A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘Jesus’ teachings’

Images ~

There is a movie coming out that I want to see.  The reason it interests me is that, when I have contemplated the 4th commandment, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” it seems to me to be many layered, and has something to do with how the human mind actually works. This is examined in part in Jungian psychology, and is an extremely powerful part of who we are.

Most people are aware that the pictures and statues of Buddha and Jesus, and Mary, and any other image, are symbolic of the original, that they are not the original, and are only “so to speak” a means of concentrating our prayers. However, this is more easily seen in something like the swastika, an image, originally, of a peaceful people at worship, not a symbol of evil, yet, with it’s constant use by Hitler and his minions, it became a symbol of evil in our minds, making us quake at its sight. Its use was repurposed, or at least sidelined from its original use. There are ways this has happened to images of Jesus. He was a teacher, a lover of children in the most ethical of ways, one who taught a compassionate and forgiving path.

Yet, that very image has come to be something of horror to those who are born with homosexual tendencies. It is a horror filled image to those of African origin who have been plagued by slavers killing their families and kidnapping their children. Pictures of Jesus have come to mean condemnation and oppression to those who have felt the outrageous slings and arrows of those who would use his image to further their purposes. It was several years ago that I became aware that these images of a gentle teacher and the use of chanting songs of “praise” were a type of entrainment, meant to attune the entire congregation to one another, and to be more malleable to the preachers ravings at the pulpit.

Needless to say, I quit attending such services, and began to study other religious and spiritual traditions in order to understand what I was seeing and feeling while in those services. I do very much believe that it is an individual responsibility that each of us bears regarding what we study, what we believe, and how we act. I began to realize that Y’shua, Jesus to most of you, was never wanting us to hang up our sense of self, but was encouraging us to actually examine ourselves and discover who we really and truly are, as the more in touch we are with the “authentic self” that is at the core of our faith, the more likely we are to act in compassion, in forgiveness, in truth.

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Persecution of Christians ~

Christians of the evangelical bent have been taught for several generations that persecution is coming, it is a fact in their eyes, they are just waiting for the other shoe to drop for it to be so. I spent much of the first part of my life among them and wondered at this teaching. It didn’t make sense to me. If you treated folks the way Y’shua asked you to, you wouldn’t develop casual, or even many enemies. When you are good to people, they usually respond in kind. So where was this coming from?

Well, the beatitudes passage in the New Testament has at it’s ending a comment about persecution, and there are others that speak of it as well. But, I wonder if Christians are bringing on their own persecution. There is often a paranoia among those who practice Churched Christianity that presumes there will be persecution, so they act in ways that bring it about. The claim that they would like homosexuals to be put to death is one of them. This entire act on the part of such believers ignores the fact that, in that same passage of the Old Testament, those who practice adultery, or are rebelious against their parents are under the same death sentence.Reference Deuteronomy, chapter 22, and Leviticus, chapter 20.

First let me say this: if you want to make Levitical law your way of life, then do so wholly, make any death sentence you hand out to those who practice a way of life you fear also applicable to the way of life often practiced in the Evangelical Church. If you have committed adultery, then you also should be put to death. Second, let me point out that if you say you are a Christian, then you should practice the path proscribed by Y’shua, who advocated forgiveness of all shortcomings. He it was who said that those who are without sin should be the ones to cast the first stone. In other words, if you are not perfect, don’t cast any stones anywhere.

I am well aware that Paul the apostle wrote lengthy diatribes against things even the Master did not address. It is, in fact, for this reason that, though I recognize a strong spirituality in Paul, I refuse to elevate his words to the level of the Master’s teachings.It is Y’shua who taught us not to judge, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” He even taught us to be gentle with prayer. “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Look at this carefully. Read Matthew from beginning to end, it is not a long book. We are taught to treat our neighbor with LOVE!

If we do this, looking to our own spiritual growth and not worrying about where someone else stands before God, then we will be doing what we should. I must admit to wondering if the reason so many of the churched feel the need to mind everyone else’s business is simple jealousy. Everyone looks to be having too much fun. Don’t worry about someone else’s life. Worry about yourself, worry about your own practice!

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