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Bobd

To Believe Is Not Sufficient

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The current religious organizations are built on beliefs. Christianity, in spite of its common belief in Jesus, has split into approximately 1500 different faith groups. Islam has split into the Sunni and Shi'a movements and each of these has spawned a number of splinter groups with each group having a different version of what they believe in. Judaism has split into three main factions; Orthodox, Reform and Conservative, each with their own set of beliefs. A group calling themselves Buddhists splintered from Hinduism. The history of the fractioning of religious groups is very extensive. Why is this happening when we all have the same god? The reason is simple. When it comes to harmony and unity, belief (or faith) doesn’t cut it. Faith produces credulity and splits us apart, sometimes to the point where we become killing machines against each other. During medieval times, belief in the sanctity of the Pope produced the murderous crusades against the Moslems and the Albegensian Christians. The world has been turned over to faith and faith has overturned her, so now she stands in darkness.

 

Disbelieving what people tell you doesn’t cut it either. If rumors are circulating that disaster is coming to mother earth, you have to avoid getting caught up in the chicken little syndrome by getting to know the signs that point to a disaster coming, which requires a little effort on your part to check it out. If there are enough signs to show it; isn’t it better make a collective effort to fix the problems because there is no place to go if we have to abandon ship? Blindly disbelieving can be as disastrous to man as blindly believing as happened on the Titanic to those who had the opportunity to use the lifeboats and did not because they did not believe that the ship was sinking until it was too late. On one side of the Titanic the lifeboats were only half full because of the disbelief in the signs of her sinking. Disaster happened in Noah’s time and the disbelieving rest of mankind was washed away.

 

Knowing is always greater than believing. Belief produces polarization, confrontational behaviour, war, mass suicides and suicide bombers and must be driven to extinction and replaced with knowing before harmony can exist. For 2000 years the Gnostic Christians have been telling us this, but nobody seems to be paying attention. Never believe anything or have faith in anything that anybody tells you. You must know it in your perception or know it intuitively or take with a grain of salt. What will bring us together is knowing and not just believing that I am god and that there is no other god ahead of [b]Me[/b].

 

Turn to Me and rescue everyone and only everyone on the earth’s surface! For I am the Power and there is nothing else. In Me is the solemn promise My mouth produces from being communally faithful; a thing not taken back. From Me the solemn promise is for everyone kneeling and in every language. (Isaiah 45:22-23)

 

Could it be that Isaiah is introducing us to the god I? The Hebrew verse immediately preceding can be interpreted as saying, “Who announced this aforetime, foretold it of old; was it not I Yahveh? And there are no gods apart from Me, a perfect Power and saviour, there is none but Me.” Yahveh is not talking about himself, he is declaring himself as the messenger announcing the perfect power and saviour, the god I. Yahveh can’t be portraying himself as a god to be worshiped, because if he was he would be contravening his own second commandment. Yahveh is the messenger. I am god – including Yahveh who is a piece of Me. Yahveh is not the exclusive god. In fact he acts rather cruelly in many places in the Old Testament. That is not a characteristic of Me, the true god, the god of love. As individuals we have free will and we can act cruelly like S. O. Bs. as Yahveh often did or we can act with love toward one another. It is interesting to note that the perfect power and saviour is Me, not Jesus Christ. This is not a prophecy of the coming of Christ.

 

Accepting Me as god means teaching all religions to each and every congregation of every other religion and treating each other’s doctrine with respect and honour. Inviting leaders of other religions to speak to each other’s congregations will open up greater understanding of how people of other religions think and act. Religious historians can also be brought in to speak at congregational meetings to inform them about how different religions developed and why they have come to believe what they believe. The process of honouring ha satan by demonizing other religions and distancing ourselves from each other, must stop. The very act of creating a new “God” to be worshiped is the same thing as demonizing other religions because you think that your “God” is better than anyone else’s. Otherwise you would be worshiping someone else’s “God” if you are the kind that is inclined to worship. If we do not learn about and respect the religions of others, we can never begin to heal our differences. We need to be encouraged to read up on each other’s religious ideas. If we do not become familiar with each other’s religions, ignorance will prevail.

 

Believing or disbelieving in god or the resurrection is not sufficient. Don’t be a believer and don’t be a skeptic. That doesn’t mean that you should not use your imagination because I am imagination and I am reality. You must know that I am god and you must know the truth of the resurrection – a truth that works. One that doesn’t work is useless. Be still and KNOW that I am god.

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BobD,

 

With all due respect, this seems like the type of post Monica talked about-- more like a monologue than inviting discussion--can you see that? Anyway here are a few thoughts in response.

 

I like your suggestion on learning about other religions and treating them with respect and honor. If only world faiths focused on what they have in common instead of what sets them at odds...Also like the definition of truth that "works" as one that leads to healing differences, rather than adding to current conflicts, whether it's terrorists bent on converting the world to Islam or a president's stubborn crusader complex.

 

How about using the word doctrine or dogma rather than belief as the cause of religious war. A person can have many beliefs that don't lead to battles or even arguments. I agree though that "getting to know God" is more important than any specific beliefs.

 

You say we should trust only direct, immediate perception of God--does everyone have this, or seek it?

 

What translation of Isaiah did you quote?

 

Maybe what you're trying to say is not "I am God" but panentheism, that God is part of us and we are part of God, and that we should aim to see others that way--like the Quakers affirming the inner light within each individual.

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I agree that mechanical prayers and blind faith can't satisfy everyone, there must be some realization. This can be seen in the stillness of a realized person at work in the stillness of a mind anchored in pure consciousness. As Christ consciousness resonates in a Christian, the mystery of pure consciousness unfolds and increases.

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BobD,

 

With all due respect, this seems like the type of post Monica talked about-- more like a monologue than inviting discussion--can you see that? Anyway here are a few thoughts in response.

 

I like your suggestion on learning about other religions and treating them with respect and honor. If only world faiths focused on what they have in common instead of what sets them at odds...Also like the definition of truth that "works" as one that leads to healing differences, rather than adding to current conflicts, whether it's terrorists bent on converting the world to Islam or a president's stubborn crusader complex.

 

How about using the word doctrine or dogma rather than belief as the cause of religious war. A person can have many beliefs that don't lead to battles or even arguments. I agree though that "getting to know God" is more important than any specific beliefs.

 

You say we should trust only direct, immediate perception of God--does everyone have this, or seek it?

 

What translation of Isaiah did you quote?

 

Viranna

 

Maybe what you're trying to say is not "I am God" but panentheism, that God is part of us and we are part of God, and that we should aim to see others that way--like the Quakers affirming the inner light within each individual.

 

As usual, your questions are very well chosen. I like them because they make me think carefully about what I say. My male ego gets a bit inflated from time to time and some well chosen questions will help me to keep it in line.

 

You are quite correct about the monologue. I am fairly new to this site and it will take some time for me to understand how to express myself. I am sure Monica will straighten me out if I get out of line. It's just that I have been studying religion for such a long time with no one to bounce my ideas off of, I am coming out swinging with a bat in both hands because there is so much in me to come out.

 

World faiths cannot focus on what they have in common for two reasons. 1. The desire for power. 2. Male egos. Before world faiths can start to come together, we have to find a way to eliminate male vanity - his desire to be important and to control others. Then we have to find a way to deflate his ego. These are very, very tough objectives to attain. But it can be done. It starts with forgiveness. Without universal forgiveness, we are stuck on the road of perpetual adversity.

 

Belief:

 

I am sticking to the Kabbalist doctrine that belief doesn't cut it. When you believe in anything, whether it is Santa Clause, Jesus Christ, Allah, Yahveh, Krishna or any other idol, you stop using your intelligence and you open yourself to credulity. The definition of an idol is clearly laid out in the second commandment. It includes anything in the heavens above, on the earth or in the waters below. In Hebrew the word 'waters' includes the etheral waters or what I call "the waters of the non-physical universe". This means that anything you can imagine to worship as a second or third person, (ie. your god or He or She) is an idol. This is a very strict definition of an idol, but I intend to stick with it unless someone can convince me otherwise. This means that god is always in the first person. This is supported by the "I AM' sayings of Jesus and by the Pagans. If anyone can convince me otherwise, I am always open to new ideas.

 

Since god can only be in the first person, then there is only one thing left. I am god. I am not the self. I am the All which includes the self. This concept is supported by Hindu mysticism and quantum physics.

 

Michael Talbot, a free lance writer and author of The Holographic Universe elaborates on the theory of physicist David Bohm, a protégé of Albert Einstein, that the universe is holographic. One of the characteristics of a holograph is that if you split it in half, the two halves contain the whole. Furthermore, if you split it into an infinitely large number of parts, each part contains the whole. This means that the whole universe is in every single part of it. That means that every single human being contains the entire universe within the self! “ I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.” (John 14:20) According to a quantum theory proposed in 1964 by J. S. Bell, a physicist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland, all that is in between is connected in an intimate and immediate way previously claimed only by mystics. The current day Gnostic Christians call it the pleroma. The Pagans call it the unbroken wholeness. The Mandaeans, followers of John the Baptist, describe it as the union of life in which there is no separation.

 

After forgiveness, comes accepting Me as god. Accepting Me as god is the point where Hinduism and Gnostic Christianity meet as the meaning for the One god. This becomes clear when you read The Gnostic Bible. The only way you can accept Me as god is to know that I am god. That is very easy because I know that I exist. All I have to do to extend that to the All, that is to know that everyone is an extension of myself. If everyone thought like this, we would treat each other as kings and queens. We would all think of the environment of One complex ecosystem that needs every part to work smoothly. If one part collapses, the whole thing dies. I am slowly bringing myself around to this way of thinking and it is beginning to deflate my overactive male ego. Actually, what really happens, is that the ego expands to include all those around you. You develop a stronger feeling to see that those around you are clothed, fed, and sheltered. ( I use the word fed with its broader meaning. It also means feeding the minds of others with thoughts of love and caring and feeding those who are dysfunctional with psychological and physiological care.) Jesus taught us about forgiveness and about the god I. It is the mandate of Christians to teach forgiveness and about the god I. If Christians taught continuously and fervently, these two truths, world peace becomes a very possible reality.

 

My quote from Isaiah comes from me reading the Hebrew. It is my own version of what I think it says with a Gnostic flavour added. You can take it with a grain of salt if you like.

 

Please let me know if some of what I say doesn't make sense to you.

 

BobD

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I agree that mechanical prayers and blind faith can't satisfy everyone, there must be some realization. This can be seen in the stillness of a realized person at work in the stillness of a mind anchored in pure consciousness. As Christ consciousness resonates in a Christian, the mystery of pure consciousness unfolds and increases.

 

Soma

You are absolutely right and the Old Testament makes this point through the Hebrew word Shaddai. Shaddai means 'pure consciousness' or 'collective consciousness' or the 'One consciousness of all of us', depending on how you want to express it, but it has been mistranslated as 'the almighty'.

 

BobD

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Bobd thanks for the clarification and proper interpretation. I agree with you whole heartily

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I don't care what you believe, I care about what you DO!

 

One of the most important things I learned when i went to Israel in 1995 was that it is all about doing. Greek philosophy has so contaminated Christianity that we have turned away from the OrthoPRAXY of the roots of Christianity and replaced it with OrthoDOXY. You can see it in the conservative vistors we get here who are hyper concerned about our beliefs.

 

As I've stated in different settings: I've met atheists who are more Christlike than some Christians.

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There is a difference between Faith and belief. For me, Faith is something that is lived. Belief is something that is just said. Faith is transformational. Belief is simple acceptance. Faith involves conviction and what Quakers refer to as 'convincement'. Belief is second-hand experience based upon someone else and something else. Each and every one of us has within us a Light that is part of God. It cannot be taken away and is there from our birth. We can ignore it or we can turn toward it. When we accept the Truth of this, that God lives within us, there is no need to wrangle over texts, struggle over words, or continue our search. We can read all we want to of ancient writings and loose sleep over trying to understand what this Biblical writer meant or what Jesus actually said when all along, every minute of everyday God is as close to us as our own breath. The Journey, then, is one that has a path both within and without. Within, we become transformed knowing that our lives have a Depth and that we have the Universe standing behind us. Without, we live that Truth and each day represent God Within. It is upon this Truth that we can live in a bond of integrity, peace, equality, community, and simplicity....the five Testimonies of Quaker Faith and Practice. The Kingdom of God truly is near....it's with us always.

 

Blessings and Peace.

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There is a difference between Faith and belief. For me, Faith is something that is lived. Belief is something that is just said. Faith is transformational. Belief is simple acceptance. Faith involves conviction and what Quakers refer to as 'convincement'. Belief is second-hand experience based upon someone else and something else. Each and every one of us has within us a Light that is part of God. It cannot be taken away and is there from our birth. We can ignore it or we can turn toward it. When we accept the Truth of this, that God lives within us, there is no need to wrangle over texts, struggle over words, or continue our search. We can read all we want to of ancient writings and loose sleep over trying to understand what this Biblical writer meant or what Jesus actually said when all along, every minute of everyday God is as close to us as our own breath. The Journey, then, is one that has a path both within and without. Within, we become transformed knowing that our lives have a Depth and that we have the Universe standing behind us. Without, we live that Truth and each day represent God Within. It is upon this Truth that we can live in a bond of integrity, peace, equality, community, and simplicity....the five Testimonies of Quaker Faith and Practice. The Kingdom of God truly is near....it's with us always.

 

Blessings and Peace.

 

 

Amen!

 

I'm currently reading Borg's the Heart of Christianity, and I just got through the section where he was talking about the different definitions of faith - one of which was about faith as belief (which he basically dismissed); the other three were about faith as something deeper. It really made sense to me.

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Great book! Marcus Borg is one of the main influences in my personal theology.

 

Me too :lol: I think most Progressive Christians have a great love for Marcus Borg :lol:

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So, here is a passage which always reassures me: Hebrews 6:1-8

 

This is from The Message translation:

 

So come on, let's leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on "salvation by self-help" and turning in trust toward God; baptismal goodness of God's Word and the powers breaking in on us -- if then they turn their backs on it, washing their hands of the whole thing, well, they can't start over as if nothing happened. That's impossible. Why, they're re-crucified Jesus! They've repudiated him in public! Parched ground that soaks up the rain and then produces an abundance of carrots and corn for its gardener gets God's "Well done!" But if it produces weeds and thistles, it's more likely to get cussed out. Fields like that are burned, not harvested.

 

Sometimes I think that to say one is simply "justified by faith" is to keep Jesus on the cross. It seems to uproot the vine so to speak.

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So, here is a passage which always reassures me: Hebrews 6:1-8

This is from The Message translation:

I don't know if you meant to but there is a chunk of this passage missing in the middle. Maybe you could requote indicating what you have left out.

 

dutch

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So come on, let's leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on "salvation by self-help" and turning in trust toward God; baptismal instructions, laying on of hands; resurrection of the dead; eternal judgment. God helping us, we'll stay true to all of that. But there's so much more. Let's get on with it! Once people have seen the light, gotten a taste of heaven and been part of the work of the Holy Spirit, once they they've personally experienced the sheer goodness of God's Word and the powers breaking in on us -- if then they turn their backs on it, washing their hands of the whole thing, well, they can't start over as if nothing happened. That's impossible. Why, they're re-crucified Jesus! They've repudiated him in public! Parched ground that soaks up the rain and then produces an abundance of carrots and corn for its gardener gets God's "Well done!" But if it produces weeds and thistles, it's more likely to get cussed out. Fields like that are burned, not harvested.

 

Thanks for catching that, glintofpewter.

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