Can’t we all just get along?

Can’t we all just get along during the presidential elections?

The following is a political conversation between me and a republican friend. It started with me asking who he was voting for in the presidential election. He responded that it depended on who their running mate would be. So I inquired, “If Hillary teams up with the right one, then you’ll vote for her, right? “Hell no!” was his emphatic response. This led into the following text messages:

Me: And remember, I still love you, even though you’re a republican. You can’t help it, bro. Lol

‘Inferiors may Disagree’ (his chosen alias):

So you’re admitting you’ve dumbed down to the ‘dumbacrat’ level?

Me: 🙂 if I did that, then you’d disown me. I’m messing with you just like I would any democrat. I actually choose not to choose. I don’t get involved in the squabbles of this physical world.

‘Inferiors may Disagree’:

I wouldn’t disown you, but I would ask myself ‘why, I ever thought Mike was intelligent?! Where do I go from here, now that I’ve let myself down by associating with an unintelligent being?’

Me: I forgot to thank you for that compliment yesterday about me being smart. Thanks.

Now image how peaceful your life would be were you to let loose of just a few opinions? I’ll give you an example, but remember, I could just as easily give examples of democrats as well. Anyway, this is why I choose not to get involved. Like I once was, and most republicans are, you’re probably under the misguided opinion that this is a Christian nation. This is because it perfectly aligns to their beliefs; it’s what we want to believe. What we want to believe far outweighs all other notions, truth or otherwise.

And I’m sure, you get upset when democrats claim this country wasn’t founded on the principles of Christianity. One day I decided to do my own investigation, and I no longer believe as I once did; I understand the intent of the Founding Fathers. They, being fed-up with religious domination over government in the ‘old world’, established our great nation with absolutely no connection to any religion. Allowing our government to govern people based on the ‘rights of man’ through the dictates of reason, without superstition, while still maintaining the liberty for all men to worship as they pleased. I believe it’s obvious the Founding Fathers believed in God, so I don’t side with democrats either – particularly when they adamantly want to remove all references to the Divine. If I choose a side I – which I usually don’t – it’s always based on any truth which I’ve discovered through my own research – it’s never based on anything presented by the skewed media.

‘Inferiors may Disagree’:

Yeah, I’m aware, but I choose to side with the lesser of both evils.

Me: God bless you bro. That, in and of itself, is the crux of all conflicts of every age. The distinction of good vs evil – ever since the garden. Don’t you think there are good democrats, who sincerely make their decisions based on the same ‘logical reasons’ as you? It’s unfortunate that ever since Jefferson and Adams competed for the presidency, this ‘us vs them’ mentality has prevailed. They were just as ugly about it, two hundred years ago, as we are today . The papers actually quoted preachers exclaiming, “A vote for Jefferson is a vote for the Devil.” How is that any different from the fundamentalist who’ve called Obama the antichrist for seven years?

‘Inferiors may Disagree’:

Oh, I know, but I’m speaking of the lesser of both evils in regards to benefits to me and my family.

Me:

Oh, so the real root of the problem is selfishness. Everyone’s only interested in their own agendas and protecting their own interests. 🙂 I know you’re not selfish, but, I still think there’s much truth to that. I know smart democrats who call you ignorant, just like you were implying about me; but I think it’s time to stop entrenching ourselves against one another and start working together.

My dad was so funny, through the entire eight year term of Bush he used to preach – especially when someone criticized his boy, G.W. – “There shouldn’t be any democrats or republicans; we’re all Americans. And everyone should support our president, regardless of his affiliation. But boy, did he became indignant when I reminded him of his self-righteous proclamations once Obama got into office. He said, “Bull shit, I don’t have to support that no good son of bitch!” He refused to adhere to the standards which he himself expected democrats to live up to.

‘Inferiors may Disagree’:

Sounds like your dad was a great man! Democrats only do good if you’re into socialism, the welfare system, abortion, open boarders, political correctness, etc., and they’re against our military, defending our nation – basically all the things which are in the best interest of this country.

Me: I love you, bro. Can have your permission to post this conversation on my website? And if so how do you wish to be labeled anonymous, fanatical republican nut-job, or by name?

‘Inferiors may Disagree’:

Go for it, but label me as ‘Inferiors may Disagree’. [END]

If we could all learn to express our opinions and concerns without the added insults and biased positions, we might be able to work together to build a brighter future for our children. Until that time we continue to stand on one side of the fence or the other and hurl insults and anathemas at one another while making little to no progress. It’s the ego which keeps us spinning in circles in the same spot.

Michael Blakeslee ‘Never accept any limitations in an unlimited Universe.’

The Crisis with ISIS and the Terror in the Mirror

The Crisis with ISIS and the Terror in the Mirror
I watched a documentary relating the conditions within Raqa since the hostile takeover of ISIS. I was surprised to realize that not everyone was in agreement with the acts of their oppressors. The man being interviewed was so despondent and fearful that he requested a voice alteration and a fictitious name. To my amazement, it revealed an entire community of innocent people living in fear and anxiety – no different than any neighborhood in America that might have been conquered by a terrorist regime. These are the people we forget as we clump them all together as one fanatical unit.

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This frightened man described his indignation towards this uninvited religious terrorist regime. He openly discussed the significant impact their presence has brought upon his community: issues like the price of food going up 300%, children being exposed to public executions, and longing for the day when he could again walk down the street without fearfully looking over his shoulder. He also mentioned the minor implications as well, like how disgruntled he was for being forced to grow the religiously mandated beard. ???????????????????????????????????????

 

The camera crew interviewed shop owners who were implicitly informed that certain woman’s clothing could no longer be displayed in their stores, but had to be kept in the storage areas; and anyone who bought those particular outfits was prohibited from wearing them in public.

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They showed some explosive footage of ISIS demolishing a mosque. It struck me as odd that a Muslim group would destroy a Muslim edifice – that is until the narrator explained that it was constructed by a divergent Muslim faction. “Oh, if it was built by those dissenters, than it’s nothing more than a slaughterhouse for pigs. Blow it up for Allah!”

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Another disparaging aspect of this unfortunate crisis is that ISIS is constantly proselyting their innocent children. They advise these naive children that they’re their brothers, and give them the impression that they’re the heroes of the world – fighting the bad guys. Their ultimate goal is to supply fresh recruits for their religious, militant faction; but they’re just as happy creating spies, as well. They offer money to any child with information against anyone speaking ill of their organization.

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As I witnessed an ISIS execution taking place in the street, the question struck me: “Who does this remind you of: ‘the Spanish Inquisition’? The more I considered it, the more it rang true. Consider it, if you know anything about that disparaging period of our history. The church of the Dark Ages not only dictated dress codes and demeanor, it eventually overpowered and usurped the authority of most European kings. Talk about I.S. (a religious Islamic state), three hundred years ago, our civilization had a C.C. (not just a state, but a religious Christian Continent).

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Ask yourself why Napoleon asked the pope to be present at his crowning ceremony, but wouldn’t allow him to preside over it – as was customary? Right in front of the pope, Napoleon crowned himself as if to say, “I don’t need your sanctioning approval.” Because, for the pope to crown the king or emperor, at that time, signified the power thereby was granted through the authority of the church. This little symbolic act gave supremacy to the church over the temporal throne. And should the church decide to, they had the divine right to revoke that authority.

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The church even waged war against their own countrymen for dissenting from conventional religious views. The church of Medieval times would accept no other interpretation of their religion; hence, they had no apprehension destroying a church built by a dissenting sect. The Christian chant of the church at that time was: “to kill an infidel is not murder, but the pathway to heaven.” This related to Muslims, Jews, and any Christian with divergent views.

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As John Draper reported, “With such savage eagerness did [The Spanish Inquisition] carry out its object of protecting the interests of religion that between 1481 and 1808, it had punished 340,000 persons, and of these, nearly thirty-two thousand had been burnt.1” These were not outsiders, these were fellow countrymen and women.

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Thousands were publicly executed for disagreeing with the supreme power of the church. Innocent people burned alive at the stake with the same compassion as today’s ISIS executioners. And many of these poor souls were the result of a Spanish Inquisition informant. But they didn’t do it for the money; no, they did it for absolution of their sins, and even sometimes just out of pure selfish motives, like jealousy.

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Once someone rolled-over on you, you were abducted from your family and placed in a dungeon for months, or even years. Your family would be left destitute, as the church refused to aid the devil’s offspring. You weren’t allowed to know what you were being accused of, or even who accused you. The Spanish Inquisition would just continually torture you until you finally admitted to anything which would bring about an end to the anguish they were inflicting upon you. But this only led to the next step in the judicial process: public execution. Can you start to see why our Founding Fathers laid provisions against such practices in our Bill of Rights? I guarantee you this despondent history was weighing heavily on their minds as they crafted our Constitution, as well as, the Bill of Rights.

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http://www.dreamstime.com/-image3328672The only difference between the I.S. of Raqa and the S.I. of Europe – besides the use of machineguns – is really just a few meager centuries. The Spanish Inquisition didn’t have modern weapons of warfare; and they didn’t have video recorders to document their cruelties. But had such things been available, they would’ve utilized them for the same reason ISIS uses them today: to impart the kind of fear which promotes adherence. And just like ISIS, the Spanish Inquisition believed God had sanctioned them to execute these cruelties on His creation and they would’ve also enjoyed documenting it as well. Just like many of the Nazis cruel human experiments were filmed.

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I’m not making light of the atrocities taking place on that side of the world, they are horrific and shameful; and I’m not saying we shouldn’t get involved. I’m saying, we should remember where we came from. These people are simply three hundred years behind us on the Evolutionary scale. You know, if we’re honest with ourselves, we would admit that we too have a long ways to go in our social development. If history repeats itself, and it usually does, there exists the possibility that somewhere around the year 2076 some non-conforming, intellectual Muslims will unite together and initiate a new country with its own constitution based on the principles of Democracy. They will rise up and overthrow the tyranny of these oppressive fanatics just like our ancestors.

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This is just something for us to reflect on, instead of mindlessly chanting the ol’ cliché, “All they understand is violence; so bomb them back to the stone ages.” Where would we be if some culture more advanced than our own had decided to destroy us before the birth of Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Paine, and all the other great Founding Fathers? Imagine where we’d be if, during that long, dark period of the Spanish Inquisition, some alien race, superior to our own, had decided to turn Europe into a ‘parking lot’. America wouldn’t exist if some civilization, grander than our own, had taken the primitive approach of solving everything through violence and blowing Medieval Europe off the map.

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So what is the answer? I don’t know. But I know it resides on a higher plane than primitive, simplistic, imprudent violence. A friend of mine, Steve, came up with the best solution I’ve heard so far:

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“Do not bomb the hell out of them. Contain them until the innocent people get tired of this oppression and rise up and overthrow this terrorism – just like the American Revolution of two hundred years ago. We would set up boats and anti-aircraft all around the area and not allow anyone out until the issue was resolved internally. Certainly, we would be humanitarians and allow aid, food, and medical supplies through the barricade, but no one comes out until the violence has ended.”

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As I said, it’s the best answer I’ve heard yet; however, I’m not sure it covers all the issues. For example: I don’t think it’s very humanitarian of us to sit on the sidelines like ‘Hunger Games’ watching innocent people die, while waiting for the outcome. I think as the more advanced and ‘civilized’ culture we have a moral obligation to God and humanity itself to make an attempt to save the innocent victims. What if the revolutionists fail? What then? Do we resort back to the old ‘bomb the hell out of ’em decree’?

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I’m not pretending to have all the answers; it’s a precarious situation to say the least. But we should keep an open mind and an optimistic view of the future. We should be on the look out for victims – like this unnamed, innocent man – who desire to get out from underneath the terrorist regime, and who only desire to live in peace. We cannot call ourselves the more civilized and better culture if we’re OK with killing innocent people along with their perpetrators like collateral damage. In all the years of senseless violence, the ends have never justified the means.

 

Michael Blakeslee: Never accept limitations in an unlimited Universe.

 

Footnotes:
1. ‘History of the Conflict between Religion and Science’ by John William Draper pg. 207

The Santa Conspiracy

 

santa conspiracy

This is why I don’t encourage my children to believe in Santa Claus. It’s not that I’m against the true principles of Christmas; it’s that I’m not an advocate of teaching our children to believe in fairy tales they will inevitably learn are phony.

First you want me to believe in a hopping bunny who delivers eggs. Wouldn’t the sun be more appropriate as a symbol of gratitude for the return of spring? Oh that’s too pagan, right? But a bunny delivering hard boiled eggs has no foundation in paganism, eh?

Then we ask our children to believe in the tooth fairy. I love this one: Kids eat candy till their teeth fall out, and what do we do? We reward them with money. Yes, I’m being facetious; but seriously, who dreams this foolishness up?

Now I’d like to direct your attention to the mother of all fairy tales: Santa Claus. We insist that our children believe in a fat guy who rides a sled pulled through the air by magical reindeer. He possesses the mystical ability to travel the entire globe and visit every home in a single night. We’re expected to believe this enormous man can land on our roof without collapsing it. But that’s not all! We’re also expected to believe he can carry a huge bag of presents down a six inch chimney flute during winter when there should be a fire at the bottom.

And here’s the best part. Legend has it Santa even possesses some potentially terrifying capabilities: He can see us when we’re sleeping; he knows when we’re awake; he even has the ability to know if we’ve been bad or good, so we better be good for goodness sake. Okay, I’m not going to pretend you don’t see where I’m going with this, but please indulge me, you’ll be surprised.

I’m not an atheist, and I’m not trying to abolish Christmas. I just want us to ponder one simple question: Why should we expect children to believe in a living God when every other invisible character they’ve ever loved has let them down? Think about it.

I don’t believe it’s necessary to extinguish Santa Claus altogether. I just believe we should consider the future of our children’s spiritual development, and bare this in mind as we propagate fairy tales to them. I’d like to see us have a healthy balance between not going overboard on Santa and not underestimating the importance of daily discussions about God.

If we consider it long enough, we might say these disappointing fairy tales have led some to atheism. Please don’t misunderstand me; many things have contributed to atheism in the world – particularly the courage people have in expressing their views now that moral law prevents the church from killing atheists.

But think about it: Kids have been led to believe in these mythical characters only to be told later, “Oh we were just messing with you, kid.” Then after gaining a little more intelligence, they learn about the mythical gods of Greece. These gods were just as real to the Greek children as the God we teach our children about today. Maybe someday there’ll be a class entitled ‘mythical gods of the modern western culture.’ Surely one of them will be the god of mammon.

As they grow older, why should they not expect to hear, “Oh we were just messing with you about God too. You should’ve caught on when we described Him as having the same powers as Santa Clause. You know the guy who had all those magical powers, but still couldn’t deliver everything you wanted. Is that any different from god?”

After being broken hearted by Santa, can it be any wonder why many believers don’t expect to get what they ask for? They excuse it to themselves with, ‘God’s will.’ But didn’t Jesus say, “If you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, then how much more so will your heavenly Father give good gifts to his children.” (I always find it reassuring when Jesus refers to God as “our Father” and not as “His Father” alone) Or perhaps, Jesus would say to some of these believers, “According to your faith is it done for you.” In other words, if you’re not really expecting God to come through for you – and who can blame you, since the Bible repeatedly reminds us that we’re unworthy sinners – then you’re results will reflect your faith.

So my point being: Go ahead and promote Santa Claus a few days out of the year; but as often as you can throughout the year talk to your children about God. Whatever God you believe in is fine. I prefer not to paint a particular picture of God in their mind, but some form of God is better than no God. I think it’s like a cell in your body trying to describe you to another cell. Yes, the cell is a part of you, but how can the cell claim to know your personality or attributes? There are some fundamental and universal aspects which we can ascribe to God and those being: love, kindness, helping, goodness, and forgiveness, but beyond that it’s pure speculation. So I teach my children about these principles without the added colorization of a particular religious viewpoint. Michael Blakeslee

Bloody Footprints in the Snow

Honoring the unsung
heroes of
The American Revolution

 

            My son was reading “Magic Tree House… American Revolution” (by Mary Pope Osborne/Natalie Pope Boyce) to me, when he abruptly asked, “Why are you crying, dad?” “Because,” I replied, “I suddenly realize how much those American soldiers sacrificed for our freedom.” And then I thought to myself: “I’m grateful to the authors for keeping a children’s book authentic and not omitting disturbing images, like shoeless soldiers marching in the snow.”

The crossing of the Delaware, historians say, was a pivotal moment in the Revolutionary war. By the end of 1776, the war efforts hadn’t been as successful as the patriots had hoped. They’d lost two strategic forts, indispensable supplies, and their footing in New York was slipping. Furthermore, the enlistment terms of many were expiring soon, and it appeared doubtful that very many of those soldiers would re-enlist. Without a positive, significant turn of events, the war would surely fizzle out by spring; and this was Washington’s no-holds-bar attempt at changing the course of history.

Crossing the Delaware was a battle against a tumultuous storm. Heavy winds, snow, and freezing rain made it an insurmountable obstacle. I wouldn’t have wanted to drive in it, let alone cross an icy river with frozen hands in soaking wet clothes. By this time, desertions had become quite common; and if ever there was a time to tuck tail and run, it was that night. It’s Christmas and you’re spending it with gloomy soldiers instead of your loving family.

It wasn’t until after midnight when all the troops and equipment made their way across; and with no sleep, these soldiers – some of them shoeless – trudged through the snow for almost four hours. Try and imaging what might’ve gone through your head during that trek. “This isn’t going to work. We’ve lost so many other battles, what makes Washington think this one will be any different? It’s Christmas, I’m soaking wet, shoeless, and freezing my butt off. Why couldn’t this wait until after the holidays? Things weren’t so bad under King George, were they?”

Washington was leading a disheartened, ragtag army with little hope of success; but before they started this strenuous task, he showed true genius by reciting “The American Crisis” to them – A stirring piece by Thomas Paine, which arrived – hot off the presses – just in time to encourage the troops to stay the course. I’d like to reproduce the introduction from this brilliant classic:

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

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Washington is primarily glorified for the Revolution – and I don’t mean to undermine his contributions in any way. But I believe he’d agree when I say, we should also commemorate those who sacrificed the most. It was a brilliant plan, but it would’ve come to nothing without bloody footprints in the snow. And I say, God bless those men who did what I couldn’t do by carrying on in the face of overwhelming odds.

It’s wonderful that we take advantage of our liberties today; but we should never forget the hardships endured by our ancestors who secured these freedoms for us – many of whom died long before seeing any light at the end of the tunnel. So I encourage us to stop from time to time, and remember those soldiers who left bloody footprints in the snow.

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Now I’d like to explore the events set in motion by those bloody footprints. First of all: questioning a “divinely sanctioned” monarch was unheard of at the time and took great courage. To question the king back then meant certain death; and in an era today, when David Limbaugh can write a book entitled, “The Great Destroyer: Barack Obama’s war on the Republic”, and live to collect royalties, well I guess we really should honor those bloody footprints. They sacrificed everything to resist a tyrant who would’ve hanged Limbaugh for much less insolence than this title. Those footprints were distinguished by an air of defiance against despotism. People had had enough of it in Europe. Why do you suppose these daring souls left all familiarities, crossed an uncertain ocean, and braved an uncharted new world? They were sick and tired of the old ways established for millennia in Europe.

Furthermore, why did they call it a “New World?” Today if we talked about a new world, we’d assume a new planet had been discovered. But 500 years ago we found a new world right here on Earth, on the other side of the world from tyrants and religious superstition.

This novel insolence not only worried the king, but it also alarmed the clergy as well. They were still nursing the wounds of the Reformation. Since the king’s rule was sanctioned by the church, the church, of course, would say: To question the authority of the king is to question the sovereignty of the church, and to question the church is to question God Almighty. we the people

The next wrong in a long line of things to be righted was Slavery. It wasn’t long after the Revolution that people began wondering how we could call ourselves a free nation while millions of our fellow humans were in shackles. Several anti-slavery parties sprung up, and the conflict to abolish slavery commenced.

Two battles intertwined themselves with the Abolition movement: 1) not only were the slave-holders enraged against it, but the church of the south was united with them as well. They asserted that Jehovah endorsed slavery in his sacred scriptures. And 2) the second battle raging was primarily promoted by the church, regarding women speaking in public. In a time when women were the property of men and expected to keep their mouths shut, these brave women were publicly sharing their first hand knowledge of how their fathers had abused and raped their female slaves.

The newspapers and clergy vehemently attacked these women at every occasion, calling them infidels and atheists, with degrading statements like: “A woman preaching is like a dog walking on his hind legs. It’s not done well, but you’re surprised to find it done at all.” Ladies, next time you feel coerced into repressing your God given rights, try honoring those women who endured great hardships so you could be recognized as equals and not as property.

One of the most influential heroines of this epoch was Lucretia Mott. Her motto should be inscribed upon the altars of every church, mosque, and synagogue: “Truth for authority and not authority for truth.” I love her!

After a long, turbulent clash, including a violent Civil War, both dreams were eventually realized. Although it took about a century for the idea to sink in, these new concepts had rooted themselves in the American psyche. Even the church resisted both notions; But the direction mankind was headed in could not be restrained – women were eventually recognized as equally created by God.

The slaves were initially freed with the Emancipation Proclamation, but like women, it was another century before their Constitutional rights were completely established. And what was the position of most churches during the initial battles of the 1800’s, and the finalization of both repressions in the 1960’s and 70’s? Yes, Martin Luther King’s church, of course, was supporting the Civil Rights Movement, but what stance did the ‘whites only church’ take on the issue? I think the answer to this was made plain in 1995, when the Southern Baptist church formally apologized for their support of slavery and segregation.

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Can you appreciate that Lincoln held the second, if not the most difficult term in our presidential history? There was a tremendous amount of polar opposites clashing together with Lincoln at the center. I believe a most candid account of these epic battles can be found in the beginning of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.” Lincoln explains the precarious gray area he traversed in making the ‘Emancipation Proclamation’. It’s a riveting scene – within the first thirty minutes – where he reveals how, from one angle, it appeared proper, yet an argument could be made from another that he’d trampled the rights of each individual, southern state.

Lincoln frequently had good Christians expressing their concerns to him. One assuring him that God endorsed slavery, while the other asserting it sin. This is what Lincoln was referring to when he said, “I am approached with the most opposite opinions and advice, and that by religious men, who are equally certain that they represent the Divine will.” And at another time when he said, “Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces.”

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The last great movement of this spirit of Human Rights came along in the 1960’s. That’s when we saw a marvelous revolution against orthodoxy and conventional programming. Not only was this when African-Americans renewed their struggle for their God-given rights, but long-haired white people were rebelling against long held traditional values as well. We’re all familiar with the pandemonium of this era, but I’d like to focus on the crux of this revolution. It was nothing more than asserting the right to be different, and encouraging love and peace towards all mankind. What’s wrong with that?

At a time when America was in a ‘Leave it to Beaver’ construct, they wanted to break the shackles of conformity. People were pretty much cookie-cut and molded into culturally accepted positions of society. The daughter was conditioned to be the stay-at-home mom who got a wrap on the cheek if she didn’t comply with her husband’s demands. The son was groomed to be a hard-working man who never cried, who hated communism, and never questioned authority.leaveit_to_beaver1

Things were drifting back to pre-revolutionary conditions. If you don’t believe it, watch some of the shows and commercials from that era. Anything from vacuum cleaners to Mr. Clean helping out in the kitchen were always aimed at the stay-at-home mom for example. And examine any ad directed at a man today, and you’ll most likely see a half naked big-breasted woman. I know Fry’s is campaigning women when I see the attractive, but not extraordinary, lady in the common, red house dress. I know this primarily because there is no cleavage to be seen.

Some more recent rights to be considered before we close: Worker’s rights, Children’s rights, and animal rights organizations, to name a few.

And finally: Very soon we’ll see the long-awaited finalization of equal rights for the gay community as well. I’m perplexed that two hundred years after the Revolution, and we’re still finding human rights that need to be addressed. It’s kind of a great time in history to be alive. I honestly believe gay rights will be remembered as the final stage of established human rights. And gay people should, as much as the rest of us, show appreciation to those nameless soldiers who left bloody footprints in the snow.

Let us always honor those who paid the heaviest burden to secure our wonderful freedoms. And let us also keep in mind that, at nearly every step, over the last two-millennia, the church has piously stood in staunch opposition to the advancements of society – from the Abolition of slavery and Women’s Liberation to gay rights.

Michael Blakeslee

 

To Smoke or Not to Smoke, that is the question

 Someone recently asked me, “Can Christians smoke marijuana?”

This question, and many like it, is at the root of man-made religions. This mentality sparked the inception of most church creeds. It’s the mentality of “What must I do to be saved?” It screams what’s the bottom line? What’s the bare minimum I can get away with and still slide into heaven? “Well here’s a list of our church rules.” Did you know, if you leave your church and join one of the twenty thousand other Christian factions, they’ll insist you get re-baptized as a show of faith that you’ll adhere by their rules? Why would their rules differ from your old church? Do they serve a different Jesus?

Was Jesus this black and white? Did He simply lay out a bunch of rules and regulations like Moses? Would He have insisted a person be murdered for picking up sticks on the Sabbath? Many of Jehovah’s old rules back then seemed quite ridiculous and are scoffed at by modern man, like a rule against mixing materials in a garment. Perhaps this is the reason Jesus was heard saying, “You have heard it said…, but I say unto you…” He was constantly trying to make improvements to a primitive religion, but mostly He was calling us to a higher spiritual practice.

This was made obvious when Jesus said, “You have heard thou shalt not kill, but I say unto you that anyone who hates his brother in his heart has already murdered him.” This takes it to a whole new playing field. You can no longer just go to church in fancy clothes, pretending to be pious, while harboring negativity towards others in your heart, and say, “At least I’ve never killed anyone.”

So many fundamentalist think the Ten Commandments should be incorporated into our constitution, yet here is Jesus, two-thousand years ago, pointing out the fundamental flaws of these rules: that they’re not addressing the root of the issue. And that is that all outward manifestations are a direct result of what’s going on inside. Jesus said, “It’s not what goes into a man’s mouth which defiles him, but what comes out; for out of the heart do all evils come forth.” I believe Jesus would agree with atheists like Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins when they say, “It doesn’t require the brains of a deity to come up with regulations like the Ten Commandments; lots of other cultures had similar rules before Moses climbed up Mount Sinai.”

Scientist Karen Wynn of Yale University believes that moral code may be written into us at birth. She has been studying babies for 20 years now. She has devised a puppet show for babies to watch. In the show a puppet is desperately and unsuccessfully attempting to open a box. There are two puppets on either side while this is going on. The gray puppet comes and helps open the box. But in the second act, as the puppet is attempting to open it again, the yellow puppet comes and slams the lid shut. The baby watching looks quite distraught about this. Afterwards, the child is offered either of the two puppets to play with and according to Karen’s research 80-90% of all the babies choose the dull gray puppet that was nice and helped the open the lid. They disregard the pretty yellow one who was mean.

When I caught my son trying to steal a toy from his sister, I asked him if it’s OK for her to steal from him, and he immediately responded, “No.” And he’s never read or even heard of the Ten Commandments. I believe, yes people have a selfish nature and we need laws to govern our bases nature that some haven’t mastered yet; however those laws are already written on our hearts. My son had the selfish desire to take something from his sister, but he had a moral sense of righteousness enough to know it would be wrong if it happened to him. We don’t need a dramatic story about laws written in stone by the finger of God for people to understand what’s appropriate and what’s not.

Jesus made arbitrary statements like, “The meek shall inherit the Earth.” and “The pure in heart shall see God.” Now I ask you: Which rule must I adhere to so I can see God? There’s no hard fast list of “dos and don’ts.” Very little in life can be painted in black and white. He also said forgive your brother 7×70, which implies you should lose count. If He wanted you to offer forgiveness only 490 times, He would’ve simply said that – or better yet, He would’ve rounded it up to an even 500.

Your walk with God is extremely personal, if you don’t dig down deep and find your inner divinity you’ll be forced to wonder psycho-planet looking for the right combination of rules to ritualistically practice in order to please an angry Deity.

Now to the question at hand: Many indigenous tribes used plants like marijuana to help them find God. What are you using it for? Are you using it for that purpose, or rather to help you run away from God, reality, and\or consciousness? The question is one you need to address between you and God.

Michael Blakeslee

 

Did Jesus really say love your enemies?

Did He mean it, or was it just another cliché religious people spew out? He also said why do you call me lord, but do not the things I have commanded you? (Luke 6:46) I believe it’s indicative of His intent for us to practice what He preached.

If Jesus really said, “Love your enemies,” why do I find posts by people who call him Lord, Lord to the effect of “All Muslims must die!”? Or the loving signs the Westboro Baptists hold up in their pickets, depicting God as a hater of His creation.

Aside from the fact that we are offering ‘evil for evil’ and disobeying Jesus’ direct orders, we are also incorporating several innocent people into our hate, people whose only crime was being born into a particular belief structure which differs from our own. They know nothing beyond the narrow, bigoted beliefs programmed into their brains by parents, priests, and politicians.

I’d like to ask that you consider: What was Jesus referring to when he said, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” It’s pretty simple; it’s the finale to ‘The Beatitudes’ – arguably one of the greatest discourses ever delivered. Although I quoted it from Luke, for our exploration of ‘The Beatitudes,’ I’d like to direct your attention to the more comprehensive version found in the gospel of Mathew.

So what did Jesus say before capping it off with, ‘Don’t bother calling me Lord unless you’re willing to do as I say’? Did He say, “You must believe I am the son of God?” Did He say, “You must be washed in my blood?” What He said, prior to this proclamation, can be studied in Matthew’s chapters 5-7; and I implore you to do so. I’m only going to hit a few important topics, which need careful consideration:

5:3) Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (The absence of ego, pride, and arrogance – attitudes not found in heaven)

5:5) Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (I know as Christians, we’re not interested in inheriting the earth, but it is our inheritance if we are meek. Do you suppose being meek means hating and killing people who are different from us?)

5:7) Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Would you like to obtain mercy for your mistakes? It’s simple: Be merciful to others. Many times you see Jesus using this ‘give and it shall be given to you’ concept.)

5:8) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (How shall we be entitled to see God – by the work of Calvary’s cross? Jesus says if your heart is pure, you will see God.)

5:9) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God. (Several people asked Jesus ‘what must I do to be saved?’ and His response was never ‘simple faith’ but to do something. What must we do to be called the children of God? Be a peacemaker. Are we promoting peace and acting like children of God, or are we perpetuating hate and violence?)

5:38-42) You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. (There is no provision made for killing our enemies.) Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. (‘Give to the one who asks’ makes no provision for “well, I know he’s only going to blow it on booze!”)

5:43-48) You have heard that it was said, (I love when Jesus says this. He may not have come to abolish the law, but He sure did a lot of upgrading.) ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. (How can you become a Son of the Heavenly Father? By loving your enemies and praying for those who abuse you, that’s how. Again, neither a word about faith nor the blood atoning sacrifice.) If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Our righteousness must exceed the pagans as well as the Pharisees.)

In 7:9-14 Jesus teaches us how to pray, and I would like to focus on the last part of this prayer:

Forgive our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us… For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (So, how do we obtain God’s forgiveness, by being washed in the blood? By forgiving others! And why will God withhold His forgiveness, because we have rejected His Son? Because we have not forgiven others! Jesus goes into great detail regarding this concept in Matt 18:21-35; ending it with, “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”)

7:1) Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Again this concept of what goes around comes around, or better yet; what you put out there you will receive back – ‘Give, and it shall be given to you’ works for the negative as well as the positive.)

5:21-23) Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (And He just spelled out the ‘will of God’ for us in ‘The Beatitudes.’)

Paul said, “We are saved by grace, and not by works,” yet it appears as though Jesus may be contradicting Paul. Everything in ‘The Beatitudes’ seems to indicate a need for our participation.

Yes, I know how difficult it is to love someone who hates you; however, it is commanded of us; and you cannot circumvent a flood by pouring more water on it. We cannot overcome the hate in this world by offering it more hate. We must strive to find ways of acting like the peacemakers Jesus expected the children of God to be.

So we can offer all the opposing views we like, but the bottom line is this: We must ask ourselves two fundamental questions. Do we, or do we not, believe Jesus said these things, and if we do, then how can we work these virtues into our lives? I recommend we pray God give us the strength to be truly Christ like.

If we are supposed to love our enemies, why have we killed so many Muslims, ‘heretics,’ atheists, various ‘dissenting believers,’ scientists, and ‘witches’?

I feel I must end with an attempt to describe the beauty and joy that come from forgiveness. As Jesus said, “As you give you will receive. Forgive and be forgiven.” Isn’t that all we really want? You may say all we want is love; however, without forgiveness, we are incapable of experiencing love. First, we must experience the forgiveness for the things which hold our mind in bondage to guilt. It is this guilt, which repels love as we cry out, “I’m not worthy!”

And all that is required to experience this forgiveness is to offer it. It’s as simple as that. As you learn to hold yourself in a state of constant forgiveness, you’ll discover a new world awaits you. One of the first things you’ll find is an easiness of mind; a lessening of the burden of anger, hate, and stress, which our souls pay a heavy tax to shoulder. You’ll also discover people respond in like manner. No, not always, but you’ll find more people willing to hold the door for you – agreeable people yielding out of politeness to you – and most importantly, a general willingness to forgive you.

As a professional driver, I can attest that as I forgive motorist for cutting me off and whatnot, I find when I make a mistake and cut someone else off, by misjudging their distance or speed, they simply go around me; I hear no honking of horns, nor do I see any fingers out the window. The world truly is as we create it.

It is not my intention to neither trample the Cross nor profane the blood of Jesus. By all means continue in your belief and worship of these things. However, I do intend to stress my conviction that we may engulf ourselves in as much of His blood as we desire, but we may find it to no avail, if we do not practice the art of forgiveness as Jesus taught in the first three Gospels. And we stand the chance of hearing “Depart from Me; I never knew you” if we stubbornly refuse.

I will end with a quote from ‘A Course in Miracles,’ lesson 122 Forgiveness offers everything I want:

“What could you want forgiveness cannot give? Do you want peace? Forgiveness offers it. Do you want happiness, a quiet mind, a certainty of purpose, and a sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world? Do you want care and safety, and the warmth of sure protection always? Do you want a quietness that cannot be disturbed, a gentleness that never can be hurt, a deep, abiding comfort, and a rest so perfect it can never be upset? All this forgiveness offers you, and more.”

Michael Blakeslee

 

Why has Jesus delayed His return so long?

For those of you wondering why Jesus has delayed His coming for over 2,000 years, Pastor Ray Hagins has some insightful clues:

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These excerpts taken from his sermon, ‘There will be no rapture’ which can be found on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FiLq5UWNIuA#

Pastor Hagins starts off by saying, The Bible says, “There will be no rapture, and Jesus is not coming back.” Our primary response would be, “Show me where it says that.” We shall get into that after we address 3 core questions.

Pastor Hagins then asks three key questions:

Is it possible that Jesus expected His Messianic Kingdom to be established on Earth within His generation?

Is it possible that Jesus thought that the end of the world was eminent because of a fulfillment of prophecy? Not 2,000 years later but right then in His time.

Is it possible that what Christians teach about what is yet to come has already happened? This is important because if it’s already happened; then what are we waiting for?

On careful examination of the words of Jesus in the Gospels, it seems to me, Jesus sincerely held the belief and taught that He was the long looked for Messiah and He was going to usher in the Kingdom of God within His own generation.

Luke 21:31-32 “Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is nigh.” What things? The things previously mentioned and we’ll get into that. What does nigh mean? It means near or now not 2,000 years from now.

“I tell you the truth, [or, rest assured] this generation [what generation? He is talking about his generation; not the generation of 2012. Don’t look at it from the perspective of the reader but from the perspective of the speaker.] this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Those people listening would not die until what he said happened.

Matt 24:34-35 “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things are fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” In other words, you can take this to the bank.

Matt 24:3 “And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Then what does Jesus tell them? And keep in mind who was He talking to? The disciples, He wasn’t talking to us.

Matt 24:4-5 “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. [Who is ‘you’? the disciples, not us. He was saying, ‘James, Peter, Andrew, I don’t want you guys to be deceived.’ And what was He concerned about for His disciples?] For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Many preachers like to say that in the end, people are going to come to you and say, they are the Christ. That is not what that scripture says! Have there been many people in history who have claimed to be the Christ?

It doesn’t say many will come in my name claiming to be Christ. What it says is many will come in my name, or as my representatives, saying that I am Christ and shall do what? Deceive many. It clearly states that people are going to come along teaching that Jesus is Christ and deceive a lot of people. Why would He have to be concerned about 12 men, who’ve followed Him 3 years, being deceived by somebody claiming to be Him? Why would I have to stand here and say to you, “Take heed because someone’s going to come along claiming to be Ray Hagins?” it’s ridiculous; Jesus was not saying someone is pretending to be me. Now the primary question here is: Are people teaching that Jesus is the Christ? Yes.

Matt 24:21 “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” ‘Ever shall be’ negates the entire point; however, based on what Jesus is saying, we must assume He is talking about the great tribulation. Now this next section is talking about the rapture.

Matt 24:29-31 It says after the tribulation then the rapture comes; contrary to what most of us have been taught, that we will be taken up before the troubles begin. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

I Cor 15:51-52 “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” This use of ‘we’ in this verse indicates that Paul also believed Jesus was coming back in his own time.

Matt 24:34 “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things are fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” You people I am talking to right now, shall not die until all this happens. This means that if the Bible is in fact true, then it means everything you’re looking forward to happening in the future has already happened. It means that He has already come back in the clouds, the trumpet already blew, and the angels have already gathered up His elect from the four winds of the Earth.

Now let’s look at how John the Baptist fulfilled the end time’s prophecy:

Mark 1:14-15 “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” The time is now, everything we’ve been waiting for is now, it is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is eminent. Why are we waiting for it to happen later?

We need to understand who John the Baptist was. Jesus believed and taught that John the Baptist was Elijah. The Muslims believe that the prophet Elijah who was to come was Elijah Muhammad.

Malachi 4:5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi prophesied the coming of Elijah as a sign that the end is here. Elijah had died 700 years earlier. Jesus told his disciples that John the Baptist was Elijah.

Matt 17: 10-13 “And his disciples asked him, saying, why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they wished. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spoke unto them of John the Baptist.”

Matt 11:11-15 “Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now [this ‘now’ means the days of Jesus not our days.] the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, [if you will listen to what I’m saying] this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” So John the Baptist was the fulfillment of the prophecy in Malachi of Elijah’s return and that is the sign that the end is here.

Mark 9:1 “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.” Who was Jesus talking to? Not those of us 2,000 years later. There are some of you standing here right now who shall not die till you see Me coming in the clouds. I ask this question again: Is it possible Jesus expected His Messianic Kingdom to be set up within His own generation? Yes, He did. There is nothing that would lead us to believe that He thought He was coming back some 2,000 years later.

Mark 13:32-37 “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” This is a serious mind game; one which has stopped young people from going to college; one which has caused this industrial revolution to rape and poison our planet because it breeds a nonchalant attitude that it doesn’t matter what we do if Jesus is going to make a new Heaven and Earth soon anyway.

Matt 10:5-6 “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” This was a message not meant for the Europeans.

And what did Jesus say later in verse 23, “When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel.” You better hurry up and get going, because before you have gone over the cities of Israel, I will be back. Jesus has already come back or He is not coming back at all. Do you imagine that His disciples are still out there proselyting from one Israeli town to the next?

Mark 10:35- 37 He was so adamant about His impending eminent return that two of His disciples asked to be seated next to Him in His coming Kingdom. “And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.” This is also interesting because in another Gospel He already promised all 12 of them that they would sit upon thrones. Matt 19:28 “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

And the final question is: What are you going to do with this information.

Will God really destroy the wisdom of man?

I posted a comment to someone on Amazon and received this comment from a person who refers to himself as the ‘Voice of truth’:

“Look Michael, or should I say ET?? Do you also believe in UFOs and there’s a strong possibility that you idolize Stephen Hawking as well…Allowing your intelligence to lead you in matters of faith and/or spirituality is mistake number one. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”(Cor.1:1-19)
Bottom line, be real careful about who or what you place stock in, it’s your eternity that you are taking chances with.”

I’m not relaying my original post here, because I failed to make the correlation between my first comment and his unsolicited response. However, I do want to share my response to this post which he has failed to comment on yet.

So can you give me a rough idea of when God is going to – as the scripture indicates – “destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate?” Incidentally, did you know we’ve been living in the ‘end times’ for two thousand years? – A third of our existence. Any ways: I know the church tried to fulfill this prophecy by killing as many intelligent men as they could during the Dark Ages, any man who claimed the Earth was round and not the center of the universe. (Hmmm, I wonder why they called the era which the church dominated “the Dark Ages”)

Even after Magellan physically proved the Earth was indeed round; the church still resisted the Truth of it for another five years. Truth is truth my friend, whether you discover it by your heart or your brain. Science fought hard to bring us indoor plumbing and other means of sanitation in order to help eradicate the black plague, even though the church insisted it was the wrath of God. Now we’re building space stations and creating the big bang on an infantile scale proving the existence of the God particle, which is holding this entire thing together; so exactly when will God stop the evolution of intelligence? You make it appear as though God is against wisdom; if you do a search of the word, you’ll find it 222 times in the Bible. Knowledge shows up 169 times.

First of all, if you go look up that scripture (Isaiah 29:14), you’ll find Paul doing what so many modern people like to do: dramatizing and overemphasizing the point. It’s not a global prophecy; it’s a very specific prophecy directed at a certain city.  And Paul, what it actually says is “Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.”

Go read I Kings chapter 3 entitled “Solomon’s prayer for wisdom” sometime.

How about Luke’s 1:17 prophecy of how John the Baptist shall make the people ready for the Lord: “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Why did James 1:5 say “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraided not; and it shall be given him.”

Here is the beauty of an infallible ancient text: We can contradict each other all day long. In rebuttal to your scripture, I could quote, Luke 2:40 in reference to Jesus as a child: “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.”

Luke 2:52 “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.”

When is God going to destroy the wisdom of Jesus as Paul has either misquoted or has been misinterpreted at some point over the last two thousand years?

And Here’s some more fun we could have: You might say Heli was the name of Jesus’ grandpa (Luke 3:23), but I would say his name was Jacob (Matt 1:16). Before you dismiss this as a simple misprint, run a name by name Bible study comparison between these two gospels. You’ll discover one list is mysteriously longer than the other, and aside from David and Joseph, there is only one other name who matches between the two.

You may say, “Big deal!” You’re right it is a very big deal. The anonymous writers of these two gospels were well aware how vital it was to trace the heritage of Jesus back to King David in order to substantiate the Messiah claim. And both did a great job of validating this important prophecy; however, since they both contradict each other, you have to wonder, which is inspired of God and, which came from His nemesis.

And if one were proven to be uninspired, would we remove it from the canon? Would they shorten it to a three-way  gospel or would they want to continue in the tradition of the early fathers who believed they had to narrow the eight gospels down to 4 on account of the four corners of the Earth, hence adding one back from the apocrypha writings?

Alternatively, with the new-found wisdom of science proving the Earth has no corners; would they narrow it down to one gospel? I think we all know which one that would be. The only one which speaks of ‘being born again’; the only one containing the one phrase, “I am the only way to the Father” – the only one where Jesus continually contradicts the other three gospels by saying believing in Him is the only way to salvation; when in the others, Jesus tells people “go sin no more, sell all you have and give to the poor, pick up your cross and follow me” as well as other requirements placed on the believer, which many today would call ‘works’.

You see; we believe there was a tree of some kind of knowledge, and the releasing of this knowledge into the world was a very bad thing. Hence, knowledge=sin=bad=going to hell. However, the interesting thing is this: The clergy, the monarchs and the politicians who have all profited from keeping us shackled to this archaic superstition have never stopped seeking knowledge and wisdom; they just don’t want us finding for it. Because on the day we do, they shall surely die. Why do you suppose the church fought so ardently to oppose translating the scriptures into the common language?

So perhaps now you can begin to understand why the clergy have pushed for unwavering and unquestioning faith for two thousand years. I’ll leave you with a quote from one of those ancient supposed religions of the devil:

Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you, yourself test and judge to be true… Buddha

Was I defending the devil? You decide:

I met an eccentric hard core Christian, who surprisingly considered dating me. But she just couldn’t get around the fact that I told her honestly; “I don’t believe Jesus is the only way.” She had agreed to go on a date with me after making this statement, but as that fateful day approached; she had a change of heart. The following is a hilarious rendition of our text messages about it. It is quite comical, please enjoy.?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Her:      I’ve been thinking about this all day & we CANNOT date.

Me:      Ok, can we at least be friends?

Her:      We can be Friends, I Won’t Sleep With You!!! But we can hang out at the pool but as far as Dating, I just Don’t See That Happening we are Different People & It Just Wouldn’t be Right the Fact that You Don’t Believe Jesus is the Only Way Is Something We Don’t Have In common & for me that Is Something HUGE!! JESUS Should Always be #1 & you don’t see things the same way as I do.

Me:      I don’t blame you. When I was hard core like you, I was the same way. But why do you have to assure me you won’t sleep with me? Did I come across like that? Did you act like you would?

Her:      Well I am a Hardcore Christian & I Want a Solid Rock Christian Not someone who Is Lukewarm you’re either in All the Way with Jesus or you’re Not. I’m just making it Clear; I’ve been Talked into it Before & I Need to Stand My ground about it!! No Offense, just Want to remain Celibate for The One.

Me:      Good luck…

Her:      I don’t need Luck, I Know that The Right One that comes Along Won’t Push the Subject or Push me to do Something that is Not Right In Gods Eyes.

Me:      I’m sorry I meant to say good night.

(This is where it gets really juicy! I couldn’t let it rest; so I kicked it off the following day with the following)

Note for future reference: she was always referring to “the enemy” or the devil using people; she even mentioned that “the enemy used my mom to cause an issue between us.” The devil didn’t use her in his fiendish plan, only her mother.

—————————————————————————————–
Me:      Hey queenie, just so we’re clear, contrary to your narcissism; not every guy is trying to sleep with you. And just so you’re aware, if some smooth talking guy schmoozed his way into your pants once, I’m certain it’ll happen again. As for me, if “the enemy” wanted to “use” me to cause you to fornicate; don’t you think, between him as an angel of light & my past experience as a born again Bible thumping Christian, together we could have come up with all the perfect Bible phrases so “the enemy” could weasel his way into your panties again. But no, I told you the basic truth about my beliefs because like you, I am zealous about them.

Also another psychology lesson: I’m not surprised to hear you were tricked into pre-marital sex. Aside from the fact that you’re bubbling over with sexuality & I can virtually smell your pheromones – the basic fact that you have to fight so hard against it is a dead ringer. Your response to my “do you wanna be friendly” question sounded as if I asked to be fuck buddies; however, primarily what gives you away is, like I told you the other day; “whatever front someone puts up, you can be sure the opposite is lurking beneath the facade”; even more so when you work so hard to convince someone of it. So, what is the opposite of a pious, reserved, prude front? Hmmm…

Carl Jung said “What u resists persists!” When you fight something you send it energy & help it grow, when you turn your back on it & say I don’t even acknowledge it, you stop feeding it. The truth is; we’re all born with base survival & procreate drives put in our brains & who did that – not the devil? The problem lies when we act like animals over these instincts because we have something they don’t – a rational brain. This is the part that tells your primitive brain “don’t sleep around” or “I know you’re in survival mode because my job is in jeopardy, but it’s still not right to lie your way through it.”

The sooner people stop blaming the devil & start taking responsibility for their own issues, the sooner they will discover the inner strength of God to overcome their personal issues. But as long as they continue to point the finger at the devil & say he made me do it; they will forever remain a victim of circumstances outside of their control – constantly begging God to give them the strength to overcome “the enemy” out there. God bless you in your endeavors & I hope we can be friends.

(You wouldn’t think she would have the gumption to respond after that but she did and it gets even better.)

Her:      I don’t know what u want to hear Plane n Simple U don’t Believe Jesus is the Only Way & as Far as Sex goes I Do Make it Very Clear Whether or Not I Discern That The guy I’m Speaking to Has that urgency or Not!! & as far as The Enemy is Concerned He Will & Has Used People to Do Things They Shouldn’t Do & Yes We Are to Take Responsibility for Our Own actions & Of course The Enemy is Always Pointing Fingers. I’m Not Friends with the Enemy & I Hate Him!! You don’t Believe Jesus is The Only Way & Quite Honestly You’ll Have to Answer to That just like we All will Have to Answer for Our Lives & Accounts held.

Me:      I don’t understand why you keep judging & holding that against me. I never said Jesus wasn’t the way for you & countless others; I just believe this excludes a lot of people & I believe they deserve an opportunity just like those of us who were fortuitous enough to be born in a Christian nation & were programmed to be believe a certain thing before we were old enough to question it. It’s just not fair, so if I wanna believe those who are excluded have an alternative option; why should your judgmental God send me to hell for being an optimist?

I believe Christianity is good & all Christians are saved & going to heaven. I also believe it helps millions of people; it helps people be more loving, it helps drunkards put down the bottle, it’s even helping you curve your sexual addiction. But please stop judging me for your own sake. Jesus said with the same measure you judge it will be judged back on you. Besides, I could say that when a Christian sins he is crucifying the lord again & you would say; well Jesus said a righteous man falls 7xs & gets up 7xs, but then I would say Heb 10:26 says “after knowing the truth & sinning again there is no more forgiveness.” So you see; we could contradict each other all day from scripture. Why do you think there are 20000 different Christian factions, all who claim to be the only true church, while all others are destined for hell?

(She still doesn’t quit)

Her:      I’m not judging you just stating facts.

Me:      Well, let me tell you about another faction who was also just stating facts; they were called the Spanish Inquisition & God granted them the right to torture & murder thousands upon thousands for simply questioning things. People like myself who held beliefs outside of conventional views of the time & who felt the need to question those long standing views which were strangling the people. But seriously, again I never want to dissuade you from your beliefs; I truly believe God has called me to encourage people to be more accepting of others beliefs. & in all sincerity I really like you, if you don’t want to date that’s cool; but I enjoy your personality & these lovely discussions; so I would really like to remain friends.

Her:      All I’m saying, is I stand My Ground about my Belief. It Took A Man to Lay His Life Down for me & I am Forever Going to Remember Him, His Name Is Jesus!! & No one can Make Me Change How I feel about that!! & His Sacrifice, No Buddha Or Yoda or Sasquatch can Make me Feel how I feel about My Jesus And I will! And Honestly I just Can’t Wrap my Head around why you or any one would say Jesus isn’t the Only Way.

Me:      Think about this: what might your mother’s beliefs entail, had it not been for the Spanish conquest of the 16th century? (Her mother is a direct descendant of the Mayans) What would her religion be if those righteous men hadn’t crossed the ocean, murder 2 million Mexicans, stole their religious artifacts, to be melted into gold coins, burn their religious books, & force the love of Jesus upon them?

Her:      Well we live what we learn & if we walk away from what we were taught then that’s something we will have to be accountable for And Again had it Not been for God the Creator of All Things None of Us Would be here & if it weren’t For Jesus I WOULDN’T BE A FORGIVEN SINNER!! AND THIS GOES FOR ANY ONE ELSE WHO WANTS TO SAY THAT JESUS ISN’T THE ONLY WAY! JESUS WALKED ON WATER BUDDHA, YODA & MOHAMMAD ALI HAVEN’T, NOR DID THEY. I’m just letting it be known I won’t let my guard down when it Comes to My Jesus.

(Not once in this babbling did she even remotely come close to answering my question. We are all now dumber for having read this rebuttal.)

Me:      Oh I am well aware, you have been more than sufficiently clear with your proclamations. I promise I won’t take your Jesus away from you.

Her:      Were u trying to say your jobs in jeopardy? (Wow, how far back was this comment of mine; but more importantly: how did she miss the point?)

Me:      No, just an example of an unfortunate event which might provoke a person’s subconscious to enter the “fight or flight mode” causing one to freak & contemplate the idea of lying. Then it’s up to said person’s frontal lobes to rationally say “no, lying is wrong in the eyes of the Lord.” What you might call “the temptation of the devil” & the battle between darkness & light. But I would draw your attention to James 1:14-15 “each one is tempted by his OWN EVIL DESIRE (not Satan)”

Her:      Well, yes Sin is In Nature because of Our Imperfections but we are to Look out for the Enemy, Satan, he isn’t a Friend; Therefore the Enemy who is Out to Kill Steal and Destroy. I don’t know why You’re Defending Satan!! You’re either for God Or Against Him! & from the Looks of it; you want to Quote Scripture & Yet Jesus isn’t #1 in Your Life Sounds Like Pharisee to Me! I’m Being Honest & Calling It Out! Called Rebuking in Love; as we should do with each other.

Me:      I love you; you make me laugh so much.

Her:      We can’t Know what Love is Unless We Know Jesus First! I’m just saying you keep saying that it’s no big deal; but seriously it is a big deal LIVE FOR CHRIST NOT SATAN!

Me:      Ok, but seriously I will never forget being called the avenger of Satan. God love you. I think that actually made my entire year. I can’t stop giggling. Your right, we can’t date but I hope I never piss you off enough for you to ever stop rebuking me.

Her:      YOU MUST LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART ALL YOUR SOUL AND ALL YOUR STRENGTH. DEUTERONOMY 6:5 You Said You DON’T BELIEVE JESUS is The ONLY WAY!! Did you Not?!

Me:      And somehow that implies, I no longer love the lord my God with all my heart, soul & strength & that somehow I have put another god before my God?

Her:      Well Yes, I mean Why Else Would You Say Jesus Isn’t the Only Way??? We Can’t Go Thru Buddha to get to God, we Go Thru Jesus We Don’t Go Thru Yoda to Get to God. Therefore Who have you Placed before Christ Jesus Who Died For You?! If He isn’t First in your Life?!

Me:      I hate to have to recapitulate; but I said Jesus is the way for Christians, but I believe God makes other arrangements for other belief systems. It doesn’t negate the salvation offered through Jesus, nor am I saying that Buddha replaces that salvation; I just believe that for the millions of souls that were never offered a legitimate knowledge of Christ, God makes a way for them. That is of course, up to God, but it’s just something I believe now. I just refuse to have an exclusive religious mentality any longer. That’s just me & I don’t want, or expect you to agree with me. It’s my personal belief & that’s it, it’s not that I think anyone else replaces Jesus; however, if something they said makes sense, I accept it; just like you might accept something a pastor says even though he never wrote a single sentence in the bible.

Her:      As far as religion, that’s All Man Made & Yes I was Once a Catholic; but I came to Understand a True Relationship with Christ & What it Entails its Work. But I’m Not given any more than I can handle & I’m Not Trying to Change your views & if you believe what you believe then That’s Between You & Jesus.

Me:      Perfect, thank you for allowing me to have my own relationship with Jesus, that’s all I want. You don’t have to agree, just give me the space to love & worship Jesus in my own unique way. You can say what you will; but obviously there are many ways to worship Jesus. If there was only one way, there would be only one universal (catholic) Christian church; not 20,000 – 38,000 different Christian churches. Thank you so much for accepting & respecting my views.

Her:      The Point is: There is One God and One God Only! That’s what I’m saying.

Me:      And I completely agree with you; so why are we arguing?

Her:      You can’t say One Minute, I Don’t Believe Jesus is the Only Way & then turn Around & be all Like, well I do Believe Buuuuuut….. it doesn’t work that way.

Me:      Never mind!

Her:      See, Now Who’s Getting upset? I’m Just Trying to Prove a Point apparently You Don’t Get It. (Ah yeah, it’s me who doesn’t get it!)

Me:      I’m not upset. Holy shit woman, you accused me of being an attorney for Satan himself & I laughed my ass off! Most insecure, ego oriented, jack asses would’ve been outraged at you. Unfortunately, I was excited because I thought we had come to a mutual agreement to respect each others different views; but now it appears we are back at the beginning again & I must prepare for bed, so I am now a little discouraged.

Her:      I’m just stating my Views, Its That Simple You have yours I have mine one day we will find out if how we lived was Pleasing To God the Father And We are to Rebuke in Love & If Satan isn’t An Enemy What is he?! To Me he is an Enemy & Discouragement comes From The Enemy. Pray that the Lord Help You.

Me:      I’m willing to bet my soul, we are both children whom are pleasing to our same Father. Ok, I’m going to bed; but since you can’t let it rest, I’ll give you something else to get your panties into a bunch… There is absolutely no possible way I could be the attorney for the devil. It would be as if you were to defend a ‘foogle knocker’. Because you cannot defend something you believe to be fictitious. God love you my dear, I hope that doesn’t keep you up all night; but unfortunately I drive a gas truck & hundreds depend on me to get a good night sleep. Good night my friend.

Heated Debate Between a Christian and Pantheist 3 of 3

Round three

Christian writes:

Hi Mike,

Wow, didn’t expect a book! I have responded to a few of your arguments below and have added a concluding statement at the end.

Here we go (your words are italicized) …

…like the description of the creation of the Universe; whoever wrote that description (and can we agree whoever it was, wasn’t there when the Earth was created?) truly believed that God created the sun and the stars on the 1st day and yet; we know many of the stars we see today have taken somewhere around 60,000 years for their light to reach us, and as I have pointed out elsewhere; it takes 200,000 years for particles to transfer from the center of the sun to the outer crust before they can start their 8 minute journey to Earth. Why, because God wants it that way, obviously. As I’m sure we both agree, God created all that there is and ordained the way in which they operate; as well as the universal laws with which they operate within – like gravity. These laws never alter just like our God; so, no I do not believe Joshua made the sun stand still as the sun is always standing still, and the Earth spins at 1000 MPH. Had the Earth come to a dead stand still; everyone would have been flung off.

David: This is all assumption on your part. You have no proof! And why can’t God who created all this not work the miracle regarding Joshua and the “sun standing still.” You don’t trust that this is accurate history but at the same time, you cannot disprove it either.

If this information was as important as modern Christianity tries to make it out to be when science makes these remarkable discoveries; then why didn’t Adam pass it along? He lived 900 years and yet we only have a few early years of his life accounted for. He walked with God, he was the smartest man on the planet, probably for thousands of years after his death and yet he left no, NO words of wisdom for his protégée. I believe he was alive during Noah’s grandfather’s days. One would think granddad would have some interesting stories to tell around the campfire. They didn’t have TV; “So, let me tell you a story” was a very famous line back then. Never is there any account of someone having an issue or needing advice of them ever seeking the council of Adam. I would’ve been like, “Dude you should go talk to Adam; he walked with God and is like the Einstein of our day.”

David: Did they even have any methods of writing in Adam’s days? Maybe provide some information about the history of the “written word” before making this argument. It is commonly understood that Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament. If God was so precise as to law out all the law, the order of sacrifices, the building of the tabernacle and the like, could he not have spoken to Moses about the history of man up to that date? You again only assume it was all recorded by “passing around tales” but where is your proof?

This is why God always made references to the Earth’s flatness and making statements like “the four corners of the Earth” to these uneducated peoples.

David: This is not necessarily a reference that the world is flat. Why is this such an issue to you anyways? What has the belief that the world was flat, round or even a triangle got anything to do with God’s eternal plan for mankind?

Having said all this: Has God fulfilled his promise and multiplied those chosen people as the stars of heaven? Sure if you only count the ones we can see from a flat Earth mentality in a remote corner of the world; but God said “as the stars of heaven”. Obviously the author of this statement was unaware how many stars there truly are. And there is that lovely concept of enemies in there as well.

David: You are really grasping at straws here and making arguments that are completely irrelevant. I take the references to the “stars” and “sand” simply to mean that from Abraham’s loins would come a people so numerous, they could not be counted. It is a figure of speech and not the gospel.

This is why I love Buddhism so much; it is one of the few which truly addresses the issues of the ego, and points out that it is misplaced desire that is at the root of all suffering.

David: I haven’t read the Book of Buddha (or whatever it is called) but I remember discovering the book in one of our hotel rooms on a Gig/David roller coaster trip. I chucked it down the hall but Gig retrieved it and said he was going to read it. His summary was that it was a essentially a book of how to live right with moral standards and all of that but with no real eternal purpose. While the Bible also teaches moral standards and how we should conduct our relationship with God as well as eachother, it is evidenced all throughout the Bible that we are unable to do this on our own. However, after Christ’s resurrection, we can experience a changed heart and life through the power of the Holy Spirit.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. [Galatians 3:28-29] This is a great scripture and I absolutely agree with it; I love how it indicates our oneness with Jesus – that’s great. However, there is absolutely no need for the author to add in this clinging desperation to be associated to Jewish promises. Jesus fulfilled the law; we have oneness in Christ, that gives us all power in Heaven and on Earth; and that’s all that is required – attaching to an outdated lower promise is like adding a candle to the power of the sun.

David: The “man” Jesus came from the lineage of Abraham. So if we are born again in Christ, we are also “spiritually” Abraham’s offspring. What is your argument here?

And as far as (I never meant to incur that the Jews were special or extraordinary but rather that they were the vessel if you will, by which the Messiah would come, not too mention by which the oracles of God would be recorded and preserved as well.) didn’t Jesus in John 3:8 (the gospel which most scholars discredit) say; “all who came before Me were thieves and robbers.”? Who is he talking about? Is he referring to the previous prophets of Israel?

David: I don’t know. Who is he speaking about? You tell me.

(2 King 22:8 & 2 Chronicles 34:14-24) is where you can find my allegation against the high priest Hilkiah of just simply writing whatever he wanted and claiming “Oh, look what I found just lying around the temple”; as well as the story of taking it to the ‘prophetess’ Huldah for confirmation from God of its authenticity.

David: Maybe you’re reading a different version of the Bible, but I see where it says “he found,” not “he wrote.” What are you talking about?

I remembered all of it including Ezra and the whole deal with him having the assistance of 40 scribes and the completion of it in 40 days. So, when I could find scriptures relating to all but Ezra; I became quite boggled. What has been allowed into our Bible of today only says the Babylonians destroyed the temple and all the artifacts within; so according to this it can only be speculation; as it doesn’t flat out say the book was destroyed. I did some searching (actually a lot of searching) and I found that there are other books attributed to Ezra but they were voted out of the cannon at some point; one in particular called 2 Esdra. This book has all the details about the burning of the book and Ezra believing he was inspired by God to rewrite it; as well as the 40 scribes helping in 40 days. The part that really amazes me is: I still feel as though I had read about Ezra rewriting the book back when I was an ardent studier of scripture; and I know I never heard of these other books by Ezra until last night. I wonder if I had read them in a previous life.

David: As you say yourself, “it can only be speculation” which is where most of your arguments are based on – pure speculation and assumption.

In regards to your reference to the book by Mr. McDowell; I took the liberty of looking at some of the reviews on Amazon. You might be surprised at what I found:

David: Why don’t you just read it for yourself instead of relying on a few opinions, of which I might point out that you know nothing about the persons writing them nor their background or ultimate motives.

Atonement means at one with God. The church is the bride of Christ; correct? We know what happens when two people get married; the two shall become as one. Try this: put 2 candles together; can you distinguish one flame from the other? That’s what it’s like with God; we came from Him – we are one with Him – and we will return to our Oneness. He is the Alpha and the Omega. What does that mean? To me, it means a circle; and in a circle you cannot distinguish where it begins or where it ends. Almost kind of cryptic; one might think our God talks a bit Eastern, like what you would find in the Book of the Tao. To me it means; you came from God and you will end up right back where you started. What part of the circle represents eternal separation from He who is called the Beginning & the End?

David: Oh I see… you’re making up your own religion. Just like so many others have in the past…

Yes, Jesus was an actual historical person. I put my faith in Him; I thank Him for many things throughout my day. Yes, he probably was crucified. Rising from the dead is not an old Jewish fable; it belongs to the Christians, silly. I believe He rose from the dead just as much as I believe all the other countless deities did as well.

David: Where is the historical proof of all the other “countless deities” rising from the dead? There were over 500 witnesses to Jesus resurrection.

=======================================================================

In summary, I’m glad to hear that you have a faith in Jesus, at least I think you do. You believe a lot of other strange things however, but then again, I have some strange beliefs that are not necessarily Biblically based but more assumptions just as you do. For example, I believe in aliens (from outer space). You and I have discussed this. I believe there might have been inhabitants on the Earth prior to man being created or placed here in Genesis. I do not believe God is retained by time but can step into anyone’s life at any given time. For example, he could step into your life from birth to death and then step into Napoleon Bonaparte’s life even though Napoleon preceded you.

That being said, I do believe that I am a sinner and that nothing I do in and of myself can save me or bring me into fellowship with God the Father. I do believe God sent His Son, Jesus, who was essentially God in flesh, to live a sinless life and become the ultimate and final spotless sacrifice for our sins and that this is a free gif from God. However, as with any gift, one has to accept it and put it to use. I do not believe a person can have a true relationship with God by any other means than through Jesus Christ, whether that be a religion, works or simply being a good person.

You said: “I believe the primary goals Jesus was attempting to get across were,” and then quoted Matt 5:48, Luke 10:27 and Matt 6:14 which are all great scriptures but are based on works, don’t you think?

For me, the essence of salvation can be summed up in what is commonly referred to as the “Roman Road.”

God Is The Creator Of Life

Romans 1:20-21: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Why We Need Salvation – The Fact Of Our Sin

Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Man’s Inability

Romans 3:10: “As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one.”

The Penalty Of Sin

Romans 6:23a: “For the wages of sin is death.”

God’s Plan Of Salvation

Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God’s Promise Of Eternal Life

Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Man’s Responsibility

Romans 10:9-10: “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your hear that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Romans 10:13: “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Results Of Salvation

Romans 8:1: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 5:1: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Of course, I am using the Bible to demonstrate what I believe we need to be in right standing or fellowship with God, a book you seem to want to discredit, so not sure you buy into this theology anymore.

You said yourself that at some point that “maybe you read to much,” which is not a bad thing in and of itself. But what are you reading? What we take into our minds will certainly shape us, for good or bad, in the same way that the food we eat will help determine our health (or lack thereof). For example, if all we ever eat is fast food, we’ll be of very poor health as fast food provides little nutrition. It tastes good and satisfies our appetite at the time but studies have shown that it is not good for us.

I leave you with one simple scripture:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9

Some of the things you believe and your iconoclast mindset as of late leads me to wonder if you are really guarding your heart from deceit as you seem to have a lot of assumptions about things that have long been established. Maybe it would be good for you to join some “apologetic” types of forums and debate there. In the end, those studied in apologetics are much more qualified than I to debate you.

A final note: we should possibly leave these types of debates for face-to-face discussions, which I’d love to have, rather than these lengthy email discourses as I struggle to find the time to respond to them, as I know you do as well, we both being busy people. 😉

David

 

Pantheist reply:

The beauty of all religious debates is that neither side can prove their rightness. Yes, I agree; God can do as he pleases, but I just don’t believe God intervenes in those outrageous ways; especially when you consider the circumstances of why God did it. Did God hold the sun in place so more people could get saved – did He do it so the doctor could heal more sick people? No, it was to help Joshua and his righteous men have more daylight in order to kill more people. I refuse to entertain this outlandish thought. My God wouldn’t assist the Jews at being more effectual killers anymore than He would assist Christians or Muslims attempt religious genocide.

Outlandish, God stops the spinning of the Earth as well as the orbit of the moon just so more people could get slaughtered. Wow! Listen Dave, like all inspired writings, there are many wonderful and enlightening passages in the Bible; however, like all other inspired writing which contain lies on God, there are things which should be omitted. My God would never assist anyone in genocide – ever. I am sorry that you and the Jews serve this kind of God; but I will stand here and proclaim; any place in any inspired writing where God justifies the murder of another human being is an outright lie – someone’s ego misrepresenting God.

No, they didn’t have writing; in fact most historians claim they didn’t have writing when Moses wrote his books either. I was implying, one would think there would be more than one story passed down about Adam.

If you only knew what a major deal it was a few hundred years ago to call the Earth round you would understand my indignation. I’m sure you have heard about it, but you have no idea how many great men were imprisoned and murdered to keep this truth from escaping to the populace. Why, because it would’ve cast doubt upon the infallibility of the Bible. Back then your simple belief in aliens would have cost you your life; as it contradicted the Bible’s proclamation of the Earth being the center of the Universe, and as David said in Psalms, the sun and all the stars travel from one end of the Earth to the other. You really should read some of the history books I have in my footnotes when you get to the chapter on ‘our church history’; it will blow your mind. And I might also add that most of these history books are written by Christian historians not atheists looking to slam the church. When you discover the enormous amount of atrocities committed by the very men we trust to put the Bible together; you will also doubt their credibility in keeping it pure and intact. (I am quite pleased that you believe in aliens, as it means you are open minded enough to consider some concepts which are laid out in my book.)

They were extremists then, as they are today; they were constantly proclaiming, all we ever needed to know, God has put in His book; so if something like this were to get out, the clergy would loose their power. And as a friend of mine once said, “You either believe the entire Bible or none of it.” Unfortunately, when I bring such things as I do to light, most people assume that I intend to discredit the entire Bible; but that is not my intention. I want people to at least consider that some of it may be askew. All these scriptures that condone murder in the name of God, for example, have caused the incessant murdering of millions upon millions from most of the world’s major religions. We must not allow these kinds of incredulous beliefs to continue any longer; we have the power to destroy the Earth now.

This is how I view all inspired writing: Whatever is true, noble, and in complete alignment with the God I serve is what I apply to my life. Whatever is in direct contradiction to the God I serve, I disregard. I don’t ignore scriptures that say my favorite sin is wrong just so I can continue a life of lasciviousness; I ignore scriptures like the ones that make killing in God’s name justifiable. I also, like you – who read a book about the devil’s philosophy from Hawaii and found some value in it and then applied it to your life; or like the new age book about your subconscious that made a huge impact in your life – I study other philosophies and apply the same exact principle to their writings as well.

God is absolute truth, and if I find something in Buddhism, for example, which cannot be seen in any other light than as absolute truth; I apply it to my life. If I find something in there which contradicts absolute truth I disregard it.

My goal is not to dissuade you are anyone else from their religion of choice. You found beneficial substance in two things outside your contemporary beliefs and you applied them to your life in a way that has enhanced your walk with God; and amazingly, you have not been led astray by the devil. My point is this: All people of all faiths should learn to be more open-minded; they can find a plethora of value in other religions while maintaining whatever faith they so desire to have. Then my next goal would be: In finding out how beautiful other religions are in their own rite; perhaps people will stop feeling the incessant need to prove their religion is better than another and hence we can put away the primitive need to kill for our religions.

Voltaire said: “As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.”

“All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”

Between religion and philosophy; I choose philosophy. Between a hunger for knowledge and a blind faith satisfied with vicarious salvation; I choose hunger… Enigmatic Tzu

It should be apparent, I am quite familiar with Christian doctrine, especially in regards to the mortal danger I place my soul in by making such heretical assumptions. You know how Christians get to the end of a debate like this with an atheist and they cap it off with the statement “If you’re right, then I’ll go into oblivion, but what if I’m right; you’ll go to hell.” I have a far better understanding of this concept than any atheist; so wouldn’t it be much smarter for me to just shut up and conform? In light of the dangers I place my mortal soul in; what would consume me to continue to swim against the current? What could possibly be a reasonable explanation to such a precarious dilemma?

A) The devil has infiltrated my mind to an unimaginable degree

B) God has given me over to a reprobate mind

C) I’m the anti-Christ or

D) I know too much to turn back now, and of rational mind, I have discovered a religion, so to speak, above all Earthly forms of religion.

It’s like the innocent victims of the Spanish Inquisition for the crime of seeking a closer walk with Jesus. They so strongly believed they were doing the right thing; they firmly stood their ground through torture and even faced death bravely. They withstood the threat and commencement of one death; I stand defiantly in the face of an eternal death. Why?

Because my God must be of a higher moral character than me – He must be more unconditionally loving to His children than I am to my own children – He must possess more mercy, kindness, and acceptance of the most wayward sinner than I possess – otherwise He’s not a God worthy of my devotion; that’s why. If I could never give up on my children and cast them from my presence then My God could never ever do such a thing for all eternity. Look at the description of Heaven in Revelation; the saints all praising God while they can see the smoke rise up past of the eternally damned. Could you enjoy eternity if you were able to see your children in a place of everlasting damnation? It sounds preposterous.

I understand, many people would run uncontrollably wild without the fear of an impending future judgment and possible punishment, so I know why this mentality was established; but it’s sure a primitive way of controlling people, and obviously, it hasn’t fulfilled its purpose.

We treat others the way we treat ourselves, and we treat ourselves as we think our God treats us. So if you think your God is overly critical and judgmental of you; then you will be overly critical and judgmental of others. This is why I jump at any opportunity to forgive; because I am among the lowest order of sinners, and I want my God to be quick to forgive me. Give and it shall be given to you. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall see God. This is my goal, and I’ll be damned if Jesus wasn’t right; in the words of Mother Theresa, I see God in all His various and distressing disguises. And what of the opposite, those who are always seeing an enemy in others, they do not see God in all His creation otherwise they would recognize their brothers in all other forms of religion.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with your religion, or any other for that matter; as I was telling a kid yesterday; if going to church helps you get closer to God, then by all means go, there’s nothing evil in that – but, I added, the moment you start thinking I’m better than that sinner out there, or brother so and so because he only comes to church once a week; get out immediately, you’ve lost your propose. And no concept has been more detrimental to human welfare, or left more carnage in its wake then the religious concept of being separate and different from others.

I don’t know if you know what a Pantheist is; but it’s a person who believes God is in the entire Universe. You don’t know this yet, but I’m fairly certain you are a Pantheist; allow me to ask you a few questions to deduce this theory – I will take the liberty of assuming your answers. If my assumptions are incorrect, please correct me.

Do you believe God is infinite? Yes

Do agree the definition of infinite is: without boundaries and without limitations or subject to no limitation or external determination? Yes

Do you believe: if a person claims God is not in a rock, he has just placed boundaries and limitations on God; making Him finite? Yes

Therefore it is limiting to assume God is not in every portion of His creation. Which is why Jesus said shut my disciples up and these rocks will burst into cheers. Jesus knew what Pantheist freely admit, which is what you have always believed, but didn’t realize until this very moment; that God resides in all His creation. Hence, if this be the case then God is not sitting on some lonely thrown in some far away fairytale kingdom; He is here in all of us – even those who are not considered God’s chosen people. By the way, I should have mentioned this sooner, but I do believe the Jews are God’s chosen people; but so are the Navajos – Americans – Chinese – Hindus – sun worshipers – Aztecs – Vikings – Satan worshipers – Nazis – and anyone else who happens to be created by God – including aliens.

I hope this has been as enjoyable for you as it has for me.

Michael