A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘change’ Category

Blame and Shame ~

Just about the time I begin to think the human race has begun to mature as a whole, things start popping out in the news. The rape of children and women, the genocides of whites and blacks, by each other, and by groups where the color of the skin is the same, but the allegiance is to some religion or thought process that has poisoned the minds of the perpetrators toward those being ethnically “cleansed”. I am confused, sad, frustrated, I want to know what and why? Is the world so completely confused regarding love and hate? When an adult sexually penetrates a child, either male or female, this is not love, this is a power play. We need to clarify for all concerned that love will not choose to destroy the free will of another human being. You cannot tell a child or another human being that you love them and then overpower them with your own sexuality, that is wrong. Understand me, please! It is NOT love when the other party is not of an age to even make informed decisions regarding the actions of adults who are sexual with them. This “Man-boy” Love is NOT love. It is a glitch in your own personality if you think it is! This is not love.

On another vein, different crimes, a continent away, people are murdering other humans in the name of “Race” or “Ethnicity”. This is not in obedience to any “God”! This is human hatred, not to be disguised as love of one’s own race or group. Do not be confused, do not let others choose for you by poisoning your mind with rhetoric that this group or that group must be killed, when that is happening, it is not a love for one’s own “Group” . It is a hatred that is sparked toward another “Group” of humans, Don’t do it! This is not love.

I am going to presume that part of the problem is simply the lack of knowledge world-wide as to what Love really is! One of the best people to listen to at the current time regarding love of one’s fellow humans is HH the Dalai Lama. Tenzin Gyatso speaks fluently and well regarding what it is to love one’s fellow humans. He is not the first to try to teach this to us. The Buddha taught it, Jesus taught it. Even Paul, who has inadvertently caused such pain for those who choose alternative life-styles wrote well about what it is to love in First Corinthians chapter 13. Please, study the thoughts and words of wiser folk than I am regarding what it truly is to love.

I suspect that as long as we as humans retain the need to blame others, and put others to shame for their glitched thinking, we will find that it is impossible to love with the strength of the divine. This doesn’t mean that we allow the glitched thinkers to continue their actions, that is not compassion for their victims, it must be stopped. We must, however, learn to have compassion in how we treat those whose thinking is so completely glitched that they pursue a lifestyle of bringing harm to other humans. In fact, observers of lifetimes of cruelty are finding that those who willfully bring harm to other humans first showed cruelty to domestic and small wild animals. We must search out the reasons. Perhaps when small animals are being treated cruelly by a child, we need to look at the examples in their lives, is there an adult that is displaying cruelty toward them? This is not always the case, to be sure, but it often is.There is a strong truth in the saying that children learn by example.

We must look at the cause of the action, was it done to them, so they turn around and think it is right to do it to others? Is there a glitch in the person, can they feel love? This is not completely unknown as a precursor to cruelty toward animals and other humans, a person is born unable to feel love. This is not the same as Autism, where the person feels everything so strongly that they shut down their senses to protect themselves. This is a lack of response to human affection when all other responses are “normal”. These folks can still be taught to act in compassion toward others. It would be easier if they felt affection and good feelings from others, but it can be done. I feel very strongly that we must get away from the “blame and shame” game, if we are to find a way out of this morass as a society. Let us learn to Love. Let us learn to be compassionate toward all others, not just our closest associates.

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Warning: This may be a very long post, read at your own peril:

Throughout the great scheme of things you secure a B+ for hard work. Exactly where you confused everybody was on your details. As it is said, details make or break the argument.. And that couldn’t be more accurate right here. Having said that, permit me say to you what did work. The text is certainly quite engaging and that is probably the reason why I am taking an effort in order to comment. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. Secondly, whilst I can notice a leap in reasoning you make, I am definitely not convinced of exactly how you seem to unite your ideas that help to make your final result. For now I will, no doubt yield to your point however trust in the foreseeable future you actually connect your facts better.

First of all, thank you for this feedback, I have been hoping to get someone’s critique on the writing, and though this is overall positive, you make a good point about the lightness of the facts presented. In the entire blog, I have presented most of the passages from the Bible and from other sources that I base my argument upon, but you would have to read the entire blog to get that, as they are pretty scattered. In the hopes of not boring my regular readership, I will go ahead and list many of them here, so that you may see them in one post. Forgive me for presuming that most do not want to slog through my many years of contemplation and study, I do understand that most are not into that kind of study in reading a blog, but concede to the need to make the argument clearer and better organized.

I would like to share with you the passages in the New Testament that had me questioning the interpretation of spirituality that was being given in the churches I had attended, mostly Pentecostal and Evangelical.

From John 14 ;12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

Now, I had seen true miracles done in his name, and had seen wonders come through my own prayers, but had never witnessed anything that could be listed as being any greater than what the Master is said to have done, either through my hands or through the hands of others. We were either not doing enough, or not believing correctly, or this was a misquote. For many years I thought it might be that I was not believing him for the greater things.

But, wait, there were other passages that had me asking questions. (BTW, please, always, feel free to read the entire passage from which I quote, to do that here would make a post that will already be more than a long chapter longer, it would make it unreadable in one sitting, it may be anyway.) There was the passage in John 4,

32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Now, this has been interpreted many ways, usually to signify that rejection of the Christ would result in eternal damnation, as it was the Holy Spirit that brought Jesus to us. I had other questions that lead back to this, however. What of those who had never heard of him, or those who had heard of him from people who had murdered a person’s family, and therefore made it impossible to hear a gospel of love from them. And what about the idea that one could speak against Jesus himself, but be forgiven, but not be forgiven for speaking against the Holy Spirit, that would make the primary explanation circular, and therefore false.

What about the idea that the Holy Spirit has already spoken to the Ivrit (Jews), giving 600(+) mitzvot or commandments regarding conduct before God. What about the other people with whom there is evidence of awareness of the Holy Spirit, such as the Tao Te Ching , which, in several passages refers to one who can only be interpreted as the Holy Spirit; I have provided a link to one such translation, please take the time to read it, it isn’t that long, and is beautiful. What of Buddha’s teachings, so similar to Jesus’ ; they are spoken differently, and even formatted differently, and if you wish, I will make a post comparing them teaching by teaching. These are only a few examples of where and to whom the Holy Spirit has communicated, there are others, they are prolific, and I will take them example by example if you wish. (and enjoy the task, as it is something I love to contemplate!)

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Compassion-energy_JasonAllenMiller

There is a statement in 1John:4 7&8 that has become a mantra to me;

7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Now, I must digress and speak of the Holy Spirit, most profoundly and beautifully spoken of in Chapter 8 of Proverbs. Note, she is spoken of in the feminine, not the masculine as in the New Testament, because the church fathers did not want to have a comparison of their trinity teachings confused with the trinities from other faiths, Hinduism, Egyptian cosmology, Paganism, etc.. So, we must consider that she had transgendered, or perhaps the church fathers had arbitrarily decided to change her for their own purposes.The Holy Spirit, if I am correct, has spoken to all of compassion. It is here that I take my cue, that compassion is the primary purpose of our lives, we are here to learn to be compassionate with each other, against all odds! Here I also include the indigenous peoples of all the world, for when you study their take on cosmology, we are to be forgiving and to care.

Why I believe Y’shua may not have even implied he was God Incarnate;

During my journey of questions, I stumbled onto some things that were not taught in my Lutheran Catechism class.

♦ The God of the Jews, the God I thought of as my God had not actually insisted on a blood sacrifice for forgiveness of sin(a misconception in modern times, it meant shortcomings, imperfections in the original, not necessarily evil). This is stated several times in the OT but most markedly in Leviticus 5:11-13.

11 “‘If, however, they cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, they are to bring as an offering for their sin a tenth of an ephah[a] of the finest flour for a sin offering. They must not put olive oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering. 12 They are to bring it to the priest, who shall take a handful of it as a memorial[b] portion and burn it on the altar on top of the food offerings presented to the LORD. It is a sin offering. 13 In this way the priest will make atonement for them for any of these sins they have committed, and they will be forgiven. The rest of the offering will belong to the priest, as in the case of the grain offering.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. [Psalm 40:6]’”

Since I am not financially blessed, this would apply to me, and most of the folks who are a part of my circle, and means that it is not a requirement to sacrifice an animal for me to be forgiven. Though this was not hidden from me as a child in the church, neither was it pointed out. In fact, I was told that there was NO remission of sin without blood being shed for me by an animal or a Christ. I thought that the only way God forgave was through bloodshed. The more aware I became of the horrendous price paid on the cross, the less compassionate I thought God, to make anyone suffer so vastly for sins he had not committed, and for my sins to boot!

In my sojourn in the church, I had learned by implication that God was demanding, angry, vengeful, and unbending. People were put to death for walking into the sanctuary if they were not the right tribe, even. Children were put to death for not obeying their parents (I understand the temptation to wring an offspring’s neck sometimes, but, God?) And a God that didn’t understand that homosexuality wasn’t always a choice? Excuse me, if God made me, he can surely look into my heart and see what is there!  And, yes, I am taking the long way around to explain this point, but I will try to explain here all the reasons for my conclusions.

♦ The God of the Jews abhorred human sacrifice. Yes, the OT is clear on this, and states it several places.This is quoted from WhatJewsbelieve.org, just to make it a quick reference, to be sure, these references are commenting on the sacrifice of one’s sons and daughters to pagan gods, but then, we are all sons and daughters:

What does God say about human sacrifice in the TaNaCH? In Deuteronomy 12:30-31, God calls Human sacrifice something that He hates, and an abomination to Him, “for every abomination to the Eternal, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. In Jeremiah 19:4-6, God tells us that Human sacrifice is so horrible a concept to Him, that it did not even come into His mind to demand it from His creation, “They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind.” We see the same thing in Psalm 106:37-38, and in Ezekiel 16:20.

Though there are places online where you can find basic Jewish beliefs, they do not have a central governing body that decides what is heretical and what is not, so there are many areas where there are differences in beliefs from one sect to the next, much the same as Protestants in the Christian faith. I realize I am using Jewish commentary on this, but I do trust the rabbis to be more in tune with what the Tanach says regarding their beliefs, and what the meaning of the verses truly is. I am an Egalitarian in my beliefs, so I am not always in tune with Jewish tradition, either. I do not believe it is right to attempt to own another human, I believe that Homosexuality is not wrong, I believe that pedophilia is completely wrong, I hear voices, and I have seen things in my mind as in visions that have come true, and I may be crazy, (it’s why I share what I believe rather than attempt to tell others this is the way they should believe)

♦If Y’shua had made the implications or said some of the things he is recorded to have said, he would have been stoned to death, as the Mosaic Law was still practiced fully in his time.That means that there are passages that may have been tampered with quite a bit to read the way they read in today’s New Testament. This may be a result of faulty understanding by the translators from the Aramaic notes that would have been available to the Greek and Roman scribes that would have been responsible for those translations, or it may be a true revision of the manuscripts for political reasons. For what ever reason may apply, there are things that he is supposed to have said that make more sense with minor changes. For instance, he is supposed to have said, “I am the way, the truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father except through me.” This would have gotten him stoned, immediately. But, with minor changes, he may have said, “The I Am ( a name used for the very near, very here presence of God) is the way, the truth and the life, No man comes to the Father except through the I Am.” very minor changes, very major change in meaning. This could easily have happened because the yod is added at the front of a word to say, “the”. Easily missed, easily misunderstood.

There are places in the four gospels that feel unchanged, others that feel like there are major revisions. I was taught that the model for prayer that is called the “Our Father” was original with Y’shua, and showed a stroke of his genius, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned that it was a part of Kaddish, the prayers said for the dead. I was taught that there was no other faith that used the baptism as a means of cleansing the soul to prepare for regeneration, so you can imagine my shock when I first experienced a sweat lodge at the invitation of my Shawnee teacher, the concepts run deeper, actually, but the result is the same, a newness of life and understanding. I was taught that there was a blood red line that ran through the Old Testament that testified to Y’shua’s coming. Imagine how frustrating it was to learn that the books that had been excluded from the Tanach had been excluded because they had nothing to do with Y’shua or his coming.

♦I was frustrated, and spoke of it to more than one pastor, that Paul’s words were treated with the same sense of authority as Y’shua’s words. That wasn’t right in my book then, it really isn’t now, as I have found that they take Christianity so completely away from it’s Judaic roots, that it is a Hellenized approach to faith. Paul was a very spiritual, but very human individual with faults that are difficult for me to accept in humans today. One such can be found in Corinthians. In the first letter he berates a man and his sexual practices, having coupled with his wife and her mother. In the second letter he recognizes that this was not the case, but tells them it was all for their good anyway. I really dislike people that do that, and won’t go back to a church where I find the pastor acting like that.

To be sure, there are spots in his letters that I thoroughly enjoy, even in the same letters where he errs. 1Corinthians chapter 13 is as beautiful a recitation on Love as any I have ever read, anywhere. Yet, in some of his epistles, or most specifically one that is supposed to be his, 1Timothy, he basically says women should be kept barefoot and pregnant. Grrrrr! He is pictured here preaching atop the monument in Athens to an unknown God. I would not mind so much his railing against Pagans if he and those who came after him had not made Paganism so much a part of Christianity. This entire passage can be found in the book of Acts in the New Testament.

Well, forgive me, please, I digressed a bit from my point in this section that Y’shua would not have called himself God, but I hope I am making more sense at this point.  If not, I hope you will give me feedback to that, too. I do want to make my point clear and easily understood. I am not here to impress, I am here to communicate. Thanks again for reading my blog!!

bin Laden ~

I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” ~ MLK Jr.

Osama bin Laden was a notorious, infamous, mass murderer. I will not ever say he did not deserve to die. I will not even say that the US shouldn’t have gone after him with all we had. But, I cannot say that I am dancing in the streets at the thought of his demise. I do not know his history enough to know what turned him into a terrorist of the 1st magnitude. I simply know that underneath all that bravado was a human being.

I know, I am going to get slammed for this, as most are overjoyed at his death. I cannot even say I am not relieved, but when we are joyous because of a death, anyone’s death, we must stop and measure who we are, and what we are about. I mourn, with thousands of others, the lives bin Laden took, American, Muslim, worldwide. He traded in death on a scale that rivals Hitler and Stalin. But, where is the light in all of this?

What can be done to bring light into the world as a result of this death? Perhaps, as US Muslims have said, this will end the association of the Islamic faith with the terrorism his kind engendered. That would be a beginning. We must search in our hearts for all that is light and love, and bring it forth, no longer living in hatred of our neighbor. We must join hands and hearts and find a way to live in fellowship with all fellow humans that inhabit this planet. I am praying for a true peace to enfold us all. I hope that I am not alone in that prayer.

Time line ~

More than one path to Love ~

We live in such an imperfect world that it is not uncommon for parents to EXPECT their children to accept their version of God without question. That applies to any religion, whether Christianity or the Islamic faith or any other. I find it refreshing when a parent or grandparent has been so faithful to the God of mercy that the offspring are inspired to believe, even in the midst of loss and pain. Many have  parents not unlike my grandparents whose view of God was much more a “DON’T” God. Don’t do this, you can’t do that, you’re so impossible, you’re going to burn in H*ll. I find that manner of rearing children a shameful thing, and so sympathized with my mother, who never found comfort in God, even to her dying day.

I would rather see people find God, any way they can, Christian, Pagan, Islam, Jainism, any path of spirituality that brings comfort and a manner of life that is compassionate in it’s ways, than see people flounder in a morass of such negativity that they cannot see God as anything but a lightening bolt ready to blast them out of existence for thinking on their own, or questioning their parent’s values. My mother never found forgiveness and mercy at the thought of God, even though she believed God existed, and clung to the hope that Jesus was really God, even on her death bed. But it brought her no comfort, she thought she was going to H*ll.

So, I admit to having a very strong aversion to teaching one’s own view of God as the only path to “salvation”, as the only path to comfort. If I come across as putting down the Christian faith, it is a result of what I have seen, felt, and thought, through many years of attempting to anchor my own spirituality, hearing voices and all, in a God of such mercy that there is room for all who would love God by loving their fellow man.

There is one principle that I was introduced to in my journey that seems appropriate here. “Be certain of nothing, for as surely as you are certain, you are certainly wrong.” The other side of that principle is, “Change is the only constant in the Universe.” I also believe that the energy that moves about from the sun, in the wind, and moving the very planet under our feet, is love. Love has room for more than just my view of God. I hope that those who find no comfort in the thoughts of God’s existence will at least find Love, for, no matter their view of God, if they find Love, they have found God.

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