Saturday, 30 November 2019

Persecution.


We are seeing the last stages of the persecution of gay and lesbian people.

Several countries are considering the death penalty for gay sex.

And many others enforce jail terms and ostracism.

Even in Australia where gay marriage is now legal there are religious groups calling for our expulsion and threatening us with hell.

So the battle is not yet won.

It will be over when the last bastions of homophobia overcome their fears and accept equal rights for gay and lesbian people.

LGBT+ people are still persecuted in our world.

I pray that this will come to an end.


Photo Credit: Beyond Lisping.

World AIDS Day.


AIDS is over!

Doctors can now stop HIV from developing into AIDS.

And when treated HIV is undetectable - which means that you cannot pass it on to your partner.

And there's PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) which is a pill that can help prevent infection with HIV.

So AIDS is over!


Photo Credit: solanoaidscoalition.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Domination.


Jesus was killed by the domination system of his time.

Because he dared to challenge the powers of the world by proclaiming the Kingdom of God.

This was a threat to the powers of this world because the Kingdom of God was ruled by God not by men.

But God does not rule by force.

He said to them: "Do your worst."

And they did.

They crucified and killed Jesus.

And they thought they'd won.

But God is faithful.

He resurrected Jesus to Heaven.

The trouble is that since Constantine the Church has been associated with the State.

And as such it has become part of the domination system.

And so it serves the purposes of that system.

That is why the Church never criticized the powers of the world.

That is why the Church reinforced the Status Quo.

That is why the Church preached punishment for sins and judgement and heaven and hell.

This is the carrot and stick approach of the domination system.

The system is ruled by the rich and powerful.

Its purpose is to subjugate the masses.

The Church served this purpose.

And that is why, even when the churches were full, it was still "a jungle out there".

The leaders of the Christian Churches were seduced by power and privilege.

They ruled by fear and threat.

And they did not know God.

Jesus said of them: "'you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.'"  Luke 11:52 (NRSV)

God: "The shepherds also have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, to their own gain, one and all."  Isaiah 56:11 (NRSV)

So they called Jesus Beelzebub and they crucified 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.]

Photo Credit: The Sun.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Normal.


What we think of as normal is in fact infected with hidden evil and deception.

We trust those who are not trustworthy.

We follow those who are not worthy.

We admire those who are not virtuous.

The hidden evil of Satanism in our popular culture goes unnoticed.

And the subtle propaganda of our news reporting remains unexposed.

Reality T.V., movies, rock music, sports.....

All these things contain hidden poison which curses us and induces intense suffering.

They tell us to do all the wrong things.

And they sabotage our happiness.

So, if you want to be happy in this world, stay away from the poison and propaganda in our popular culture.


Photo Credit: Improb.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Peter, Paul, and Jesus.


It seems to me that the disciple Peter retains vestiges of the Way of Good Works in his approach.

Some of his speeches in Acts and some of his writings in the Letters indicate that he favored the approach of Good Works.

While Paul retains vestiges of the Way of Asceticism or Self-Denial which includes the mortification of the body.

Paul's insistence on the enmity of body and spirit confirms this.

But Jesus' way is the Way of Love that transcends both the Way of Good Works and the Way of Asceticism.

The Way of Love leads directly to God.

And the imperatives of Love supersede the rules of Good Works and Asceticism.

Good Works seeks to gain Heaven and avoid hell by accumulating merit.

Asceticism seeks to deny earthly pleasures in the hope of gaining heavenly pleasures.

But Jesus made concessions to these rigid rules according to Love.

Love is the inmost nature of God.

And while He may accept the gestures of Good Works and Asceticism they are in no way compulsory.

Love leads directly to God.

And it is Love that God requires of us. 


Photo Credit: Nick in exsilio Flickr via Compfight cc

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

How to Interpret the Bible.


The Bible is a collection of writings by a variety of authors over hundreds of years.

The Old Testament is made up of the Jewish scrolls of the Law, the Histories, and the Prophets.

It was never one document.

When reading the Old Testament we must take into account the worldview and understanding that was current at the time of writing.

Primitive understandings of God led many Old Testament writers to endorse pracitices like: polygamy, incest, scapegoating, and genocide.

They also created an image of God that was harsh, judgemental, vengeful, and violent.

Jesus challenged many of these misconceptions.

"'You have heard that it was said.... But I say.....'"   Matthew 5 (NRSV)

So we can legitimately say that humankind's image of God evolves over time.

But even the New Testament cannot be taken literally.

Many of the miracle stories and post-crucifixion sightings are symbolic stories that represent a spiritual truth rather than an historical event.

Some later theological developments have been written back into the texts.

And do not get too hooked on the literal words.

The spirit of the Bible is good news for the poor, the outcast, and the sick.

It is inclusive and compassionate.

Its God is merciful, forgiving, and tolerant.

A Father to humanity.

Whose predominant characteristic is:

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]

Photo Credit: A W Dimmick Flickr via Compfight cc

Monday, 25 November 2019

Trinity.


We are members of an Eternal Trinity:

I - You - God.

The soul in me recognizes the soul in you as part of God.

I, through my love, bring the Love of God to you.

Love God and love your neighbor.

Love even your enemies.

And you will be a Child of the Living God.


Photo Credit: ToGa Wanderings Flickr via Compfight cc

Sunday, 24 November 2019

The Bathwater.


Malevolent forces in our society are using the insights of Progressive Christianity to destroy the Church.

By reinforcing doubts about traditional doctrines they are concluding that it's all bullshit and there is no God.

But this is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

What Progressive Christians are trying to do is rescue the baby from the bathwater.

So, by challenging certain traditional teachings, we seek to reinforce our intuitive image of God as wholly benevolent, forgiving, and merciful.

God is Love.

As Jesus taught us.

So do not listen to those who mock and despise the Church.

And do not listen to negative orthodox doctrines.

God is good.

And His Love is sure.


Photo Credit: Phil-Artist Flickr via Compfight cc

Saturday, 23 November 2019

The Antidote.


So if we reject the poison and propaganda in our popular culture what do we replace it with?

Rock music can be replaced by classical music, especially sacred choral music.

And we can contemplate religious and spiritual images like Michelangelo and Fra-Angelico; angels, light, heaven etc......

News propaganda can be replaced by Internet activism.

And sports can be replaced by volunteering.

Prayer, study, and charity keep us free from evil.

But there still remains the effects which come across the collective unconscious.

The collective unconscious is our link to the whole of humanity.

So there are positive influences and negative influences.

If we emphasize the positive thoughts and feelings that enter our minds and spirits and ignore the negative ones we will be heading in the right direction.

It is not possible to eliminate all of the negative influences which come across the collective but if we can identify them and name them we can pray for them to be redeemed.

God does not destroy evil people.

He redeems them through Love.


Photo Credit: Pamela P. Stroud Flickr via Compfight cc

Friday, 22 November 2019

Contradicting Them.


If you look at the songs and movies we are being fed today you will find a sinister pattern.

We are being told that we need dark powers to defend ourselves from some threat.

We are told we need evil to survive.

But this is black propaganda.

Satanists in our popular culture are deliberately telling us to embrace evil and worship the Beast.

The alternative is to worship the Lamb and non-violent non-cooperation.

We need the Light.

So do not listen to their dark propaganda.

Turn to the Light and to Good.

Cry out to God!

He will deliver you.


Photo Credit: greyloch Flickr via Compfight cc

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Fear 2.


In some cases people's fear is so great that they react with hate and even try to kill.

This can be seen in Africa and other places around the world where gay sex is illegal or officially condemned.

Some people attack and even kill LGBT+ people out of fear.

They feel justified by archaic laws which criminalize homosexual sex.

But these laws are obsolete.

AIDS is no longer a death sentence.

HIV is virtually cured.

So we can hope that in the future gay people will be free.

And live without harassment. 


Photo Credit: Love Wins.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Fear 1.


Fear causes some people to react aggressively.

It is the fight or flight reaction to fear.

And this was evident in the AIDS crisis.

Some people reacted violently.

They attacked gay people and blamed them for AIDS and in some cases for all the ills of the world.

This is scapegoating.

And we have seen it in Australia with Israel Folau's claim that legalizing same-sex marriage is the cause of the bushfires we are experiencing.

His fear of immorality and hell is too great for him.

And this is the basis of right-wing religious objections to homosexuality.

But God is Love.

And His Love will prevail in the end.
 

Photo Credit: byb64 Flickr via Compfight cc

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Fear or Love.


There are only two things in the world:

Fear and Love.

And there are two ways that we can react:

With Fear.

Or.

With Love.

And AIDS is the perfect example of this great truth.

We can react with Fear.

Or.

We can react with Love.

And the perfect example of this is a Fundamentalist father who has a gay son.

When his love for his son is greater than his fear of sickness, death, immorality, and hell he will have learned the greatest truth in life.

And that is that God is Love.

And God loves His gay sons.


Photo Credit: Catherine Coden Flickr via Compfight cc

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Heaven and Hell.


The upshot of the moral panic triggered by the AIDS crisis was the claim that gays go to hell.

This was not a clearly thought-out response to AIDS but a knee-jerk reaction inspired by fear.

Other forms of disease are not associated with sin.

If your wife gets breast cancer no one suggests that God is punishing her for being a woman.

If a man gets prostate cancer he is not being punished for being a man.

So why did people say that gays were being punished by God?

It seems to me that there is a double standard here.

As for hell I don't believe that God condemns people to hell in any case.

God is our Father.

And we are His gay sons and daughters.

God loves gays.

So there might just be a Heaven.


Photo Credit: Elizabeth Noyes.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

AIDS is Over.


Although they may not admit it many people, especially religious people, were afraid of AIDS.

They were afraid of sickness and death.

And this was the basis of social and religious objections to homosexuality.

It was moral panic.

But now that AIDS is virtually cured their objections are no longer valid.

Doctors can stop HIV from developing into AIDS and when treated HIV is undetectable which means that you cannot pass it on to your partner.

Also there is PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) which is a pill that can help to prevent you catching HIV.

So gay sex is safe again.

But people's minds are stuck back in the 1980s.

They think that gay sex is deadly.

And this justifies their homophobia.

But these now are in the minority.

And it is up to us to educate them.

The new reality is that gay sex is no more dangerous than straight sex.

And so their homophobia is no longer justified.


Photo Credit: Lyst.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Family.


Most people will value their own family and care for them and love them and protect them.

But they will not extend this love to others outside of their family.

They will compete and defend and even sabotage others.

Perhaps this is an instinctual thing.

But when we establish a relationship with God we begin to see that all others are His children as well.

God's family includes everyone.

And not just Christians either.

We are all brothers and sisters.

And God Himself is our Father.


Photo Credit: HuffPost.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Youth Culture.


After 35 years of Generation X we are about to see a change.

Generation X wanted money, they hated ideals, they hated unions, and they hated religion, they were politically conservative, homophobic, and their god was the devil.

But we are now seeing the emergence of the next generation - the Millennials - who are politically active, left-wing, gay friendly, green, and tolerant.

Pete Buttigieg says that the influences in our world are tectonic.

We may be about to experience an earthquake.

In any case the social zeitgeist is about to change because it is based on youth culture.


Photo Credit Millennials.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Choices.


What matters in our world is not what may or may not be in our unconscious but what we choose.

What manifests in our world is what we choose.

And what we choose is subject to our will.

We use our will to discriminate between what is helpful and what is not.

There is no other way.

So we should not be concerned about our unconscious, we have little control over what may be there, but we should apply our will to choose the best options.

And we should forgive ourselves for any mistakes we may make.


Photo Credit: Videoblocks.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Good.


Whatever happened to Good?

When I was young we were expected to be Good.

And we wanted to be Good.

And I don't mean just well-behaved.

I mean real Good.

Good to us meant being honest and truthful.

Good to us meant caring and helping.

Good to us meant peace and love.

But the next generation (Generation X) were Bad.

And they made everyone else Bad.

Now we laud corruption and praise evil.

But the generation that follows Generation X (the Millennials) are Good.

Good to them is natural.

They aspire to work towards Good.

This gives us Hope.

And it deserves our full support.

So put your faith in this generation.

And pour your blessings upon them.

For God is Good.

And all blessings flow from Him.


Photo Credit: Pinterest.

Monday, 11 November 2019

The Way of Love.


The Bhagavad-Gita says that the Way of Love is greater than the Way of Knowledge or the Way of Asceticism or the Way of Good Works.

Love is the inmost nature of God.

Those who love know God.

And His friendship is reserved for those who love Him.

Jesus said that to love God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your might was the first and greatest commandment.

And the second was to love your neighbor as yourself.

And he gave only one commandment himself and that was to love one another as he had loved us.

So it is clear that the greatest way is the Way of Love.


Photo Credit: Hanuman.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Gay Heart.


The attraction that gay men feel for men is love.

It is the equivalent of what men and women feel for each other.

But it is the habit of society to characterize our attraction as purely sexual.

And this has resulted in the reinforcement of the casual sexual practices that you will find in the gay scene.

In the past when gay sex was illegal men married and sought casual sexual encounters with other men.

This culture has continued to the present day even though gay sex is no longer illegal.

A young gay man is not looking for casual sex.

A young gay man is looking for a lasting relationship.

He is looking for love.

And now that gay marriage is legal he can look forward to a life-long relationship.

So don't follow the rock-culture preoccupation with sexual gratification.

It is love that you seek.

And only love will satisfy you.


Photo Credit: torbakhopper Flickr via Compfight cc
(The image has been slightly modified.)

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Devil Worshippers.


Because there is no devil does not mean that there are no devil-worshippers.

Our world is inhabited by rock stars, celebrities, and sportsmen who believe in the devil and sell their souls in the traditional fashion for fame and fortune and a rock star reception.

They poison us through music and entertainment and also affect us through the collective unconscious.

They believe that their art is magic.

And their intentions are evil.

This is not generally known because it is secret and their curses are cleverly disguised.

They are wolves in sheeps' clothing.

They pose as saviors and messiahs.

But they are Dogs* and Divas.

And their intentions are evil.


(*Gods backwards.)

Photo Credit: Brutal.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Hidden Evil.


Because the Church has failed us does not mean that Satanism is true.

Satanism permeates our popular culture disguised as rock music, movies, literature, and sports.

The negative, corrupting messages that we absorb in our daily lives are poisoning and cursing us.

They will destroy the Church, weaken our faith, sabotage our spiritual quest, and turn us to the dark side.

All in the hope that we will go to hell.

But this influence is not immediately apparent.

We must train ourselves to look below the surface at the subliminal messages we are receiving.

Death, fire, darkness, magic, spiders, skulls, grave stones.....

All these things derive from Satanism.

We can do without it.


Photo Credit: ABC Arts.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

The Philosophy of Jesus.


There are many different philosophies that we can follow in life.

But none of them seems to work satisfactorily until we find the philosophy of Jesus.

The non-violent, inclusive, non-combative forgiveness and mercy that Jesus recommends is a very real alternative to the aggressive, aspirational, selfish philosophies of the world.

But it is when we follow Jesus' instruction to love God, love our neighbor, and love even our enemies that we find the true core of life's meaning.

We become harmonized with the heart of the universe and life begins to open to us.

This is not to say that all struggles and sufferings cease.

They do not.

But they take their place in the context of the Love that carries us home to Heaven.


Photo Credit: Pinterest.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Revisions.


Despite the fact that Fundamentalists say that the Bible is all literally true there is evidence that the prophets' image of God evolves with time.

There are several revisions to the Law and earlier understandings of God.

".....visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children's children to the third and forth generation."  Exodus 34:7 (NRSV)

"What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, 'The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'?  As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel.  Know that all lives are mine; the lives of the parents as well as the life of the child is mine; it is only the person who sins that shall die."  Ezekiel 18 2-4 (NRSV)

This is a revision by the prophet Ezekiel of the earlier Law of Moses.

And Jesus does likewise.

"'You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer.'"  Matthew 5:38,39 (NRSV)

"'You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy."  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.'"  Matthew 5:43,44 (NRSV)

So there is Biblical evidence that some of the words put into the mouth of God by earlier prophets are mistaken.

How can the inspired word of God be mistaken?

The understanding of primitive prophets is limited by the knowledge and worldview of the time.

The revelation is reflected in the understanding of the prophet.

It is clear that Jesus revised the understanding of earlier prophets.

And as a Christian Jesus' words take precedence over earlier and later interpretations.

So it is clear.

God is non-violent, merciful, and forgiving.


[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.]

Photo Credit: Link to EpicTop10.com Flickr via Compfight cc

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Opening the Scriptures.


When God responds to our love He opens the scriptures to us.

In this way a new method of interpreting the Bible has come to us.

Rather than seeing the Bible as dictated by God modern scholars have revealed that it is made up of many different authors over hundreds of years.

In this way we can see how each author was limited by the worldview and understanding of his time.

Therefore the Bible need not be taken literally.

Even words put unto the mouth of God need not be taken as infallible.

One thing that can be seen when you apply this method is that humankind's image of God evolves.

Primitive understandings of God as a being who rewards good behavior and punishes bad behavior are superseded by Jesus' image of God as a loving Father.

Perhaps now we are able to conceive of a God who is wholly benevolent, merciful, forgiving, and whose Love is unconditional.

There is no duality - no devil, no dark powers.

Only God's steadfast Love. 


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Monday, 4 November 2019

God Loves Gays.


God loves gays.

He accepts us as we are.

He does not expect us to change.

He does not reject us or discriminate against us.

His Love is unconditional.

He is our loving Father.

We are His beloved children.

And we will all go to Heaven when we die.

To abide in His Eternal Love.


Photo Credit: bkusler Flickr via Compfight cc

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Gay Men in the Kingdom of God.


Is it possible for sexually active gay men to live in the Kingdom of God?

Some would say that their sin excludes them.

But in my experience God excludes no one.

And gay men would challenge the accusation of sin.

Rather we would call it love.

And love is in harmony with God.

God is Love.

And those who love live in God.

And God lives in them.*


(*1 John 4:16)

Photo Credit: neal..patel Flickr via Compfight cc

Saturday, 2 November 2019

The Axial Age.


The word Axial comes from a German word which means both axis and pivot.

So we are to understand the Axial Age as a pivotal period in history.

Pivotal means both important and turning.

So we can envisage this period as a turning point in humankind's understanding of God and life.

Covering the period from 800 to 300 BCE this period saw the emergence of philosophical and religious conceptions previously unknown.

Before this period the majority of religions were based on animal sacrifices to the gods.

Humankind sought to appease angry nature gods and win their favor.

But during the Axial Age humankind developed the concept of moral principles.

These principles were attributed to the gods.

And humankind was expected to live up to them.

This resulted in the Law of Judaism, the moral principles of Confucius, the Philosophies of Plato and Aristotle and new religious conceptions in Iran and India.

This survives today as the idea that God embodies these moral principles and we are expected to adhere to them.

Unfortunately this is accompanied by the expectation that if we don't live up to these moral principles we will be punished with eternal damnation.

But this is a misconception.

The truth is that what we perceive as moral principles are in fact a reflection of God's goodness.

God is good: truthful, honest, reliable, generous, compassionate, forgiving, merciful etc..

It is our fear that makes us expect punishment.

But there is no fear in God.

Only Love for us.

Perhaps the time has come to leave these primitive ideas about vengeance, punishment, judgement, and anger behind.

Julian of Norwich said that God has only one attribute and that is Love.

God loves us.

The rest is fear.   


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Friday, 1 November 2019

The Sick Church.


The Church has a terminal illness.

It's called taking.

The Church is full of takers.

They take the benefits of God's Love.

They take the Brownie Points of goodness.

They take the credit for things that others do.

They take advantage of the vulnerable.

They take respect by condemning others.

And they do nothing to help.

They may attend Church.

They may support official functions.

They may help out on Sundays.

But that's just to get the good points.

Outside of that they do nothing.

They may love their families.

They may help their friends.

But as Jesus said: "even sinners do that."

So what can be done?

They have already been told.

In fact they have said it themselves.

But they don't care.

The Church will die.

Then there will be nothing to take.


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