Saturday, 30 September 2017

Celebrate!


A church friend of mine who is gay said to me, "I don't want to be just accepted, I want to be celebrated.  When straight people marry they clap and they cheer.....I want gay marriages to be celebrated like this!"

I can see his point.

To be grudgingly accepted is not equality at all.

And most Churches don't even do that.

So I look forward to the time when gay marriages are celebrated in churches.


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Friday, 29 September 2017

Dismantling Fascism.


Fascism is a cold, hard reaction to life's harshness.

In fact it is a fortress erected to protect a wound.

And what is that wound but a broken heart.

So the solution to modern fascism is not aggression or violence but love.

To show warmth and consideration to others will help them to dismantle their defences and open up to other human beings.

So have a warm and generous heart.

And do not judge others for their shortcomings.

There will always be a good reason for them.


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Thursday, 28 September 2017

Theological College.


Jesus said that the world did not know God.

How could this be?

How could God's representatives on earth not know the nature and the will of God?

The answer is that they have all been trained to adhere to a strict orthodoxy.

Theological colleges past and present enforce an image of God which has been handed down from generation to generation.

God is seen as harsh and judgemental.
A dispenser of rewards and punishments.

Spirituality is seen as retributive.

Jesus said, "'Woe to you lawyers!  For you have taken away the key of knowledge, you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.'"  Luke 11:52 (NRSV)

Jesus was talking about Legalism - i.e. the rigid application of rules and regulations.

He contrasted this with his image of God as a loving Father.

"'And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father - the one in heaven.'"  Matthew 23:9 (NRSV)

Was Jesus suggesting that we cut out the middle man and contact God directly?

Many people in our modern world would agree.

Could it be that the men in authority in Jesus' Churches are the descendants of the Pharisees?

It would seem so.

The blind lead the blind.

And they insult God.

So find a progressive Church.

Or go into your room and close the door.

Pray to God with all your heart.

He will answer you.

And deliver you from evil.


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

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Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Church.


Much of what the Church has taught in the past was sophistry.

It was centered in the mind as a set of beliefs or principles.

And it was reinforced by fear.

This led to a cold, hard atmosphere in church.

And many Church people were cold, hard people.

But God is centered in the heart.

His children have warm, loving hearts.

And this can lead to warmth in church.

To improve the atmosphere in church we must address the specious fears that harden our hearts.

We must give love to those around us.

To improve people's experience of Church we must put into practise the things that we express in church.

Only then will people return to the Church.


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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Gospels.


Mark is the rudimentary Gospel.
(Possibly from the recollections of Peter in Rome.)

Matthew is the Jewish elaboration.
(From Q and other sources.)

Luke is the Gentile elaboration.
(From Q and other sources.)

John is sophisticated Christology.
(Written later by the followers of the disciple John.)


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Monday, 25 September 2017

No Threat.

With the postal survey on same-sex marriage under way it is timely to remind people that gay marriage is not a threat.

Legalizing gay marriage will not cause any damage to society.

It will not affect existing marriages.

Nor will it discourage future marriages.

It merely widens the scope of marriage and encourages same-sex couples to commit to each other for life.

Religious people who rely on antiquated ritual purity laws in the Old Testament and the letters of St. Paul which were never intended to be applied as sacred scripture need not panic.

I can state categorically that God does not hate gay people.

He loves us as sons and daughters who will go to Heaven when we die.


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Sunday, 24 September 2017

A Living Wage.


In the parable of The Laborers in the Vineyard  (Matthew 20) workers are paid the usual daily wage no matter how long they have worked.

This seems mysterious to most of us.

But what I believe that God (the landowner) is doing is ensuring that everyone has enough to live on.

The usual daily wage was a living wage - enough to live on - and each worker received enough.

This is God providing for us.

Providing enough for us to live.

And everyone receives the same.

This is a different orientation from the landowners of this world.

Most employers will pay according to the amount of work done - reward for effort.

And their motivation is to make bigger and bigger profits for themselves.

But God's orientation is to provide a living for each of His workers no matter how much work they have done.

God provides.

So why do people starve?

The earth produces enough food for everyone to live but because of our fear we hoard and even destroy it rather than sharing it with others.

God provides enough food.

But we will not share it with the hungry.

So people starve.

Business must change its orientation from personal profit to providing a living wage.

Our workers are our sons and daughters.

And God is our Father.


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Saturday, 23 September 2017

Wannabes.


Our world is full of corporate slaves and wannabes.

We have been reduced to black suited work units and aspirational social climbers.

There is no idealism.

And religion is dead.

Our governments are corporate pawns.

And our media is propaganda.

Rock music is Satanism.

And our entertainment is likewise.

The only sign of hope is Internet activism.

So keep signing petitions and sending messages.

Vote against corporate puppets.

And pray!


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Friday, 22 September 2017

Earphones.


You know those earphones you are constantly listening with?

Well the rock music which you are listening to is Satanic.

The dirge-like songs contain negative suggestions and curses which sabotage your well-being.

Much of this is subliminal.

Death, suicide, sin, shame, darkness, the devil, evil.....

All these things are hidden in the music.

So take off your earphones.

And be free of this curse.


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Thursday, 21 September 2017

Gay Love.


Homosexuality is love.

It is not some wicked act divorced from human feelings.

It is inspired by love as any heterosexual relationship is.

We are wired to engage with each other.

This is God's Love in action.

Bringing us out of ourselves and towards another.

Sex is not just for procreation.

Sex creates intimacy and love in a relationship.

And this is good.

There are many heterosexual couples who do not have children.
But no one is suggesting that they refrain from sex.

Gay couples should be allowed to marry and have families as other do.


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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Machines.


Since the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th Century machines have dominated commerce.

And the human beings who work these machines have become part of the machines.

Workers are no longer people they are work units.

They are judged by their productivity alone.

This dehumanization of the work force has had serious repercussions.

William Blake called the machines Satanic.

But treating people like machines does not produce the best results.

They will resent it and deceive their masters.

Who will respond with threats and cuts.

The workplace should be like a family.

Workers should feel valued and loved.

Then they will produce their best.


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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Vegetarian.


I am vegetarian.

It is clear to me that we are free to eat the fruits of the earth but not living things.

"God said, 'See I have given you every plant yielding fruit that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.'"  Genesis 1:29 (NRSV)

This passage is followed by the statement that the fruits of the plants and trees are also for animals and birds to eat.

There is no mention of animals or birds or fish as food for man.

My personal feelings are to do with non-violence.

I no longer feel comfortable killing living things for my food.

So I no longer eat meat or fish.

I will eat eggs and cheese because their use for food does not involve inflicting pain on living things.

I believe that my attitude is backed up by the Biblical witness.

It is God's will that we be vegetarian.


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

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Monday, 18 September 2017

A Third Way.


When we are young we think that there are only two alternatives:

To do what we want and seek pleasures.

Or.

To obey our elders and work hard for our masters.

But there is a Third Way:

To open our hearts and give love to those around us.

This Third way leads directly to God.

So love God and love your neighbors.

Then you will be Home.


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Sunday, 17 September 2017

Your Brother.


When you look on your brother

Don't just see the outward appearance:

The face, the physique, the clothing.....

But see the soul buried deep within -

The innocent child crying out for love.

And make concessions

According to understanding:

All human beings suffer,

There is a reason for every wayward action:

A decision, a lie, a crime.....

But the Divine Spark within

Is pure and untouched,

Forgiven and Saved.

It is him you should seek.


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Saturday, 16 September 2017

Takers.


Too many Church people are takers not givers.

They leave it to God.

But they take the credit.

And when something goes wrong.

They are nowhere to be found.

They do little.

But they feel spiritually superior.

When they are called upon to act.

They do little or nothing to help.

And this is why the Church is dying.


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Friday, 15 September 2017

God.


When we are young and we encounter the world we can mistake the way of the world for God.

Life seems tough, demanding, unsympathetic, and unforgiving.

This is the influence of power and money which was once in league with the conservative establishment and now represents the corporate plutocracy and its political puppets.

But this is not the way of God despite what Fundamentalist Christians may tell you.

God is merciful, forgiving, gracious.
He will always give you another chance.

He is undemanding and considerate.

He loves you like a Father.

But the Church has traditionally sided with the political conservatives and represented God as a harsh judge and moral wowser.

The reason for this is that the Church became entangled with power and money and adopted their carrot and stick approach to the masses in order to maintain their position of authority in society.

The result has been that the message of Jesus is severely compromised, even contradicted completely.

The traditional authorities of the Churches are the spiritual descendants of the Pharisees who were the enemies of Jesus.

Since the mass exodus from the Churches there have been some desperate attempts to bring people back but change is slow and reluctant.

There are some progressive Churches but the mainstream Churches are dragging their feet.

Even the most liberal Churches - The Episcopalian Church in America and the Uniting Church in Australia - sit on the fence when it comes to important decisions and refuse to speak up for minorities and outcasts.

Their attitude towards homosexuality and gay marriage is the definitive example.

So pray for courage and change.

Or the Church will die.


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Thursday, 14 September 2017

History.


There are two versions of history:

The version written and propagated by the powers of the world - the winners.

And then there is the truth.

The version of history put out by capitalists after the fall of communism in Russia - the End of History - lauds the winner, Ronald Reagan and his allies Generation X, and denigrates the Hippies, their political enemies.

But Ronald Reagan was a dark man.
He did not hesitate to use violence in Central America to defeat his political enemies.  And he did not hesitate to use propaganda which demonized his political opponents.

He used Satan to win - he used the violence and evil in Generation X to intimidate and brainwash the Hippies calling them unamerican and wrongheaded.

So where is the truth?

The truth is that people who use violence and evil to win are not heroes but villains in the mold of Hitler and his thugs.

The victory of the right-wing capitalists is sustained by the media moguls who tell everyone what to think.  Our news, T.V., movies, and sports are controlled by them.

It's 1984.

But in the long run Ronald Reagan and Generation X will be seen for what they are - violent people who used evil to win.


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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Establishment.


If you take Jesus' teachings seriously and put them into practice you will inevitably come up against the Establishment.

As Jesus did.

And it was the Establishment that murdered Jesus.


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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Economic Advancement.


In our modern world anything can be justified by economic advancement.

If it makes the stock market go up it is good.
Whether we like it or not.

So social safety nets, young people's wages and conditions, worker's rights, standards of education and health are all sacrificed to the ultimate god of economic advancement.

The fact that these economic advantages only benefit the rich seems not to matter.

All regulation is bad, even if it protects public safety.
Taxes should always be cut because the rich hate taxes.

So, despite the fact that the rich corporations pay no taxes, there is no longer enough revenue to supply basic services let alone despised welfare.

How long will people put up with this?

Our governments have betrayed us.

And they lie to us about everything.


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Monday, 11 September 2017

Pleasure.


Pleasure is not bad.

But pleasure is not the answer.

As we grow up we experience pleasures and they will often make us feel a bit better.

This results in a quest for more and more pleasures.

This results in feelings of emptiness and want.

This is because selfish pleasure is not the answer.

The answer is Love.

When we give love we realize that pleasure is a pale facsimile of love and we cease chasing after pleasures.

But pleasure is not bad.

Pleasure is not banned.

Pleasure in moderation is as good thing.

But Love is the answer.


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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Fear and Love.


My thesis is that the evil in our world is caused by fear.

And what is the antidote to fear?

Love.

Fear makes us attack.
Fear makes us hoard.

Fear makes us retaliate.
Fear makes us defend ourselves.

But love makes us forgive.
Love makes us pardon.

Love cares.

Love is compassionate.
Love is kind.

So if we are serious about lessening the evil in our world we must absorb evil and return love.

And this is precisely what Jesus taught.


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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Garden.


God has given us a beautiful garden in which to live.

But what have we done with it?

We live by the law of the jungle - the dominance of the strongest, dog eat dog.

Men of violence inhabit the darkness.

Their supremacy is established by violence and maintained by fear.

Their savagery is inspired by fear.

Fear of starvation.
Fear of want.

Their privileges are justified by rationalizations.

They cannot give.

They say, "God has forsaken the earth."

If they had faith the size of a mustard seed they would know that God provides - there will always be enough.

The earth produces enough food for everyone.

But we hoard and we waste.

We cannot give.

Cry out to God:

An end!


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Monday, 4 September 2017

A Human Face / A Human Heart.


Aquarius has a human face.

Not only does Aquarius treat everyone as a unique human being but it shows: the human face of Jesus, the human face of Buddha, the human face of Mohammed, the human face of God, it even shows the human face of our enemies.....

So do not be concerned if people call you a Humanist.

The essence of spirituality is to become fully human.

And the key to this is the human heart.


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Sunday, 3 September 2017

Priscilla - Patron Saint of Gays.


Priscilla was a woman of great faith who lived in Corinth in Greece.

She and her husband Aquilla were Jews who had been expelled from Rome by Claudius.

St. Paul stayed with them and worked as a tent maker.

Priscilla and her husband risked their lives to harbor Paul and showed great faith in the early Christian Church.

As we know Priscilla is also the name of the famous Queen of the Desert - a movie about three drag queens who travel across the Australian desert in a pink bus called Priscilla to a venue in Alice Springs.

So I think that Priscilla - which means worthy - would be a good patron saint for the gay community.


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Saturday, 2 September 2017

Restore Us.


"I will restore their fortunes, the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters.....As for your sisters, Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former state."  Ezekiel 16:53a,55a (NRSV)
"Was not your sister Sodom a byword in your mouth in the day of your pride?" Ezekiel 16:56a (NRSV)

Lord restore our fortunes.

Not as they were - driven and betrayed - slaves to the rhythm.

But without promiscuity, without drugs, without cruelty.....

Restore our fortunes.

As a blessed tribe of your children innocent and free.

Bind us firmly in your steadfast Love.

And shelter us from evil.

Wash away all doubt.

And lead us to the Crystal Fountain.

Where we drink of the Waters of Life.


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission,  All rights reserved.]

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Friday, 1 September 2017

State Religion.


Were Progressive Christianity ever to become the State Religion it would be essential that we challenge any attempts to return to the carrot and stick religion of rewards and punishments with its heaven and hell.

These things are Machiavellian mass control techniques which are more in the interests of the State than God.

God does not punish us

The State may punish us.

But God does not.

There is no devil.

There is no hell.

These things have developed from attempts to explain our experience.
They are based on outmoded dualistic thinking.

God is One.

And His nature is Love.


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