A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘war’ Category

God of Love ~

Those that need to think that God is real (I number among them) have many reasons for this need. My own is that I hear voices and see things that sometimes are not there to others. That can be pretty scary. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that the only way I was going to be able to cope with it all was to find a bottom line, and stay there. It is through that storm that I came to see that even though the many forms of faith have a lot of differences, there were a couple of things they had in common. The differences are unimportant to me, the things they held in common, a call to live compassionately, forgiving others as quickly as possible, were the things that seemed destined to help me cope.

Many times, as I read the Old Testament, as well as the New, I find myself shaking my head in wonderment that a True God could have been perceived to be so tribal. Yet, we must remember that Moses, and Father Abraham were tribal above all, and would have seen God in this same reference. You see, that seems to always have been a problem. It is difficult to see an entity as existing beyond the bounds of our own individual experience. Yet, I want to be fair here. The books in the Old Testament are not the complete version, there were many books left out, because they seemed not to have anything to do with Jesus Christ, and were therefore, ignored. The shame comes in the fact that in those books that were left out, a quite larger view of God comes to light. It is somewhat startling, but some of the mystics could envision a God that was big enough to have made the Universe. Now that is where I can say I could join them.

Here, I am going to irritate some of the “faithful” for I do not believe in war. In fact, I believe that war is failure. We were given language and tongues. We can talk, and we can reason, and we should be able to negotiate. Any time we resort to shooting each other, we have failed at negotiations. I am well aware that this world has been overridden with a need for power that seems to trump all other considerations. I do not, however, believe that the God I worship caused this. This is a man made problem, and man needs to solve it. Soon!

In fact, it is this need for power that has caused not only war, but some very personal crimes that are none of which, like war, have been recognized in the Book as crimes. So, what can this list entail? Well, there is war, the wanton shooting of other humans who do not agree with us; there is slavery, often in the past ages the taking of people from among those defeated in war for personal pleasure, be that sexual in nature, or work related in helping us become wealthy; there is also rape, the overpowering of one person by another for sexual gratification, (YUCK!) ; then there is child slavery and molestation. I don’t personally believe there was ever an instance where GOD declared war on any of us. NOT in the Old Testament, NOT in the New, Not in any document from the Quran to the Baghavadgita. God didn’t choose war, our ancestors did, and they were not Holy in their intent. Ever. So, that is a list of power crimes, not complete, I suspect there are more that have not come to mind, but that is a list that must be recognized by our current leaders as a list of things that MUST be stopped before we can even begin to build a civilization that will bring about peace on Earth.

Many look for a messiah, some think he has come in the nature of one Jesus Christ. I don’t believe that was the case. OK I know y’all are gonna slam me for this one, but the human race is just now beginning to recognize power crimes for what they are, and we are not ready for the messiah; Jesus, either as a conglomerate of teachers and rabbis, or as a single person, would have only been the forerunner, setting the stage for what yet is to come. We haven’t yet gotten to a point where the compassion both he and the Buddha have called for from the enlightened is present in a majority of the people. We are a long way from even beginning to enter such an age. We aren’t even close.

I, personally, believe that only when we as an entire race of beings can get to a point where the only God we would even consider worth worshiping would be a God of love and compassion, will we be ready for a time of peace and prosperity, for only when that includes everyone, will it be true.

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Oslo ~

It seems that this is proof that violence begets violence. This young man, in an insane concern for the multi-culturalization of his own country turned to extreme violence as an answer. When he had bombed the buildings and already killed, he then went to a youth camp to kill more. This time children, young people whom he considered the future leaders. 93 dead in the entire debacle. His purpose? To waken his people to the dangers of allowing the immigration of people of Islamic background. But the children he killed were Norwegian, not necessarily immigrants, not necessarily close to the source of his angst.

That, of course, is the difficulty with answering violence with violence. The people we hurt are usually not the ones that hurt us. The camp wasn’t of a religious nature, it was a Labor Party camp. Yes, he blames that party for the multicultural stance of his country, but these are not people that espouse violence in any way. Will his actions help his cause? Probably not, in fact, it may hurt it in many ways, and for years to come.

The violence that begat this violence is blamed on extremist Muslim jihadists, and because they claim the Islamic faith as their own, they taint the view of much or the world regarding the Muslims who truly see their faith as the House of Peace. There are, of course, things I am uncomfortable with, regarding the Islamic faith. I’ve never pretended otherwise. Devout women of the faith must wear the Burka and Hijab to cover themselves from head to toe. This engenders a lack of sexual responsibility among the men, as it’s “all right” to rape women whose skin is exposed. But, violence toward the peaceful practitioners of this faith is not going to make this go away, and the violence that was engendered wasn’t even toward Islamic folk, it was toward secular Norwegians.

Ouch! That’s the problem with answering violence with violence, those who get hurt, and in this case dead, are not the cause of the pain in the first place. If the violence did not spread like fireworks to injure others not involved, I am not sure any of us would do more than just stand back and let those involved fight it out. But, here is a prime example of the very explosiveness of such a stance. The violence that rocked Oslo was not a direct answer to Extremist Islam, it was an outpouring of angst on people only indirectly involved. And it was children who paid the price in this awful debacle.

It seems that no matter what side this is fought on, children are the targets, that is, itself, most frustrating. Why children? Is it because the soldiers and infighters in both extremes are nothing but cowards? They lack the balls to fight each other on equal ground, so kill the children? I have never had much patience with child killers, I have less now. The children are used to make us cringe, I know, and it is succeeding. I have come to believe that, whether extremist Islamist, or extremist anti-Muslim, the death penalty should ensue every time a child is raked into their fight.

Soldiers of the Cross?

Has it occurred to you that Y’shua never made that correlation? That was a Paulism. Would it surprise you to find that Y’shua probably would shudder at such a title for “His” followers? Remember that to all of the people of Judea soldiers were representatives of Rome. They were often cruel, many times brutal, seldom considerate of other humans in any way. That is so far from the “Path” that Y’shua was teaching that it seems way off key when we celebrate such a position. Now, keep in mind, as I address this glitch in our thinking that the US has never had a “professional” army in the same sense that Rome did. We have professionals, yes, but the bulk of our army is citizens, not mercenaries. There’s a reason for that, and it does indeed go back to the type of people soldiers become in such an atmosphere.

Be that as it may, Y’shua would not have encouraged his followers to emulate soldiers in any way. I am not all that certain I understand why Paul took the church in that direction. Part of the issue may be that Y’shua was calling individuals to a closer relationship with Spirit, while Paul was organizing a flock he hoped would all march to the same tune.

I admire individualism. That cannot survive in a regimented atmosphere. In fact, if you look at the many churches we have all within a few blocks of one another in many cities, you will see that most churches have no give in the fabric of their construction for the individual. When someone has a different vision of Hashem, they almost have to start another church instead of making room in the old fellowship for a different way of seeing things. I remember hearing a preacher once say that if you did not see God the way he saw God, you could not worship at the same altar as he. I didn’t argue, I just left.

But then, here is the point of this musing: does a God that so completely treasures variety that there are so many different flowers, trees, plants, animals, even colors of humans, really want those who follow and obey to be like rubber stamp copies of one another? I doubt it. Even the clouds in the sky do not copy one another exactly. And then there is something else that it seems Y’shua wanted, it was for each of us to mind our relationship with the Almighty, and leave our neighbor’s relationship to God between the neighbor and God. But then, Paul thought it was all right to scold people for doing wicked things when they weren’t even doing them. So the children follow the pied piper, should I be surprised?

Lewis, and me and Christian thought.

As a young Christian, one of my favorite authors was C. S. Lewis. I loved the Chronicles of Narnia, and thoroughly enjoyed his space trilogy, most specifically Perelandra was my favorite. Then I read most of his books regarding Christianity, from “The Abolition of Man” to “Surprised by Joy”. I read his apologetics with relish, but found that some of his basic arguments for believing that Christianity was the only faith that served God paled when compared to the more basic theology presented in the stories he wrote for the children.

In the book where the children see Aslan (the Logos of God, also in Lewis’ theology the Son of God, as in Johns gospel), singing the world into being, my heart skipped a beat, as that made incredible sense to me. I hear music all the time, even in the silence. Most of the time it is gentle violin and flute stuff, and very seldom the hard metallic stuff, (though that stuff distresses me no end when I hear it in my mind, as it generally means something is terribly wrong in my world!)

In the last book of the series, “The Last Battle”,  where the world is gathered in on Judgment day, Aslan tells the children (I’m paraphrasing here, as I no longer have a copy, couldn’t afford to replace after I gave my set away.)that you cannot worship the Dark with good deeds and you cannot worship God with evil deeds, there are several things said in that, that I am not sure Lewis intended to convey. The first, that there really is only one God.

The second, that it didn’t matter what you call yourself, Christian, Muslim, Ivrit, Jain, kwanyin1Buddhist; no matter what you believe in, no matter where you worship, the one true God hears your prayers and sees into your heart. I quit worrying about whether people were converted to Christianity or not, and started teaching those who were under my influence that you must live according to the Golden Rule, that that was more important than anything else, and that you must do it because you genuinely care, from deep within you, and that if you could not find that caring in your heart, that that was what you were to pray for.

Having read his theological works, I am certain that is not what he wanted to convey in his children’s stories, but it is there, nevertheless. In fact, I gave several sets of those books to children whose parents practice Christianity to the exclusion of all other faiths with the express purpose of exposing them to a greater truth, and for many years did not even speak of what I had found to be solid core truth in Lewis stories for children, most especially to those parents.

I only bring it out now, as it seems that the stories are being made into movies. I have not seen even the first movie, though I would very much like to. I suspect they are wonderful with all the special effects. And, for me, the larger, more solid core of spiritual truth is ripe and ready to be explored by the citizens of our world, who seem most weary of One set of God’s children finding exception in another set of God’s children and starting wars that can only flow over to the rest of us in horror, pain and suffering.

It really is time, folks, the God that is real is much larger than your imagination can allow. This God is above gender, truly cares about all life, has given free will to these puny humans, (and I am not sure that God has not regretted that, but without free will, obedience to the high principles is not true obedience). Has said in the Torah that the desire is for obedience to these principles rather than sacrifice, so even the act of worship is not truly understood by the religious, and wants us to be kind to one another.

Edit, 2.3.09, I have seen both the Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Prince Caspian. The filmography was wonderful, and there is little or no preaching in them, well done.

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