A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘sin’ Category

Consent ~

One of my greatest pet peeves with Old Testament law is that rapists and pedophiles get a free ride to victimize women and children. If the rapist attacks a virgin, and tells her not to scream, she is put to death, and her rapist goes free, or gets to marry her and harass her for the rest of her life, Yeesh!  There is nothing in the Torah about pedophilia in any form, so I guess it’s ok to rape children all you want. No THANK YOU! Below is a partial list of things that will earn you death in Old Testament Law.

Sacrifice children to Molek

Cursing father or mother

Adulterer and adulteress

A man having sexual relations with his father’s wife, both shall be put to death

Having sexual relations with daughter in law, both shall be put to death

Men having sex with each other

Man marrying a woman and her mother

A woman having sex with an animal, both are to be put to death

A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist

Fornication

Anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall be put to death

Murderers

A Rebellious Son

A woman who married with no proof of virginity, if her husband accuses her.

A raped virgin if she does not scream

Kidnapping a fellow Israelite

Working on the Sabbath

I have worked on the Sabbath, so I guess I have earned the death penalty, but rapists and pedophiles go unpunished. Does that sound like a set of laws you want to live with? I hope not, and it takes giving consent to have sexual relations completely out of the picture. If you are not married to a member of the opposite gender, you can’t have it, no way, no how. If you go ahead and have sex without the marriage license, you will be put to death. I, for one, am not prepared to live with such laws. I want serial rapists and pedophiles who rape children as part of their daily lives at least put in jail, if not put in the electric chair.

Oh, and just a thought, if you are a parent of a normal teen (rebellious, sometimes in the extreme), your child is under the death penalty. Do you want that? Think about that for a minute, it might be worth the trade off of letting rapists and pedophiles go unpunished to be able to have your child executed for telling you no consistently . . . . .no? I didn’t think so. Please consider what you are doing when you try to reinstate these laws in our society.

I prefer to live in a world where consent is the operative word, I hope you do as well, don’t try to force people to live with a law that does not even consider consent, or the ability to give it, as the primary reason something is considered right or wrong. We have grown as a people and have learned that if we value free will, there must be give and take, that should apply to everyone, not just a few.

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Feedback ~

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!!

The Sparrow

I have been contemplating for some time the whole thing about the “Good News”. I do not believe Jesus was telling people that his death on the cross was going to save them, so what was HE talking about when he spoke of the “Good News”? Well, actually, that doesn’t take a whole lot to think about. What was the thrust of his entire ministry? The very here, very near, very now presence of God very God in the role of loving parent. Every time he spoke that was recorded in the four extant gospels, that was the subject, or so much a part of the subject as to be completely integral with it.

OH!

Yes! God as loving parent. Not Y’shua the savior, but Y’shua the big brother, who brought us the message that God wasn’t just a stern judge hanging over us like a plague on our lives, but a gentle, caring, nurturing presence to lean on in the good times and the bad. Yeah, think about it, God very God cares about you and me, each of us, as though he were our Daddy or Mommy. Does that put a different slant on all those lessons we haven’t been learning? It should. It does for me. My Native American friends call the Holy Presence Tonkashila, Grandfather. Nothing wrong with that, those fortunate enough to have a living grandparent often find themselves more able to talk to their grandparents about the issues that mess with them than their parents. And that was Y’shua’s point exactly.

God is there for us to talk to, to listen to, and to ask advice from. What a major blessing is that perspective. When we are troubled about anything, we have an adviser we can turn to at that very instant without leaving the place we are in. Just ask.  And another part of that perspective turns out to be the whole thing about the sparrow. Such a tiny common little bird. Thousands of them exist worldwide. Yet, not one of them falls from the sky that it is not marked by the Holy Presence! How can I not love a God that cares for me like that?!

I know I have gotten a bit gushy about how much Dad loves us, and I hope you will forgive me for that gush. If it helps any, today is my 58th birthday, so I can feel a little entitlement to gush about love, eh? However, the “thing” that got me thinking about this aspect of our relationship with the Most High may be a debate I had entered yesterday afternoon with some fellow members of a forum I participate in at Smallworlds.com. We were discussing the rights and wrongs of homosexuality. A tender subject, at best, and one that can lead to a bit of bombast from the religious on that or any other forum.

I do not take a stance on whether this lifestyle is a right or wrong, I am straight, so perhaps it’s not even any of my business. And that, dear reader, is the stance I took on the forum. I believe my part in this world is to love, not to judge, and I also find that the Native American perspective regarding those who are referred to as He/She, is a far better perspective than that practiced by those of us reared in the Judeo-Christian perspective. That stance is that the homosexual has a place in the tribe that is a wonderful spot of communication between the males and the females, carrying, as it were, the ability to see both sides of any argument offered with gender bias. I like it. For me it more perfectly reflects the loving parent that is God, and allows every member of the tribe a place in that tribe’s function. No fuss, no violence, no name calling. What a concept.

There are a couple of other things I would like to mention about that. Y’shua did not comment on homosexuality as a sin to be dealt with in his ministry, though, if you read the Sermon on the Mount with any eye toward completeness, he doesn’t leave any of the other “personal” sins untouched. I cannot say what he thought of it, he did not speak of it. I can say that his omission of it is obvious enough to make us think twice about making it an issue in our relationships with those around us. Those who quote from the New Testament about homosexuality quote from Paul’s writings, (remember always that, though Paul had some valuable things to say, he was the one apostle that did NOT walk at Y’shua’s side, so may not have known the Big Brother’s stance on this tender subject.)

I guess all that I would ask of my fellow pilgrims is this: if the person you are associating with is compassionate, and brings as little harm to others or the environment as possible, why do you need to make his or her lifestyle your business? Is not the Holy One capable of making any judgment calls without your contribution? Then, out of compassion for all, let it be. Love to you and yours this blessed day!!!

Sin ~

adam-and-eveSin has been a thoroughly contended concept since long before I was born, and, since the major theologians cannot agree, I may be treading where even the angels will not go. Since the genome project assures us that Eve was of darker skin tone, there are no depictions of her that can even come close to accuracy, but hey, I want to discuss the inaccuracy of our perception of sin, anyway.

Calvinism provides a definition of sin as being that of total depravity, a twisting of what is right into something altogether wrong. That kind of nastiness is present in our world, but is not what was meant by the teachings of old. It would seem that the intent was to understand that humans were incomplete, and imature, in the sense that mistakes are more easily made than correct moves in the dance of life. Hence, humans are born with intelligence, the ability to learn how to “dance”.

When one looks at the average individual in our world, this, indeed fits far better than the

Dance of Life

Dance of Life

idea of depravity. The issue then, in the Tanakh was that G-d was perfect, complete, and therefore man needed a buffer between himself and G-d in order to participate in a relationship with G-d. I believe that the reason that modern Christianity, Calvinistic Christianity needs Y’shua to be a G-dman is that, for them, nothing less than that could untwist the twistedness of the soul. Yet, if Hashem did not see man, per se as twisted, there remains a question of degrees.

I was contemplating David’s words in the psalm, “cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be clean”. If the ancients sensed that, that something like hyssop, an essential oil from plants, would cleanse one both physically and spiritually, where did the need to place one’s sins on the back of an innocent lamb and slaughter the poor thing come from? I have wondered if there were a larger lesson even in this command from Hashem. What if the desire of the Holiest were that we see just how wrong it is to put our shortcomings on the backs of the innocent?

Look at Buddhist practice for a moment, here. The ceremonies and rituals, as well as the bloodpractice of mindfulness in order to get one’s mind out of the gutter and thinking on higher thoughts is rather effective, as well as accepting the issue of taking responsibility for one’s own thought processes. I like that. If I take responsibility for thinking what I think, then there is no “power” that can coerce me into doing something I do not feel is right. If I lay the blame on the “devil”, then the devil can make me kill or mame others, not acceptable behavior before any court of law. If the voices in my head tell me it’s time to kill the neighbor, then I can tell the voices to do it themselves, I have other things I prefer to do rather than shed the blood of a human.

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