Be teachers yourselves rather than lazy Christians who go to meeting and let someone else do all the talking.

duminyanduminyanRepublican and former RNC Chairman Michael Steele … I’m on the same page with him regarding evangelicals and any other society of Christians  intentionally looking the other way.

“After telling me how to live my life, who to love, what to believe, what not to believe, what to do and what not to do and now you sit back and the prostitutes don’t matter? The grabbing the you-know-what doesn’t matter? The outright behavior and lies don’t matter? Just shut up.”

Seems to me that only crowd that worships political correctness are the same ones who themselves want to use violence and exclusion as their practice of an imperial form of brotherly love.

How about “Christiano-Fascist” for Kindergarten Christians who are giving politicians and preachers foolish talking points? These are the folks stuck in the Chapel of the Kindergarten Believers where all the preacher knows how to do is whine about how the rest of us don’t believe election-winners are put in place by God.

Remember that The Father is watching. We are all falling sparrows. And none of us fall far from the Tree. If it is in your heart that the Father has approved of such a bigoted declaration or if you have been taught that the Holy Spirit prompts, leads and guides every sermon and political utterance from the born-again, then you belittle The Father with your assumptions.

Take the following advice based on the 5th Chapter of Hebrews:

… those put in charge of things pertaining to God on behalf of the flock absolutely have to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward. This because they themselves are subject to weakness. They who talk to you of making sacrifice for your sins must make sacrifice for their own as well.

One does not presume to take the honor of speakership but only when called of God, as was Aaron. This of course means that the same sense of calling that aroused your preacher is a sense you yourself are fully capable and able to experience.

… unless that is hard for you to understand about yourselves and you lack the personal faith needed to do so.

Many have become dull in understanding – lazy even – and have given away too much personal will to preachers of kindergarten talking points.

By now you ought to be teachers yourselves rather than lazy Christians who go to meeting and let someone else do all the talking.

Perhaps you are one of those who need someone else to teach you again the basic elements of the oracles of God.

Perhaps you believe that the shallowest among you who nevertheless are able to memorize verses are the most justified because The Father places the highest regard on they who memorize the most.

If you regard yourself spiritually mature rather than a spiritual infant, are not such preachers the least able to respond to your need for milk?

They encourage you to believe that you are receiving solid food. You must however pay attention. They preach to you as if you were still infants, unskilled in the word of righteousness.

If the best your preacher or your pious Christian politician can do is to declare that human immorality is more of a threat to the United States than terrorism, perhaps you’d best understand this.

They who say such stuff still need milk themselves. Solid food is for the mature; those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.

That’s what it says in Hebrews 5.

I found it there, figured it out and believed it before any milk-needer could tell me that my conclusions are not “biblical” … whatever that means.

 

To Religious “Social Conservatives” too proud to admit to a foolish vote for Republican God-Talkers

 … and who still  pretend that they know better than we do what God wants us to

Republican Christians have no special credibility for passing moral judgment on anybody else. We have even more Christian Celebrities stepping into the spotlight, selling books, expanding televangelist ministries as well as the usual pretenders who claim and act as if God is prompting their every word and deed.

It is to all of you I respectfully request a purpose-driven and honest exposition, scriptural or otherwise. No individual, no Christian church and no Christian alliance of like-minded evangelicals, fundamentalists, traditionalists or liberals has any right or responsibility to define for me how I should exercise my consciousness of how I practice citizenship.

In fact, as a citizen, and in the tradition of American free-market sharing of ideas and concepts, I see it not unreasonable to invite those blowing the hardest to tell me more about God and Politics. Not believing that my own outlook is absolute and inerrant, I’m willing to be more informed.

So to you big time Brothers and Sisters; all of you born-again politicians, all you self-described moral conservatives: you owe it to the entire American audience – and not just the religiously gullible whom you have targeted. You must speak honestly to those whom you haven’t made captive by media, technology and social conformity. Please elaborate on  issues raised by the apparent conflict between belief, assumptions and reality:

1- Are ALL of your political and economic policies divinely inspired?

2- Are they based on and do they include the precepts taught by God, your preachers and prophets as written in scripture; a God-writing which most fundamentalists insist is inerrant and which the Mormons insist to be true as far as it is translated correctly?

3- Should the skeptics among us believe that opposing Republican political policies is opposing God’s will? Speak plainly here because when you guys imply that it’s so, those who think you’re smarter than they are when it comes to making God talk will conform.

4- Do ALL of your policies enhance human life? In that regard, do the families of the evil-doers – parents, spouses and children – fall into the category of deserving the sword? As a matter of fact, if God places you folks at the head of this country, what is God’s position on collateral damage?

5- Jesus was outspoken in advocacy of human dignity in clear and unambiguous terms. So how does God justify your and your candidates’ ambivalence about torture as a means of exporting righteous American freedom worldwide?

6- What does God say about the justifications from your candidates and preachers that sexual debasement is justified in pursuit of said exportation?

7- Has your version of God declared that our processes of education and scientific study are of the devil? You must speak plainly if you believe you speak for God. Do you believe that the encouragement of responsibility around human sexuality is sinful and displeasing to Him?

8 – Is social justice important to God?

9 – Did Jesus believe that profit was more important than compassion?

10 – Has God repudiated Jesus’ declaration that the laborer is worthy of his hire?

11- Is it God’s will that working against gay marriage is more important than working to put people back to work?

12- Is it God’s will that Republican economics – voodoo or otherwise – is the one and only sacred economic approach to feeding and sheltering the people?

13 – Does God support deception as a political tool?

14 – Does God endorse a policy of political mud-slinging rather than reaching agreement with those who disagree with you? What about yea yea and nay nay?

15 -Does God want our politicians to put our elderly at economic and health risk?

16 – Does God believe that generating massive profits to drug companies is a greater good than relieving human suffering?

17 – How does that align with honoring father and mother?

18 – And finally, is Jesus really going to come as a thief in the night? Or has he revealed to you and the rest of the Christian Right that He cannot come until American Christians maneuver Israel into a circumstance that unlocks the Key to the End Times?

Christian practice as taught and exemplified by Christ is not something complex nor is it something that requires convoluted logic and ideological twisting in order to ponder treasure in Heaven.

Christ said directly, “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”

He did not say that Caesar and God are one and the same.

Until you teach the difference, you and your sheep remain a primary cause of the lack of harmony, lack of social conscience and absence of real moral outrage in this country.

When it comes to moral outrage, your hypocrisy and failure to reflect social conscience on a comprehensive and all-inclusive level generates legitimate moral outrage.

You do it deliberately and apparently by arrogant ignorance.

Your sheep do it with apathy.

 

Organized Religion Anti-Virus

 
 
It may be that we all have an unfinished wrestling match with Grandpa Church. It may be that although we have broken Grandpa’s unfair choke hold and have managed to stagger to our feet as well as more or less keep away from those grasping arms, we nevertheless remain engaged and unable to leave the mat.
We do not seem to be able to simply call the match ended and call the inevitable stalemate achieved our victory in combat with a more powerful opponent. In that sense, when he wrestles with us, Grandpa Church applies his arm twisting and choke holds as a leader of a tag team –  which means that among those friend and family souls whom we treasure most, there are many whom Grandpa can tag and thrust into the ring to distract and weaken our resolve through exploitation of
existential angst.
Are we not overwhelming underdogs in a circumstance that is not really “winnable” in terms of being able to retain unfettered relationships with those about whom we care the most so long as we wrestle against Grandpa? Is not Grandpa – as the ultimate tribal elder and authority – practically unassailable?
Cannot Grandpa Church more than likely hold on to more unquestioned loyalty, unquestioned love and unquestioned conformity of more members of those of our own blood who constitute our “in-the-Church” family birthright?
At Wikipedia where I learned that existentialist philosopher Kierkegaard used the word Angest (in
common Danish, angst, meaning “dread” or “anxiety”) to describe
a profound and deep-seated spiritual condition of insecurity
and fear in the free human being.
Where the animal is a slave to its instincts but always conscious in
its own actions, Kierkegaard believed that the freedom given to people leaves
the human in a constant fear of failing his/her responsibilities to God.
Kierkegaard’s concept of angst is considered to be an important
stepping stone for 20th-century existentialism. While Kierkegaard’s
feeling of angst is fear of actual responsibility to God, in modern use,
angst was broadened by the later existentialists to include general frustration
associated with the conflict between actual responsibilities to self, one’s
principles, and others (possibly including God). 
This was an interesting find for me, principally because I had been pondering the idea of being programmed from birth to be RESPONSIBLE to God; of viewing my life as a gift from God to whom I then owe (am responsible) obligations to generate good fruit.
Belief inculcated from childhood is a difficult thing to overcome when, for example, the transparency of the religious fabrication is not as obvious as the transparency of a cultural myth, say of Santa Claus, to a child growing into an adult. Religious beliefs are planted (one could even use contemporary techno-vocabulary and say “installed’) in our thinking at an early age when the nature of the installation is not easily perceived as beneficent or malevolent.
The malevolent aspect then resembles more of a “virus” that is so firmly installed in so many programs that removal could very well require deletion and re-installation of the fundamental operating system. This because as young and then not-so-young adults who were active in a “program” (the Church), years of intensive activity caused us to  replicate the virus in many venues of our lives,  fortifying those strengthened venues with long-term emotional and spiritual devotion-based activity.
Do we realize how profound that circumstance can be?
Just how powerful is that choke hold we have wrestled against and at what price do we seek and achieve genuine liberation?
I remember a year or so ago in a Mormon Gospel Doctrine class in which the lesson was the Book of Mormon chapters where King Lamoni and his father “converted” to the Nephite gospel and took upon
themselves the name “Anti-Nephi-Lehies,” laid down and buried their weapons and vowed that they would never again live by the sword.
As a discussion ensued about what it means to be truly converted and what kind of change is required if a genuine conversion occurs, we listened to what I felt was a lot of rigid and two-dimensional blathering about knowing truth, being teachable, humble and obedient – most of
which sounded to me like suspending critical thinking and devolving into cookie-cut conformity. That to me was the virus asserting itself.
I finally raised my hand and talked about Star Trek (thinking of The Next Generation.) Like the Book of  Mormon Lamanite characters who became Anti-Nephi-Lehies, Star Trek Klingons are a warrior society. They talk combat and warrior talk all the time. Such is the only way Klingon’s know how to talk. The Warrior culture infuses everything about Klingon society, Warrior principles are based on habits entrenched in the violent culture of battle, combat, victory, vengeance and death before dishonor.
The point I tried to make in that class was that all the conversion stuff about trust, humility and teachable-ness was trivial compared to the magnitude of the change in a way of both thinking and living that would be required for a warrior society to turn its back on violence and combat-mindedness.
In that regard, how do we set ourselves free and bury our old preconceptions which have become part and parcel of our infections? What happens when we awaken? For me it felt like some internal light had ignited in what was not unlike a massive inoculation of truth serum.
Healing was the object based on massive doses of critical thinking and extended logic. That for me, in reality, only began treatment involving removal of a virus that was  continuing to poison.
I would suggest that most of us who linger longer with Mormon Stories groups find themselves in a repetitive pattern of having esolved as well as unresolved feelings about choosing to live a life that
includes or excludes Grandpa Church. Perhaps we have not yet adequately dealt with the virus that may inevitably again start replicating itself in as many venues of our lives as possible.
I don’t know what the cure for that virus really is or what anti-virus program one could self-install to become free of that particular existential angst. 
I believe that it is possible to construct boundaries (firewalls if you will) that oppose the virus.
Having said that, I can then confess that for me, all that God talk, all that programmed sober-minded discussion of Eternity and a God-parent who demands that He be pleased in every sense has become
exceedingly wearisome. I have sought out my own new treasures that require no programming, that invite exploration that includes not only finding new wisdom but new entertainment as well.
I do not believe or accept any notion of a religiously defined or religion-based Eternity nor any notion that whatever possesses Eternity is a moralizing, ordinance-principle-and-covenant maker who invents the game, makes the rules and calls the score.
As I’ve written more frequently, I totally reject the entirety of the theologies of the world’s Abrahamic  religions of which Mormonism is currently number 4. In doing so, I personally feel freed and liberated from any notion of obligation or responsibility to God regarding sin, evil, atonement, redemption
or being carnally an  enemy to God.
I echo a friend whose privacy I want to respect who wrote,
” … I only “do” what I “feel” like
“doing” in relation to “The Church”. The absolute hardest
thing I ever did was to give myself permission to NOT DO Church.
When I feel like doing, being, etc anything “Church” I just
do it. Doesn’t set the precedence that I’m rushing back. It’s more like I said
– “snack”. Reading, exploring, participating, only as an
“interest” not a duty. Maybe it’s kind of a “hobby”?
But either way, I think you get my drift. It’s taken over 2 yrs and I
feel absolutely FINE with my relationship w/ the Church, or lack thereof.