Saturday, September 28, 2013

Do The Right Thing, Part II

Hi Tiffany, this is Uncle Ben from Cape Cod, he is an amateur theologian.

Usually, we do not air this type of information about each other in the churches. But your courage to share and your courage to seek help outside of your circumstances, is indeed an honourable trait. I respect you to share this information, and perhaps out of this difficult circumstances, it makes you a better person indeed. As an amateur theologian, I seek to discover and understand human nature with the sacred words of the holy Scriptures.

One of my major discoveries within the Christian communities, is that their have a claim that is false about their 'moral superiority.' This moral uprightness duping them into thinking that they are better than the rest of their community, since they have a 'new life' in Christ, and are 'covered in the precious blood of the LAMB' and therefore should act honourably and righteously in all circumstances. This, unfortunately is false. It is not true in a lot of cases, where the people inside the organization of faith, is just as bad, if not worse than outside the faith.

Accepting that people are no better in the Churches as it is in atheists or infidel organizations, is the first thing I would urge you. This humility to accept who we are, as simply human, who could do a great number of honorable things, as well as do a great deal of harm to each other, is the key.

Thus a minister, is just as morally corrupt as a taxi driver, or a greedy dentist, or a bank robber. I do not expect him to act righteously unless proven. In your predicament, your minister is both a thief and a liar, so call that as what you see. A thief and a liar comes from his own human moral failure, and the inability of those around him to call him that.

The second I would do, is that you do not lose faith in God. By that I mean the highest and most treasured notions we have in goodness. I do not mean the blind faith in the God they have painted for you, in a sermon, or by your own Sunday School teacher. I no longer affirm the personal deity that sits in the sky and judges and brings in judgement on those evil doers. Did not Jesus once taught, he causes the sun to shine on the good and the evil one? And that he allows all tares and wheat to grown until the harvest? No, I do not expect divine intervention in cases that he has already allowed, but do not lose hope in goodness of the human community, and I would urge you to be humble enough to look to the kindness where you usually do not look to. There is kindness in human community both inside and outside of the church. There is goodness that in all of us, that we need to discover. Even in this thief and liar, there is a trace of goodness and perhaps covered by much of his mud and sling of filth, do not lose hope that he too is a human being, perhaps he should take up honest work like picking a trade in construction, in farming, and perhaps he should return all the monies that he had cheated from the Church and liver honourably from now on. That is the sacred teaching of St Paul, for he says, "Let him that stole, steals no more, but rather work with his hands, the thing that which is good."

This goodness in all of us, in the birds of the air, fish of the sea, in this humble earth, collectively known as this world, or 'secula' is what I put my faith in. I turn myself to the earth, after all the world is greater than I, and most humble and patient than all of us, is where I turn. Maybe you should start a small garden, grow a few things, get closer to the earth, in order to feel the goodness that come from it. For me, this goodness is what makes the belief in God possible.

The last, since this is a sermon, and a small theological treatise, is to accept people for what they are, and who they are. In the final harvest, everything that is shaken and tested, will show their true state of being. As it is in a harvesting of seeds from my own garden. After all the pods are dried, we carefully crush them to allow seeds to come forth, and then separate seeds from chaff. It is simple, the chaff is lighter and it is blown away by the wind. So, everything that has been tested, will show their true state. For those who exhibited their fear, hate and anger, and their darkness that comes from this situation, stay away from such. Find those friends whose goodness has not been touched by such, and stay true to them. To have patience and lose not your faith in God, and goodness that comes from the earth and this human community. After all, as I was taught by Sir Lloyd Geering, that this world is greater than I, and if I were to ever lose my way, I would put my faith in the world, for me that is the ultimate.

There is life, there is joy, out of the mess you are in, when you are older, you will learn to appreciate this. If this church environment is too much, stop going for awhile, stay home on sundays and plant a garden, for this is therapeutic. Explain to your parents, that this emotional abuse has got to stop. It is human to merely just be. But we must stay away from harms way. Until it is a safe environment, protect what is most precious in you, the innocent ideal of love, goodness, and justice, and let no man trample on that. Ponder often the lessons we have, about the failed moral superiority complex we built and falsely maintained in the Christian community. Learn that is just being human, and exhort each of us to goodness (St Pauls' teaching), and learn from the founder, Jesus of Nazareth. For he has taught, to 'work while there is day light, for in the night, no one can work.' I take that literally, if you were to plant something in your garden, you must do so, during the day, for when night times approaches and the evil thereof comes, we cannot see well enough to work. In a church where the night falls upon it, we wait until there is day light. Then you may presume your service to a God, your own God. For me, I take that literally, and I grow a garden, farm in organic ways, teach my kids to appreciate the frailty of being human, while we 'pitch a tent' on the earth, to remember to be thankful, and to be. And to be, that is the question.

Do the Right Thing

A quote from my recent post:

As a theologian, I see God in every thing. I see God in a simple beautiful tomato, and a small chicken. It is in the kindness of people, and sometimes in the unlikely places as well. God lives in the world, is the world. So, if I may using the ancient words of Daoist master, that Dao is in the lowliest places, is in urine and excrement, for example. That too, for me is God.

That being said, much of the anxiety comes from trying to be obedient to the holy writing that teaches we have to love our enemies, and do good to those that harm us, etc. This type of teaching is harmful to us. We cannot be in harmony and peace, if we run into harms all the time, sometimes, this type of harms kills us, inwardly and outwardly. We for example, shield our kids from child molesters, not because we have to live at peace with them, or to forgive them for what they do, but simply to run from harm. If a brethern in Christ or out of Christ is causing harm to others, how can you live at peace with such critter, though for this beast that Christ has died. I propose here a new solution, that blindly following ancient words of the bible is harmful, remember that these things are written for people, not the other way around. Therefore in the teaching of Jesus I translate this for you, "Sabbath is made for man, and man is not made for sabbath, and Man (son of man/bar/ben nasha = man in Syriac, which is Jesus' own mother tongue) is the Lord of sabbath." We read the sacred words of Christ, and throw out those words that are outdated, or dangerous to us in this generation. Remember, only the blind follows the blind and the dead buries their dead. You do what is right in your own eyes, that is the commandment from God.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Having Faith

I used to believe in the holy words of St Paul, "Once one is in Christ, he is a new creation, and that everything passes away, behold everything is new." In my childhood, I used to hold that devout Christians have a moral high ground, and the more devout, the holier these folks are. In others' words, I used to believe that Christians have this 'moral superiority.'

I no longer believe that. Christians are just as guilty, commit just as much in crimes and evil, sometimes more evil than the non-Christians. Having faith in Christ does not make one a better person. Matter of fact, Jesus cannot save a person and then change him. There is little to show forth before and after the personal salvation event. Faith gives one a feeling that he is better, and that is all a feeling. I do however, after giving up this notion of 'new creation' and 'sainthood' of believers, can now live at peace with myself. I was just given a notion of believing in a Christ that has little or no power to change a person. What changes our behaviour, is the sheer will of human spirit. When one is finally realize the depth of despair, or the wrongs one has done to others, or to the environment, perhaps there is a human will to change. That is called human courage. When a rapist turns himself in, when the thief returns the stolen goods, at that moment, one experiences the power of divine human spirit.

I no longer look to faith or to a Jesus that is unable and powerless to help us. I look to human beings who play the courage of God, who in fact are divine when they act in justice or goodness, who are compassionate. Those values are god- attributes, and for me, they are God. But a Jesus that died in Palestine many years ago, of their followers trying to claim that his teachings are more special than others, or that they are the now saints, I don't think so. They are just as acrimonious, and sometimes more rapists that others. I will stay away from such, or the schools that claim such holiness, in their midst, filled with dead, rotting flesh. I will look to the world for faith, love and justice. After all, this world is greater than I, and this human community is more just than a self-deceiving group of Evangelicals whose god died many years ago, rotted in the grave, and did not physically rise nor is it able to help those in need. As one theologian taught, "If I were ever to lose my ways, I would turn to the world. After all, the world is greater than I. I would put my faith in the world, foe me, that is the ultimate."