Salvation

Q: What does it mean to be saved?

A: That depends upon your religious affiliation, but as a rule the Christian church teaches that Jesus Christ willingly gave up his life as a sacrifice for your sins, and by your acknowledgement of that sacrifice you have been freed from the curse of sin and death. It teaches that Heaven is reserved for those who die in the faith . . . Hell is reserved for those who don’t.

Christian doctrine accepts a convert as they are and promises them a new life where they will be forgiven of past sins and become a new person as they live under the living word of God and His bible. In time the simplicity of that message created the largest and most powerful religion known to man. People flocked to the Mother church and her teachings by the millions.

When I was a younger man I know I did. I was at the end of my rope. I needed help from somewhere. Jesus was there, free and open armed, for me. I was born again in a local church and as long as I remained in good standing with the church and it’s doctrine I was guaranteed a place at the table when I got to Heaven. Heady stuff for a guy who had absolutely no religious affiliation whatsoever, and it worked great for a couple of years . . . BUT . . .

In time I began to notice that my life had become an ‘us vs them’ affair, something I was not comfortable with for many reasons. I began to question . . . especially when I realized I, as well as almost every church person I knew, had pretty much traded our past sins in for an open, ongoing, and obnoxious version of self righteousness. I was not pleased with myself.

I studied the bible, prayed for this and that, even lived on a Christian commune for a couple years . . . but after all was said and done I was the same guy I’d always been, but now I had to hide behind this magical connection to God. Anyway the questions became too many, the doubts too large, and I became what we church people feared more than anything else . . . a reprobate backsliding his way to Hell!

Back to the question of salvation: What was I being saved for? Why me? What if I couldn’t read the bible? What if I was born a Muslim? A Jew? An Indian? Chinese? What about the rest of creation? The questions came on like an endless series of waves in a heavy storm and I felt myself sinking under them . . . so I did what I do best. I hopped a plane and headed off into the sunset and a new adventure in Seattle.

Today I am not down on any church, but in general I believe we have gotten it all wrong when it comes to Christianity. I believe we have been duped by a ministry clearly bent on self aggrandizement. Guys who have created magical doctrines in order to rule over their flock of believers instead of taking the time and patience to teach them to practice what the simple teachings of Christ actually meant. We Americans are an overly spoiled, ‘all show and no go’ people. Even our version of Christianity, (especially the TV ministry bullshit), proves it to us.

Bottom line . . . It is easier to WORSHIP Jesus than it is to LEARN from him . . . and the ministers are using our spiritual laziness against us by promoting their version of American exceptionalism in order to control our minds, and give themselves a great life in their shiny new church. These Pharisees and false prophets are alive and well and living among us.

So here’s my answer to your question on salvation:  Jesus didn’t appear on the scene to SAVE you. He came to TEACH you how to SAVE yourself. . . and if you choose to follow and practice his teachings, he will be your teacher and you his student. And what can be more satisfying to a teacher than to have a student who learns his lesson?

Jesus was a special being, no one can argue that. I believe he existed and was a thorn in the sides of the priests of that day, just as you will become if you follow his lead. I don’t believe he was a special creation though. I believe he was an old soul who obtained awareness at a very early age and dedicated his life to the cause of teaching humanity a better way.

I believe there have been many teachers who have come and gone throughout the ages who were born for the very same reason, and I believe they all have based their teachings on one four cornered foundation.

house of god
You are being saved for no other reason than to build THIS house . . . you may never know it, you may never be awarded anything other than the satisfaction of knowing you helped build it . . . but that will be enough.

 

Religion

Following is a rebuttal to a Q&A about Christianity:

You: Is evolution continually progressing forward as the unbeliever thinks . . . or is the entire universe actually devolving from order to chaos as the way things seem to be going?

Me: First of all we need to define evolution . . . Darwin’s physical evolution based upon survival of the species or spiritual evolution based upon individual spiritual growth of the human species. I choose the latter because the former speaks for itself, to a layman at least, and all moral, or religious codes fall back upon the spiritual acumen of the individual(s) involved.

So using spiritual evolution and putting it up against today’s reality I’d say, at least on this planet, we are not doing so well, Why? . . . well I think it’s because we, the human species, are creators in our own right, we create our tomorrows by the thoughts and actions we have taken today.  It’s not so difficult to see where greed, self aggrandizement, and self righteousness has gotten us. We are smack dab in the middle of a mess we have created . . . blaming anything other than that is a cop out.

If you are giving the Christian a free pass, I wouldn’t.  The Christian’s moral code is  just like the Constitution . . . it only works when one activates it. It sounds good, maybe even smells good, but it tastes bad. Today, Christians like to think that the world is going rotten in SPITE of their effort, but truth be known a lot of the stench is there BECAUSE of it.

You:  Since our society has moved away from the Christian Church and their moral ideals, we are seemingly going to Hell in a hand basket, right? Isn’t our very culture moving from order to chaos by ignoring the tenets of Christianity?

Me: From order to chaos? It certainly is chaotic, but when was there ever order in this society? When was it ever dominated by Christian morality and ideals? . . . Personally I don’t see much chaos taking place that we collectively (including the christian) haven’t caused on our own.

We have, in all our ignorance, since the very first white European set foot on this continent, created genocide on a scale beyond measure, polluted the oceans, ruined the land, food, water, and air, all for the fact that we are quite literally bat shit nuts in our greed for power and things. . . AND worse yet . . . have done it all in the name of Jesus. For sure, the old order is collapsing, but as we lament it’s death we sometimes forget that great things, from seed to civilization, are birthed out of chaos.

This is not a time to lament . . . this is a time to rejoice. These dark ages will soon pass as the age of enlightenment takes hold. The earth will heal, life will go on, and mankind, although still facing challenges of one kind or another will have stepped back from the brink of extinction.  This scenario has been prophesied many times by prophets throughout the ages. We are not facing doom, we are birthing the new age!

You: How do we stop this train to destruction the unbelieving are taking us on?

Me: Get out of the way if you can’t lend a hand for the times they are a-changinnnn . . . Dylan was ahead of his time. . . you’re behind time.

You: We must fight against the inroads of the unbeliever. The bible is the ultimate source of all knowledge and we must protect it against them.

Me: I don’t think you realize that there are very few of us reprobates who actually disbelieve the foundational principles of the gospel, as most viable religions are based upon those same principles. Many of which were being taught way before the time of Jesus of Nazareth.

What we reject, or at least what I reject is what so called Christianity has done with those teachings. You say Jesus was God in the flesh . . . I say that is true, but I also say that we are ALL potentially God in the flesh. Even Jesus himself said so . . . else why would he say that we will do greater things than he did. . . ( John 14:12)  “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these (can we outdo God?)he will do; because I go to the Father.

It doesn’t take much of a reach to realize that Jesus was almost always talking about us taking on his ‘nature’ (the Christ nature; the anointed one) rather than worshiping him. He never asked for our worship. (Yet that’s pretty much all the true believer gives him.)

He promised us that if we heard his words and took them to heart and activated them in our lives we would be just like him . . . man and God, one and the same. We who you like to call unbelievers may just be better believers that those who live a self righteousness life filled with more moral judgements and accusations than the Pharisee of old.

You see that’s all gonna change once we realize we, christian or not, have no exclusive rights to any of this. We are all struggling, we are all breathing and hoping and longing for the same love, mercy and grace. We are all brothers of the same cloth.

That’s where you guys who hold exclusive rights to heaven missed the boat, that’s where Christianity takes a turn, that’s where the great separation took place . . . and that’s why the church is in such sad shape today. So sad that it is willing to stand behind those who are dedicated to and dead set upon destroying the environment even more . . . . I’m afraid the conservative Christian right is fast becoming a real problem to all of us, far more than the unbeliever.

You: Would you like to hear from famous theologians and writers in the faith?

Me: No. I get lost in experts and theologians and their opinions, as lost as I get when trying to discern between a zillion churches who all believe themselves to be the one and true oracle of God. I’m only interested in what my opponent has to say . . . if he/she calls in backup I know he is on shaky ground . . . we’re all friends here and everybody involved has as much right to their beliefs as I do so . . . . name dropping does no good as I know none of those guys personally and their having a pocket full of theology degrees doesn’t impress me one bit.

What impresses me most is a free and clear mind that can stand on its own . . . whether in agreement or not is secondary to that.

PS: My opponent chose to remain anonymous so I have scrambled his original writing and just answered a few of my own interpretations. The debate is not over though, you can add to it in any way you wish either pro or con.

There will be more mini debates or Q&A articles like this one so if interested in this kind of dialog stay tuned as they will always be left open to further discussion. That’s it for now though . . . JJ

Science vs Religion

science vs religion

Michael Crichton, author of State of Fear and other best-selling novels, delivered this lecture at the Commonwealth Club on September 15, 2003.

“I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer,” opens Crichton. “The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.”

You can read the entire speech in PDF format at www.heartland.org/policy-documents/mankinds-greatest-challenge  . . .

This is not a rebuttal as much as my own viewpoint on the subject. I do not refute what Michael is saying . . . I agree with much of it . . . BUT . . . like Paul Harvey used to say, here’s my rest of the story.

Continue reading “Science vs Religion”

The Abomination Of Desolation

obomination

In the Christian bible there is reference in the book of Daniel to the – abomination of desolation –  I know the interpretation most biblical scholars have come up with, but in my opinion if one is to study the bible or the Tao Te Ching or any other spiritual text he must interpret what he is reading for himself. The holy books only work for people who have understanding and that means we must interpret it ourselves and apply what we’ve learned to ourselves. As we grow and mature our understanding grows also, and our interpretation changes. Only those who have locked themselves into religious dogma and church hierarchy remain, from cradle to grave, locked in obedience to a priestly order and their rule of law.

This is fine of course, but if you are a seeker of truth and knowledge and wisdom, you must break free from the matrix of religion and head out on your own. The pathway is not marked and will only open before you as you approach the dead end.

My interpretation of -the abomination of desolation- goes something like this. . . . In the beginning of God’s creation He set man upon the earth to be steward over all His stuff . . . He did not GIVE us His stuff  any more than I would give the keys of my truck to a five year old. He made us steward over it in the hopes of our future maturation. Continue reading “The Abomination Of Desolation”

The Way Of An Acorn

acorn

Today I am adding a “types and shadows” section to this blog . . . not because I consider myself to be a spokesperson for God ( like pastors and preachers of all ilk do when they read from a book and play the “God told me to tell you” game.)  . . . I am a loner and I don’t understand religion at all . . . I DO feel, though, that it is very important for all of us to begin realizing that we are ALL spokespersons for God and our purpose on this planet is not to plunder and rape our mother as we are now doing.

Anyway, since I now see that Creedence Clearwater’s ‘bad moon’ has already risen, I have decided to write (what I consider to be) the reality behind the spiritual lessons our earth mother is trying to teach us.  Her types and shadows are everywhere . . . and they all point in the same direction.. . . . to a God far different and far more mysterious than that old man in the clouds with his hierarchy to heaven. . . . we are in heaven right now, but because we are too dumb to realize it, we have created our heaven into our hell.

Following is a story I wrote some years ago about a people who got lost immediately upon arrival because they chose to worship rather than observe closely and learn the truths contained in this wonderful dimension we find ourselves sharing in. Continue reading “The Way Of An Acorn”