Sunday, July 10, 2011

I am a Christian

I am a Christian. I am not the enemy.  I am concerned that I am portrayed as such by people whose animosity, intolerance and arrogance frankly concern me.  I was raised Christian in a Christian community, in a Christian country.  I believe in a loving God. I believe God cares for all of us as the sun shines on all.  I believe that Jesus was the son of God.  I believe 'son' of God doesn't mean God, the father, Hugh Heffner'd Mary Angelina Oprah Jolie Kidnman.  I believe that the Bible is a Holy Book with many layers of understanding. I believe that Jesus as son of God describes the relationship of transcendent God and imminent God.  I believe that Jesus taught us to Love God and Love Our Neighbour as Ourself. I believe that much of the teaching of Jesus Christ has been interpreted by man but that the Holy Spirit, the unseen hand of God guides these interpretations.  I believe that the work of God is unfolding in history.
I believe that the world of religion is evolving. Child sacrifice was a part of Jewish religion at the time of Abraham. It is still a part of many religions and acceptable to much of the secular world though this is often not admitted, just as slavery is often a part of other religions and the secular world but it goes under another name.  Child sacrifice in the Bible story of Abraham was rejected  though self sacrifice and the choice of a spiritual end instead of an immediate material end is something believers don't themselves see as 'sacrifice' per se.  I believe that doing one's duty and fullfilling one's obligations and being the best person one can be are more important than bestial temporal pleasure.  I like bestial temporal pleasure but I know that a one night stand sexually is not the in the ball park compared to a loving sexual relationship with time to explore in safety and security the great potential of relationship personally and sexually between consenting adults.  I believe that there is a scale and that much of greatest value comes at greatest cost while so much of value is found in utter simplicity.  Poverty of a monk is a blessing whereas poverty of a refugee is a curse.
I believe that the Bible is the history of God's unfolding plan to Jews and Gentile.  I believe that God is first and I'm second.  I believe that I am a creature and that God is Creator.  I believe that much of the law of the old testament and more importantly the new testament are laws for mankind that serve best because they represent the learning and revelation of generations.  I believe that much of the teaching of the old testament is historic and that it can only be understood today as metaphoric. The terrible teachings of Deuteronomy were kind in their day. The teaching of an 'eye for an eye' was 'merciful' when I could in the day enact a slaughter of your family and community for you hurting my pig.  Early laws limitted the 'retaliation' often of the powerful. The new testament and teaching of Jesus was a lesson of love that went beyond the local and embraced the divine. Much of the teaching of Jesus can be found in disparate religions, obviously, the love lessons of the Moslem, but also in the teaching of the Buddhists and the Hindus..
I believe that Jesus's teaching was universal but that he was speaking locally and that his teachings were understood by fine men, but limitted men, like Peter and Paul who themselves disagreed on what Jesus and therefore God wanted. Jesus was God's mouthpiece and I believe God acts through humans. I believe also, in the celtic, and scientific wisdom that God's manifestation is not only through the Bible, through religious tradtion and the history of man but also through nature and the revelation of science. I believe that DNA tells us of God. I believe that String Theory speaks of God. I believe that holographs speak of God.  I believe Fractuals speak of God. I believe that the whole of creation sings God's existence.  I believe that pseudoscience is not science. Much that has been presented as 'science' by media is not 'science' but 'scientism'. I believe 'scientism' is a very silly religion.
I believe in 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. I believe this is the golden law and it's found in Christianity but also in almost all religions of of the world.
I believe that some religions and some people still believe that they can 'win' for themselves without consideration of others."  This was considered 'gnosticism', a secret religion only for the special initiates who gained power over others by their arcane knowlege. I believe that the teaching of Jesus was exactly opposite to this idea of gaining power over others.   I believe that Jesus taught that we are to serve and that the 'big baby' or the 'bullies' aren't closest to God because they don't grasp that they have their 'reward' in the external world and that rewards in the internal world are of a different kind than the 'consumer mind' can grasp.
I am saddened that some idiots are chosen by media for media's purposes to 'represent' Christianity.  Christianity is millions of people with as many individual ideas about what it is to be Christian. The Creeds are the way to understanding what Christians have agreed is Christianity. These ideas are developing over time just as 'papal declarations have changed through the ages." Our understanding is growing.  Individuals and individual churches are often not representative of the whole. This isn't a bad reflection on them but media commonly likes to 'quote' individuals and churches out of context for it's own religion of 'sensationalism'.  The mainstream is as liberal and inclusive as the requirements of most nations in the world. Nations today war and there is much that is required of 'citizens' of nations that is not appealing when separated out from the whole. There are many 'laws' on the books and judges make horrendous errors as have Kings and Queens and Presidents and Prime Ministers. The errors of the media can be seen easily in a quick glance at the men and women they have celebrated over the years.  Jesus never said that Hitler was a good man but much of the world's media and most of the secular authorities supported him as they have most tyrants.  Human's are prone to error.  It's work not to.  We are easily lead astray , easily duped, and are often unprepared for the facts of life.
Being a Christian is being a member of a community that seeks to know God and God's will for us.  As Christians we believe that individually and collectively we are moving forward with a direction from what we call 'old Jerusalem' to a 'new Jerusalem".  There are many ideas about this. To date there has never been agreement in the Christian community at large as to the exact meaning of Revelations.
I have said that Christianity is too important to leave to fools.  I have said that we all must participate in our institutions. The idea that 'voting only encourages them' is false.  We lose if we let fools and bullies rule our political world and our religious world.  The church as changed often over the years but the essence of Christianity has flourished for thousands of years.
As a Christian I pray.  I read my Bible. I attend a church and talk with other Christians about  ideas, beliefs and behaviour.  I like the song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and young, that goes 'those who are on the road, must have a code, that they can live by.' I believe Christianity is that code.  I believe that there are many codes and that together we much compare and correlate our different codes. I am highly suspicious of people who claim not to have a code and especially those who would question my 'code' while claiming they don't have one.  I believe we all have codes and that we need to understand what our own code is.   I am a Christian but while I know the laws I personally may only be as good at following the laws as the average judge or lawyer is at being a 'law abiding citizen'.
I am very concerned that there are those who claim to be 'liberal' and claim to 'represent free speech' and 'freedom of religion' but only pay lip service to these ideas.  It is within the Christian community that 'freedom of religion' and 'freedom of speech' came to fullest light.  I see them and many core values of community and caring for others, especially those not like ourselves, and those less fortunate being lost with the concerted attack on Christianity and God and the very idea of an inner world joined and collectively calling for better conduct in the external world of manifestation.
I am a Christian.


Anonymous said...

even better if it is the 10 commandments

Ben Nuttall-Smith said...

Hey Bill, It's great getting to know you like this. The love that shines from the eyes of Bill the man radiates through your writing. What a gift! Thank you from a fellow Christian. Ben