A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘religion’

Son of Man ~

jesus1Jesus called himself the Son of Man. No matter if you think he was the Son of God or a mature, evolved human being like the Buddha, his vision would have been expanded enough to see that you really can’t worship “other gods” if you are a compassionate being. You cannot worship GOD with evil deeds, nor can you worship darkness with good and compassionate deeds. ( first said, at least to my knowledge, by C. S. Lewis)

He didn’t mince around, he said love was the only commandment one had to obey, for everything written could be boiled down and summed up in that one command, love God, love your fellow man. If you truly love God, you will love his creation, both your fellow travelers and the earth that supports them. If you do not love, you will not be able to serve the highest and best there is for those that walk beside you.

He did NOT say, love only those who celebrate the eucharist, He did NOT say, love only those who are part of your worship group, he did NOT say, only love those who walk the way you do. He said LOVE, with a deep, from the very marrow of your being love. In the letter entitled First John, in Chapter 4, verses 7&8, we are told

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

This is a beautiful understanding of the commandment to love, for in it we can see that it truly does not buddha90210matter whether a person calls themselves Buddhist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Jain, or unbeliever, for if they love, they know God in their hearts, if they do not love, they do not know God. Yes, I know, that puts many who call themselves believers at risk, for love is the one commandment that many have not learned to obey, yet, it is the only commandment given.Truly, if you have learned this one command and obey it as often as you are able, you are my brother or sister, for we are children of God.

There are many in our time that have shown that though Moses understanding of God was great, and even ahead of his time, it was not perfected. He did not understand that slavery was wrong, he did not understand how very wrong rape was, he did not even have a clue that child harm was so very wrong. So, though we can admire him for being ahead of his time, and so close to God, we cannot stay at his level of understanding and claim that that way is complete. We must move forward, we must learn to love, we must come to understand that the way of love will not hold others as chattel. They are human beings. We must give others the same rights and privileges we hold for ourselves.

dnacadueceusPart of that understanding is the principle behind the words “first do no harm”. If there is a way of life that is foreign to you, but harms no one, then it is not “sin”, if it indeed brings about love, and is a good thing in that community, we must hold it to be in obedience to the command to love. We cannot hold ourselves over others as their keepers or jailers, we must let others be free to learn to obey the command in their own way. We must learn to love, not just in part, but completely, as God would have us love.

Back again ~

computercrashI have a bit of an excuse this time, at least for the last month or so. My computer crashed, and I haven’t yet been able to get it back up and running. I fear I am going to have to take it in to have it worked on by a professional, gads, I hope not, that gets expensive! I have been puttering on a tablet, but my old fingers do not do well on a virtual typepad, hence, no posts.

I will confess that even then, I haven’t got much new to say. I suspect I wouldn’t make it as a pastor, these dry spots happen to everyone, and though I am not exactly in a dry spot I have said so much about the things that are on my mind these days that I can’t imagine you all wanting to read more about abortion, slavery and child harm. I have listened to some wonderful speakers, on both sides of the abortion    issue, but I remain solidly in the spchild-abuse3ot that considers it a woman’s right to get an abortion, even if I personally don’t think I could do it except as a result of rape. Ahh, but therein lies the rub, eh?

I don’t feel that I can stand in judgment of anyone who is in that position, or in other spots that require soul searching in order to go through with a pregnancy.  I have “liked” the Facebook page called the Christian Left, it’s an interesting page, since it is by nonjudgmental Christians who try to live the life Jesus taught in the four gospels. They do sometimes ask questions regarding one’s faith, but have peacefully, and even with comment gladly allowed me to present my views when appropriately responding to a question. And, if you’ve read multifaithmuch of my blog, you know I’m not a traditional Christian. It’s rather comforting to know that even more traditional believers than myself take the same stance on this question as I do.

I am in search of other topics to discuss, since I really prefer not to bore you all with my thoughts on this, you have every right to your own opinions and I have voiced mine. So, feel free to ask for discussion on topics you want to think about, and I will open the discussion. You are always free to comment. Take care!

BTW, the only reason I can begin to look at typing this much is because a gracious friend got me a new laptop. I just wanted to voice my thanks to her and to Creator. I am thrilled with it!

Fearfulness ~

New Studies

The  upshot of these studies really, is that we are not sure which comes first, the fear, or the conservatism. I remember when I became a Democrat, a buddy and I had taken off from Indiana, looking to build our lives in California, wrong timing, and a bunch of other factors brought us ultimately back to Indiana. But, in the aftermath of that adventure, my politics had changed. Now, when I look at the whole incident, the “adventure”, and it’s subsequent failure should have made me more fearful, i.e. more conservative.

But the major lesson this particular adventure had taught me, was to choose love first. Now, looking back, I fearcannot honestly say how that lesson came through, or even “stuck”, I just know that fear, which was the precursor to that adventure, did not work, and was not a path to travel. I guess I do know how that lesson “stuck”.

But, now comes the kicker, love and fear are opposites. You cannot choose to love and live in fear. It will not happen. Love, and by this I mean all manner of love, whether you are speaking of love of one person or love of all mankind cannot come out of fear, nor will it manifest as fear. To choose to Love, truly, in the sense of having compassion for oneself and all others will manifest itself in the positive; joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, humility, and self-control. To be sure, I am not perfect in this, not by a long shot. But, I continue to learn.

I am often at odds with Paul the Apostle, who is the original writer of the above litany of the manifestations of love, but, like Paul, I have many fears, and those fears sometimes take a great deal of prayer, journey2self-examination, faith in the Master of the Universe, and time to conquer. It is both a very good thing that Paul’s letters were included in the New Testament, and a very bad thing that they are there. The good, of course, is that we can watch a very human individual, a murderer, no less, come to terms with his imperfections and find solace in the love of God. The very bad thing is that, if you do not read Paul’s letters as a journey toward love, you see them as a mandate on how humans are supposed to conduct themselves as believers. That will result in a horrible lack of growth, for his letters were not a manifest, but a record of a journey from human failing to learning to love at the highest level. In fact, the entire Bible is very much about such a journey, not for just one person, but for an entire nation.

That, indeed, is why, though the original laws written in the Torah were an excellent starting point, they were remiss in that they did not list a group of heinous crimes that we have, finally, grown enough to see as the wicked crimes they are, i.e. slavery, rape, and child harm. All three of those can be listed together as what one could call “power” crimes, in that their entire force is to hold power over others. It was not until the later prophets that one began to see that “compassion” was first, last, and always, the way to please God. Compassion will not manifest itself with slavery, rape, or harming children. It will, indeed, manifest itself in Dalai Lamakindness toward all other humans. Truly, we are a long way from manifesting this as a people. Some humans have arrived, and speak to us about this, for instance we see the Dalai Lama, leader of the Buddhist faith, speak often about the fact that compassion is a human need, not necessarily a religious tenet. He is right.

We humans, if we are going to grow from childhood to adulthood, must grow in compassion, living our lives in fear gets us “stuck” in childhood. We will continue to be militant, angry, suffering humans if we do not learn to manifest love from the first of our interactions, to the last of our lives. We need to learn as a people, to choose love first.

 

Sins of Scripture, Author Bishop Spong

Sins of Scripturesinsofscripture

I am half way through this book. I must admit to being thrilled to find that Bishop Spong speaks of Spirit the way I do, and sees scripture the way I do. He, however, is much more thorough than I have been, being well equipped with a lifetime study of the Bible from the point of view of an Anglican Preist. He touches on many of the subjects I have written of here in my blog, and I would encourage anyone who is interested in this point of view to read the book. He speaks of the Bible and ecology, of the Bible and women, of the Bible and homosexuality, of the Bible and Anti-semitism, of the Bible and child abuse. He also has addressed the idea of a need for a reformation of the faith of Christianity, noting that the ways of the past will no longer serve those who live in the here and now.

Reality, Is there a God?

jesus_teaching_2I happen to believe that “God” is very real. I also believe that this God wants us to be happy and good to one another. Much beyond that, and it gets murky. I have had personal experiences with Spirit in my life that have convinced me of the reality of a “Higher Power” in the universe. I cannot tell you that you must believe, or even what to believe, you are responsible for your own thoughts on this.

I have come to believe that, though the scholars may be right, and the stories of a Christ may be twisted and suborned, there are kernels of truth in the gospels. Not of a human that was a God, but, rather, a human teacher that was enlightened and taught a better way for us to live. Yes, I am aware that he is quoted to have said some things that are just simply not supportable by a human. I believe those things were added into the story by those who wrote the legends many years after this rabbi lived.

In fact, it is because of all the controversy that I am going to share with you my base for the beliefset I hold. I must admit that when I first became aware that there were no notes and documents from the time in which the rabbi lived, my head was spinning. Had I put my faith in a myth? Well, possibly. So I began to search out from other faiths, what they believed, and why they believed them. One of my favorite books was Huston Smith’s work on the religions of the world. I was most impressed that Dr. Smith had done the field research that I would want to do if I had had the opportunity.

What came through to me so clearly in that research, and more of my own in reading and talking to those who practiced other faiths, was that Buddhism, stripped dalailamadown to it’s core teachings was nearly identical in principle, and many of the Buddha‘s teachings were a rephrasing of the rabbi’s, or the rabbi’s teachings were a rephrasing of the Buddha’s teachings. Either way, this gave me a basis on which to build my own practice. I had also found a woman who would teach me regarding the indigenous beliefs of the First People, so I must admit this is also part of my beliefset. In fact, my current practice has little to do with ceremony from any of the three basic foundation sets, and much to do with how I see things, and the principles I try to practice in daily life.

There are some lovely side issues when Buddhism is so similar to the Christian path. One is that I see Y’shua as another Buddha, an enlightened human, not a God. Another is that, with Buddhism, there is no need to worry whether there is a “Father” God at all, Buddhism is about relieving humanity from suffering, not about worshipping a God.  Ergo, you can be an atheist and practice Buddhism quite easily. The key, for me, has more to do with how you treat your fellow human beings, in following Buddha’s path, you are in obedience to the one I call the “Ancient of Days”. There is another gem here that should not be over-looked. With Buddhism, you are instructed right at the start that this has to do with your own journey, not about telling others how to live. You don’t have to worry about “John”, or “Suzi”, or anybody else along the way, just worry about yourself. What a wonderful release from being responsible for how others live. It isn’t yours to worry about.

8fold_pathNow, that last part, that’s been a point of contemplation for me. Y’shua taught us not to judge others, he also told us that we shouldn’t worry about the splinter in our brother’s eye when we had a log in our own. That should pretty much tell us to mind our own p’s and q’s, but, rather than telling us not to worry about others so much, Gautama Buddha went on to teach us how to travel the path toward the light, i.e. Wisdom, our own ethical conduct, where to concentrate our efforts. Though you can see the parallels in their teachings in the third link I gave you, the focus of their teachings was a bit different. Y’shua’s was almost all about conduct, Gautama was about the inner journey. Both were leading us toward spiritual growth, Buddha was teaching us how to be another Buddha. Though I believe it was Y’shua’s intent to also teach us to be like him, that has been made to look almost impossible by those who preach and teach in Christian churches, teaching us to love the messenger and forget his message. I don’t personally believe we can afford to do that. We must learn to follow the message.

 

Rape is Rape ~

Teen mom’s struggle to keep the rapist from seeing the resulting child!
I have stated my opinion on abortion being a choice. This is what I was talking about. This child (emphasize child) chose to keep her baby that resulted from rape by a 20 year old. Bless her heart for being this brave. This should NOT result in the rapist being able to stay in her life as a result of her choice!

Akin wants to call this a less than legitimate rape, perhaps, but, I do NOT! She was only 14 years old when she conceived the baby. What is the judicial system thinking in allowing the man who raped her to even consider that he might have a right to see this child? This is as though the Old Testament were still governing our perception of the young mother and her child. NO! NO! NO! He does NOT have the right to harass her for the rest of her life! Nor should she be punished for choosing the incredibly tough path of carrying her baby to term!

She is apparently fighting back, I hope she wins this battle. Rapists should never be given this kind of power in the lives of their victims! Rape is a power crime. Hence, every time he contemplates visiting her and her child, he contemplates the power this gives him in her life. This should NOT be! I do not care if there was violence in this crime or not, she says he threatened her, this makes it a power struggle. Compassion for the mother and her child would dictate that the rapist NEVER be allowed to be near her or her child. Gads! When does the torture end? Good luck, young lady, in your battle for your rights and your child’s right to live without fear!

Equality ~

Y’shua thought of men and women as equals, and consistently treated them as such. This was not what he was taught by Mosaic Law, but what he knew in his heart. Moses, bless him for being there when he was, was not evolved enough as a human being to “see” the wrongness of rape or the need to guard the children and not harm them. It was not until 1836 that we as humans began to develop the depth of conscience that saw the need to protect children and women. It is only in the last 30 or 40 years that anti-rape laws have been written tough enough to prosecute rapists in our laws.

(Deuteronomy 22:23-29 NLT)

If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife.

    If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father.  Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

Moses may have seen women as much more valuable than most other leaders saw their women, and his laws reflected that, but it was not until the New Covenant of Y’shua that men even began to see women as needing treated in any form of equality. Since it has been approximately 2,000 years since Y’shua’s time on earth you cannot say that human society has rapidly changed to project this new perspective. I realize that many feel that the words in the Old Testament were God’s words. That is such a fallacy that I cannot even begin to comprehend it. Inspiration by God is not the same as taking dictation from God, that should be obvious.

It’s only been in the last 100+ years that we have realized how very wrong slavery is. We now understand that slavery in any form is wrong, just as rape and child molestation are wrong, but we are slow as a people in coming to understand the higher way. We are beginning to understand that free will is a gift from God. It is only with this understanding that we can begin to understand that if God gives us free will, we should not even try to remove it from others. This is why it is so important to prosecute slavery, rape, and child harm when they occur.

In the case of slavery, to hold someone against their will and require them to work for us with no compensation is wrong, you remove their free will, we cannot do this. In the case of rape, it is sex without the willing participation of the partner, hence, removal of free will, and should not even be allowed to be part of our lives. In the case of the children, to allow molestation or forced labor to be part of our society is wrong, harms the children, and creates an atmosphere that makes it all right to remove the free will of the adults. Children cannot, by virtue of their age, give consent to work or have sex, they simply are not old enough to know the consequences of the things being asked of them. Hence, my argument is the same as the Buddha’s, one must seek the consent of a possible partner in sexual encounters, and understand that when the ability to give knowledgeable consent is absent, the deed is wrong.

I am well aware that there are those who in the “New Age” society say that there is no such thing as a victim, but I am saying that until we learn to stand for the rights of all, we are all victims of our own blindness. I pray daily for clarity in my vision, for cleansing of my soul, and for the peace that passes all understanding to become the way we all walk this earth, we cannot do so while we allow some to take the free will of others from them. As long as some are hurting, we all are hurting.

Tag Cloud