CULTS, ALL... "Christianity is based on one singular belief: Jesus raised from the dead. Once you believe in one miracle, the pathway is paved to believe in the next. Not all branches of faith go as far as handling snakes, but they’re all rooted in the one miracle that overrides our intellect....
Oh, and the completion of the thought ending this video is, John, a church man, mentioned mid interchange he'd like to make a contribution and I said gladly to the mission. After James further controversial thoughts John had not changed his mind and made a very generous contribution.
You are one of a kind, the man mentioned several times during our 25-minute interchange. But he seemed to be saying it more to himself than to me. I think he's never encountered anyone that was one of a kind, as opposed to one in a cult. I'm sorry that that sounds cliche but I think it's pretty much to the point. Jesus was one of a kind. We were all born to be. Jesus is inconceivable, and uninteresting, to this person.
Christianity is a grotesque Fantasy game where by magic words & actions you get an eternal condo in the sky and you get to despise, hate, exploit, neglect, and maybe exterminate millions or even billions of your fellow human beings. What's not to love?
"Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of Christianity down to our own time has been its churchliness. Christian ethics became churchly ethics. An action was good or bad mainly because the Church said so. It was good always if it served....
- "Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of Christianity down to our own time has been its churchliness. Christian ethics became churchly ethics. An action was good or bad mainly because the Church said so. It was good always if it served the Church, for the cause of the Church was the cause of God. 12 There was no higher exercise of piety than to build churches or endow monasteries. Avarice was refusal to enrich the Church. Charity to the Church covered a multitude of sins. If a king served the cause of the Church, he was a blessed man, though he might betray the cause of his people in doing so. Grego....
[The Kingdom of God] in the sense in which Jesus and his audiences understood it almost completely passed out of Christian thought as soon as Christianity passed from the Jewish people and.....
[The Kingdom of God] in the sense in which Jesus and his audiences understood it almost completely passed out of Christian thought as soon as Christianity passed from the Jewish people and...... found its spiritual home within the great Greco-Roman world. The historical basis for the idea was wanting there. The phrase was taken along, just as an emigrant will carry a water-jar with him; but the water from the well of Bethlehem evaporated and it was now used to dip water from the wells of Ephesus or from the Nile and Tiber. The Greek world cherished no such national religious hope as the prophets had ingrained in Jewish thought; on the other hand it was intensely interested in the future life for the individual, and in the ascetic triumph over flesh and matter. Thus the idea which had been the center of Christ’s thought was not at all the center of the Church’s thought, and even the comprehension of his meaning was lost and overlaid. Only some remnants of it persisted in the millennial hope and in the organic conception of the Church. The historical study of our own day has ma
" If the Church is to have saving power, it must embody Christ. He is the revolutionary force within it. The saving qualities of the Church depend on the question whether it has translated the personal life of Jesus Christ into the social life of its group and thus brings it to....
" If the Church is to have saving power, it must embody Christ. He is the revolutionary force within it. The saving qualities of the Church depend on the question whether it has translated the personal life of Jesus Christ into the social life of its group and thus brings it to..... bear on the individual. If Christ is not in the Church, how does it differ from " the world " ? It will still assimilate its members, but it will not make them persons bearing the family likeness of the first-born son of God. Wherever the Church has lost the saving influence of Christ, it has lost its saltness and is a tasteless historical survival. Therewith all theological doctrines about it become untrue. Antiquity and continuity are no substitute for the vitality of the Christ-spirit. Age, instead of being a presumption in fa...
Jesus: I died to lead you to build our father's Kingdom on Earth of universal loving. Church has been embezzling all that resource for itself two thousand years now, to fatten itself on some snake oil real estate in the sky deal.
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.
Just before the last stretch, still closed, of new highway going to the base of Mount Whitney, Sol and I spent the day with me conducting upgrades and repairs.
Late in the afternoon one of the hikers, this is a Trailhead until the road opens in several days, a hiker sort of circles Sol, and then stood to get my attention.
Looking up there was a very pretty young Asian girl, early twenties Maybe? Are you a Christian? No, I said, it is the real man that I Revere, not what the church has been making up for two thousand years.
I speak this as the tired truth. She did not seem to take offense. And then began a series of questions which I responded to for probably 5 minutes or more which is a long time for me. She showed little reaction to each thing that I shared, other than as a basis to calculate what question to ask next,, and anyone reviewing this site can pretty well guess what I shared.
I didn't catch on. And that's okay. Finally, well, I believe the Bible is without error she said, that was earlier in the conversation, and now, well may I at least tell you my Christian beliefs.
Thinking for a moment I said, no, that would be unkind of me.
Because it would help you think that I was not really sad about your belief system. Why is that? She asked. Because it is the Hallmark of a soul that is not very alive.
But only this morning upon Awakening did I more fully grasp what I encountered which is a broader phenomenon that I have encountered many times. But it presented itself in a deeper understanding.
Google agents send me a daily summary on probably 30 different topics in which I have interest, every day. Most of it is not useful but some of it is. One was an article of a credible study looking at Christian fundamentalism, and finding that it correlates quite highly with brain damage of the prefrontal cortex. The study was of combat veterans as I recall. The article was not read extremely carefully by me but I reflected this morning, and somewhat last night, that the church is systemic War Of Destruction on the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that Embraces new ideas and change and Truth. And that when that's gone, the study went on, what is embraced instead is Dogma although that's not the word that they used. The security of Dogma.
The church is systemic Relentless war, and I'm speaking of the church communities, the fundamentalist groups, the Christian groups at large that Embrace such things as the inerrancy of the toilet paper Bible knit together by thousands of hands one in a million of which had any grasp of Soul, any grasp of the Divine. Despite their best efforts.
By incorporating such inane garbage the prefrontal cortex experiences Assault, it withdraws, it atrophies, and it essentially dies.
This was an extremely valuab insight for me. Surprising that it didn't come till now.
With almost no exceptions churches, synagogues, are death camps for the soul, Heart, conscience, empathy, solidarity. I don't yet know about mosques.
With almost no exceptions churches, synagogues, are death camps for the soul, Heart, conscience, empathy, solidarity. I don't yet know about mosques.
LDS. No offense to anyone, I have long believed that God, and Good, are the same thing. Exactly, completely, no exception, nothing added. I Maybe the last in the world to have thought this, or among the first. If you know of others that think the same, particularly any scholarship, I certainly would like to know. I'm more convinced of it all the time. God is good, and we hate good. In this sick culture, we hate good. But not the LDS folks that I continue to meet, they do not seem to hate good, but rather they seem to love it. I can't see the strings attached. I can't see them. Yesterday I asked the extremely able and kind man who contacted me out of the blue, alerted by his North Carolina LDS brother to my needs, I asked him how my North Carolina brother found him. Well, I guess he just searched through our directory. Today I went to the 9 o'clock service, and I'm so glad I did. What a collection of kind loving Godly Souls I believe I saw. Who's the president of this LDS branch? My brother Steve who without a hint helped me all day yesterday. water, absolute, complete humility. From what I see so far the denomination could with even greater Clarity, I'm not suggesting this, I'm trying to share an Insight, the denomination could call themselves The Brothers and Sisters of Jesus. And thereby they would identify themselves clearly as the Brothers and Sisters to people in need that they seem to be. They don't seem to have sermons, and they don't seem to have a preacher. They are each the preachers, in the same way that each Marine in a Marine base is a Marine. What a novel idea. Of the two major speakers today, the man spoke of one of the primary works of their Church, monthly in home teaching. This role is something they speak of quite often it seems, as I heard it spoken of at their televised National Conference 2 weeks ago. What they continue to hammer home is that it is not simply teaching, or preaching, and in fact it may contain little or any of that depending upon the situation. The example he gave was of a teacher, I don't remember if he was the one or not, and the teacher is just any congregation member currently holding that roll, a teacher going to conduct the monthly visit to a trailer, they entered the trailer, and they saw there was no furniture. And they realized that their role that day was to secure furniture for these folks. The same man, a bit younger than me, bespoke that he had converted to LDS. He said as I recall, that as a new convert, it so happened that his Field of Corn had blown flat. It was now winter time and it was an impossible job to clear his 9 Acres of all of this corn. He described how in a previous denomination they had work parties. He explained that he was favored with one of those and was very appreciative of the four people that showed up to help. He was told by his new LDS congregation that they were going to come on Saturday in work party. He was very grateful and he prepared for the four people that would show up. The 40 people were able to complete 1/3 of the nine acres in one day. Yes, 40 people showed up. 40. 4 0. The bishop of the congregation, the head guy, no one in the entire denomination in the world is paid although a few receive a cost-of-living support if it would be impossible for them to cover all of their own expenses, the bishop had and executed an idea of bringing in a large combine and the rest of the nine acres was cleared. Dr. Martin Luther King said, a church is the place people go out from from. Although I am against almost all military force, and almost all of the disgusting military force that the United States employs to rape and plunder people around the world, I am a deep admirer of the courage displayed by many men and women in uniform which is why I wear military attire proudly. For decades now I have believed that a place worthy the name of church is a place where people go to become equipped and trained to deploy on missions, and now my 3rd or 4th or 5th or 6th major LDS encounter this last month with no strings attached, but if they're there they will make themselves clear to me because I'm hyper sensitive to that. I don't think that's going to happen. I see humility, desire to change and become an Ever greater force for good, honesty, kindness. A desire to Everyday to become a greater source of good individually and collectively. Really really simple. I am certain no one is trying to deceive me. I am fairly certain that they have not deceived themselves. I am so extraordinary happy with what I'm seeing.