Monday, 30 December 2013

Power.

Why do the Churches continue to preach the old image of God as the dispenser of rewards and punishments?

The answer is simple - Power!

The conservative establishment (the rich) usurped the authority of God long ago and they use it to subjugate the masses.

They convince themselves that without rewards and punishments sinful humanity would be uncontrollable.

But the real reason is to support their own position and privilege.

Fear of losing their position and privilege drives them to use more and more Machiavellian mass control techniques.

But this is now reactionary conservatism.

Humankind has outgrown the old image of God.

It is yet to be seen whether the rich will accept the New Paradigm and embrace equality or not.

They have nothing to fear.

They will lose nothing but their fear and guilt.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Prevailing Winds.

In the Bible and other works we find the standard wisdom of each time and place.

This is why the image of God seems to change and evolve.

Early in the Bible we find the philosophy of success - i.e. God rewards good behavior and punishes bad behavior on earth.

This can be seen in the Old Testament prophets like Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
The misfortunes of Israel are ascribed to punishments from God for turning away from Him.

By he time that the Book of Job was written humankind had realized that this simply did not happen.
The Book of Job is an attempt to explain why.

When we come to the time of the New Testament we are presented with an entirely new image of God as a loving Father who wishes the best for His children.

This is interspersed with the old images of punishment which humankind had not entirely shaken off.  Some of these were projected into the afterlife.

The time has now come to discard the false image of God as a dispenser of rewards and punishments.

God punishes no one.

He is our loving Father and we are His children.

Monday, 23 December 2013

The Old and the New.

Just as the orthodox religious authorities of the time murdered Jesus, so the orthodox religious authorities of our time oppose the New Paradigm.

It would be a great surprise to them that the very thing they crave - divine revelation - is the very thing that they oppose.

The old, established authorities always resist any challenge to their orthodox position.
This gives them power.
And they do not share power.

So when the new revelations come the old authorities resist.
They don't believe that they come from God.

The Pharisees called Jesus Beelzebub, the Fundamentalists call Progressives Satan.

They demonize their own God.

So don't be too eager to demonize the new, you might just be demonizing God.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

The Big Picture.

When we are in the world we justify ourselves and condemn others.

But when we draw close to God we begin to see the big picture.

God is the Father of us all.
And He treats everyone with the same mercy and forgiveness.

God does not punish any of us.
He forgives us and sets us free.
Free to love and free to help.

There may be any number of reasons why people act the way they do.
The chief among these being fear.

God does not condemn us for our fears.

"'"Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."'"  Matthew 25:40 (NRSV)

And God's family includes everyone.


[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.]

Monday, 16 December 2013

Violence.

The bane of our world is violence.

Violence comes from fear.

When we get a fright we  respond with fight or flight.

So our aggressive actions are triggered by fears.

In the darkness we imagine that violence can win.

But the end does not justify the means.

The end is the means.

Violence beets violence.

Fear begets fear.

So, rather than perpetuating violence on earth, we should address the fears that cause violence.

Beginning and ending with the fear of God.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Fear in the Darkness.

We are born into darkness.

When we are in darkness we are plagued by fears.

Primitive humans were in darkness.
They imagined all manner of evil spirits and gods around them.

Scientific knowledge has dispelled much of this fear.
It has also challenged faith in one God.

As we approach God through prayer, contemplation, and love we begin to see.
And as we begin to see our fear leaves us.

There is nothing to fear from God.
He wishes only our benefit and progress.

This comes through Love.

And "perfect love casts out fear.'  1 John 4:18 (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.]

Monday, 9 December 2013

Nude.

Have you noticed how rock stars, models, and sportsmen and women seem to be appearing nude all the time.

This is being done by stars who have sold their souls to the devil, in order to get you in.

It serves two purposes:
1.  To get you to buy their product.
2.  To get you into hell.

They hope that you will become obsessed with them and this will generate income for them.

They will then tempt you and curse you with the hope that you will go to hell.

It is at once cynical and diabolical.

There is nothing wrong with nudity itself.
It is the way that it is being used that is sinful.

So be wary of stars who display themselves nude.
They may just be after your soul.

(N.B.  There is no hell in reality.  In the end there is only God's Love.)

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Respect.

Love brings with it both desire and respect.

Desire for the loved one and respect for his or her wishes.

All too often desire dominates and we neglect respect.

But if we truly love the beloved we will respect their wishes.

Sometimes our desire is so strong that we overlook the fact that the object of our desire is a human being with a will and rights of their own.

This is where respect can save us from violating the rights of the loved one, either physically or emotionally.

We must respect the wishes of the loved one no matter whether they fall in with our desires or not.

Sometimes we must sacrifice our desire in order to respect the wishes of the loved one.

There will hopefully be other opportunities to express our desire with others.

To men who are unable to reciprocate the desire of another man I would say:
Rather than rejecting us violently.
Let us down gently.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Capricorn.

I was surprised when an astrologer said to me that Jesus was governed by the sign of Pisces but the Church was governed by Capricorn.

This was because the Church and the State were part of the social authority structure - the establishment.

This is how it was before the fall of Christendom.
The Church was an authority.

When we think now of spirituality we no longer think of an institution invested with social authority.
We think of green trees and political ideals.
God is no longer confined to stone buildings.
He roams freely through nature and acts for social justice.

So perhaps Christianity can return to the sign of Pisces - the sign of the spirit - and follow Jesus - the gentle teacher of Love.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Hypocrisy.

What is it that makes people say one thing (in church) and do another (during the week).

Quite contrary to the popular belief that these people are wicked or sinful, I believe the reason is fear.

The fear that what they espouse on Sundays will not work in the world drives them to behave differently in their work environment and even in the family life.

And then the fear of ostracism causes them to mouthe agreement with Jesus on Sundays.

The fear of hell causes them to say one thing and do another.

So, rather than thinking of these people as the enemy, we should have compassion for them, so ruled are they by fear.

Their fear makes them do what everybody else does - at work and in church.

How can we reduce their fear?

By removing the threat of hell to begin with.

And increasing their faith.

That God will deliver us, and God will provide.

Pray for this.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Whited Sepulchers.

Rock musicians cover up their music of death by whitewashing their image.

This serves two purposes:
1.  To hide the dark nature of their mission.
2.  To draw people in.

Have you ever noticed the sweet, innocent music of one album becomes the dark, suicidal music of the next?

Look more closely.
You will see a pattern.

Lure - Darkness - Cover Up.

Many of them use nudity and sex to lure people into their web of evil.
Then they poison and curse them to death.
In the hope that they will go to hell.

It is a subtle game of temptation and damnation.

The inverse of orthodox religion.

It is dark.
It is negative.
It is superficial.
It is sabotage.
It is anti-Christian.

But they are whited sepulchers.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Religious Authorities.

Was I to speak with those in religious authority I would argue that the absolutes inherent in their versions of Christology are at odds with my experience of God.

God is not angry or judgmental.
He does not condemn or punish us.

These are explanations for what happens to us in life which is merely the actions of human beings with free will.  It is not the will of God.

The angry, judgmental, punishing God of the Old Testament is a projection of our experience of earthly authority figures - fathers, kings - who reward and punish us.  This is not part of God.

God's nature is wholly good.
He is not subject to the dualities of our world.

We project our human traits onto God.

Hear the good news:
God is Love.
All are forgiven.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Unconscious Projections.

What we are and what we think are to some extent created by the projections of others.

This is why stereotypes and prejudices should be addressed.
They tend to create the kind of behavior projected.

"'The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.'"  John 3:8a (NRSV)

Projections from others in the collective unconscious will create thoughts that are in line with those projections.

So we should always be aware of what others think of us.
Albeit without manipulation.

We can counteract negative projections with positive thoughts.
But we must be constantly vigilant.

This is particularly true of gays and lesbians who are despised and demonized by the religious right.

Gays and lesbians should be constantly reminded of their innate goodness and their acceptance in 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.]

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Suffering.

The cause of suffering is sin.

The cause of sin is fear.

Faith helps us overcome our fears.

But it is Love which leads us to God.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Virtues.

Honesty.

Truthfulness.

Compassion.

Tolerance.

Charity.

Patience.

Love.

These are the virtues we show when our fear is gone.

They lead to the goodness of God.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Holy Communion.

What we celebrate in the Church today as Holy Communion is based on a real event - the Last Supper - but it is unlikely that it took the form which we use today.

In the ancient world the meal was a symbol of communion with the god.
It was the culmination if the initiation rites in the mystery cults.

The cult of Dionysus for example used the meal as a reminder of the death of Dionysus and his being eaten by the giants.
Some think that this myth is the basis of the Eucharist.
Dionysus' heart was taken to Olympus and he was given a new body.

That being said, the event which we call the Last Supper was a Passover meal.
And as such it was a celebration of the covenant between God and the people of Israel in Egypt.
The blood of the sacrificial lamb was painted on the door of each Israelite's house and the plague of death passed over them, sparing the lives of their firstborn.

It was the commemoration of this meal which Jesus and the disciples engaged in that night.

As a reminder of the covenant between God and Israel, Jesus may have used this meal as a symbol of the new covenant centered in him.

It is unlikely that he would have used the words my body and my blood.
This is much moire likely to be an overlay which was added later, after his crucifixion.

But this Passover meal remains a covenant with God and we are right to commemorate it as Holy Communion.

Monday, 4 November 2013

The Book of Revelation.

Far from representing the imminent end of the world, I believe that the Book of Revelation which ends the Bible represents the fall of Rome, the end of the ancient world, and the establishment of Christendom.

It states that the seven heads of the beast are seven hills - these are the seven hills of Rome.
The ten horns are Roman Emperors.
The three little horns are the Triumvirate.
The blasphemy is that Caesar is a god.

The cavalry are the barbarian hoards - the Vandals, the Visigoths - who destroyed Rome.

The Christians are then given thrones - the thrones of Europe - following Constantine: Charlemaine, the Christian kings of England and Germany.....

So there is no need to fear the end, it has already happened.
It was imminent at the time of Jesus.
And it established the Age of Pisces.

We are now leaving the Age of Pisces and entering the Age of Aquarius.

But there is no need to fear war, although there is always conflict between the old and the new.

Pray then that we can achieve the transition without violence.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Up to Date.

I am now more or less up to date.

I will only be posting every 3 or 4 days from now on.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Bad Behavior.

Because God does not punish bad behavior does not mean He condones it.

He withdraws.

Murder, violence, stealing, lies, adultery, blasphemy, greed, oppression.....
God does not condone these things.

Most of them have causes, and those causes are fears.

So God does not judge them.

Non-violence, forgiveness, honesty, respect, charity, generosity.....
God delights in these things.

But most of all God delights in Love.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Tolerance.

Some right-wing Christians seem to think that they have a God given right to stop gay people having sex.

They constantly oppose any expression of sexuality between people of the same sex.  And they seek to straighten any gay people they come into contact with.

They tell us God does not accept us.
And we will go to hell.

Far from endorsing these ideas God teaches us tolerance.
We are to love our neighbors, not judge them.

God does not punish us.
So there can be no hell.

But rather than embracing these liberal ideas many right-wing Christians feel obliged to interfere with others.  They bully people and threaten everyone.

It is their fear that drives them.

Beginning and ending with the fear of God.

If only they could learn to love God and not fear Him perhaps they would treat others with more tolerance.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Heart of Flesh 2.

"I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."  Ezekiel 36:26b (NRSV)

This is far removed from the attitude to flesh expounded by St. Paul.
In his writings St. Paul sets up a conflict between spirit, which is pure and good, and flesh, which is dirty and bad.

This has created a theology which denies the flesh in favor of spirit.

Heaven is the reward for sacrificing pleasures on earth.

This is the attitude of many Christians to gay sex.

Heterosexual sex seems not to matter to them but gay sex is banned.

We are expected to sacrifice the consummation of our love in order to achieve heaven.

These Christians, of course, don't do this themselves, but it is expected of gay people.

This theory is contradicted by God.

"I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."  Ezekiel 36:26b (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.]

Monday, 28 October 2013

Well Adjusted.

One expression I dislike is well adjusted.

Adjusted to what?
The cruelty and injustice of the world?

Is that something we should be well adjusted to?

I would suggest not.

The expression well adjusted merely means we are like everyone else - materialistic, employed, law abiding, and insular.
We don't rock the boat and we re-enforce the status quo.
We endorse traditional social structures and do not challenge the powers of the world.

Was Jesus well adjusted?
If he had been he would never have challenged the Pharisees, nor would he have preached a philosophy of radical Love.

Rather than being well adjusted citizens we should seek to be self-actualized agents of Love, attuned to God's goodness and mercy, not the values of the world.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Evil.

Some philosophers call natural disasters and bad experiences evil.

I, however, would suggest that the only evil in the world is deliberate, conscious evil done by people who have rejected the good (God).

The rest is done by humans of their own free will.

Natural disasters are accidents caused by the actions of natural forces in the earth.  These natural forces act autonomously - i.e. without the conscious intervention of God.

As for bad experiences, the chances are that if you treat people well they will treat you well in return, and if you treat people badly they will treat you badly in return.

This, however, is not a Law.

People have free will and act according to their will.
People are free to return ill for your good or good for your ill.

God is not responsible for what happens to you in the world.

Other members of the human family are responsible for their own actions towards you.

Our task is to be grateful and forgive.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Re-Enchantment.

At a meeting of the PCNV* entitled Where is Progressive Christianity at? one of the speakers said that our faith goes through three stages:

When we are children we live in an enchanted world.

Later we experience disenchantment.

But, he said, there is a third stage - re-enchantment.

He said that Progressive Christianity was still in the second stage of disenchantment and was yet to reach the third stage of re-enchantment.

This is consistent with my experience.
After we have learned to be cynical and pragmatic we return to a childlike innocence and openness.

This is also consistent with Jesus saying that to enter the kingdom of heaven we must become again like a little child (Mark 10:15).  And his statement to Nicodemus that we must be born again (John 3:3).

This is re-enchantment.

We do not return to the ignorant, childish ways of our childhood but we regain the innocence and openness of childhood with the knowledge and experience we have gained.

This is true enlightenment and it is achieved when we open our hearts and practice unconditional love.

*Progressive Christian Network of Victoria.

Friday, 25 October 2013

No Winner.

Anything that helps us to get along together as a whole is helpful.

God will not adjudicate.

There will be no winner.

So we had better learn how to get on with each other.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Everyone.

God loves everyone.

He condemns no one.

We are all forgiven.

We are enjoined to pray for our enemies as well as our friends.

So we can pray:
for the sick to be healed,
for the troubled to be comforted,
for the blind to see,
for violence to cease,
for the oppressed to be delivered,
for the fearful to be released,
for the darkness to be dispelled,
for apostates to be reconciled,
for the guilty to be forgiven.

Then all will know God and the reality that all are loved.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A Confidence Trick.

Satanism is a confidence trick.

Because famous rock bands from the 1960s and 1970s experienced great fame and fortune modern wannabes expect the same thing to happen to them if they sell their souls to the devil.

This gives them confidence.
And this confidence brings success.

They have confidence in Satan - that he can bring them the fame and fortune they crave.

But there is no Satan in reality.
So their house is built on sand.

The success experienced by the rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s was the result of talent and work, not some illusory contract with the devil.

And modern rock bands can experience the same thing.
But it is not the work of the devil.

Entertainers who are popular experience fame and wealth and have devoted fans in any case whether they sell their souls or not.

So Satanism is a confidence trick.

P.S.  In the end there is only God's Love.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

No Punishment.

Perhaps in the end God punishes no one.

Even the most wicked apostates are His children.
And He will not reject them.

This, of course, makes hell impossible.

As many have said, hell is our of character for a loving God.

So our image of God must change.

No longer will we see Him as an enforcer of rules.
No longer will He be the dispenser of punishments.

God is our loving Father.
And He will not reject us.

There is Biblical support for this view in Luke 15:
the parables of the Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, and the Lost (Prodigal) Son.

These are the parables of reconciliation.
Even to the very last one.

Jesus says that our sins are forgiven.

And as he says in the parable of the two debtors - he who is forgiven more will love God more.

Monday, 21 October 2013

The Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The story of Adam and Eve is a myth.

But like so many myths it contains a seed of truth.

This seed is that the problems of humanity are caused by the knowledge of good and evil.

This is the old problem of dualistic thinking.

Life is not in black and white - there are seven colors in the spectrum.
And while some things in life are dual, others are singular, or even multiple.
There is diversity in nature.

The knowledge of good and evil causes us to divide everyone and everything into good and evil.
This is a false dichotomy.
This black and white thinking is the cause of persecutions and wars.

The only evil in the world is conscious evil which is chosen by some as an alternative to good, usually because they have been misled about the nature of God.

Other things which we call evil have reasons which ultimately derive to some kind of fear.

The King James Bible translates Deuteronomy 6:4 as, "Hear O Israel: 'The Lord our God is one Lord.'"
This means not only that there is only one God but that He is one, i.e. not dual.

So we have been looking at things the wrong way.

God is holistic, not dualistic.

One definition of holistic is - emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.

There is no Satan, no dark forces.

God is one.

So, instead of dividing everything into good and evil, we should look at life as a whole.

No good man is entirely good and no bad man is entirely bad.

Everyone is a mixture of good and bad qualities.

So, in effect, everyone is the same.
It is a matter of degree.

And perhaps those who we call evil are those who most deserve our sympathy.
Because what was done to them caused them to become what they are.

Who are we to judge them.

They should be forgiven as we have been forgiven.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Sleight of Hand.

Satanism in the media is disguised as something else in order to maintain popularity.

Shows promoting rock music covertly sell Satanism to young wannabes who will believe their stories of instant success.

Their songs have double meanings and they are always ready with a lie to tell an unsuspecting public.

The main reason why they have not been exposed is that modern people don't believe in the devil.
So they presume that others don't either.
How can there be Satanists if there is no Satan?

There may not be a supernatural being called Satan but there certainly are Satanists in the music industry.

And they are not just openly Satanic bands.
Others disguise their true nature by sleight of hand.
They pretend to be good, or even saviors, in order to get people in.

Once they have taken you in they will turn your mind to the dark side and lead you astray with the intention of getting you into hell.

There is no hell in reality but the damage they do remains.

So beware.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Categories.

Consciously or unconsciously we divide the people around us into categories.

Firstly there are the real people - people like us who don't have any special needs or problems and think and live like us.

Secondly there are the poor and the needy - second class citizens who make demands on our finances and time.  They may not think and live like us.

Thirdly there are people who are different - people who have special problems or do not think and live like us.

Fourthly there are foreigners - people who are not like us.  People that we fear and doubt.

Fifthly there are people who have done something wrong - bad people and criminals of whom we are afraid and of whom we feel superior.

Sixthly there are evil people - these are barely people at all and are not considered deserving of our attention or compassion.

We rationalize these categories in order to make ourselves good and others bad.

But God does not see them thus.
To God all people are equal.
Each is a child in their own right.

Jesus constantly challenged our categories.
He broke down the walls we construct around ourselves.

In the end everyone is equal.
All are perpetrators and victims, elitists and underdogs.

Our sins are forgiven.

So, rather than dividing people into categories, we should see that everyone is the same - a product of birth and experience.  And perhaps those who are the recipients of our greatest disdain are the ones most deserving of our compassion.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Brokenness.

The concept of brokenness means that life is imperfect and nothing works.

It is like the Buddhist concept that all life is dukha or unsatisfactory.

But rather than this being a spiritual state or some kind of cosmic condition this is caused by human frailty.

Human beings act in ignorance and fear.
We do the wrong thing.
This is the cause of human suffering.

It is only when we discover Love that things begin to change.

Love is the cause and the purpose of life.

It is Love which mends our broken hearts and heals our broken world.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Sodom.

For the sake of those who assert that every word of the Bible is the literal word of God:

"I will restore their fortunes, the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters, and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters, and I will restore your fortunes along with theirs."  Ezekiel 16:53 (NRSV)

"Was not your sister Sodom a byword in your mouth in the day of your pride, before your wickedness was uncovered?"  Ezekiel 16:56 (NRSV)

These passages come well after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and indicate that God will restore their fortunes.

You don't hear fundamentalist Christians quoting these passages.

Gay is for them a byword as Sodom was for Israel.

So don't take the literal passages that fundamentalists quote too seriously - they are selective - these passages and the passages about David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel indicate that God's attitude towards homosexuality is not as severe as they suggest.

And these are passages from the Bible.


[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.]

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

No One Wins.

If you are waiting for God to intervene and adjudicate between your group and your opponents (with your group winning of course) then you will be waiting a long time.

You've already been waiting a long time haven't you?

This is because God does not take sides.

God fosters a live and let live approach.

This is why there has been no solution in the Middle East.
Each side is trying to win over the other.
Both claiming that God is on their side.

The point is not who has the right to the land.
The point is how can they live harmoniously side by side.

There is no Last Day.
There is no Judgment.

Once we realize this we can get on with the business of peace.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Making Peace.

Anything that fosters understanding between conflicting groups in our world is helping to create a more harmonious and better place for us to live.

This includes understanding between Christianity and Islam, right and left, gay and straight etc..

Getting to the root of the problem is the key.

And there you will find fear.

Violence and anger are most common where we find the most fear.

Fear makes us use force and coercion.

Often this fear comes from the pulpit.

You will find that the most violent religious people are those whose leaders preach fear from the pulpit.

Terrorists are people who are terrified (usually of God).

So anything that we can do to reduce the level of fear in our society will help to curb violence and hatred.

Faith, understanding, and love.
These three reduce fear.

And these come from God.

Monday, 14 October 2013

What God Wants.

It is simple.

What God wants is a warmer, more caring, more loving society; a more equal, more tolerant, more just world.

You can forget about battles against evil, moral end-games, magical salvation, guilt games, and threats of hell.
God is none of these things.

"He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"  Micah 6:8 (NRSV)

"Thus says the Lord of hosts: Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another; do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another."  Zechariah 7:9,10 (NRSV)

"'Go and learn what this means, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice."'"  Matthew 9:13a (NRSV)

As in the Psalms God is rejecting the ritual of the priests in favor of a change of heart, a modification in the way we live and relate to one another.

The main reason why this doesn't happen is fear.
People are afraid of each other.  They are afraid to open their hearts to others in case they get hurt or look stupid.

All too often the Church has been an agent of fear, effectively stopping the development God wants.

The time has come to put aside all those things which inspire fear in people and allow the love which is waiting to flow freely between us.


[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.]  

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Universal Vision.

Whatever is not love in the world is motivated by fear.

It is all too easy to take sides and back us versus them: liberals versus conservatives, Christians versus Muslims, west versus east etc..

But there is always truth on both sides and whatever is not love is motivated by fear.

There is fear in the darkness.

When the light comes our fears are dispelled.

It is true spiritual experience which lessens our fears.

Faith that God will provide is true spiritual experience.

So, rather than taking sides and trying to beat the others, we should be looking to our fears and what triggers them.
And we should try to allay the fears of our opponents.

Our opponents are just like us.
It is a matter of degree only.

No one is condemned.
All are forgiven.

Once we realize this we can have a truly universal vision.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Do It.

It is one thing to speak of unconditional love and forgiveness, it is another to do it.

Were churches full of people who gave unconditional love to those who entered, the churches would be overflowing.

Instead churches are full of fear.

Fear is cold, hard and distant.

Were we able to unravel the doctrines of fear that fill the Churches and institute doctrines of unconditional love and forgiveness, it would still remain for people to actually do it.

If you are surrounded by love you can feel it.

But all too often we feel the cold, hard shoulder of fear.

It is one thing to speak of unconditional love and forgiveness, it is another to do it.

Friday, 11 October 2013

The Holy Heart.

The Holy Heart blossoms like a flower.

The difference between the Holy Heart and the Sacred Heart of Jesus is that the Holy Heart is not surrounded by thorns or pierced by daggers.

And while it may be that Love is crucified in this world, it is not because of Love that this happens.

Jesus was crucified for challenging the Pharisees and threatening the Romans by his popularity.

This is not because of Love.

This is because of fear.

Were Jesus able to allay the fears of the Pharisees and the Romans the result might have been different.

But claiming to be the Son of God was too much for the Pharisees and King of Kings was too much for the Romans.

I do not believe that God intended Jesus to be crucified.
I believe that God hoped the good news of unconditional love and forgiveness would spread throughout the world.

Instead He used the catastrophe of the crucifixion to show us that death is not the end.

The Holy Heart blossoms like a flower.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Money.

I have an aunt who grew up during the depression.

She has spent her whole life working and accumulating wealth.

When asked why she felt she had to continue making more and more money she replied that she never felt that she had enough.

This is fear.
Fear of poverty.

She never had enough to feel secure.

Perhaps this is the motivation for all people who accumulate wealth.
Perhaps they are so afraid of poverty or not having enough that they work harder and harder to make more money.

Certainly this is a pattern in business.
There is never enough profit.

Their fear makes them aggressive, even violent.
Their fear makes them cheat, even criminal.

So how can we reduce their all consuming fear?

Faith that God will provide is one answer.
With God there will always be enough.

But how do we get this message across to hard-nosed businessmen and corporate executives?

Challenging them too aggressively will make them attack.
This triggers their fears.
Fear of losing power and money.

They must be shown that they will not starve if they pay their fair share of tax.

No one objects to people being rich.
What people object to is people being poor.

So how can the rich be convinced to share their wealth?

We must find ways to reduce their fear.

And pray to God that they will change.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Perfect Love.

As Tolstoy said, all great ideas are simple.

My idea is this:
Fear is the problem.
Love is the answer.

Rather than creating sides by setting up value judgments on virtue and goodness, which automatically makes someone wicked or bad, we should look at the causes of bad behavior.

And this will be fear.

And because God forgives actions taken out of fear, no one is condemned, no matter how wicked they may have been.

And because we seek to act in harmony with God we should not judge people for their bad behavior but look for the causes of that behavior.

And this will be fear.

What is the antidote to fear?

Love.

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment , and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love."  1 John 4:18 (NRSV)

God is good.

But God does not condemn bad behavior because He knows it is caused by fear.

Neither does He condone it.

Much bad behavior is caused by people reacting to Phariseeism in the Church.

And Phariseeism in the Church is caused by fear.
Fear of God, fear of evil, fear of punishment, fear of hell.....

But there is no hell.
Hell is totally out of character with a loving God.

Rather God blesses us and leads us to Love.

He who loves is on the right track.

That track may cause us to challenge injustice in our world.

If we can see the fear which causes injustice we will forgive those who cause it and help them to overcome their fears.

There are only two things in the world: Fear and Love.

But there are not two sides.

No good man is entirely good and no bad man in entirely bad.

Fear affects everyone no matter how bad or good they might have been.

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

And perfect Love comes from 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.]

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Others.

When we are young and inexperienced we think that others are like us - more or less good, mostly honest, rational, law abiding, reasonable, and humane.

But as we grow older we begin to realize that people can be quite different.
Some people are corrupt, deceitful, irrational, malicious, criminal, even deliberately evil.

People can believe the most astonishing things.
Even reversing what we might think self-evident.

The world contains a full spectrum of views and attitudes.
Much like a Shakespearean drama.

Unfortunately the negative attitudes tend to dominate the positive attitudes.
This is mainly because their fear is greater.
Fear is their motivation.
It makes them aggressive, domineering, even violent.

Despite the fact that they might be religious, they have little faith in the benevolence of God.
"God has forsaken the earth!"  is their cry.
"We must look after ourselves."

So, rather than battling against them, we should pray for them to overcome their fears and have more faith in God.

Our first reaction is to judge them - to label them bad, corrupt, or evil.
But no good man is entirely good and no bad man is entirely bad.

People are the product of their experiences and even genetic factors can affect their make-up.

So we are wrong to judge them.

They are human beings like us.
And, as we need forgiveness, so we should forgive others.

God judges no one.
He forgives to the very last one.
All are His children.

So we should not judge either.
And be children of our Father.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Our Father.

The image of God as the dispenser of rewards and punishments comes from our experience of our own earthly fathers.

So the modern prohibition on smacking your children will break the cycle of violence and fear which feeds the image of God as an abusive parent.

We owe much of this to feminism which reversed the roles and opposed the patriarchy.

In the future children will not grow up with the fear of God which past generations have suffered.

It will be interesting to see what effect this has on religion.

Gentle hippy fathers and sensitive new age guys will change the image of fathers for ever.

Our image of God will change with it.

No longer will God be feared and we may be able to love God as we have been taught.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

No Enemy.

There is no enemy.

There are no sides.

Evil is a reaction to false doctrines.

False doctrines are made our of fear.

Mistakes made out of fear are forgiven.

God forgives everyone.

There is no enemy.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Sexual Abuse.

Of all the places for sexual abuse to take place why does it happen in the Church?

You would think that the high moral standards of the Church would protect it from such crimes.

But perhaps it is this very thing which causes the problem.

In the past sex was never mentioned in church.
Such things were left at home.
Consequently any sexual impulses were forced down into a little box which was never opened in church.
This was very unhealthy and resulted in perversions of the sexual impulse.
This is why we see child sex abuse in the Church and its institutions.

The reason for this comes from the writings of St. Paul and others.
Paul set up a conflict between body/sexuality and spirit.
The spirit was pure and good, the body was carnal and corrupt.
Later Augustine linked sex to original sin to complete the complex.

Fear of losing contact with God caused Christians to repress their strong natural urges.
This has resulted in the current sex abuse scandals.

And this is not new.  John Chrysostom reported sexual abuse among the bishops of Antioch in the 6th century.

There is a lot of fear surrounding sex in the Church.
Even more now that the abuse scandals have broken.

Fear is not the answer.

The Church will never outgrow sexual abuse until it develops a healthy attitude towards sex.

Sex is a natural part of God's good creation.

That is why I am calling for a new bar-mitzvah - a coming of age celebration - which would normalize sexual development in teenagers - both heterosexual and homosexual.

This would go along way to reducing the fear surrounding sex in the Church.

And it cannot come too soon.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Your Vote.

Have you noticed how the media plays up any threat to the community by feeding fear and panic?

This is done deliberately in order to create alarm.

It is done nationally in relation to crime and internationally in relation to terrorism or nuclear threat.

The reason for this is so that then they can present their candidate (the conservative candidate) for the election as the only one who is strong enough to control and defeat the threat.

This will be someone with a national policy of law and order and an international policy of military intervention.

This is the reason why the right-wing media romanticizes the military.
Quite apart from the fact that they believe that the military is there to protect their wealth like the police.

So be wary of any attempts to overplay the threat of crime or terrorism.
It is an attempt to control you and to win your vote.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Afterlife.

If we accept that life is a process of learning - that we progress from darkness to light - then perhaps the afterlife; rather than being a place of reward or punishment for what we have done in life, or a place where punishment is paid off; is a place where we continue to learn and progress towards enlightenment.

Mediums who contact the dead would suggest that this is the case.
The people that have passed over are with their loved ones who are helping them.
I would suggest that this indicates a continued process of learning.

So, rather than fearing judgment or punishment after death, we should anticipate a continuation of the learning process that we experience in life.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Spiritual Development.

Spirituality does not mean that everything works out perfectly for me.

New Age gurus make the mistake of substituting personal happiness and success for spiritual development.

Spiritual development consists of the opening of the heart and the development of the caring and compassionate feelings which lead to actions on behalf of others.

This does not always mean that things work out for us.
It quite often means trouble or inconvenience.
It may make us feel uncomfortable.
Certainly it will challenge our comfort zone.

For Jesus it led to the cross.

So, rather than judging people by how well their lives are going, we should look to the development of the heart and its attendant compassionate actions.

This is enlightenment.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Prayer of the Sacred Heart.

Heavenly Father,

Open our eyes to see the suffering and injustice in our world.

Open our ears to hear their cries.

Open our hearts to feel compassion and love for those who are suffering.

Help us to love you, our Father, with our whole heart as we have been instructed.

Help us to love each other as Jesus taught us.

Open our hands to help those around us who are in need.

Send us out into the world as agents of Love.

Amen.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Answers.

Modernism is the period in which hope was inspired by scientific progress.

Universal education and universal faith in science led to the idea that science had all the answers - it was the answer to all our problems.

This, combined with economics, made us feel that inevitable progress was leading to a kind of Utopia.

Post-modernism is the period when this went sour.

The feeling that everything was controlled by impersonal laws of an indifferent Nature led to alienation and psychological problems associated with meaninglessness.

Depression and psychosis became widespread and led to escapism through drugs and alcohol.

Life had become so impersonal that it was unbearable.

We have now entered a dark night of materialism.
We worship success, fame, celebrity, and wealth.

Economics rules.
Men and women are expendable units in a profit making machine.
Life is  reduced to working and shopping.

But the answer is not in these things.

Happiness will only be found in people.
And then only in Love.

Love is the answer to human problems.
Not science, not economics, not success, or personal achievement.

How long will it take humanity to learn this truth.
Or will we go off on another tangent.

All roads lead home.
And home is in the human heart.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Patience.

When we begin to see we are impatient with others who don't see or enforce a false mental position (usually by the book).
This can be a faith in scripture which is not according to understanding.

But life is a process of learning.
We make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.

So people will come to see in time.

We must be patient with them.
Even as we are patient with ourselves.

We cannot know everything at once.
But if we pray we will come to see in time.

And then we will understand.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Violence.

The bane of our world is violence.

From the violence of wild beasts to the torture chambers of the Middle East violence rules.

But what is violence but fear?
The fight or flight adrenalin rush of fear.

Why do superpowers build nuclear missiles that can destroy our whole world?
Because they are afraid of being attacked by their enemies.
So they deploy a deterrent.

What is war but fear of attack?

Empires are monuments to fear.
Fear of being displaced as the dominant power.
So they oppress foreign powers.
And threaten them with violence.

The fears that rule our planet speak of a lack of faith.
"God has forsaken the earth" is the cry!
"We must defend ourselves"

If we truly believed in God we would know that there will always be enough.
God provides.

If we loved God we would lose our fear.
And we would love our neighbor.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Gentle Light.

The darkness is not dispelled by violent explosions of light.
There is not a battle between light and darkness.

The darkness is penetrated and dispersed by a gentle light.

Violent, spectacular displays can inspire fear.
And fear can inspire violence.

So God is gentle with us that we may not be afraid of the light.

Many passages in the Bible say that the prophets and disciples were terrified of God.
This is not helpful.
Fear begets fear and leads to violence, aggression, and force.

It is not God's will that we be afraid.

It is God's will that we show respect out of love.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Another Way.

When we are in darkness we believe that we have to be stronger than evil and ignorance.
We believe that superior violence wins out.

When we are in darkness we are afraid.
And our fear makes us violent.

But if we can pray in faith to God He will show us another way.
A non-violent way of light and love.

We are born into darkness.
Life is a process of learning.
We make mistakes.
We learn from our experience.
The teacher is God.

When we draw close to God through love we begin to see another way.

We do not have to beat our opponents.
We can help them (non-violently) to see - through love.
We can pray for them.

And they will be opponents no more.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Fooled.

He who deceives the whole world.

Rather than by some supernatural power or magic we are merely deceived by Satanists in our popular culture.

Their so called spells act more like subliminal propaganda than magic.

We are hooked, led astray, perverted, cursed, and corrupted by our rock stars, movie stars, and sporting heroes.

They distract us from any idealistic endeavor with dark entertainment and violence.

They subtly divert our philosophy to winner takes all and the idols of the world: fame, status, money, power, possessions, privilege, and pleasure, in the hope that we will go to hell.

But there is no hell in reality.

In the end we have all been fooled.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Three Aspects.

The message has three aspects:

1.  The World:  the conservative establishment which usurped the message of Jesus and turned it to their own advantage.  Taking Jesus' message of love and forgiveness and turning it into an absolute payment for our sins.
And the corporate plutocrats who rule through brutality, fear, and violence.

2. Satanism:  the rock musicians, stars, and sportsmen and women who have sold their souls to an imaginary devil and practice Satanism and black magic in their art.

3.  God:  the author and creator of the universe is not some violent, vengeful, accountant waiting to punish us.  God is all good, benevolent, understanding, compassionate, and merciful.
Above all God is Love.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Bad Friday.


Jesus was the light of the world.

When he was crucified and died the light went out of the world.

As with modern assassinations - Gandhi, J.F.K., Martin Luther King Jr., and Bobby Kennedy - the light is not replaced.

We return to the darkness, limited vision, and interpretation.

What is left is the record of what they said when they were alive.
And this is open to interpretation and manipulation.

So instead of calling this Friday Good, because of some fanciful ransom paid by Jesus, we should call it Bad Friday because this is the day that the light went out.

And while the resurrection is a reality, it has no implications for the world or creation.


Photo Credit: lluisribesmateu1969 Flickr via Compfight cc

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Dominus Sanctus.

The characteristics of a national language are reflected in their actions.

When the Latin language was used for Christianity it displayed the characteristics of Rome.

One of these characteristics is domination of others which comes from the Latin Dominus which means Lord.

Had Christianity stayed a Hebrew or Greek concern the characteristics of these languages would have created a quite different Church.

The English God of power and might reflects the attitudes of the British Empire, which conquered other nations.  This was translated from the Latin.

The German Language of Martin Luther was abstract and philosophical. Consequently Protestantism is more intellectual and arid.

So what characteristics does modern, international English lend to Christianity?

Progressive Christianity is democratic, liberal, and altruistic.
It concerns itself with social justice, environmentalism, and unconditional love.

These aspects of Christianity come largely from modern, international English.  

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Improvement.

God is looking for improvement.

It is not enough just to sit back and stay within our comfort zone.

If you "'greet only your brothers and sisters'"  Matthew 5:47a (NRSV), only those you are comfortable with, "'what more are you doing than others?'"  Matthew 5:47b (NRSV)

In many cases people outside of the Church are doing better than those within the Church.

Church people seem to think that greeting you on a Sunday morning is enough, perhaps 30 minutes of fellowship.  Then they ignore you during the week.

And they pressure you to be like them and do good works our of fear.
Mostly to do things for them.

It is not good enough.

Jesus exhorted us to love one another.
To be brothers and sisters in Christ.

Not acquaintances in Christ.

If it was good enough people would come.
If they experienced Love.

But they experience pressure and disapproval and manipulation and neglect..

And they stay away.


[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.]

Friday, 20 September 2013

Surrounded.

It seems to me that God is surrounded by people who don't understand Him.

As Jesus found with the Pharisees, the places of worship are full of people who are governed by fear.

When we attempt to make contact with God independently we are overpowered by the evil influences around us.

When we join a religious community we are confronted with fear.

So the struggle continues with bullies and devils on one side and fear-ridden bigots on the other.

That is not to say that there are no good people in the Churches, there are many who follow the Gospel of Love, but they find it difficult to escape the fear that surrounds them.

Why is it like this?

Perhaps Jesus holds the key when he says, "' Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.'''  Matthew 24:28 (NRSV)

Where the Christ is - i.e. the absolute power - there those who seek power will gather.

And absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Labels.

It is easy to label people as good or bad.
Usually, of course, we are good and they are bad.

We write people off.
We label them bad and thus abrogate any responsibility to care for them or help them.

But God's way is different.
God does not reject the bad.
He loves them also and helps them if they call upon Him.

There is no class of human being that is lost or damned.
God loves us all.

That is why we are to love our enemies and pray for our abusers.
Because no one is condemned.

So, instead of writing people off as bad, we should be helping those who do not conform to our idea of goodness.  We should give them aid and pray for them.

Who is to say that we know what is good in any case.
Quite often our ideas of moral superiority are unfounded.
We are no better than sinners.

Each human being is worthy in his or her own right.

"'there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.'"  Luke 15:7 (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.]

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Sons and Daughters.

We do not seek to replace C.E.O.s but merely to change the way they operate.

In keeping with the principle of Love C.E.O.s can open their hearts to their workers and employees as a father does to his sons and daughters.

If God is our Father then everyone is our family.

What a difference this would make.

No longer would there be this conflict between employers and employees.
No longer would trade unions need to force employers to negotiate.
No longer would workers live in fear of losing their jobs.

The purpose of business would change from the relentless pursuit of profit to the provision of employment for the community.

This would change the whole of our society.

I pray for that.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Sexual Orientation.

When liberal Christians talk about social justice their words go as far as gender issues but never include sexual orientation.

They seem to think that gay rights are somehow too risky, too political, and beyond the scope of Christian compassion.

Although many may privately support equality for gay and lesbian people their support never extends to the public arena.

This is noticeable whenever gay issues arise in public.
Christians always take the anti-position and condemn us outright.
You never see Christians supporting gays and lesbians in the media.

The liberal Churches seem to think that accepting gays and lesbians is enough.
They never extend their hand to active support.

Considering Jesus' Church is exhorted to speak for the voiceless in society it is disappointing that they are unable to speak up for gays and lesbians today.

Apart from the issue of same sex marriage there are many gay rights issues today that could be supported by liberal Christians.

It is not enough to just sit on your hands and be silent.

I call on all Christians to overcome their fear and actively support sexual orientation as a human rights issue.

Monday, 16 September 2013

White Out.

How can we counteract the Satanic curses and spells that are in our music and entertainment?

1.  Eliminate all negative input: rock music, horror movies, violent sports etc..

2.  Substitute positive imagery: white, light, life, angels, doves. flowers, spring, heaven etc..

3.  Listen to classical music: sacred choral music, Gregorian chants etc..

4.  Pray.

5.  Worship God.

6.  Sing hymns with positive imagery.

7.  Talk about it.

Spread the word.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Raising the Dead.

When confronted with the knowledge that rock stars sell their souls to the devil and practice black magic and Satanism in their music most people's initial response is disbelief.

This is because people no longer believe in the devil as a supernatural being.
And if there is no devil how can there be any devil worshipers?

The fact that their rock stars and sporting heroes do exactly that is beyond belief.

Most of this is done covertly.
Negative massages and curses are hidden in the music, often recorded backwards.
This works on the unconscious level.

Our task is to bring these things to the surface - up into the conscious mind where they can be confronted and recognized.

Mostly we are talking about Death.
Death is the basis of black magic and Satanism.
It is a spiritual state in which the person is separated from God.
St. Paul says that the power of Death is in the hands of the devil.

Any references to death, funerals, decay, black, corpses, skulls, graves, tombs etc. are black magic spells designed to kill you spiritually.

This is often associated with sex or erotica.
As if it was sex that separates us from God, as Augustine thought.

You will find many references to such things in your rock music and videos.

Any references to the devil, hell, flames, horns, demons, ghosts, vampires, werewolves are all Satanic spells.

Other symbols they use are: spiders, spider webs, insects, worms, apples, temptation, hate, violence, darkness, madness (crazy), drugs, tattoos, and dogs (gods backwards).

They will not always use these symbols openly.
Often they will produce a song or a video with positive symbols in it.
This is done deliberately to disguise what they are doing .
Sometimes these things will be hooks to lure you into their web of evil, torture, and madness.

So when these things are brought to the surface we can see them for what they are - Satanic curses.

And we can leave rock music behind.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

AIDS.


When the facilitator at a recent conference of Progressive Christians asked the group to vote on the issue of gay marriage there was 100% approval.

This was extremely significant.

It seems that the development of Progressive Christianity was triggered by the AIDS crisis.

When AIDS struck the gay community in the 1980's the overt reaction of the Churches was to say that God was punishing us for the abomination of homosexuality.
They quoted the Bible and threatened us with hell.

But.....

Within the western Christian Churches there was an undercurrent which was uncomfortable with the official reaction of their Churches.

This group of Christians were moved to reconsider much of what they had been taught in the light of the treatment of homosexuals by the Churches.

It stemmed from this basic conflict - how could a loving God punish one group of men for something which was not within their control - i.e. homosexuality?

It called into question many of the orthodox doctrines of the Churches.

Once this process was begun it progressed to other issues and has resulted in what is now a call for a New Reformation of Christianity.


Photo Credit: AIDS Services of Austin via Compfight cc

Friday, 13 September 2013

Strong.

What is it that makes a person say, "I will make myself strong."

Once again it is fear.
Fear of being overpowered, fear of being bullied, fear of going under, fear of humiliation.....

During the 1980s it was noticeable that many men in the gay community practiced bodybuilding.
This was to make themselves strong.
They felt so threatened by AIDS and the community's reaction to AIDS that they felt they had to be invulnerable.

This at first seems a kind of answer to life.
But it leads to tests of strength and power struggles that are counter-productive to our development.

The better response is to open your heart to those around you.

To do this you must overcome your fears.
Your fear of strangers, your fear of sickness, your fear of commitment.....

And in doing this we develop our hearts and increase our capacity to love.

It is this Love which is the purpose of life.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Celebrity Satanists.

It has been said that there are only two things in the world - Love and Fear.

So could it be that those rock stars, movie stars, and sportsmen and women who have sold their souls to the devil were motivated by fear?

(a)  There is a fear of failure which motivates people to cheat in this kind of way.
The idea of a contract with Satan lends a sense of certainty to the transaction.
They seem to prefer this to the uncertainty of faith in God.
They ignore the uncertainty of the devil's existence.
They rely on reports of what has gone before.

But if they tell you to lie the chances are that they are lying to you in the first place.

(b)  The major fear that motivates them, however, is the fear of punishment and judgment by God which causes them to turn away in the first place.
Believing the negative theology of the Church and internalizing it, they may feel that they have been rejected by God and thus go to the opposition - the devil.
So the fear of God, which is everywhere in the Church, may kick start Satanism and cause people to prefer the devil to God.

Fear is intimately involved in this process.
It affects their decision both directly and indirectly.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The News.

Where does our fear come from?

Mostly it comes from the television news.

We hear of people being raped and murdered and our reaction is to be sensible about it and steer clear, not take any risks, and stay safe.

This combines with our instinctive fear of strangers to create the society that we now live in.

Many people in church will act according to the news rather than the Gospel.
That is why it does not go past the church's door.

Unless, of course, our fear of God is greater than our fear of others.
This is hypocrisy.

Greater fear is not the answer.

It is the absence of fear in the presence of God which will open our hearts to others.

Then we can love God and love our neighbor.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Good Samaritan.

In the story of the Good Samaritan the priest and the Levite pass the bashed and bleeding man on the other side of the road.

What is it that makes them behave this way?

It is fear.
Fear of being attacked and robbed.
Fear of being ambushed.
Fear of blood (impurity).

It is the despised Samaritan who has the courage, or perhaps the lack of fear, to help the injured man.

We see this in our society today.
People who have been attacked in the streets are ignored by passers by and good Samaritans are often attacked.

So, instead of making moral judgments about who is charitable and who is not, we should be addressing our fears.

What is it that makes us overcome our fears and act in a loving and charitable manor?

Compassion for another's suffering can help us overcome our fears.
Tears melt the heart.
Then we can feel love for our neighbor.

Who is my neighbor?

If God is our Father then all men and women are our neighbors.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Back to the 50s.

Many people in the Church are nostalgic about the 1950s - the time when the churches were full.

But my recollection of Church in the 1950s is that it was dead.

The Anglican Church used a set service in which we repeated the same words every week.  It seemed to me that people were just reciting the words by rote and not thinking about the meaning at all.

Apart from that the Churches were teaching Fall/Redemption Christology.

And it was made perfectly clear that obedience to God meant obedience to those in positions of worldly authority - namely the rich conservative establishment.

There may have been bums on seats and money in the coffers but in my experience no one was practicing Christianity even as it was presented.

So there is no point going back to the 50s.
It wasn't any good then.

What is needed is a New Reformation - a total overhaul of the Churches' teachings.

Church theology should be purged of the negative ideas that have grown up like weeds around the figure of Jesus and they should be replaced with positive ideas like Original Blessing and Unconditional Love.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

The First World.

Why is it that we in the First World allow the inequalities and injustices that plague our world?

We work long hours and are on call 24/7.
This occupies a lot of our mental panorama.

We are obsessed with sports and celebrities.
This distracts us from any idealistic endeavor.

We rely on shopping and expensive holidays to compensate for overwork.
This is very good for the economy and ensures that we have to work hard to pay for it all.

The media is controlled to such an extent that we seldom see what is happening in the Third World.  There is no news of exploitation or land grabs because the media is owned by those who exploit and grab.

All financial information is private.
This ensures that no one ever finds out who is perpetrating injustices in our world.

We sit back and take our dividends and never ask any questions.
Our questions would not be answered if we did ask them.

The occasional begging letter registers as a minor irritation.

So everything is geared towards the status quo.

In fact the gap between the world's rich and poor has increased since the free-market economy became our god.

We are just now beginning to see that we have been deceived.
But we were willing participants in this deception.
We deceived ourselves.

We readily accept our First World moral ease.
We are so good.

But this is a veneer which hides what our companies and governments do.

No one wants to question the status quo.

We blame refugees and immigrants and ignore the poor and hungry.

Is it any wonder that Third World countries resort to violence and civil war?

We oppress them indirectly through our companies and corporations.

And no one asks any questions.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Unconditional Love.

It may be said that the concept of unconditional love is not an immediately apparent aspect of Aquarius, which is ruled by Uranus and Saturn.

But; apart from the fact that the spiritual knowledge, which the water in the jar is said to represent, is all about love; there are several aspects which relate to the planet Venus, which represents love.

In the myth of Uranus (father sky) he is married to his mother Gaia (mother earth) and is castrated by his son Saturn who conspires with his mother Gaia as revenge for burying her children deep in the underworld.

Gaia is represented by the astrological sign of Taurus, an earth sign which is ruled by Venus.

Aphrodite (Venus) was said to be born, like the foam of the sea,  from the severed genitals of Uranus.

It may be said that Uranus regains his power (his severe genitals) through love (Aphrodite/Venus) and is thus re-united with his wife Gaia (Taurus/Venus).

So the philosophy of unconditional love gives power to Aquarius and harmonizes with the other aspects which relate to love in the symbolism of Aquarius.

Friday, 6 September 2013

15 Crosses.

When Greg Zanis, a carpenter from Illinois, made crosses for the young people who were killed in the Columbine High School massacre he included two for the gunmen who died along with the 13 victims.

This was controversial at the time but perhaps it is closer to a true Christian approach than screaming for harsh penalties or hoping they burn in hell forever.

Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies as well as our friends.
We are also told to visit criminals in prison.

So perhaps the picture is not so black and white as some would have us believe.

The young gunmen may also be forgiven.

What was done to them to make them act the way they did?
What did we do to them?

It is worth thinking about.

Some have been influenced by Satanic entertainment - rock music, movies, video games etc..

They have also been bullied and rejected.

May they also partake of the healing love that God provides.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Drunkenness.

Why is it that there is such peer pressure to indulge in alcohol while we are socializing?

It cannot just be because alcohol lessens our inhibitions.

Of course I know why the powers that be don't oppose drinking culture - it is very good for the economy - a lot of money is spent on alcohol while people are socializing.

But why does a man think that it is preferable to have a drink with his mates after work rather than going home to his wife and children?  As if intoxication is a substitute for the love and affection of his family.

It is like the work hard/play hard ethos of the corporations and hard-nosed businessmen which has suffused the whole of our society, especially the young who have no other mentor.

These are myths.

Drugs are overrated.
They have mild effects but they cost a lot of money and they're addictive.
The side effects can be disastrous.

Peer pressure once again!
And messages in rock music!

It is time to explode the myths and show young people that drinking and taking drugs does not lead to happiness.
More like a headache and a red face.

This is no substitute for real relationships and the thing that we are all seeking -
Love.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

An Unholy Alliance.

What is it that drives the conservatives and plutocrats to take over and control everything, even religion and , if it were possible, God Himself?

It can only be fear.

Mistaking the actions of men and women and the indifference of nature for the nature of God they develop a tough philosophy that is realistic and pragmatic.

In fact they see no evidence that there is a God at all.
So they pursue purely worldly goals.

The fear that you feel in the schoolyard is the fear that drives them.
Everyone will pick on me.
Everyone will spit on me.
Everyone will reject me.
Everyone will take advantage of me.

So, out of fear, we act first.
Get the other guy before he gets you.
Dog eat dog.

He has no idea that he can appeal to God for help.
He has no idea of God other than the purely reactive nature of his life.
Life is tough.

He is hard , he is cold, he is merciless, he is violent, he is hypocritical, he is brutal.

He blames God and crucifies Jesus.

All out of fear of what everyone will do to him.

He dare not show a weakness.
He dare not show mercy or compassion.

Business is business.
Everyone will take advantage of me.

So we are locked into this grid of fear.

Why are financial arrangements always kept secret?
Because the rich are afraid of what will happen if people find out how much they have and how they make it.

We fear losing our riches - our money, our possessions, our privileges.....

Our fear is so great that it overrides our principles.

It's sink or swim.

And they impose these conditions on everyone.

The board of directors.  The C.E.O..  The shareholders.

They report the bottom live.  The Profit.  Not how they made it or how they treated their employees.

And if someone does find out that they exploit child labor, or steal third world land, or avoid billions in tax havens there is always the fall guy - the one who acted independently, and of whom the executives and the board of directors had no knowledge.

As if they did not know what was happening in their own companies.

This tough philosophy finds a companion in fundamentalist religion.
The severe and stingy God.

As if we make God in our own image.

Driven by their fear of God they restrict freedoms and resist change.

How could this happen?
How could they be in a Church and worship God and still be ignorant of His nature?

What is their motivation?
Why are they there?

"'Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.'"  Matthew 24;28 (NRSV)

Does he want power?
Does he want authority?
Does he want a throne, or a crown?
Does he want magnificent robes, or pure gold candlesticks?
Does he want a palace?

These are the things they are reluctant to relinquish.

And perhaps this is why Jesus said to them, ""you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.'"  Luke 11:52b (NRSV)

This is the unholy alliance of the religious conservatives and the plutocrats.
A pact that worships money and power.

Their fear of poverty is so great that it overrides their principles.

The rod has flourished.

And the key is lost.


[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.]

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Isaiah 61.

"'The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
"'He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.'"  Luke 4:18,19 (NRSV)

When these words, which Jesus spoke at the beginning of his mission, were read out in Church we were informed that some passages from Isaiah 61 were missing.

When I got home I looked it up.

Apart from some paraphrasing the obvious omission comes from the end of the reading.  Isaiah 61 has "'and the day of vengeance of our God'" after "'the year of the Lord's favor.'" Isaiah 61:2 (NRSV)

Could it be that, like myself and other Progressive Christians, Jesus did not believe that God was vengeful and punishing?

The overwhelming spirit of Jesus' mission was love, forgiveness, compassion, and generosity (abundance).

It has been demonstrated elsewhere that the writers of the Gospels put words retrospectively into Jesus' mouth.

Could it be that we are being given justification for our practice of removing from the end of passages (mostly from the Old Testament) about God's nature the additional lines of vengeance and punishment?

This occurs elsewhere in the Bible.

Jonah's declaration of the nature of God (Jonah 4:2b) which refers back to Exodus 34:6,7 omits the last lines about guilt and punishment (later revoked in Ezekiel 18).

Could it be that later writers discerned more clearly the nature of God?
The image of God evolves in the Bible from a primitive, tribal God to be appeased to the benevolent, loving Father of all which Jesus showed us.

I am prepared to say that the Old Testament prophets were wrong when they spoke of vengeance and punishment from God.

God is all-loving, all-forgiving, all-compassionate.
His nature is the abundance of life.
His light is without shadow.
And His heart is full 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.]

Monday, 2 September 2013

The Ways of God 3.

A third reason why we do not see the ways of God in the world is that Satanism in the entertainment industries hijacks any cause that has popular support and drives it to ruin.

This can clearly be seen with the sabotage of the human rights movement of the 1960s.  Rock stars took over the reins and ruined a whole generation of idealistic people with drugs, divorce, hedonism, and anti-Christian propaganda.

This continues today - most of our entertainment, including sports, is directed (overtly or covertly) towards this end.

They are the enemies of God and they work to undo His works in the world.

This is why the presence of Satanism in our entertainment must be exposed.
Otherwise they will take over any new religion or idealism and wreck it completely.

What is left of the idealism of the 1960s and 1970s?

They will betray you, distract you, and reverse whatever you try to do to make a difference.

So this element must be addressed if we are to move towards a better, more loving world.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Ways of God 2.

Another reason why the ways of God are not followed on earth has to do with the power of the corporations.

Because the corporations own everything, not only do we encounter them directly as our employer, but we also encounter them indirectly through the media.

And because everything in the corporations is geared to making more and more money the values of Mammon are universal.

How can this be addressed?

The only institution which has more power than the corporations is the government.

If we elect a government which is prepared to regulate the corporations we will be taking the first step towards changing the values we encounter in the world on a daily basis.

Were the state to regulate work place relations, tax evasion, unfair dismissal, media ownership, corporate bonuses, shareholder rights etc. we may be able to narrow the widening gap between the rich and the poor.

Anti-discrimination, gay marriage, asylum seekers, immigration, disability insurance, and other social issues can be legislated to create a fairer, more compassionate world.

But it is up to us to overcome our fears and open our hearts to those around us.

Then we may begin to see the ways of God in the world.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Ways of God 1.

 "In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.
"Many people 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.'"  Isaiah 2:2-3a (NRSV)

The main reason why this has not happened in the past is because the Churches were not teaching the ways of God.

The Christian Churches preached a version of Christology which did not reflect the pacifist, forgiving, loving nature of God.

How could the nations learn the ways of God if His own Churches did not teach them?

As I have said elsewhere, this is because the conservative establishment usurped the absolute power of Christ and modified Jesus' message of love and forgiveness to suit their own power and position.

We are only now beginning to see the true nature of Jesus' message as Progressive Christianity deconstructs the scriptures to reveal the true ways of God: unconditional love, forgiveness, benevolence, and equality.


[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.]

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Rock Satanism.

If there is one thing that I would tell young people today it is that the rock music which they are constantly listening to is poison.

Since the 1960s rock musicians have sold their souls to the devil and practiced Satanism and black magic/witchcraft in their music.

This is disguised, often as wisdom or goodness, but they are whited sepulchers.

Death, evil, shame, blasphemy, profanity, violence, incest, hate, Nazism, madness.....
All these things can be found in their music.

Thing to look out for: horns, skulls, snakes, spiders, spider webs, flames, anything upside down or backwards, backtracking, black, darkness, negations, misery, guilt, and fear.

At first it may seem as if only overtly Satanic rock bands are involved but I can assure you that the others are  equally culpable, even if their pop music appears harmless on the surface.

Look a little closer.
Look beneath the mask.

Not all of their songs are dark and sinister.  They will include innocent songs in order to draw you in then they will poison and curse you to death.

But they are sorely mistaken.

There is no Satan to reward them.

They have been misled.

In the end there is only God's Love.

Pray to God to deliver you from their web of evil.

He will hear.

And you will be delivered.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Sign Posts.

We need to be able to read the sign posts that point the way to God.
So that at least we are heading in the right direction.

In this we will be directly contradicting what we are being told by the media and the entertainment industries.

Rather than money, fast cars, nasty sex, filthy, wicked, materialism, power, and status, we will emphasize the things of God: people. love, compassion, forgiveness, non-violence, moderation, charity, equality, and the common good.

These are the characteristics which point to God.

Through prayer, contemplation, and study we can experience God for ourselves.

But first we must practice the commandments of Jesus:
"''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 22:39b (NRSV)
"'Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.'"  Luke 6:27,28 (NRSV)

If we do this we will be following in the footsteps of Jesus which lead directly to 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.]

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

You Can Count on Me.

If only people knew that they can call on God in distress and He will deliver them.

We are so used to thinking of God as absent, or inactive, or even unreal.

"For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.  From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight."  Psalm 72:12-14 (NRSV)

"Rescue the weak and the needy, deliver them from the hand of the wicked."  Psalm 82:4 (NRSV)

"'Is my hand shortened , that I cannot redeem?  Or have I no power to deliver?'"  Isaiah 50:2b (NRSV)

When we are young we feel as if we should not bother God with our prayers.
But as we grow in faith we realize that God listens to our prayers and answers them.

Moses, David, and Jesus all speak of God's steadfast love and compassion, of God's willingness to help.

Cry out to God!

He will say, "You can count on Me!"


[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.]

Monday, 26 August 2013

It's a Man's World.

The philosophy of men:
Being strong.
Being tough.
Not crying or whingeing.
Coping.
Competing.
Not showing emotion.
Being one of the boys.
Winning.

This was the philosophy with which we were confronted as children.

Because this was the dominant philosophy in society it was assumed that this was the philosophy of God.

It is not.

This is the reactive philosophy of the world.

When we realize that the dominant philosophy of the world has nothing to do with God we begin to see.

The mistake comes from confusing worldly authority with divine authority.
A mistake which was made by the institutions of the Church.

The divine right of kings was followed by the born to rule attitude of the conservative establishment, of which the Church was part.

Once we separate the teachings of Jesus - love and compassion - from the political conservatism of the establishment we will begin to grow.

The social justice agenda of the prophets - the widow, the fatherless, the stranger - is the opposite of this tough philosophy of the men of the establishment.
It is more Marx than Moses.

So the despised touchy-feely nanny state of the socialists turns out to be the true philosophy of God.

So Jesus prays, "'Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'"  Matthew 6:10b (NRSV)

Because what we are taught to obey on earth is not God but men.


[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.]

Sunday, 25 August 2013

T.V.

I hardly watch T.V. anymore.

I came to the conclusion that what was not Satanic entertainment was political propaganda.

So I turned it off.
The music, the sport, the news.
All of it.

And I'm happier for it.

No longer am I barraged with negativity and darkness.

I get my news from the internet, where I have some control over what I watch and read.

I listen to classical music, mostly sacred choral music.

I read with discrimination.

I write.

And I pray.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

The Establishment.

When I was young it seemed to me that the conservative establishment had appropriated the higher ground in Christianity and used the threatening passages of the Bible to reinforce their position of power.

There was no talk of social justice, or freedom from oppression, or prejudice, or even corruption, or exploitation.
The interests of the rich business community were not threatened by the Church.

Instead we had a fear and smear campaign about sex and selfishness.

The Protestant work ethic reinforced the injustice of the business community.

And everyone was expected to feel ashamed of their natural sexual instincts.

This was done deliberately to subjugate everyone to the rich right-wing establishment.

It was a blatant abuse of the Christian religion.

As we move into the new millennium people are beginning to see that this is not what Jesus intended.

Neither is it God's way.

The prophets exhort us to care about the poor and the disabled, the destitute and the stranger.....

Jesus tells us to love everyone, even our enemies.

So the religion of unconditional love and social justice is emerging from the death of Christendom.

Perhaps the old, corrupt religion has to die before the new religion can be born.

Of course the powers of the world will try once again to usurp this new religion.
Just as the teachings of the historical Jesus were usurped by the bishops at Nicea and linked to the Roman state.

This new religion could be co-opted by the powers for their own purposes.

We must be sure that this does not happen.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Righteousness.

"'Because I delivered the poor who cried, and the orphan who had no helper.....and I caused the widows heart to sing for joy.....
"'I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame, I was father to the needy and I championed the cause of the stranger.
"'I broke the fangs of the unrighteous, and made them drop their prey from their teeth.'"  Job 29:12-17 (NRSV)
"'The stranger has not lodged in the street, I have opened my doors to the traveler.'"  Job 31:32 (NRSV)

This is Job's declaration of his righteousness before God.
It consists of charity and social justice.

"And the crowds asked him, 'What then should we do?'  In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none, and whoever has food must do likewise.'
"Even the tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, 'Teacher, what should we do?'  He said to them, 'Collect no more than the amount prescribed to you.'  Soldiers also asked him, 'And we, what should we do?'  He said to them, 'Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusations, and be satisfied with your wages.'"  Luke 3:10-14 (NRSV)

This was the advice of John the Baptist.

How does this relate to us today?

I would suggest that today we should open our hearts to the poor and destitute, the disabled and asylum seekers.
Instead of blaming them for their own misfortune.

I would also suggest that we deal honestly in business.
Not avoiding tax or exploiting labor.
But treating employees like brothers and sisters or sons and daughters.

Employers should provide as a father provides for his family.
They should open their hearts to their workers and the community around them.
Instead of oppressing and exploiting people our of fear.

We should challenge the conventions which say that we don't have to care about the people we employ, we are not responsible to anyone.

"'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me'"  Matthew 25:40 (NRSV)

And this includes vulnerable people in third world countries.

I would say to those people - Do not resort to arms or violence in response to oppression and exploitation but cry out to God!
He will hear you.
And deliver you from their hands.


[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.]