Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Collected Thoughts on the Bible

It seems to me that a collection of books and records has been elevated to a pedestal that it cannot fail?  So it is hailed as the Word of God and has every perfection known to men.  I mean, sometimes ago I even found this, someone is hailing the 'biblical diet' and promoting it as the healthy way to live.  Everything about it, is perfect, and even the ground they walked on.  This holy land phenomenon, and everyone, if they had money, would like to visit the holy ground that Jesus walked on,  

It makes little sense to me, that this holy diet is the way to go, if the Inuits adopt this diet, they will all die.  Literally, the Inuits are suppose to live in the land of ice and snow with tundra.  The cannot access the regular iron/rare vitamins, except if they drink blood and eat the innards of their games.  They usually leave the steaks to dogs,since there is no nutrients,  So, these Inuit are dying already since they left their ancient ways and try to live in the 21st century, things had to be flown in since they don't have access to grains/bread/modern diets.  So, they are having diabetes and other modern diseases, as soon as they adopt this way.  When I found out about this biblical nonsense, then, I realize, the bible was written by people who lived in that area, within a period of time.  They are limited to such time-space continuum.  They are not absolutes like we put them on a pedestal.  

I refuse to blindly read and give it a pass,.  I no longer do.  I read the portions that touch me, issues of emancipation, of love and mercy.  These prayer so profoundly touch me by the Psalmists.   I however, have learned to leave the infallibility issue behind.  Perhaps the closest I will come to, is that it contains the words of God, and if there is a God, his words must be everywhere, inhis works, his animals and his people.  That would be a universalized event.  It is not partial or limited to only a narrowly elf-appointed people and they do not alone have this grace.  They make mistakes like we do, their culture sink into their texts, their way of life, their cruelty, their insularity and their ways to treat women, children, infidels, atheists, and gays are permeating through their holy texts, ad by blindingly subscribing to these murderous thoughts, we have committed the unspeakable crime against humanity,

So may the modification of the words of Jesus:  Bible is written for man, not man for Bible, man is also Lord of the bible.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Story of Christianity, A fiction

I see the misquoting Jesus precisely in this light. Perhaps we did have a small town religious teacher, with a common name like ‘Sam.’ And he had a questionable paternity, since no one ever claimed to be his father, neither did he named one. His mother perhaps had some back ground, a few kids with the second marriage. This young man had a way with words, and certainly was able to hold a few folks in his area spell-bound. His friends followed him and supplied his daily needs, until he offended the powers that be in the city of Jerusalem, and in one small operation, they got rid of him and hung him. The mystery came after his death that perhaps some 30-50 years later, they claimed that he is still living. This type of mystery and a new zealous convert named Saul claimed also to have some religious near death experience, which he claimed to have heard this small town folk named ‘Sam.’ He was much better trained and more forceful, he was able to even to push the original friends of this ‘Sam’ around and made a few changes to convert Greeks and Romans. He was so successful, that his brand of faith emerged as the primary winner and he made sure that he had enough organization to push his ‘Mars Hill Church’ discipline. Women were silenced, kept out of major decision making, gays were ostracized, although he taught that they were eventually be eliminated, but he stopped short of killing them himself,.
This is just fiction, but it is worthy of some discussion.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Being Human

Dear Art, you seem to be a genuine human and your experience in faiths and circumstances is worthwhile. As for a personal experience with the living Christ, that is a great claim. I have no way of verifying this spiritual experience, except to add that you have such experience and it is genuine to you. I have no such experience, When I was growing up in a charismatic church, it was full of people who claim to have such and such experience. Some had visions, others prophesied, and some had the experience in heaven and hell. While I do not personally have such, neither will I seek such, for it no longer gives meaning to me and what I am today.
I am, by the grace and love of my fellow humans, been given a place to live and work, and hold a lovely family. I have to work for this way of life, and I am not a man without life struggles. But I find it meaningful to be human, and to live in a wonderful community. I find it puzzling after I walked away from this type pf existential faith, that rests on personal experiences in the spiritual and divine matters. I no longer find this fulfilling or real. Instead, I notice that there is a lot of tension for people to assert such divine grace in their lives, that when questioned, or disbelieved, they have a real problem, and a cognitive dissonance about their ‘real’ experience. I do not feel it is my right to question what had happened to you in your near death experience. I do however, like to point out that I enjoy this life, and I no longer find faith and its answers fulfilling to life’s most urging and difficult problems. I stopped seeking this type of answers a long time ago, I do however, believe in love and justice and peace, and in these immaterial aspirations of human, if you will, call that divine. I see this impersonal immaterial being(s) at work. I appreciate the beautify of the sun rise, and sun set, and as the seasons change, we are indeed blessed with this ‘divine’ grace. I however, no longer look to this thing, to find fulfillment, and I find it puzzling to hold a conversation with my former self, such as yourself, who asserts the reality of this faith. I appreciate the nature and the love of a human community, In this, I will affirm Ruth’s aspiration to love and to live as true humans, and not to seek a mental construct such as faith in order to derive one’s meaning of existing. I find this view not ‘sad’ or dejected. Rather, I see this as the first step to be human and to live a life worthy and examined. When I die, I will find out all this stuff you talked about, whether it is a mental construct, or is it the biblical and ancient way to describe it as falling asleep and be gathered to ones ancient family, where memory is no more (Eccel), and to live fully and to love wastefully and to enjoy, that is the lot of man.
I don’t think I can persuade you to change your personal experience just as you may not be able to change my personal view on being human in this world and all that I can see, is in this human community and the place we call home.

The Story of Job

One of the sacred teaching of St Paul is that all have sinned, and therefore since all are sinners and have fallen short of God’s glory, they need a saviour. Jesus is tat Saviour, that God-man whom inthe sacred theology to complete the circle of human salvation. For indeed, they quote often, “All have sinned,and fall short pf the glory of God,” and All our righteousness is like filthy rags.”
It cannot be. For this biblical figure, Job has not sinned. Read this for yourselves, It is a story, a myth, that before St Paul developed his theology of substitutionary atonement theory, that you need a saviour figure, Job did not sinned, in the entire story. He asserts that he is innocent, that he is blameless and upright, and God has vindicated him, and although he will die and yet in his flesh he shall see God. God boasts of him that there is no one like him, so blameless and upright, a fearer of God, That he is perfect, This z’adiq of Job is what vindicates him, he does not need a Saviour,. For his action actually saved him, if you read this,
This pokes holes in the atonement theory, that all have sinned. Job has not. He is not the only exception, Enoch has not sinned either, and he was also saved, more miraculously than Job, for God took him while he was alive as he is not on the earth no more. So, at least two blatant exception to the Psalmist claim that all sinned, and St Paul is wrong here,
What does that mean for the biblical inerrancy theory? It is contradictory, since the authors do not all agreed, they take what they want from texts to text to make a point. But as Job, the story is a complete unit, and it proposes differently about theodicy than St Paul,
Not all have sinned, Jo did not,. He is saved by his own righteousness, though he asserts that he willbe saved, even though his flesh will be no more, yet he shall see God in his flesh, God vindicates his theology, and rewards him, in the similar faith epics suggests bythe Book of Hebrew. Those who seek him, so do in faith, and shall be rewarded.
Did Job sin? Do every living human need salvation? Job does not, his story is unique. He has not sinned, his righteousness saved him, and in the same way, saved all of us from the tyranny of Evangelicals who assert they have righteousness by ‘faith’ alone. No they do not, they have faith merely, but not righteous in action, Perhaps they need a saviour, Perhaps they are in serious doubt for their own salvation, they have sinned through inaction, through ignorance, and their own willful ignorance will condemn them in the last days……….a story unlike the epic of Job.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A prayer

O God, and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who sits in the heavens and with an occasion,
Look down below and see what it is with us humans!
Laugh in thy throne with your own messiah
But not forget us humans, who suffer daily, due to the evils
Thou espoused and supported, o prove me wrong, thou the Divine
And admist thy lack of power, come forth and awaken to thy
Power, lest men will make fun of Thy knowledge and power
And thy enemies will be thy lord?
Awake and open the eyes of the Prairie people
Let the Jobian whirlwind blow against them and their follies
And as thou hast not answered Job in his pain, at least
Restore what was lost to our survivors, their dignity, their humanity
Their self, an image unbroken by violence and trauma
Awake o thou the sleeping god, come to our aid, Unless
Thou art a fiction, a figment of our mind?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

How my intimacy with 'god' is damaged

This is an ongoing dialogue as I tried to explained to a good atheist friend my own journey away from faith:

So here is how my personal intimate relationship with "God" is damaged. 

My cultural background is a confucian-presbyterian teaching that stresses on blind obedience. I have aslo suspected my mother's upbringing of me is about 'breaking the will' theory, she did that to my brother and so we all followed. Not a question was allowed and that went as far as all the decisions they made for you. At a young age of 13 I was sent to live with my uncle, with my older brother and younger sister. This form of authoritarianism was my childhood. I was not allow to form friendship outside of the host family.....primarily that would take up a lot of my time to study, no sports no conventions, etc, when my folks were denied entry to Canada, esp my own mother. My dad was able to make aquick visit between every 2 years. When the relationship of my host family deteriorated, I was the problem solver. I found Prairie High School. It was far away in the prairies of Alberta, but cheap enough all three of us could go. I have always been a problem solver in my family, even in marital solution.

The blind obedience forced me not to attend bible college, for my religious and sincere folks although they claim that they love "God" but making a good living and having a good life is much more important. Or they used the delay technique. So they would say, when you are ready, finished all this is required of you (meaning tobe a professional) you can do as you please. As you can tell, I did finish Harvard Dental School, but inthe process, the critical thinking had also damaged my simple and childish faith in the evangelical god. This is to be a pattern in my life, they would 'suggest' something, I would have no choice but to obey. The 'big stick' was always that is what 'god' required of me. So threetimes I tried to apply to the theological seminary, three times I had to withdraw, at the end, I am so ladden with debt, I have no other choice but to keep working. That is another story.

The key is this breaking the will of a rebellious child because they know what is best for you. My brother suffered the most and my sister as well. I was the brave one. I questioned a lof of their decisions, and came to realize that as humans, they are selfish and they cannot see that part of selfishness, and their decisions havenot all been honest or good, but they cannot be questioned, so when the final conflict rises, there is no where to turn but to open become rebellious and starts a revolution. So I did. I do not date casually. My relations is heterosexual and I am not interested in men, but early on I learned that there is no guidance or help along the way. According to my folks, I cannot marry whoever I wanted until I have fulfill their standard. Then there is no standard other than money. I dated a white girl briefly at Prairie, it was very traumatizing, since she is too white and there a lot of cultural gap. She would be the Bill Gothard type, I wonder how much brain she has....ny folks completely shun me and would not even discuss this topic. So the girl withdrew and cut off the relationship, then I did not date for the longest time. Then I briefly tried again with a Canadian born Chinese girl, that was no good, because she is not Taiwanese. So I tried a Taiwanese student, and again that was no good because she has a poor education as her background. Then I stopped dating all together, became very monastic , which is re enforced by my own reading of 'spirituality' which always detests sexuality. I was about to join the Jesuits after watching the movie the Mission, than in my last dental school year, briefly and this time is the final I met my wife. A Presbyterian Taiwanese girl who has an extensive ministers in her family and she was a MIT college junior at the time. My father is trained as an engineer, so MIT is the god temple of his worship. But even that, he still objected. since they also checked her background, and this time they said she had no money.

I was ready to join the Jesuits, and this time I finally realize that they have no morals, no standards like Jews. That also significantly damaged my respect for the Lord and my folks. This damage would slowly emerge when I moved further and further as I see my folks in the God I worship. So as I pulled away, and all my philosophical constructs fall apart, of God, of parents, of the 5th commandment, and that would imply I would move further and further down the slippery path. 

That was 16 years ago. I have tried but unsuccessfully to confront my own folks about this emotional abuse but unsuccessful. I get a partial apology, that is not enough for me. For they also have locked me in a financial arrangement that I canot get out, unless I commit suicide. MY father's favorite saying is , "If the imperial edict is for his minister to die, had he not die the death, he is a bad minister." F## this. They always make you feel you owe them so much that there is no recourse, but to obey. F## this too. I no longer do have any intimate relationship with this abusive relationship since Hannah was born, and that was 4 years ago. I have not permitted them to come and stay in my house , and this winter they are trying again, I think Iam going to say no.