My God does not dole out rewards and punishments.
A post of 2006-11-04 at Messiah Truth. In the larger discussion from which this is taken, I was asserting that clairvoyance isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. The borderline between what one knows and what one doesn’t know is invisible to anyone.
The limits of competence: The Edgar Cayce story …
… provides many parallels to current questions about information that purportedly comes from “Beyond” and the ways people respond to same.
Edgar Cayce was born in 1877 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He lived for substantial periods of time in Selma, Alabama; Dayton, Ohio; and Virginia Beach, Virginia. He worked as a farmer and photographer. From birth, he displayed considerable clairvoyance aside from the singular mechanism to be described below. Thomas Cayce, his father’s father, is said to have had similar skills, but I know no details. No one else in the family had similar skills or interests, except for Edgar’s mother, who is said to have at times seen the discarnates who were the child Edgar’s playmates.
Religiosity can express any of various impulses, including these:
(1) Desire to placate the gods.
(2) Desire magically to assure desired outcomes. This is the essence of the Baal cult. Robert Jenson says it is also the essence of all religions except Christianity (:lol ).
(3) Desire to understand, and live in harmony with, the truth.
My earliest childhood memories are of a sense that there is more to the world than we perceive with our five senses, and of a desire to understand and correctly relate to that larger world. I have my moments or months of what some call doubt, of agnosticism or atheism, but in the end this thing always comes back. I feel it in my flesh and bones. This is ONE foundation of my religiosity.
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A timely quote from Bertrand Russell: “Zeal is a bad mark for a cause. It suggests one is not quite certain. It is not the vaccinationists, but the anti-vaccinationists, who are zealous. No one is zealous about arithmetic.”
The homeless shelter where I stay makes us sit through chapel for an hour every night. A few days ago, this new preacher addressed us for the first time. Shortly into his presentation, he became hysterical, and stayed that way for fifty minutes. He wept. He screamed. He did not persuade anyone of anything.
Jeffrey Tayler sets forth that atheism is just as settled as arithmetic; but he is just as zealous as that preacher — and just as unpersuasive. In effect, he preaches only to the choir.
Dealing with this bully,
I’m a-try a different strategy this time.
This exchange occurred at Messiah Truth:
The New Testament equips me to love All.
On the one hand, one who diligently lives as Jesus taught eventually reaches a point where loving All is not merely a possibility, but a responsibility. I am at that point now.
On the other hand, loving All of necessity entails loving situations, events and people one might much more easily abhor.
1 Corinthians 12 applies to the need to love one’s whole self. We are acquainted with an individual who finds one feature of himself, or rather of his story, so abhorrent that he preoccupies himself with it, until the self-hatred becomes unbearable; at which point he lashes out. I wrote “A short route to agony” with that person specifically in mind.
In 1978, I applied through the United Methodist Church Board of Global Ministries to become a missionary to Japan; I would teach English at a Japanese Christian high school. As part of this process, they required me to read William Stringfellow’s An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land. I hated it. For the most part, it was a typical 1970’s radical screed, blaming America for every single problem that exists in the world. One point stuck with me, however. Stringfellow opines that the Kingdom never does or will manifest in any permanent or worldwide basis; the Kingdom instead appears here and there, now and then, in a community that honors the gifts of its each and every member.
1 Corinthians 12 applies equally here. I belong to “A real church in a real ’hood.” We are diligent and intentional about being that sort of community. Now, I have learning opportunities here: even though I am homeless myself, it is easy for me to look down on “the critters and the crazies” whom I meet at McDonald’s. Birur nitzotzot relates: evangelism entails facilitating each person’s discovery of his or her own way to shine.
In the Parable of the Great Dinner, the master directs his servant:
“‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22And the slave said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.” 23Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled.'”
In the Kingdom, there are no outcasts. Everyone has a place at the table.
(Originally posted 2014-09-24.)
I thought this thread at the Messiah Truth discussion forum, where I am known as “Proteus,” might interest some readers here. Keep in mind that most of the participants there are Orthodox Jews. Some of the views expressed as of 05/28/14 have surprised me already.
(Originally posted 05/29/14.)
In coming posts, I must refer to “revealed God” vs. “hidden God” religion. To lay some background now, I reproduce a 2007 post from Messiah Truth, where I am known as Proteus. The context was a moderator’s insistence that Naziism was a Christian expression. I refer to the premiere Christian theological response to Naziism, Jürgen Moltmann’s The Crucified God. Continue reading Moltmann: A thumbnail portrait
What’s in your heart?
In a recent post, I said, if Jesus did teach thus-and-so, he was wrong.
That’s an extreme position for someone who calls himself a Christian.
And some may be alarmed at the total rejection of Biblical “inspiration” it implies.
There are quite a few wrong things in the Christian Bible.
For the moment, I’ll pass over those I find in the “Old Testament.”
Particularly from a series of threads done by Sophiee at Messiah Truth about “365 Prophecies of Jesus,” it has become clear to me that nearly all of the “Old Testament” quotations in the book of Hebrews are misapplied.
Yes, it can shake one’s confidence in what one thought one believed.