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What's He Smoking Up There?


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Jesus here.

 

Look. Here’s the deal. The Jesus all of you (well, most of you) profess to admire tried with all his might to start a new faith tradition, and this same Jesus was a tough, no-nonsense, highly educated, literate scientist who believed in an entirely different God than the God of the Old Testament. Those of you who have pulled away from the dogmatic religions you grew up in can surely grasp the idea that a similarly intelligent, literate, dedicated individual could pull away from the religion of his ancestors. It should not be hard to imagine that just as you pick and choose the best spiritual notions from many faiths, so could I. And so I did. I retained from Judaism only the most loving aspects, and I ditched the rest, just as so many of you have ditched values that don’t sit right with your souls. My mother was furious with me. Furious. Many of you have similar problems. What, you think because I was ripping apart ancient religious customs that my family would lift me up on their shoulders and celebrate me? You think adoring throngs greeted me at the gates of Jerusalem? No way, Jose. I was a ######-disturber, a muckraker, a disturber of smug racial superiority. I stepped on too many toes to count. I had a vision of God as being a He and a She, a divine and loving Father and Mother, who would no more put any of their children into hellfire than darken the sun. And I stopped talking about Chosen People, because I didn’t believe there were any. What, no covenant with Abraham? Right. No covenant. And no desire to celebrate a horrific calamity that took the lives of innocent Egyptian children, an event ostensibly engineered by God and God’s angels.

 

Bring on the Sabbath. I love the idea of a day of rest and spiritual reflection. Bring on the code of hand-washing before meals. It’s a great public health measure. Let’s have the idea of devotion to God, to service, to charity, and to law. All these things I embraced. But I had opinions – very strong opinions. And I acted on those opinions. Notice that I did not choose a holy place, and sit in it, waiting to be worshipped. I walked. And walked. And walked. I taught. I sang. I healed. And I did not stop till they dragged me away.

 

I did not choose a holy place. How many of you have noticed how radical this was? I did not brag to others of my personal wealth, but made all feel they were my divine equals . . . because they were my divine equals. Women, men, children. Jews. Gentiles. Wealthy. Impoverished. Enslaved. Healthy. Sick. The God I believed in (and still do) loved all these people equally.

 

I ask you to please be realistic about the hardships and problems of my ministry. Ninety-nine out of a hundred people didn’t believe a word I said. It’s no different today.

 

Walking a path of radical equality side by side with our Mother and Father takes guts.

 

Love Jesus

October 20, 2006

Blessed be, O beloved Mother and Father

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Hello All,

 

It seems to me that a great error has been made when the Old Testament was incorporated as part of the New. Perhaps much of the Old testament was written by the Ego of Man that tries to make itself a God and therefore defined God as the Ego of mind attributing to God things that are only attributale to the mind of man. The New covenant on the other hand is based on a changing of thinking that sees a nature in man contrary to the nature of God and its defeat attainable only by a return to ones first Love.

 

It seems to me that even when a man writes a New last will and Testament, he is wise enough to tear up and destroy the Old to avoid confusion. Religion for whatever reason has failed to do this and is now in conflict over it. Old wine and new wine do not mix well.

 

Love in Christ,

JM

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Hi Joseph and Jen:

 

I agree with both of you totally. However I remember reading in the book," Lost Christianities" by Bart Ehrmann something that I hadn't ever considered. One of the reasons some the early Jesus movements thought it was necessary to link the Hebrew Bible(Old Testament) to the Christian religion was to make it appear "ancient". According to Ehrmann, people in the Roman era valued the new in things like military strategy , technology etc. But in religion , it was the old that was valued. . If a religion was recent and true , then why was it not known long ago ,the reasoning would go . How come Aristotle didn't know about,or Plato ,or Homer. By linking to the Hebrew writings ,Christians could trace their religion all the way back to Creation.

 

According to my readings, that's why the Christian Bible changes the order of the books of the Old Testament to end with Malachi instead of Chronicles. Malachi ends with a prophesy about God sending the prophet Elijah to the people ,who could seen as John the Baptist in the New Testament writings.

Nevertheless don't get me wrong. I agree with you both.

 

MOW

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Hi Joseph and Jen:

I agree with both of you totally. However I remember reading in the book," Lost Christianities" by Bart Ehrmann something that I hadn't ever considered. One of the reasons some the early Jesus movements thought it was necessary to link the Hebrew Bible(Old Testament) to the Christian religion was to make it appear "ancient". According to Ehrmann, people in the Roman era valued the new in things like military strategy , technology etc. But in religion , it was the old that was valued. . If a religion was recent and true , then why was it not known long ago ,the reasoning would go . How come Aristotle didn't know about,or Plato ,or Homer. By linking to the Hebrew writings ,Christians could trace their religion all the way back to Creation.

According to my readings, that's why the Christian Bible changes the order of the books of the Old Testament to end with Malachi instead of Chronicles. Malachi ends with a prophesy about God sending the prophet Elijah to the people ,who could seen as John the Baptist in the New Testament writings.

Nevertheless don't get me wrong. I agree with you both.

 

MOW

 

Greetings Mow,

 

Yes, Perhaps what you say had a great influence on the decision. It seems things like that happen when the politically 'religious' get involved. Sometimes we become more concerned with appearances, what is politically correct, and our concerns on how truth will be received rather than to let truth speak for itself.

 

Love in Christ,

JM

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Hi Joseph, Hi MOW,

 

Thanks for your thoughts.

 

MOW, I had to smile sadly when you wrote: "But in religion , it was the old that was valued. . If a religion was recent and true , then why was it not known long ago ,the reasoning would go ." I'm not sure this tendency has changed.

 

Interesting that you mention Aristotle, Plato, and Homer. My son is taking a Philosophy of Ethics course at university, and just had a mid-term on Aristotle. He keeps wondering why he has to study philosophers who died over 2300 years ago when there are, in his view, much wiser, more compassionate modern philosophers like Victor Frankl. Even many of today's fiction writers "get it" at a deeper level than Plato or Aristotle did.

 

You kinda have to love Homer, though, for getting the whole soap opera/adventure genre going. How could there be Lost today without the granddaddy of all bizarre, nail biting adventures, The Odyssey, umpteen centuries ago?

 

Love Jen

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Joseph, canajen,

 

I'm kind of surprised that you would say that the Old Testament shouldn't have been "incorporated" into the new...it was the other way around, for one thing. Would you want to leave out the Psalms? Isaiah? Job? Ecclesiastes?

 

Marcus Borg and all Progressive theologians I ever heard of, are thoroughly convinced that Jesus' teachings were meant to be seen in contrast to the history of the scriptures. We need to understand what he was trying to change and what he was trying to keep about his context. So many sayings of Christ's echo the prophecies. The same God that tried to relate to his people in the first part of the bible, is the one who finally found the way to relate to them in the second. There are two "voices" that run through both testaments, one of conventional wisdom and one of radical wisdom.

 

I know very little about Judaism myself, and don't read the OT much because it does contain so much violence and long-discarded petty rules etc. (I do love Psalms though.) It's like keeping history books so we won't re-create history --[e.g. Viet Nam--?!] Sometimes I think people reject the OT and the whole Jewish aspect of Jesus because they are angry at what's happening in the middle east. We don't have to make that type of mental association though.

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Jesus was a devout, practicing Jew. His prophetic religious message was very much in the tradition of the great Hebrew prophets. To take away the Hebrew scriptures would be to remove the context and the religion that Jesus was a part of.

 

Some of the most poignant, prophetic messages are found in the Old Testament. Turning swords into plowshares? That's in the Old Testament. Let justice flow like waters? That's in Old Testament, too. 23rd Psalm? Old Testament. That doesn't mean that everything in the Old Testament is admirable--obviously that isn't the case. But it does provide a record of an ancient people's efforts at understanding God, and as such it can be instructive and informative, just as the New Testament also provides a record of attempts after the life of Jesus to make sense of their experience of his life and death and teachings. The Old Testament is full of wonderful creation myths, great stories, interpretative histories of a monotheistic nation, erotic poetry (Song of Songs), musings on the meaning of life and suffering (Job and Ecclesiastes), and prophetic messages against injustice (Amos, Isaiah, and so forth). The Old Testament can be appreciated with a critical eye, and I think it is of immense value.

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Include me in the pro-Hebrew Scripture camp. The Hebrew scripture is inspirational and illuminating throughout with a few errors here and there like all scripture. It allows us to connect with an epic tradition going back 3000 years now. The Creation, Adam & Eve, The Burning Bush, Exodus, Prophets, Wisdom, Psalms. I love the Hebrew scriptures as did Jesus.

 

It does not need to be taken literally as some do. Its authority is found in its major themes and not in individual verses often taken totally out of context.

 

If each verse was seen as law, like a constitution, then some amendments would certainly be needed. Perhaps we can see the amendments in the Christian scripture and in the dynamic continuing tradition of the church as well as other wisdom traditions which are beginning to be integrated into ours.

 

This can not happen where and when people take the scripture literally. Like Borg says, we need to see it as historical, metaphorical and sacramental.

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Joseph, canajen,

 

I'm kind of surprised that you would say that the Old Testament shouldn't have been "incorporated" into the new...it was the other way around, for one thing. Would you want to leave out the Psalms? Isaiah? Job? Ecclesiastes?

(snip)

 

Hi rivanna, mystictrek, and mystical seeker,

 

Thanks for your comments. To clarify I must say that both Psalms and Proverbs are very inspiring books and are excellent books for any religion and are included in many small New Testament Bibles I have seen. There is no doubt here that many of the stories in the Old Testament can be inspiring but the problem is that much of the Old Testament in my view paints a picture of God that is totally inaccurate and can be a stumbling block to Christians. It seems to me the New Testament contains the most accurate data and though it appears and seems to flow from the Old it details a God subject to the emotions and fraility of men which has been shown to me to be in error.

 

Things like God being jealous, demanding blood sacrifices, getting angry, being vengeful, having enemies, tempting people, changing his mind and ordering the death of men, woman, children and animals and a host of other ego attributes of men just do not fit into what God has revealed to me of himself nor does it agree with the majority of teachings of Jesus from the Gospels.

 

I respect all of your opinions as your current belief and your right to believe as you choose. I can detail individual writings for you that make my point but it is not my purpose to force my view upon you. Instead I pray that God will continue revealing himself to you daily and that your understanding of the spiritual things of God grows each day. Also I thank God for each of you and for any knowledge you have freely shared with me. If I am in error perhaps God will use you to bless me with your revelation of him.

 

Love in Christ,

JM

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Things like God being jealous, demanding blood sacrifices, getting angry, being vengeful, having enemies, tempting people, changing his mind and ordering the death of men, woman, children and animals and a host of other ego attributes of men just do not fit into what God has revealed to me of himself nor does it agree with the majority of teachings of Jesus from the Gospels.

 

We are evolving. The ancients figured out a lot and speculated a lot and made errors a lot. So do we!

 

If anything I would add some of the Greek epics and Hindu epics and the Qur'an and the Tao Te Ching and many Zen koans and Native American stories and more to the Bible and not take anything away from it. The more contradictions, the better!

Edited by mystictrek
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much of the Old Testament in my view paints a picture of God that is totally inaccurate and can be a stumbling block to Christians.

 

True, but the Old Testament can also be a wonderful inspiration to Christians as well. I think that the Bible has a complex picture of the God that reflects the evolving culture and times of the people who produced it. Some of the Bible, including the Hebrew scriptures, can be a stumbling block; but some can be an inspiration to Christians. One of the Biblical passages that is identified with Martin Luther King comes from the prophetic book of Amos--in the Old Testament--which talks about letting justice flow like water.

 

The prophetic tradition of the Old Testament is full of language that condemns social injustice. The social justice tradition within the Old Testament helps to explain why Judaism has so often had a strong social justice component. Jesus himself, I would argue, was part and parcel of that Jewish social justice tradition by resisting the what Marcus Borg calls the "domination system" of the Roman Empire in his vision of replacing the Kingdom of Caesar with the Kingdom of God. Jesus's teachings and life were clearly informed by the Jewish religion that he practiced.

 

If we let ourselves be fettered by literalism, it is true that the Bible can sometimes be difficult to appreciate. But I strongly recommend that anyone who takes a negative attitude towards the Old Testament read Marcus Borg's book, Reading the Bible Again For the First Time. Once we free ourselves from literalism, we can learn to appreciate the postive messages in both of the Christian testaments and not let ourselves be hampered by the negative passages.

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True, but the Old Testament can also be a wonderful inspiration to Christians as well. I think that the Bible has a complex picture of the God that reflects the evolving culture and times of the people who produced it. Some of the Bible, including the Hebrew scriptures, can be a stumbling block; but some can be an inspiration to Christians. One of the Biblical passages that is identified with Martin Luther King comes from the prophetic book of Amos--in the Old Testament--which talks about letting justice flow like water.

 

The prophetic tradition of the Old Testament is full of language that condemns social injustice. The social justice tradition within the Old Testament helps to explain why Judaism has so often had a strong social justice component. Jesus himself, I would argue, was part and parcel of that Jewish social justice tradition by resisting the what Marcus Borg calls the "domination system" of the Roman Empire in his vision of replacing the Kingdom of Caesar with the Kingdom of God. Jesus's teachings and life were clearly informed by the Jewish religion that he practiced.

 

If we let ourselves be fettered by literalism, it is true that the Bible can sometimes be difficult to appreciate. But I strongly recommend that anyone who takes a negative attitude towards the Old Testament read Marcus Borg's book, Reading the Bible Again For the First Time. Once we free ourselves from literalism, we can learn to appreciate the postive messages in both of the Christian testaments and not let ourselves be hampered by the negative passages.

 

Hi mystical seeker,

Your analysis sounds valid to me. Yet for many Christians that are in literalism or have a belief that the Bible is more than just an inspired writing (believe it is literally the word of God) or that it is inerrant, it can be a real stumbling block and is. The New Testsment plus Psalms and Proverbs are more than sufficient for the Christian walk and there are many other books more accurate than the Old Testament concerning God and the spiritual life in my view. So why bother to inclusde it as a requirement to believe?

 

If you are not fettered by literalism as a Christian , it seems to me you are among a minority. The elements of the Niocene creed is required by many churches as a requirement to be called a Christian. Just because we can find some wisdom in parts of the Old Testament is perhaps an irrational justification to accept it as an integral part of Truth which of course is not found in any pages of a book.

 

Just some thoughts for consideration

 

Love in Christ,

JM

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Hi mystical seeker,

Your analysis sounds valid to me. Yet for many Christians that are in literalism or have a belief that the Bible is more than just an inspired writing (believe it is literally the word of God) or that it is inerrant, it can be a real stumbling block and is. The New Testsment plus Psalms and Proverbs are more than sufficient for the Christian walk and there are many other books more accurate than the Old Testament concerning God and the spiritual life in my view. So why bother to inclusde it as a requirement to believe?

 

If you are not fettered by literalism as a Christian , it seems to me you are among a minority. The elements of the Niocene creed is required by many churches as a requirement to be called a Christian. Just because we can find some wisdom in parts of the Old Testament is perhaps an irrational justification to accept it as an integral part of Truth which of course is not found in any pages of a book.

 

Just some thoughts for consideration

 

Love in Christ,

JM

 

Some of the Psalms are magnificent, but many Psalms also invoke a vengeful God, or pray to a God of history who was intimately involved in Israel's fate as a nation, and in many cases these don't correspond to my view of God. But I find that I can overlook some of these aspects and appreciate them anyway for what they are. And Proverbs is, in my view, a mixed bag. Its praise of divine Wisdom (Sophia) makes for interesting theology, but the general tenor of the book is to suggest that if we all just do the right things, then our lives will be fruitful. That is why I like Ecclesiastes better than Proverbs. The author of Ecclesiastes is basically saying in response to Proverbs, "Hey, wait a minute! Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. It isn't as simple as you claim!" And so for me, Ecclesiastes is often more mature theologically than Proverbs is. And the book of Job, depressing and difficult in its theodicy as it is, also raises questions about whether the book of Proverbs is a bit simplistic in its view of the way the world is ordered.

 

Also, speaking for myself, I don't care for everything in the New Testament either. There are sexist passages in some of the Pauline and deutero-Pauline epistles, for example. To me, you have to regard all of the Bible with a critical eye, look at the historical circumstances that lay behind the writing of each of its components, and recognize the humanity that also lay behind the people who wrote them. The book of Revelation, with its own vengeful image of God and its images of a "lake of fire" is counterbalanced by its optimism and hope. I think the goal of progressive Christianity should be to encourage people to view the Bible with a more critical and mature level of appreciation. The Bible--New Testament and Old--is an imperfect work. Once we recognize that, we can learn to better appreciate it, in my view.

 

The Nicene Creed isn'

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This hasn't been touched on yet by anyone but Jesus did self-identify with God the Father (ie: God as the Jews understood Him through the OT), He referred to His fulfilling of OT prophecies about the Messiah (this is a theme which Paul develops quite well) and His crucifixion took place during the Passover, when the Jews traditionally offered a lamb in sacrifice to God and thanked Him for their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. After all, this is why Jesus is called "The Lamb of God" by Saint John the Baptist.

 

And of course, all the earliest converts were Jews who saw the fulfillment of the OT covenants in Jesus. Surely the historical writings, and backgrounds, of the earliest Christians are necessary in considering this question.

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If you are not fettered by literalism as a Christian , it seems to me you are among a minority. The elements of the Niocene creed is required by many churches as a requirement to be called a Christian. Just because we can find some wisdom in parts of the Old Testament is perhaps an irrational justification to accept it as an integral part of Truth which of course is not found in any pages of a book.

 

Several responses:

 

1. You can take the Nicene Creed historically and metaphorically and sacramentally (Borg) as well as the Scriptures.

 

2. I think a Progressive Christianity which takes scripture and doctrine historically and metaphorically and sacramentally (Borg) is a minority now but could emerge as a majority if we worked at it. I would really love to see PCs get evangelical because we really do have the Good News.

 

3. The Daily Lectionary is currently going through the Book of Revelation. If you take this book literally, you are really into a vengeful and violent God as many literalists are IMO. Should we amend the Christian Scriptures to elimate this whole book or some of it?

 

4. As I said yesterday I can think of all kinds of great wisdom literature from many wisdom traditions which we should add to the Bible as we create a new global, integrated faith. There is no need to remove anything if we can see it all as the best attempts of humans in their contexts to understand God. Let's add good stuff!

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Several responses:

 

1. You can take the Nicene Creed historically and metaphorically and sacramentally (Borg) as well as the Scriptures.

 

2. I think a Progressive Christianity which takes scripture and doctrine historically and metaphorically and sacramentally (Borg) is a minority now but could emerge as a majority if we worked at it. I would really love to see PCs get evangelical because we really do have the Good News.

 

3. The Daily Lectionary is currently going through the Book of Revelation. If you take this book literally, you are really into a vengeful and violent God as many literalists are IMO. Should we amend the Christian Scriptures to elimate this whole book or some of it?

 

4. As I said yesterday I can think of all kinds of great wisdom literature from many wisdom traditions which we should add to the Bible as we create a new global, integrated faith. There is no need to remove anything if we can see it all as the best attempts of humans in their contexts to understand God. Let's add good stuff!

 

Hi mystictrek,

 

1. Yes

 

2. Yes, but..... actually everyone has the good news. They just are not quite ready for it. :) It seems one has to grow tired of that which goes nowhere first.... to find that which is already present. Perhaps Evangelists will appear when it is time.

 

3. Yes.... Why not eliminate it? It is only a side track and detour for most Christians in my view.

 

4. Yes, it seems true to me that there are many great wisdom literatures in the world. However, please excuse me if I do not share in any attempt to create a new global integrated religion.

 

There seems to me to be enough of them. Truth is everywhere and perhaps less religion and more Love is better.

 

Just some thoughts to consider.

Edited by JosephM
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This hasn't been touched on yet by anyone but Jesus did self-identify with God the Father (ie: God as the Jews understood Him through the OT), He referred to His fulfilling of OT prophecies about the Messiah (this is a theme which Paul develops quite well) and His crucifixion took place during the Passover, when the Jews traditionally offered a lamb in sacrifice to God and thanked Him for their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. After all, this is why Jesus is called "The Lamb of God" by Saint John the Baptist.

 

And of course, all the earliest converts were Jews who saw the fulfillment of the OT covenants in Jesus. Surely the historical writings, and backgrounds, of the earliest Christians are necessary in considering this question.

 

Hello James,

 

The present day record is as you say. But perhaps it is not even necessary to consider the question from a spiritual standpoint. When one receives the New, why is it then necessary to consider the Old which was but a shadow of the New? Is God an intellectual understanding found in theology or is God a living Spirit to be experienced by his own?

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Several responses:

 

1. You can take the Nicene Creed historically and metaphorically and sacramentally (Borg) as well as the Scriptures.

 

Something I meant to point out in my earlier posting and I somehow ended it in mid-sentence was to note that the Nicene Creed is not in the New Testament. It is a formulation that came long after the books in the New Testament was written.

 

I know that Borg has no problem reciting the Nicene Creed in church. I just can't see it the way Borg does. A creed is, as I see it, by definition an affirmation of what one believes. To me, a creed is a lot different than a myth or story or biblical narrative, and I have a hard time treating it metaphorically as I might many of the passages that are in the Bible. To say that "this is what I believe" and not believe it seems to defeat the point of the creed in the first place. I realize that there is wiggle room in interpretation of what a creed really means, but I still think that if you are going to assert formally what you believe, it should be a literal formulation; otherwise, you are using the wrong formulation. Anyway, that's my take on it, and that is why I do not recite the Nicene creed.

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Is God an intellectual understanding found in theology or is God a living Spirit to be experienced by his own?

Yes.

 

In order to have a genuine relationship with someone, you not only must experience him relationally, but you must get to know things about him. It's not really a relationship if you experience someone without knowing anything about him, is it? In the same way, God has revealed certain things about himself so that we may know about him, and he also enters into intimate fellowship with his people.

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Yes.

 

In order to have a genuine relationship with someone, you not only must experience him relationally, but you must get to know things about him. It's not really a relationship if you experience someone without knowing anything about him, is it? In the same way, God has revealed certain things about himself so that we may know about him, and he also enters into intimate fellowship with his people.

 

Hello DCJ,

 

Actually, since you ask, it seems to me that, yes it is a relationship without 'knowing about' God. In my view, to 'know about' is not to know at all. To know God is to be One with God and that cannot be done intellectually. Reasoning is as far as the intellect can go. God is beyond the intellect and can only be experienced. Only a cat can know a cat. You can know 'about the cat' but that is not the same as being the cat. Jesus said you can not even see the kingdom of God unless you are born again. He said he was one with the Father and that we who believe could also be one with the Father. That is a relationship and it must be in Spirit which is beyond the bounds of 'knowing about' which is of the flesh. That which is spirit is spirit and that which is flesh is flesh. Just a view to consider concerning your response.

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Something I meant to point out in my earlier posting and I somehow ended it in mid-sentence was to note that the Nicene Creed is not in the New Testament. It is a formulation that came long after the books in the New Testament was written.

 

I know that Borg has no problem reciting the Nicene Creed in church. I just can't see it the way Borg does. A creed is, as I see it, by definition an affirmation of what one believes. To me, a creed is a lot different than a myth or story or biblical narrative, and I have a hard time treating it metaphorically as I might many of the passages that are in the Bible. To say that "this is what I believe" and not believe it seems to defeat the point of the creed in the first place. I realize that there is wiggle room in interpretation of what a creed really means, but I still think that if you are going to assert formally what you believe, it should be a literal formulation; otherwise, you are using the wrong formulation. Anyway, that's my take on it, and that is why I do not recite the Nicene creed.

 

I guess I see the creed as simply a good summation of the myth we have embraced and nothing more.

 

 

 

 

4. Yes, it seems true to me that there are many great wisdom literatures in the world. However, please excuse me if I do not share in any attempt to create a new global integrated religion.

 

Don't put words in my mouth!

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The intellect can give us a glimpse of the spiritual life inside ourselves, help us resist the exterior influences that blind us with passion and help us access thoughts about God that are totally new, unexpected and beyond our own capacity. The effect of these inspirations is to enable the soul to approach God beyond the material realm in pure consciousness where everything is one. I feel other literature and philosophies about God can help the intellect think outside the box. May we continue developing ways to access God and His spiritual experience.

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The intellect can give us a glimpse of the spiritual life inside ourselves, help us resist the exterior influences that blind us with passion and help us access thoughts about God that are totally new, unexpected and beyond our own capacity. The effect of these inspirations is to enable the soul to approach God beyond the material realm in pure consciousness where everything is one. I feel other literature and philosophies about God can help the intellect think outside the box. May we continue developing ways to access God and His spiritual experience.

 

Hi Soma,

 

You make some very good points. The intellect can reason and gain understanding that helps to undo some of the things that might be obstacles to our spiritual journey. It has the ability through reason to lift us out of low levels of consciousness to a meaningful life view and understanding of abstractions. Of course in the end, in my view, one has to go beyond the intellect to experience Love, Joy, and deep peace. Perhaps if one places too much confidence or faith in it (intellect), intellect itself becomes a difficult impass or barrier to overcome in experiencing God's presence. Just my personal experience and some thoughts to consider.

Edited by JosephM
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Joseph, I agree we have to go beyond the intellect. I feel some people choose the path of knowledge to raise their consciousness as some choose the path of devotion to a diety and some service to humanity. I respect the philosophers who have chosen intelect. I am more eclectic because I jump from one path to another. Service to knowledge to physical exercise to devotion. I feel all are valid. The philosophers eventually come to the abstract which is very difficult to love so devotion to a diety helps and serving a diety is difficult so serving humanity helps and the vehicle to do this is the body which needs some attention to cater to all of the above.

The cosmic dance goes on I just hope I don't step on anybody's toes.

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