckinridge (now returned to the male gender) is trapped in the movie Siren of Babylon.

At the time gay people were popular, even glamorous.

But we were unaware that another demographic saw us as wicked fornicators and perverts.

This became painfully obvious when AIDS hit.

It is interesting that the heterosexual members of the sexual liberation movement did not suffer the censure of society to the same extent.

This reveals both fear (of AIDS) and prejudice (against gay people).

So, now that AIDS is no longer a death sentence, the reaction to homosexuality should begin to abate.

More rational debate should show that Biblical objections based on archaic rules and regulations are no longer valid.

And modern gay relationships based on love are not immoral or perverted.

Homosexuality may be genetic, it occurs in the animal kingdom, and it is part of the diversity of God's good creation.

God loves gay people as they are.

He does not wish to change them or punish them.

He loves us like a father loves his gay sons.

So don't be swayed by those who tell you that God hates gays.

God loves gays.

And we will all go to Heaven when we die.


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Friday, 6 July 2018

A Pound of Flesh.


Sometimes some people will commit you to their judgement and make you pay.

They want their pound of flesh.

And this can happen in the Church.

If you are politically incompatible or are perceived to have transgressed some people will want to make you pay.

But, as in the play, they must show mercy.

The letter of the law should not be applied.

Whole generations have been punished for their perceived transgressions.

And projected guilt can manufacture a political victory.

So show mercy, even to your enemies.


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Thursday, 5 July 2018

Good and Evil.


"No good man is entirely good and no bad man is entirely bad." (Mahabharata)

When we approach God and receive forgiveness for our mistakes we are expected to forgive others in turn.

And not just minor errors or misdemeanors but major mistakes as well.

God is the Father of everyone:

Good and evil.

And a father will not condemn his own children.

So major errors and crimes are forgiven as well.

God writes off the debts.

He allows us to begin anew.

And abide in His Love.


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Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Reclaiming Gay Sex.


Since the advent of AIDS in the 1980s gay sex has been demonized and persecuted by religious people all over the world.

This attitude, which marks both Christians and Satanists alike, is the result of moral panic and fear.

But gay sex is not demonic.

Gay people are not evil.

And gay sex is not the arena of the devil.

Same-sex attraction was celebrated in ancient Greece.

And the love of David and Jonathan was recorded in the Bible without condemnation.

In fact David calls it: "passing the love of women."  2 Samuel 1:26 (NRSV)

It was not for his love of Jonathan that David was criticized.

So, now that the AIDS crisis has largely passed, we can reclaim gay sex for good and for God.

The frescoes of Michelangelo record the beauty of same-sex love in the Holy of Holies of the Catholic Church.

And this timeless beauty is emulated by bodybuilders the world over.

Homosexuality is part of the diversity of God's good creation.

And gay sex is the consummation of love.

It inspires intimacy and tenderness between men.

And as such it is part of God's plan for humanity.

Which 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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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Jesus.


There have been many enlightened teachers in the history of mankind.
But Jesus is the best.

Jesus' vision of God is truly revolutionary.

It captures and reflects the radical Love of God.

Only Jesus tells us to love our enemies.

Only Jesus forgives his murderers.

Only Jesus calls God Papa.

Jesus is the sign-post to the living God.

Jesus' teaching to love God and love our neighbor leads directly to the One Living God.

So, rather than being obsolete, Jesus is needed more today in this time of darkness than ever before.


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Monday, 2 July 2018

God's Name.


It was once said to me that the way you tell whether an experience is truly spiritual or not is by its effects.

A truly spiritual experience will have entirely good effects, there will be no bad effects at all.

Whereas an experience which comes from another source may have bad effects.

Once we have had a real spiritual experience - i.e. contact with the real God - we begin to know His Name - i.e. His true nature.

And His true nature is entirely good, entirely benevolent, and entirely loving.

There is no punishment, no judgement, no violence in God.

To realize this is to know His Name.

And once we know His Name we can differentiate between what comes from God and what does not.


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Sunday, 1 July 2018

Muscle Worship.


Those who sell their souls for musclemen are really selling their souls for love.

Because the great desire that men and women feel for beautiful musclemen is love.

And because these great desires are impossible drastic measures are necessary.

So they sell their souls for sex and tempt beautiful men by telling them that they will be worshipped like gods.

But the fact remains that it is love that inspires them.

So when God comes and His Light shines upon them they will see that it is love and they will be redeemed.


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