I was banned from Facebook for fully expressing my outrage at our stupidity in allowing these murders with our cowardly niceness period lost the esteem of those that had any for me in the process. no regrets.
I was banned from Facebook for fully expressing my outrage at our stupidity in allowing these murders with our cowardly niceness. lost the esteem of those that had any for me in the process. no regrets.
Instead of a society resting on coercion, exploitation, and inequality, Jesus desired to found a society resting on love, service, and equality. These new principles....
The fundamental virtue in the ethics of Jesus was love, because love is the society-making quality. Human life originates in love. It is love that holds together the basal human organization, the family. The...
Here's the history. Civilization has been destroyed by Christianity, by destroying what might have saved the species, the truths distilled by the man Jesus.
James, why are you harping on this? For the same reason that Tolstoy did. For the same reasons that if I craved the truth about physics and yet all history had very distorted perverted contorted the discoveries of Einstein I would with my last breath try to discover, uncover, what Einstein really had to say. And also, because Christianity is a gigantic historical fact and ongoing Force. A horribly perverting force the profoundly rare exception proves the rule. James has so often stated and written and Lived he finds the idea of reforming Christianity an ultimate death trap. He has personally seen it destroyed the most promising Souls. Wiza care deeply about the few and Humanities that can be brought to joyful life or have that choice protected, that child's likeness, we can ill afford two things, ignorance of what the moral Einstein really had to say, and Ignorance of the force, the church, that continues to pervert burry destroye cripples that.
This young turn of the century Theologian finally give James the authoritative Clarity, understanding, history of the atrocity that is the church from the beginning, along with a even much richer understanding of what it was Jesus was showing and telling us. this finally after James has spent thousands and thousands of hours with other scholarship which was helpful but not nearly so complete, historical, clear. That Einstein of morality.
"Jesus always spoke of the Kingdom of God. Only two of his reported sayings contain the word " Church," and both passages are of questionable authenticity. It is safe to say that he never thought of founding the kind 131 132 A THEOLOGY FOR THE SOCIAL GOSPEL of institution which afterward claimed to be acting for him. Yet immediately after his death, groups of disciples joined and consolidated by inward necessity. Each local group knew that it was part of a divinely founded fellowship mysteriously spreading through humanity, and awaiting the return of the Lord and the establishing of his Kingdom. This universal Church was loved with the same religious faith and reverence with which Jesus had loved the Kingdom of God. It was the partial and earthly realization of the divine Society, and at the Parousia the Church and the Kingdom would merge. But the Kingdom was merely a hope, the Church a present reality. The chief interest and affection flowed toward the Church. Soon, through a combination of causes, the name and idea of " the Kingdom " began to be displaced by the name and idea of " the Church " in the preaching, literature, and theological thought of the Church. Augustine completed this process in his De Civitate Dei. The Kingdom of God which has, throughout human history, opposed the Kingdom of Sin, is today embodied in the Church. The millennium began when the Church was founded. This practically substituted the actual, not the ideal Church for the Kingdom of God. The beloved ideal of Jesus became a vague phrase which kept intruding from the New Testament. Like Cinderella in the kitchen, it saw the other great dogmas furbished up for the ball, but no prince of theology restored it to its rightful place. The Reformation, too, brought no renascence of the doctrine of the Kingdom; it had only eschatological value, or was defined in THE KINGDOM OF GOD 1 33 blurred phrases borrowed from the Church. The present revival of the Kingdom idea is due to the combined influence of the historical study of the Bible and of the social gospel. When the doctrine of the Kingdom of God shriveled to an undeveloped and pathetic remnant in Christian thought, this loss was bound to have far-reaching consequences. We are told that the loss of a single tooth from the arch of the mouth in childhood may spoil the symmetrical development of the skull and produce malformations affecting the mind and character. The atrophy of that idea which had occupied the chief place in the mind of Jesus, necessarily affected the conception of Christianity, the life of the Church, the progress of humanity, and the structure of theology. I shall briefly enumerate some of the consequences affecting theology. This list, however, is by no means complete. 1. Theology lost its contact with the synoptic thought of Jesus. Its problems were not at all the same which had occupied his mind. It lost his point of view and became to some extent incapable of understanding him. His ideas had to be rediscovered in our time. Traditional theology and the mind of Jesus Christ became incommensurable quantities. It claimed to regard his revelation and the substance of his thought as divine, and yet did not learn to think like him. The loss of the Kingdom idea is one key to this situation. 2. The distinctive ethical principles of Jesus were the direct outgrowth of his conception of the Kingdom of God. When the latter disappeared from theology, the 134 A THEOLOGY FOR THE SOCIAL GOSPEL former disappeared from ethics. Only persons having the substance of the Kingdom ideal in their minds, seem to be able to get relish out of the ethics of Jesus. Only those church bodies which have been in opposition to organized society and have looked for a better city with its foundations in heaven, have taken the Sermon on the Mount seriously. 3. The Church is primarily a fellowship for worship ; the Kingdom is a fellowship of righteousness. When the latter was neglected in theology, the ethical force of Christianity was weakened; when the former was emphasized in theology, the importance of worship was exaggerated. The prophets and Jesus had cried down sacrifices and ceremonial performances, and cried up righteousness, mercy, solidarity. Theology now reversed this, and by its theoretical discussions did its best to stimulate sacramental actions and priestly importance. Thus the religious energy and enthusiasm which might have saved mankind from its great sins, were used up in hearing and endowing masses, or in maintaining competitive church organizations, while mankind is still stuck in the mud. There are nations in which the ethical condition of the masses is the reverse of the frequency of the masses in the churches. 4. When the Kingdom ceased to be the dominating religious reality, the Church moved up into the position of the supreme good. To promote the power of the Church and its control over all rival political forces was equivalent to promoting the supreme ends of Christianity. This increased the arrogance of churchmen and took the moral check off their policies. For the King- THE KINGDOM OF GOD I35 dom of God can never be promoted by lies, craft, crime or war, but the wealth and power of the Church have often been promoted by these means. The medieval ideal of the supremacy of the Church over the State was the logical consequence of making the Church the highest good with no superior ethical standard by which to test it. The medieval doctrines concerning the Church and the Papacy were the direct theological outcome of the struggles for Church supremacy, and were meant to be weapons in that struggle. 5. The Kingdom ideal is the test and corrective of the influence of the Church. When the Kingdom ideal disappeared, the conscience of the Church was muffled. It became possible for the missionary expansion of Christianity to halt for centuries without creating any sense of shortcoming. It became possible for the most unjust social conditions to fasten themselves on Christian nations without awakening any consciousness that the purpose of Christ was being defied and beaten back. The practical undertakings of the Church remained within narrow lines, and the theological thought of the Church was necessarily confined in a similar way. The claims of the Church were allowed to stand in theology with no conditions and obligations to test and balance them. If the Kingdom had stood as the purpose for which the Church exists, the Church could not have fallen into such corruption and sloth. Theology bears part of the guilt for the pride, the greed, and the ambition of the Church. 6. The Kingdom ideal contains the revolutionary force of Christianity. When this ideal faded out of 136 A THEOLOGY FOR THE SOCIAL GOSPEL the systematic thought of the Church, it became a conservative social influence and increased the weight of the other stationary forces in society. If the Kingdom of God had remained part of the theological and Christian consciousness, the Church could not, down to our times, have been salaried by autocratic class governments to keep the democratic and economic impulses of the people under check. 7. Reversely, the movements for democracy and social justice were left without a religious backing for lack of the Kingdom idea. The Kingdom of God as the fellowship of righteousness, would be advanced by the abolition of industrial slavery and the disappearance of the slums of civilization; the Church would only indirectly gain through such social changes. Even today many Christians can not see any religious importance in social justice and fraternity because it does not increase the number of conversions nor fill the churches. Thus the practical conception of salvation, which is the effective theology of the common man and minister, has been cut back and crippled for lack of the Kingdom ideal. 8. Secular life is belittled as compared with church life. Services rendered to the Church get a higher religious rating than services rendered to the community.-^ Thus the religious value is taken out of the activities of the common man and the prophetic services to society. Wherever the Kingdom of God is a living reality in 1 After the death of Susan B. Anthony a minister commented on her life, regretting that she was not orthodox in her beliefs. In the same address he spoke glowingly about a new linoleum laid in the church kitchen. THE KINGDOM OF GOD 1 37 Christian thought, any advance of social righteousness is seen as a part of redemption and arouses inward joy and the triumphant sense of salvation. When the Church absorbs interest, a subtle asceticism creeps back into our theology and the world looks different. 9. When the doctrine of the Kingdom of God is lacking in theology, the salvation of the individual is seen in its relation to the Church and to the future life, but not in its relation to the task of saving the social order. Theology has left this important point in a condition so hazy and muddled that it has taken us almost a generation to see that the salvation of the individual and the redemption of the social order are closely related, and how. 10. Finally, theology has been deprived of the inspiration of great ideas contained in the idea of the Kingdom and in labor for it. The Kingdom of God breeds prophets; the Church breeds priests and theologians. The Church runs to tradition and dogma; the Kingdom of God rejoices in forecasts and boundless horizons. The men who have contributed the most fruitful impulses to Christian thought have been men of prophetic vision, and their theology has proved most effective for future times where it has been most concerned with past history, with present social problems, and with the future of human society. The Kingdom of God is to theology what outdoor colour and light are to art. It is impossible to estimate what inspirational impulses have been lost to theology and to the Church, because it did not develop the doctrine of the Kingdom of God and see the world and its redemption from that point of view. 138 A THEOLOGY FOR THE SOCIAL GOSPEL These are some of the historical effects which the loss of the doctrine of the Kingdom of God has inflicted on systematic theology. The chief contribution which the social gospel has made and will make to theology is to give new vitality and importance to that doctrine. In doing so it will be a reformatory force of the highest importance in the field of doctrinal theology, for any systematic conception of Christianity must be not only defective but incorrect if the idea of the Kingdom of God does not govern it. The restoration of the doctrine of the Kingdom has already made progress. Some of the ablest and most voluminous works of the old theology in their thousands of pages gave the Kingdom of God but a scanty mention, usually in connection with eschatology, and saw no connection between it and the Calvinistic doctrines of personal redemption. The newer manuals not only make constant reference to it in connection with various doctrines, but they arrange their entire subject matter so that the Kingdom of God becomes the governing idea.
Beyond the question of economic distribution lies the question of moral relations; and beyond the moral relations to men lies the question of the religious communion with that spiritual reality in which we live and move and have our deep- est being — with God, the Father of our spirits. Jesus had V realized the life of God in the soul of man and the life of man > in the love of God. That was the real secret of his life, the well-spring of his purity, his compassion, his unwearied courage, his unquenchable idealism : he knew the Father. But if he had that greatest of all possessions, the real key to the secret of life, it was his highest social duty to share it and help others to gain what he had. He had to teach men to live as children in the presence of their Father, and no longer as slaves cringing before a despot. He had to show them that the ordinary life of selfishness and hate and anxiety and chafing ambition and covetousness is no life at all, and that they must enter into a new world of love and solidarity and inward contentment. There was no service that he could render to men which would equal that. All other help lay in concentric circles about that redemption of the spirit and flowed out from it. No comprehension of Jesus is even approximately true which fails to understand that the heart of his heart was religion. No man is a follower of Jesus in the full sense who has not through him entered into the same life with God. But on the other hand no man shares his life with God whose religion does not flow out, naturally and without ^ effort, into all relations of his life and reconstructs everything — that it touches. Whoever uncouples the religious and the social life has not understood Jesus. Whoever sets any bounds for the reconstructive power of the religious life over THE SOCIAL AIMS OF JESUS 49 the social relations and institutions of men, to that extent denies the faith of the Master.
If I am not shocking, foreign, to most in this world, though that is never my intent, then I am of vastly too little hope for the world.
If I am not shocking, foreign, to most in this world, though that is never my intent, then I am of vastly too little hope for the world.
I will seem even more harsh, more remote, less available, less kind, if that's possible, you may Wonder. If I fail you, if I fail anyone, it is in allowing myself even momentarily, psychologically, to come off the field of battle. I don't like......
If I fail you, if I fail anyone, it is in allowing myself even momentarily, psychologically, to come off the field of battle. I don't like...... tension, even creative tension, at least my body doesn't. I don't like being harsh, at least part of me doesn't. Believe it or not I like being Pleasant, I like being comfortable to be around. So to a degree on Facebook, and to a degree in face-to-face encounters those pressures move me even slightly off the field of battle to being a more gentle presence. I fail you in that. Let alone I fail my clients, the world's neediest born and who will be born in the future. None of us should come off the field of battle for the future even for a moment. So am I doing so among other things is a terrible failure of leadership. I think I have it within me to stop failing you in this way. I will seem even more harsh, more remote, less available, less kind, if that's possible, you may Wonder. James
Epiphany, for me? The best scholarship I know on the historical Jesus, Dominic crossan of the Jesus seminar, says that the central feature, the central mission, of the man Jesus was.....
Epiphany, for me? The best scholarship I know on the historical Jesus, Dominic Crossan of the Jesus seminar, says that the central feature, the central mission, of the man Jesus was to preserve the one thing that those masses being destroyed by the Roman Empire could hold onto if they chose, their community, being family to one another, regardless of how incredibly difficult the Roman Empire made that through their savagery.
The communal meal was not symbolic, it was the central Ministry. His Central message was, you must not allow this savagery to destroy that which is most sacred, your unconditional loving, your being unconditional family one to another, especially the outcast, the enemy...
I have known and been impressed by this scholarly insight for many years. But just this morning several things are colliding in my mind, the fact that more than half of this country now lives in objective material poverty, the fact that the most joyous larger community that I have ever personally witnessed lived in considerable material misery at Standing Rock for months , that the most joyful body of people of any huge size that ever was on this continent were the Native Americans before Columbus arrived, and this recollection of Jesus teaching.
When 15 years ago I left a $300,000 a year career in Industry and became an elementary school guidance counselor in one of the country's largest and neediest elementary schools, Chester Pennsylvania , I was aware of a problem that I never adequately solved at the time, what did I want for these children, these materially poor children, did I want them to become part of the sick society that created them? I now have a much better understanding of the answer.
The answer is hinted at in a vision that I shared some days ago, ( please see Link in comments below).
When, as I hope occurs, I soon resume my travels across the country I expect to add to my itinerary places like Detroit where I think there may be some fertile ground for sewing/cultivating this seed, for helping the materially poor in cities and places like that to possibly see that their opportunity is not to seek the faux-Heaven, the actual hell, that Mammon tells us looks like the capitalist society, but the heaven that Jesus spoke of, from each according to their ability, to each according to their need. The world Gandhi hinted at, a world that has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for anyone's greed.
Standing Rock update: The battlefield, 100% of the battlefield, on which the future of humanity, of creation, will be finally lost or won, is 0% physical, 100% spiritual. This has always been true. We have always pretended......
Standing Rock update: The battlefield, 100% of the battlefield, on which the future of humanity, of creation, will be finally lost or won, is 0% physical, 100% spiritual. This has always been true. We have always pretended this was not true. The most powerful creatures known in the universe are the two legged humans. Where our individual and Collective spirit is, there we go. Only through a massive and sustained Global shift in the spirit of humanity is there any prayer for a decent future. I hope to remember this on today, February 22nd here at Standing Rock. If my body, my life limb and treasure, can be used so that the terminal savagery of our fascist greedy Antichrist satanic Collective spirit in this sick country and world, if my body can be used by Savage perpetrators, possessed by their evil spirit, if my body life limb and treasure can be used to sicken the spectators to the final destruction of their children's future, if I can use my body to help them become sick and at the evil of their passivity, and possibly to sicken even one or two of the perpetrators, immediate or distant, crushing us today, then I hope to be glad of that. I think I will be glad of that.
I have heard what I understand to be native story. A grandfather and a grandson are speaking, the grandfather says to the grandson, there are two wolves fighting each other within you, a good wolf, and a bad wolf. The grandson thinks for moment and says to his grandfather, grandfather, which of the Wolves will win? Grandfather answers, the one that you feed. The story is broader than that in its implications. With each breath, with each action or omission of ours, we feed one of those two wolves in those who are impacted by our lives. Everything depends on which ones we choose to feed.
Even Napoleon saw this:
"Do you know, Fontanes, what astonishes me most in this world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the spirit."
Written as I am here here on self-assigned duty at the composting toilet complex taking out bags of s***, sweeping, feeling the sawdust bins, making certain there's enough toilet paper.... I like to serve. This is a nice way to to lovingly serve my sisters and brothers here, and there by the world, as best I can see to do at the moment.
Standing Rock update: I don't know how long this will last, and it is not Central to what seems to be sustaining me. But every once in awhile now I almost smile when I realize that I am finally truly actually standing with the oppressed of the world and not just for them. I almost can see me sharing a mutual smile with my Palestinian sisters and brothers, as a key example, as we are about to be crushed under the boot of the fascist state. It really is a nice feeling. Isn't that odd? Similarly, and I have written this before, most recently a day or so ago, I definitely find that on either side of me are folks like Jesus, Steve Biko, Gandhi, King, Alice Paul, and so many such Fighters. Again, it's a nice feeling. Will it be enough to sustain me through the torture ahead? Through the terror ahead? I think so but I don't know.
Standing Rock update: "My father is good. My father does not therefore allow me to cooperate with your father who is evil. You have no jurisdiction over me. As your brother I am forbidden.....
Standing Rock update: "My father is good. My father does not therefore allow me to cooperate with your father who is evil. You have no jurisdiction over me. As your brother I am forbidden to help you do evil." Other than my name and birthdate and my residence which is oceti sakowin, I suspect that these words are all I will be able to utter to my sisters and brothers in uniform, and the court system, and prison.... I do not think this will please them. But I can see no option for me. I do not anticipate a moral requirement to physically resist their savagery, their brutality. I see no way that I can cooperate with whatever forms and procedures they direct me to follow. I do not suspect that this will go well for me physically. At some level I think, I hope, that I am finding myself accepting that I am already physically crucified, dead. Unfortunately I do not expect to be completely dead to the psychological and physical torture that I expect they will zealously inflection on me, but often, all too alive to it. Maybe these words come to me because they are similar to the words of Jesus at his crucifixion. But I think they come to me because I have worked my entire adulthood to become a decent soul, I am a decent soul, and these words, this truth, this reality, this clarity would occur to a decent Soul at the time of their crucifixion.
Dear friends, notice: I see this very very infrequently among my small circle, but those few that Express themselves, that experience themselves, as quote against the other side, unquote it's time for this to stop or for us to unfriend each other. I have hope in, and........
Dear friends, notice: I see this very very infrequently among my small circle, but those few that Express themselves, that experience themselves, as quote against the other side, unquote it's time for this to stop or for us to unfriend each other. I have hope in, and I only have time to affiliate with, those who are for every creature unconditionally, and against every Injustice unconditionally. No exceptions. Never against another creature, including another human being. Never. Never. Never against another group, not for any breath, ever. Against Injustice? With all our might. Against bigotry? With all our might. Against oppression, violence? With every fiber of our being. Never ever us against them. Don't do it, or we need to stop wasting each other's time. Militants, passionately, VA, forcefully, relentlessly , unequivocally for the dignity, sanity, rights, good, fundamental needs of every creature, especially every human being, or we need to stop wasting each other's time. No exceptions. No exceptions for even a moment. It's too little too late for that. Whenever you see me doing it please call me out.
***** I have never been so wealthy, because these last four weeks , from trying to do good, I was poor and helpless. My first five decades I.........
I have never been so wealthy, because these last four weeks , from trying to do good, I was poor and helpless. My first five decades I had material wealth that makes me cringe with regret. These last four weeks I have had the wealth of community such as I never imagined I would live to see. Part of it is lds. I could never share their origin beliefs in my soul. Not possible for me. Nor would I want to. But as my teacher Jesus said, they will know you by how you love, and these folks love. They are denomination was seems to be producing loving people such as I have never hoped to see. Part of it is living among those who have not embraced our cultural ways , our worship of material wealth. Here in this part of the country the true economy is profoundly different, deep opposite. In my Northern sophisticated life the first, second, third, fourth lines of defense are money. Here in the country South Part I have been in those lines of Defence are neighbors, friends, strangers who you know and don't know. These folks are so much more Rich than we poor over privileged Northerners. So much more wealthy. And, hear this, we Northerners endure our economy for the pitiful Pleasures it gives us. The economy down here that I have witnessed is intrinsically joyful. Infinitely more than we Northerners, there is intrinsic worth and what these folks do. Growing stuff. Feeding folks. Helping folks. Serving folks. Building Community with folks. Flow is a concept that every video game programmer knows. Mahalo csikszentmihalyi University of Chicago found that the human being is the most gratified when it is totally absorbed in the challenge, Pursuits, for which she or he has adequate skill, like a video game, but those whose whole life is like that AR living a life that makes a difference to their neighbors, a positive difference. The most joyful population he and his researchers found in the world was a farming community off-grid, out of all communication, in the northern Italian Alps. That's what I've been in these last 4 weeks. Tens or hundreds of years ahead of us. Perfect? Oh my goodness no. The only thing that shouts louder than their protests that they are not racist or bigoted as their racism and bigotry. That must change. For their very Souls that must change. But they are way ahead of us sophisticated Northerners. Their economy is infinitely more Rich, more sustainable , more Godly. Part of the ugliness that they do evidence, may be a large part, is out of the fear of the ever more powerful Northern Elite crushing all that is Good, Godly, Christlike , that they have. It is understandable that they would act out hateful, in horror and Terror. had I not been poor, vulnerable, helpless because I was trying to help others, I would never have encountered this. What a Divine gift. What a divine blessing. I will be infinitely wealthier because of this, forever.