American retailers have essentially pre-announced that the annual Thanksgiving observance — when we presumably pause to gratefully remember everything we have — has been cancelled so bargain shoppers can get an even earlier jump-start on their holiday shopping for all the things we don’t have yet.
Meanwhile, halfway around the world a typhoon of record proportion hit landfall only a few weeks ago; nearly wiping an island nation off the face of the earth, and leaving those who survived with virtually nothing. Then last week an unseasonable swarm of twisters flattened whole towns across the Midwest. By comparison, it all makes the plight of those first pilgrims facing the harsh realities of their first Thanksgiving in a brave new world look like a walk in the park.
And, all the while, the airwaves and media have been filled with docu-dramas and documentaries commemorating the half-century mark of those events that shattered an age of relative innocence for those of us old enough to remember it; ushering in an age of extraordinary upheaval and anxiety, starting with what social critics and historians alike attribute to the assassination of JFK. Juxtaposed and taken together, these events represent a seeming un-reality that hasn’t really abated much in the last fifty years. We live in an age of anxiety.
Jesus masterfully taught in the philosophical tradition known as Jewish cynicism, with such parabolic tales and quaint-sounding imagery as the “lilies of the field.” And he did so at a time and age that – while seemingly ancient to our modern way of thinking – may not have been all that different from our own anxious age. Consider then our fretful, misbegotten ways, and the wild lilies of the fields.read more
A significant number of scholars and commentators are celebrating the dying of what they believe has been and remains a detrimental institution for our society. They often point to the absence of religion in Europe. They note how those countries have aggressively built public institutions for the support of their citizens in need. In some ways, one could argue they have become more Christian in their public actions than the United States.read more
I have many “naked” dreams, easily explained because I sleep in the buff. That may be T.M.I., but it lessens attempts to over-psychologize these dreams, though much could be made of an introvert having such dreams! Of course, I have dreams about being naked in church as well. And it always seems normal and I am unashamed, but sometimes think perhaps I should be, because I am the only one in the nude.read more
This paper addresses recent discoveries of previously unknown Christian scriptures which predate the orthodox canonical gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Surprisingly, these earlier writings reveal a totally different kind of Christianity – one which could very well speak to the needs of the lost Christians of today.read more
I offer that the literal interpretation of this story, being a myth, represents an interpretation of a truth that constitutes one of the most powerful paradigms in history since it is the foundation of the entire Muslim and Judeo-Christian religions. And Paul’s allegorical interpretation (another myth) obliterates God’s justification for the existence of the Muslim religion – a monumental feat. So, which myth deserves to exist? Only the one that serves as a long-term bond to a civilization, which both do. Yet Paul’s myth interpretation of the Muslim faith did not take, while the Muslim myth did.read more
What I want to depict here is the question of whether these two kinds of people, as widely separated as they are today, could ever be so dedicated to each of their respective Christian faiths as to actually live together in harmony. The evidence proves the contrary, but that is what this article is about – can Jesus’ admonition to love each other possibly encompass these two extremes of Christianity?read more
I didn’t see him often because he was always moving about. But those few times we spoke together, were enough to last me a lifetime – maybe an accumulation of only four or five hours total.read more
I find it exciting to read Burton Mack’s book, “The Lost Gospel Q*, I find his account of the early days of Christianity fascinating, when, as a result of Jesus’ life and teaching, the discovery of God as being within was so vividly first articulated in the near-western world. And it is just as exciting to observe how this wonderful teaching almost immediately went awry – how it was so soon abandoned when early (and later) Christians returned to a largely external search for God. It would appear that in those early times there were not enough people devoted to moving forward in this search within to build and sustain an inner-searching Christian religion.read more
While this new/old religion of Jesus is now deep in the process of being more fully defined, its origin lies within the hidden Gospels of “Q” and of Thomas, discovered in the early twentieth century, and is continuing to be defined in archeological and theological research since.
For me, the appeal of this current research is the realization that it is no longer necessary to abandon our intellect in order to believe the original truths. This freeing of our intellect from obedience to creed thereby renders it unnecessary to live a half-truth Christian life, which requires maintaining two faces to the public, and the potential for deceit and immorality that can go with it. Time is running out to speak up consciously and forcefully to reverse this trend, within us and outside us.read more
Stop bad habits and addictions and distress by saying these words: I want to stop. I
can’t stop. Take away my desire. Be willing to admit shortcomings with a humble heart..
Use your super powers. You have the power to control love, encouragement,
forgiveness, truth, attitude, humility, and the words that come out of your mouth.
Say these wellness words as often as possible. I’m wrong. I’m sorry. Forgive me.
You did a good job. What is your opinion? I love you. Thank you. Please.
Make the decision to do the will of God each day.
Was Jesus the Christ?
The application of the title “Christ” to Jesus most likely did not come until after Easter. If any of the disciples understood Jesus as the Christ before Easter, their recorded behavior in the gospels was nonsensical.
Where did the word Christ emerge? Christ is our English translation of the Greek word christos, which means “messiah,” “savior,” or “redeemer.” But Christos is an attempt to put the Hebrew word mashiach, which meant “God’s anointed one,” into Greek. In early Israel history the king was also called God’s anointed one.
There have been some interesting attempts to discover the “historical” Jesus, but the only Jesus we really know is the one in the New Testament, and those writers were not interested in historical accuracy.read more
When I was a child growing up in the church, I believed everything I heard about Jesus, whether from Sunday School class, the New Testament, the creeds, sermons, or hymns. I was taught that he was divine, the only-begotten Son, God in human flesh, the second person of the Trinity and he thought he was all these things. It never occurred to me that such a person could not be human. If Jesus had superhuman knowledge and power, he cannot be a model for ordinary humans.read more
In his New Testament and Mythology, Bultmann claims that “modern man is convinced that the mythical view of the world is obsolete”, that “all our thinking today is shaped for good and ill by modern science”, “the miracles of the new testament have ceased to be miraculous”, and—astonishingly—that “the mythical view of the world must be accepted or rejected in its entirety”.read more
Taking a extraordinarily brief look at the God of the Hebrews as revealed in what we Christians call the Old Testament, God lived on the top of Mt. Sinai, and when the Israelites traveled very far from the mountain they thought they have to carry God with them. The smoke of the burning censer, symbolizing God’s presence, could be seen during the daylight hours as a cloud, and at night the smoke looked like a pillar of fire. That’s the only way the ancient Israelites were able to believe that they had not been left their God behind. Even when they enter “the promised land,” by invasion and slaughter, God remained a jealous, vindictive tyrant, punishing the children for their father’s sins and thinking nothing of turning a terrified woman into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26), ordering massacres (Joshua 8:26), having a helpless old man hacked in pieces (1 Samuel 15:33), or visiting the devoted Job with disease and pain until he longed for death (Job 2:7-10). That is not the God I believe in or would ever consider worthy of worship. Worthy of fear? Yes, definitely!read more
I believe in God. I’m afraid to add anything to that brief statement, because I don’t want to do God an injustice by limiting God with an inadequate definition. God is the most important ingredient in my credo. Belief in God is so central to my creed that I have wondered if I am a Deist, which Webster’s Dictionary defines as, “One who believes in the existence of a God or Supreme Being but denies revealed religion, basing his belief on the light of nature and reason.” If by “revealed religion” they mean hypocritical religion, misguided religion, deaf, dumb and blind religion, unthinking religion, religion of rules and laws rather than love, then I wholeheartedly agree. Conversely, if they mean a religion that allows people to, as John Wesley put it, “think and let think,” then I don’t agree. The part of the definition that does not fit me is “basing his belief on the light of nature and reason.”read more
Over the past decade, spurred on by the profound insights of Bishop Spong, I have bee attempting to “structure” a personal approach to spirituality. I have sent a PDF file to the link below; a 30 page rather disjointed and incomplete treatise.read more
If there is one overarching characteristic of a fundamentalist, it is a mindset fixated on certainty of truth, that one possesses the absolute truth, the Bible. My faulty logic went something like this: since God is an absolute being, His word is then absolute and since the Bible is God’s word, it is absolute and since I have God’s word in my hand- I possess absolute truth. There is no arguing with that kind of mindset. Oh, by the way, it was only a short step in the flow of the logic when I began to unconsciously view myself as god-assuming I possessed all the answers and everyone else was wrong.read more