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Archive for the ‘god’ Category

AquaMan Goes China

If anyone would have told me around this time last year that in twelve months’ time I’d be teaching English at a variety of colleges inChina, I don’t know what I would have done.

Maybe I would have broken out into laughter, or started to feel severely dizzy with a troubling pain between my ears.

But fate has its twisted little ways at times, and since my wife was twice denied entry to what I have since come to call the “Schengen zoo,” and my dream of forming an acoustic trio consequently had to be put on ice, after 3 decades of raking in a living with my guitar I’ve had to change professions, along with continents and locations, and have since become an English teacher in China.

Sometimes we get to a point of stagnation in our lives where we think we know and have seen it all. But then the great Celestial Wizard (I have to be more careful with religious vocabulary these days…) waves His magic wand,  takes us out of our familiar environment into a totally new & different one (my definition of China: “same earth, different planet”) and sits us in front of His great big celestial record player to the sound of the 70s tune by the Canadian band Bachman, Turner, Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nuthin’ Yet.”

Mr. Know-It-All becomes Johnny Clueless, and has to prove all over again whether he ever really meant a thing about all the things he preached to others about learning from life, leaving it all behind and the whole “follow-the-great-Celestial-Wizard” sort of spiel.

Things can get awfully silent around folks like that in these situations, and that’s why you haven’t heard from me in a while.

Besides, life is a lot busier for English teachers in China with a fraction of the wages for musicians inEurope.

 Especially during rainy season.

My wife told me today (and as every man would, I love it when she does), “You’re my hero.”

Not that I actually feel heroic, but in this case she was right: I had just approved myself as a super hero.

Remember “Aquaman”? The guy who commanded the element of water?

Well, that’s who I felt like today (for the second time this month, by the way), after just having been drenched within seconds during a sudden torrent (the sort of which makes one wonder whatever happened to that rainbow promise once given to a man named Noah) while riding my e-bike home from College. Drenched to the bone we found shelter under the roof of a hotel entrance (along with other unlucky bikers like ourselves), and were soon off to get a little more soaked before we finally got home…

Getting drenched inChina is a great thing to happen to folks who used to be fed up with their semi-organized, neat little lives in way too organized countries…

It’s as if Big CW (Celestial Wizard) grabbed a gigantic bucket of water and emptied it out over your head, saying, “Wake up, dude! You were only dreaming!”

Yes, I once dreamed that I knew something about the world I live in, and have woken up to the refreshing reality of my utter ignorance in a part of the world I knew next to nothing about.

So, if you should ever feel intellectually bloated and as if there were no more challenges, no new worlds to conquer, don’t be fooled! You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet, and there’s always room for another “super hero” in China!

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 Why Does God Sometimes Take Apart What He Himself Seems to Have Put Together?

Why Does God Sometimes Take Apart What He Himself Seems to Have Put Together?

I’ve always believed in the power of two. Well, nearly always. Sometimes you’re actually better off alone than with the wrong company. But basically, when you’ve got 2 souls with more or less the same vision and goals, according to the Old Testament, it quintuples a person’s strength in battle.

The problem is that when you’ve gotten used to this modus operandi of two-by-two, when one of your “motors” flunks out, and you’re stuck again on your own, it reduces your power back to one fifth of what by then you might have gotten used to. So, you feel pretty much reduced to a sausage. Folks who’ve undergone separation will know what I’m talking about. The others won’t have a clue, just as I didn’t until it happened to me.

The power of two is great, but don’t necessarily rely on it as infallible, because as long as there’s another human involved, you simply need to take into consideration that this is only a temporary arrangement, even if you happen to be as lucky to have found someone who meant what they said when they swore, “Till death do us part.” – There is still that uncontrollable death factor. But even that is probably not as painful as when someone you’ve fought life’s battles with for many a season deliberately makes the choice to turn their back on you.

Christ was supposed to have been tempted in all things as we are. Unfortunately we don’t know enough about His 30 years of life prior to His public ministry to tell whether there was ever physically anybody in His life whom He loved so much that they broke His heart when they decided to live their life without Him. All we know is that throughout history He’s had a wife (also referred to as His Bride) that probably put Him through the same thing time and again, which is vividly illustrated in the act of God commanding His prophet Hosea to take a prostitute for a wife as a metaphor of the unfaithfulness of His own Old Testament wife.

Later in the Book of Revelation we find similar metaphors of whores and churches who “sit like a queen,” apparently lacking nothing, and yet not knowing that in God’s eyes they’re naked and destitute of the things that apparently really count to Him.

So, to which degree we as God’s wife and bride have broken His heart is hard to tell. One thing is for sure: when you’ve gone through such pain yourself, you wouldn’t ever want to inflict it on anybody else again. Loyalty all of a sudden becomes paramount, when previously it may have been quite irrelevant. Not only the loyalty of others toward ourselves, but also our own toward others and especially God.

How loyal have we really been?

The only explanation for God putting us through the wringer at times like that, where it seems as though He deliberately devastates us by simply withdrawing the person that meant most to us in the world is that we don’t really have a clue about loyalty, especially not our own, as far as He’s concerned. It’s simply not enough of an issue until we learn to appreciate it by the excruciating pain that can be caused by the absence of it. Only once we realize what pain can be caused by broken loyalty are we able to begin to relate to what it means to God, and do we even begin to realize how often we haphazardly switched loyalties for the sake of some advantage, some shiny fruit on a tree, some compromise for the sake of our personal welfare or benefit, some temptation we couldn’t resist…

Perhaps that’s why it often takes quite long for the pain of betrayal and desertion to linger on: It’s only the beginning of our personal lesson on loyalty. We’re only just starting to see how guilty we have been of the same crime that now we feel we can’t forgive someone else for, and not just once, but probably innumerable times.

Loyalty, like so many other values that used to mean something before our society was taken over by the universally accepted as politically correct Western do-your-own- thing dogma, has gone down the drain in this strange new world order, where the only loyalty that counts is to make sure that you don’t move an inch from the place you’re assigned in the Machine. The System needs to continue to function, and that is your foremost responsibility. Human relations, by comparison, are irrelevant.

“Rubbish!” you say – (Or, if you’re American, you might be prone to use another word that starts with “bull….!”)? Well, good for you, if that’s your reality, and if human relationships still mean enough to you to value them above your personal rank, position or economic advantage. But realistically, you’re part of a shrinking minority. And if you’ve got loyalty and you know what it means, for the sake of God and all that is dear to your own soul, hold on to it with all your might and never underestimate it for a moment. In the end, it may be all that determines whether you lost or won your personal battle in this war.

Or, as the Eagles put it in their song “In A New York Minute” which so aptly portrays what can be the fate of all of us at any time:

“If you find somebody to love in this world, you better hang on tooth and nail!”

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In the search of the deeper meaning of everything, I have found that similar to a soccer game, our lives are usually somewhat divided into two half-times:
There is that first, perhaps more energetic, but somewhat less mature half during which we’re prone to act a lot on our impulses and make a bunch of mistakes accordingly, and there’s the latter half, during which we mature into a ripened personality and hopefully have learned some lessons from the former and tend to do things differently than we used to.
Oddly enough, the same principle seems to apply to God’s church, body, or, as it has also been referred to, His bride. There’s an Old Testament way during which God’s people tended to call down fire and brimstone upon their opponents, sometimes drowning them in a universal flood and at others devouring them with fire, and then there’s the New Testament approach of love.

Sometimes you can tell that a movement really is anointed by God when it shows those same signs of maturation.

While folks are often criticized for their opinions, it is usually so, that those opinions are really only the result of the input those folks have been fed. Once the opinions of the folks at grassroots level become too embarrassing for their leaders to want to be associated with them, some serious brainstorming takes place (in movements that are alive and flexible enough to do so, that is), about how best to avoid unwanted politically incorrect attitudes spread from among the followers.

Thus it can happen, that a once “radical,” “white-hot,” “revolutionary” and somewhat militant movement can mature into a wiser, more diplomatic one, just as it can happen that a once young and perhaps slightly overly zealous hot-head can finally come to his senses and calm down a wee bit and realize that it might be better to just live and let live instead of being a constant prick in everyone’s side.
Of course, it helps if the leadership makes the first step and adjusts its own approach first and makes it clear that, “That is the way we used to do things, and this is the way we do them now.”

Well, after one half-hearted attempt earlier this year to roll a new, more politically correct leaf over that sort of petered out, I’m happy to announce that I hereby officially will bury all my differences of opinion I may have had with my fellow believers around the world, and I shall carefully try not to utter any more criticisms of any of them any longer.

There’s a thin line between being not of this world, as Jesus told His disciples they were, and the fact that God so loved that world that He gave His own Son for it, not to condemn the world, but to save it. Perhaps even God Himself has gone through a process that made Him change methods and approaches somewhere along the line…

In any case, you won’t hear anymore rants about “lukewarmness,” “half-heartedness” or proneness to materialism or any other sicknesses of society on this blog, nor any other judgmental statements that might only create further barriers between parties, instead of eradicating them.

Sometimes God gives us more relevant things to worry about than trying to figure out how we can take on and challenge the whole world at once.

It’s not as if the entire experience would have been useless. After all, we still do read the Old Testament. But the New One is a whole lot more relevant, and when it’s time for a change and a new direction, it’s just simply that. Sometimes it takes half a life-time to get there. Sometimes more.

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Through a close friend, I’ve recently been allowed a glimpse into world of the Anonymous Recovery Groups, and while it is one of these groups’ principles not to rely on advertisement to flourish, I would like to share some thoughts and lessons I’ve gleaned from my acquaintance with them, and from my many discussions with my friend about them.

As Christians, it has been drilled into us that it is expedient to do whatever we do in the name of Christ, and it is my belief that salvation from our sins and death is found in no other, as the Bible states.
Yet here is a program that seems to be accomplishing a world of good, yet without calling it “Christian” or associating it with Jesus, even accomplishing the salvation of tens of thousands from physical addictions, but also what one might call spiritual problems, even if this may be a slightly different matter than the spiritual Salvation the Bible refers to.

The honesty, openness and depth of conversation within these groups is something I don’t think I’ve ever experienced in a church or even during Home gatherings, meetings or in Bible groups. After all, Christians are usually people who have their act somewhat together, at least more, on a general scale, than those that attend Anonymous groups. Having a common problem that provides a common basis for Anonymous group members to come together presents – from my point of view – an advantage that many churches and Christian movements don’t: the humility, the readiness to open themselves concerning a weakness, thus ready to attack sin head on in a way one will hardly ever find in a church where people often play a masquerade for years, one hardly ever gets to know their brethren on a truly personal level, and all that connects one another is the fact that they just listened to the same sermon, sang a few of the same songs, etc.

The question I’ve had to ask myself as a Christian was, is it possible that God instigates movements on earth that may not be able to be defined clearly as Christian? Apparently, yes. Is it possible that these non-Christian movements can sometimes bring forth more and somewhat even perhaps better fruit than some obvious Christian movement or church? Apparently, yes.
It reminded me of the passage in which Jesus talks about those who prophesied in His name, cast out devils in His name, etc., (and mind you, one has to be a Spirit-filled and born again Christian, in order to cast out devils!), and yet telling them, “I never knew you.” Yet in another passage welcoming those who all they ever did was visit the prisoners, care for the sick, feed the hungry, no matter in whose name.
Apparently Jesus does not mind whether what we do we do in His name as much as whether what we do is the right thing to do.
Obviously, a lot of wrongs have already been committed in His name, as it is. Apparently God is more concerned about genuinely helping people than He is about the advertisement, and whether it was done on His behalf or not.

Imagine you were God and had to watch how people slaughtered each other by the millions for millennia on His behalf… Wouldn’t you be glad if someone eventually came around who gave you a break and just did something good, no matter in whose name, or in no one’s name in particular?

Yes, the name of Jesus is important and powerful, and it is our duty to spread the good news that He indeed saves. But apparently there is something even more important in God’s eyes than what we say and preach, and that is what we do.
God seems to avail Himself of any program that works, and the 12-Steps programs have proven to work in millions of changed lives around the world, and God doesn’t seem to care much whether this has been accomplished under the flag of Christianity.
If a program works, you’ll use it. You install it, run it and enjoy the benefits. Totally regardless of whatever it says on the package, or what brand name it is.

One would have to ask themselves to what extent Christ Himself would consider Himself a Christian, if He were to walk among us today. Maybe in the light of all that’s being said and done in His name, He might even prefer to remain anonymous.

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Probably not only to the vast majority of scientists, but also to most adherents of modern science, which includes the majority of the world’s population, would consider the creation account of the Book of Genesis outrageous and a downright slap in the face of all that is currently regarded as science.
And, granted, it is a little bit hard to believe. Once you get over the 6-days factor, you still have this seemingly insurmountable obstacle: “You mean to tell me that the earth was just hanging there for 3 days in the nothingness of empty space, and that God actually created all plant life on it before He even created the sun and the rest of the stars, as in, the rest of the matter of all the billions of galaxies in the universe?”

I admit, it sounds totally outrageous. Picture the earth, trees and grass and bushes and all, circling around the spot where tomorrow the sun is going to be…

Very absurd indeed.

But then, so is the notion of anyone walking on water, raising folks, including Himself, from the dead, healing the blind from birth, turning water into wine, feeding thousands from a few loaves and fishes, etc., etc., etc.

The God of the Bible is either the greatest story teller and liar in the universe, or He’s definitely capable of a few stunts that leave the rest of us speechless, including creating universes in very unorthodox manners. Obviously, the vast majority of my fellowmen subscribe to the former of these two options. And I can hardly blame them. It takes a lot of faith to believe this account, so contrary to all that 99.999% of all other existing books on the topic of our origins tell us. It takes faith that can only be acquired by the life-long experience that everything else that is said in that outrageous and most disputed of all books – the Bible – actually works.
Of course, few have ever had the courage to try to find out whether these things work. They don’t mind listening to some well chosen portions of it once a week, and amazingly enough, that already seems to be doing the trick of getting them through the rest of the week.
But as someone who can testify first hand by 30 years of experience that God really keeps His Word when He promises that if we would seek first the interests of His Kingdom, then He would give us all the things we need for life, like food and clothing for free (see Matthew 6:33), along with a host of His other Promises, it’s also not entirely impossible to believe that the first chapter of the Book I based my life on is also more than just (non-science) fiction.

I admit, though, I’ve had my disputes with the Boss about it, and have sometimes asked Him, “How on earth could You? I mean, couldn’t You just have had the decency to please create this universe in some sort of orthodox, well-received and politically correct manner, instead of defying all that could be summed up as human common sense and having the audacity to bluntly contradict all of the sum of our combined wisdom and knowledge?”

What I got in response was something along the lines that just like everything in nature, the creation of earth was also some sort of actual, physical metaphor or example of a much greater spiritual truth. The sort of thing I’m going on about at length in my attempt at an eBook, “The Deeper Meaning of Everything.”

So, what sort of deep, mystical spiritual truth is the story of the creation of planet earth supposed to bear for us, what sort of deeper significance, parable or lesson is there to learn from it?

Basically, it is: “Keep hanging in there!”

Humans are frantic little beings, and even the term “beings” already implies that they’ve got to be frantically occupied with ensuring their own little existence, lest by the slightest little pause of all their frantic activities and incessant efforts to keep themselves alive they should bring upon their heads the end of the world as we know it. And so we feverishly work and work and work in order to artificially keep ourselves alive, only to sooner or later wind up in a coffin despite all our feverish efforts, and getting our planet a lot closer a lot sooner to that dreaded end than we might have if we would have paused long enough to think, or better: pray.

We think we’ve just gotta make it happen.

What God is saying by His outrageous statement of just letting the earth hang there by itself is: “Wrong!”

– We are not the ones who make it happen. He is.

We always worry that whatever we have is not going to be enough. We worry that the money we have is not going to be enough, and that the food we have is not going to be enough, and the space we have is not going to be enough.

Our remedy is then liquidating our rivals: all those useless eaters who don’t work as hard as we do on “making it happen,” and who just threaten to occupy our living space, eat away our food , breathe away our air, and present a danger to our own survival.

What God is trying to tell us by His outrageous statement in having had the audacity of creating planet earth before the rest of the universe is that despite all our frantic worrying, the fact remains that He is enough.
All it ever took and will take to keep each and everyone of us breathing and alive is His power, totally regardless of all our feverish efforts.
He can ensure life on our planet with or without our help, and the course of history is on its best way to prove that the way we’re going about it, is not going to work.

If we think we’re going to be able to save ourselves with our annual trillion dollars worth of highly sophisticated weapons, we’re utterly mistaken.
It will probably turn out that it would have been better off never having done anything at all, instead of spending this outrageous amount of time, effort, manpower and tax money (yes, that’s right: yours and mine) on the investment in technology with the one purpose of murdering our fellow humans.

So, who are we to tell God how He ought to have created His universe?

Oh, I forgot. We don’t really believe in Him, so it’s not really His. It’s ours. We think.
So we can do with it whatever we want, including blowing it to Smithereens.

Maybe we’re actually mistaken. Not only about how earth came into being, but also about our rights to treat this place the way we do, in other words: its destruction.

One reason for my audacity to prefer to believe the biblical account of creation,is that mankind has thus far utterly failed to convince me of their supposedly oh-so superior intelligence and smartness.

I can tell by their actions that there must be something dreadfully dumb about them.

So how are they going to tell me that they know better than God about how this planet came into being?

I’ve found by experience that God is a good Friend. I mean goood. He doesn’t lie. He doesn’t try to impress you by His stunts to convince you how much cooler He is than you. He’s a real Pal. I can’t say He disappointed me ever, not once. Sure, we have our disagreements, occasionally, but He always manages to get me to see His point sooner or later.

And I can’t say the same thing about people.

People lie. People are extremely deceived, especially when it comes to themselves and their supposed omniscience and infallibility.

It turns out that if I want something to really hang my life on, something to fully trust, I’m better off with the invisible nature of God, and that apparent nothingness my life revolves around than all the rah-rah and ado of my 7 billion fellowmen put together.

I may be very much alone in my opinion… on the surface.

But something – or rather, Someone – keeps telling me, that if I just hang in there a little bit longer, I won’t be alone that much longer. All of a sudden, there are going to be billions of bright shining lights all around me, confirming that I was right in putting my trust in “Mr. Invisible” after all.

Jesus Himself was left alone in the dark of the heart of the earth for three days, obviously on His mission to preach to the “spirits in prison.” But He didn’t have to go on for very long down there in that darkness.

Maybe God just needs a three days’ break every now and then to show us what He can do if we just dare to trust Him long enough that He was right, after all, contrary to all the gazillions of voices who claim to know better.

So, if you ever feel you’re totally alone and forsaken, hanging out there in sheer nothingness, and not knowing what to make of it, just keep hanging in there! Chances are, you’re not the first one in history who’s had to go through this experience.

Chances are, the very same thing happened, once upon a time, not all too long ago, though, to a planet called Earth…

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We just watched “Avatar,” and against my expectations, based on Christian reviews and articles I had read about it over the past weeks, I really liked it.

Basically, we just watched it for our daughter’s sake, with the usual, “for whatever it’s worth attitude,” but I guess I’m too much of a nature freak myself to have disliked this movie, and I would like to express some thoughts here about where I’m afraid Corporate Christendom is mistaken in most of its mainstream interpretations of the film.

I’m not too naive to not see the obvious “Gaya” message here. But if wanting to save the Earth is “New Age”, then I have shocking news for you: God is New Age, too:

“And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:18).

God happens to love this blue ball, and He apparently does not like the kind of folks who destroy it, regardless of whether they do it in the name of red-white-and-blue flag waving Churchianity or not.

Oh, so there was talk of spirits in the movie. Real scary. They’re alive! What a shocker!

The problem with Corporate Christianity is, they like to deep freeze everything: they like to deep freeze the white-hot Spirit of God, if they can, to keep everyone cool and calm in the churches, lest anyone start any revolutionary fires out there, that the Big Holy Corporation couldn’t control… They like to believe that the minute you’re dead, you’re first going into a state of spiritual deep-freeze so you can’t spook around and haunt anybody, but that’s not what we can glean from the Bible: We have accounts of the spirit of the prophet Samuel, of Elias, Moses, and a cloud of witnesses alive and kicking from beyond the grave, and God turning the hearts of the sons to their fathers. We have a Savior claiming to be the Resurrection and the Life and that whoever believes in Him, would never die, and yet we’ve got all of His supposed “followers” scared stiff of the mere utterance of the word “spirit.”

Sure, the “worship” scenes were a bit weird. But not any weirder than some Pentecostal worship scenes you can watch on Youtube…

Then there are the painfully embarrassing parallels in the story of “Avatar” between the Na’vi (“Natives”?) and not only the American Natives who suffered a similar fate (except for the happy ending), but every native tribe on the face of God’s earth who simply had to be pressed into the same civilized molds they reared us in, otherwise they were not allowed to continue to live: “Become like us, or die” seems to be the interpretation of the Gospel since the birth of the Corporate and officially recognized and state-supported version of Christianity roughly 1700 years ago.

And of course, the even more painful parallels between the victims in the movie and the real live victims of 21st century Christendom: “Whoever is sitting on something you want must become your enemy…” Ouch! Better keep praying for our boys to help our generals haul all that Iraqi Oil on Home to Daddy, where it belongs…

There was an article out a few weeks ago about young people being depressed after watching “Avatar” because they would prefer to live in a world like “Pandora”…

Well, can you blame’em? Maybe they just got sick of gray! Maybe they prefer green to the color of concrete. Maybe they’re sick and tired of the plastic world you’re handing them!

And apparently you haven’t managed to convince them yet that the Place the Christian God has in store for His believers is actually real, or really where it’s happening. Perhaps, if they figure you’re going to be there, walking around in your suit and singing those humdrum holier than thou songs, they couldn’t possibly imagine they’re going to be happy there.

Personally, my own idea of my favorite spot in Heaven is a lot more like the Home of the Na’vi than a church building. Chalk it up to my early “Tarzan” influences (since I devoured a bunch of antiquated Edgar Rice Burroughs tomes in my childhood), but I always thought it would be cool to have a home in a gigantic tree…

Maybe yours is all streets of gold lined with one church building next to another, just like in Tennessee…

But who says that Heaven has to look exactly the same everywhere? Last I heard, it’s a mighty big Place.

I also have no problem with the teaching that God is everywhere and in all living things. I think of Him as being a lot more inclusive than that warmongering, genocidal, separatist version of Christianity that has always preferred its own philosophy of “kill whatever is different” over its supposed Founder’s order, “Love your enemies!”

– The argument, of course, being, “Well, who knows what would have happened, if we would have loved our enemies, instead of killing them?”

I guess God knows. Maybe some day He’ll show all of us what might have happened if the American Natives would have been allowed to continue their existence prior to their extermination, and what Christians might have learned from some of them. Or what if one and a half million Iraqis wouldn’t have been ransacked on grounds of some very shady excuses…

I know it’s tough, learning to love those who are different. We even resist our own children and their weird inklings to want to watch weird movies like that… (Not to mention our wives’ sudden inspirations like wanting to get a dog and open up a tattoo shop…)

We must preserve our own values.

Funny thing is that Jesus’ message was never about preservation, but much more about “Give it up!”

But that’s not something we’re willing to do. Not for Him, and certainly not for “mother earth.”

We insist on keeping driving our “the-fatter-the-better” cars, and we insist on being the champions of the world.

We can’t grant “the others” the slightest chance of ever becoming a threat to us. We’ve got to make sure we remain no.1 “for the sake of the gospel…”

Well, you know my opinion about that type of Gospel.

I suppose a lot of Christians would consider me a traitor the way Jake Sully, the character who tells the Avatar story, was perceived as having betrayed “his own…”

Who would you rather fight for? – A bunch of corporate warmongers, or any peaceful, though perhaps somewhat strange and foreign culture in touch with nature?

I know, you don’t think you could ever make it without all your high-tech toys and your fancy Western life-style, but why not be honest about it and admit that you’re having a problem, and it’s not “the others”? Maybe they only have a weird religion because in their eyes, yours is even weirder!

Maybe Mohammed wouldn’t have even had to cook up Islam, if Christians wouldn’t have been such a pitiful bunch of idolaters at the time he came around…

Why not be honest and confess that it’s we who are sick, totally addicted and hooked on some shiny temptation that looks almost exactly like the real thing, but on the inside is a far cry from it?

Maybe the enemies of Christianity wouldn’t have had to cook up their own New Age religion if Christians wouldn’t always fall so badly for every shiny temptations their real Enemy comes up with… If we wouldn’t fall for him time and time and time and time again…

(Coincidentally, maybe Adam Weishaupt never would have founded the Illuminati if the church had allowed him to marry his deceased wife’s sister…)

Our credo remains, “We have declared terror on terror.” – Hmmm.

Who are the real terrorists, though?

I guess we’ll all know, someday. And a lot of people are going to be in for a shock, when the Dude in whose name they did all that killing is going to pretend as if He never even knew them…

Maybe they never even knew Him. Maybe all they ever worshiped was an idea of Him that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Maybe the truth is somewhere a lot closer to the middle between those “tree-huggers” and the “conquistadores” who want to fell every last tree in the name of progress and enlightenment than most of our conservative brethren would ever have the guts or imagination to consider…

If you ask me, I’d rather be on the side of the victims than on that of the butchers. At least they know how to fight for real, know how to die, and what they’re dying for.

Maybe our God is going to turn out being quite the totally “Other” than ourselves: A God Who not only loves the “good,” the rich and the beautiful, but also the weird, the bad & the ugly, and that He would have wanted us to walk a little more in His shoes, if we were already calling ourselves by His Son’s name, and loved “the least of our brethren” a little more, instead of butchering them by the millions…

One really neat thing that was said in the movie was, “You can’t fill a vessel that’s already full.” — There’s more wisdom in that, and more truth about the reality of Christendom than you’ll ever hear in a thousand sermons. It’s basically the same thing Jesus said to the Pharisees: “If you knew you were blind, you wouldn’t be to blame, but because you think you see….”

When we stop learning and all we want to do is convert everybody to our way of seeing things, something terrible has begun to happen.

You start missing the very purpose for which you were born on this earth. You start seeing everybody who’s different and doesn’t think and act exactly the same as you do as an enemy, instead of saying, “I see you.”

Sure, it’s a terrible thing that a lot of our youth are seeing Gaya worship and New Age as a more attractive alternative to your religion. But maybe it’s because they never really needed a religion as much as they needed the truth, and we must all sincerely ask ourselves whether that’s really what we wanted and were looking for and have found – or did we settle for half-truths mixed with convenient lies?

We wouldn’t have been the only ones.

It has always happened, since the beginning of time, even to people way more perfect than we ever were, made straight in the image of God…

I agree that James Cameron is sincerely mistaken about a few of his views, such as stated in his “Lost Tomb of Jesus” documentary, or in the apparent assumption that Arnold Schwarzenegger is or has ever been anything close to a good actor (although his acting career definitely supersedes the political).

He’s probably going to get his surprises, too, at the end of life’s road…

But I can also see his point. If Jesus was anything like the majority of His followers portray Him, I’d have changed over to the “Gaya” camp long ago, too.

I love my enemy enough to be able to learn from him. Unfortunately, sometimes I have the impression that there’s more to learn from some of our enemies than we can from our supposed friends.

It wasn’t the Romans who were bent on crucifying Jesus, but His own religious leaders…

When will we ever learn?

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What if Jesus' intention was to set His believers free, instead of locking them all up in one and the same sheep pen?

(Intro: Okay, so I tried. And managed for nearly a week… But I couldn’t.
You can tell I was still trying to keep up the politically correct style all the way through the first two paragraphs of the following post, but… guess I just don’t have it in me…

Now I know what some of those stars must feel like when they announce their umpteenth retirement from the public eye, only to celebrate a glorious comeback little later…
Well, at least I got a half-way politically correct blog out of it, that folks will be referred to from my website without my having to worry about their getting the shock of their lives.
This blog will remain my dirty little secret between me and the “insiders” from now on…

Long live political correctness and conformity! — Perhaps some other time.)

One of the factors that causes an increasing amount of people to shun organized religion of all shapes and sizes is the same reason that causes some people to run away from relationships: Certain kinds of people (and religiously organized folks have a strong tendency to fall into that category) seem to be driven by an incessant urge to improve their fellow humans. No matter how happy you may be in your present situation, if your life-style differs too strongly from theirs, they simply can’t live with it, but will endlessly persuade you to join them in the way they’re doing things.

Their tolerance level towards people who do things differently than they is very low.

While on one hand their strong conviction about their beliefs and methods is commendable, on the other one would wish for the moment that it might dawn on them that some people might actually be called to do things differently.

It has been my observation that God is into awesome variety. – A variety that would probably strike some people as outrageous. Yet, as Christians, it’s something we need to learn, if we plan to follow the Man Who didn’t care what the established members of society said or thought about Him when He associated with fallen women, the outcasts of society and constantly availed Himself of methods that had never ever been heard of before.

Most of us act as if Jesus, when He said, “I will build My church (ecclesia),” was talking about a box, and everyone who belonged in that box was supposed to act and look exactly the same. Probably we do that because of the “boxiness” of our own finite minds. But let’s expand our horizons a little bit: What if He wasn’t talking about identical cubicles when He said, “In My Father’s House there are many mansions”?

What if Jesus’ intention was to set His believers free, instead of locking them all up in one and the same sheep pen? What if He would much rather have us delight in those green pastures beside the still waters where He would lead us, instead of amassed together in a squashy fold, just waiting to be stripped of our wool?

We all look down upon – and rightly so, perhaps – drug dealers, who sell their drugs to people, even children, that get them addicted and dependent on their merchandise.

But isn’t that in some ways exactly what a lot of religious people do who get people dependent on their system?

Instead of just being concerned about their flocks’ welfare and proving this by equipping them with the right tools and weapons that will make them fit for the battle of life, they purposely seem to keep them as weak as possible and dependent on their system, eternally insecure even about basic faith issues such as salvation, which they might easily lose anytime they might stay away from their congregation for too long, or commit comparable atrocious crimes…

Some people’s concept of love seems to be: “To love you love you means to try to make you just like me.”

But perhaps it’s supposed to be a lot more the way God – the One Who is Love, after all – did it: show that He accepted and loved us by having His Own Son become One of us. The sheer act of such love made us all – those of us who are into love at all, that is – flip so completely over Him, that we don’t have to be persuaded to become like Him. We gladly will strive to do all we can to achieve that, anyway. No persuasion needed. No constant, “Hey, Why don’t you do it this here way, the way we do it?” or “You really should join our church and become more like us!”

If whatever you do is the Real Thing, people will automatically copy you, you won’t even have to tell them much.

Otherwise it’s like the arrogant attitude of some high ranking US Navy Officer’s article I read on the Homepage of the Council on Foreign Relations about two years before the Iraq war began, way before the Bush administration ever invented the magic phrase “Weapons of Mass Destruction” that got the rest of the Western World into the “Kill Saddam” frenzy.

The CFR members explained how it was the enlightened world’s duty to bring the “gap nations” such a Iraq “in” to the great big corporate family of Coca Cola and McDonalds’ fast food consuming better part of the World. Or the way Michael Moore put it in “Stupid White Men:” “We need to usher them into the New World Order” gently.

Well, “gently” remaining entirely a matter of definition, of course… (Since reducing a country’s population by 1.5 million might easily be questioned as, “Couldn’t we have done it a little more gently???”). But the gist of the attitude of arrogance is the same.

We think we made the Iraqis infinitely happier with our gifts of radio-active shrapnel and raping their daughters, but how do they see it?

Well, and that’s probably the same way a lot of people feel about organized religion… Especially since the vast majority of that organized “opium of the people” couldn’t jump on the Muslim killing band wagon fast enough. After all, the faster we get rid of those who are different, the quicker the job will be done to make everyone exactly like ourselves, and isn’t that the goal?

We’ve seen it before: with the American Natives, or virtually any distinct ethnic group that Christianity has sent their missionaries out to, often not so much to show them the love of Christ, but to assimilate and absorb them into our belief system at gun point.

“Well, if we hadn’t done it, they would have eaten us!” is the response of some.

True. We wouldn’t have wanted to wind up like martyrs, like Jesus, His apostles and the Early Church for 3 centuries before we moved from the arenas into the grandstands…

We wanted to follow Him our own way. After all, haven’t we always known better than Him?

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