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New Sunday School Curriculum


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I am VERY excited that tcpc is planning a children's curriculum. Read the article for details.

 

https://www396.ssldomain.com/tcpc/library/a...?library_id=529

 

I am wondering about the following quote

 

"The curriculum will be designed to nurture healthy and rewarding relationships in our children and to help them discover the Divine nature in themselves and in others based on the teachings of Jesus and other great wisdom teachers."

 

I have hearing a lot lately (Deepak Chopra, "WHat the BLEEP do We Know?" that we each have god within us. I agree that we have the Holy Spirit indwelling in us, but is this the same as "the Divine nature?" Do progressive Christians, in general, believe that to find God, we only have to look inside ourselves or that we are all gods?

 

When I feel strength, power, etc, from God, it feels like something external. For me, it is Jesus who frees me from old patterns of behavior by leading me and giving me strength. The "What the BLEEP" movie suggested it is all about shifting our perceptions. Working toward the Kingdom of God here on earth as Jesus taught is something I choose because of my love for God. I do think the Holy Spirit part of us expands as we intentionally focus our lives on God. Is that equivalent to "god consciousness", "Divine nature" and the "god within"? Maybe we are saying the same thing, but it sounds like a foreign language.

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Guest wayfarer2k

I haven't seen the "What the bleep do we know?" movie, so I don't know the exact context or content. But I think your question is a good one and it may go to how we define God.

 

Spong has, I think, some very good ideas on this. Referencing what the apostle Paul said, Spong says that the early Christians saw God in Christ. This, according to Spong, was way before the doctrines like incarnation or the virgin birth were formulated. It just came down to the followers of Jesus feeling/experiencing God in the person of Christ. But then, as Spong points out, this was a theistic belief -- the God in the sky had somehow been experienced in a human life.

 

The outcome of those experiences, however, transcend the theistic framework. People who experienced "God in Christ" experienced grace, love, joy, peace, many of the things that Paul called "the fruit of the spirit". Experiencing these things was hard to explain in concrete terms. But these experiences go far beyond theism.

 

So one of the ideas that Spong brings forth, and I've found this very helpful, is not to see God in such a theistic manner, not to see God as a supernatural being who lives in the sky who sometimes intervenes into human affairs to do his will. This sort of theism does blend well with humanity. But if theism doesn't, then what can be said about God that does?

 

You have hinted at this in another one of your posts. God is love. If God is love, then love is also, in some experiencial sense, God. God is life. Jesus came to give us God, to give us life, and life abundant. God is the "I am", the one who exists. Not the "ultimate Being", but the ultimate in being. For us to experience God, we need to be all that we can be. We need to live life to the full. We need to love extravagantly and wastefully. As we do these things, then others will see God in us. But it isn't the God of theism, it is the God that transcends all of our man-made images of God.

 

As I teach and train my own children, I will not exhort them to look for Yahweh inside. Nor to look for "the Father of Jesus". Those were time-bound and culturally-restricted images of God. Rather, I'll teach them to mature in love, in life, and in becoming truly human. That, I believe, is the path to divinity. Or, as the Christian tradition says, that is the image of God or Christlikeness.

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You have hinted at this in another one of your posts. God is love. If God is love, then love is also, in some experiencial sense, God. God is life. Jesus came to give us God, to give us life, and life abundant. God is the "I am", the one who exists. Not the "ultimate Being", but the ultimate in being. For us to experience God, we need to be all that we can be. We need to live life to the full. We need to love extravagantly and wastefully. As we do these things, then others will see God in us. But it isn't the God of theism, it is the God that transcends all of our man-made images of God.

 

As I teach and train my own children, I will not exhort them to look for Yahweh inside. Nor to look for "the Father of Jesus". Those were time-bound and culturally-restricted images of God. Rather, I'll teach them to mature in love, in life, and in becoming truly human. That, I believe, is the path to divinity. Or, as the Christian tradition says, that is the image of God or Christlikeness.

 

I, too, have been clear with my kids that some traditional images of God come from writings from a different time and place. God is much bigger. Events in life unfold, and the closer we get to God, our responses to the events will be love and peace and hope.

 

I don't see God a being in the sky, but I have experienced God as a powerful force in my life. I agree that God is the ultimate in being, and that as we live as Jesus taught we can reflect the glory of God. I feel very comfortable with the "image of God" or "Christlikeness," but I am struggling with the fact that I myself am on a path to divinity. Do you see the terms as being interchangable? As a Methodist, I am comfortable with the Christian idea of working toward "sanctification," the idea being that the more we grow through Christ, the more like Him (purely loving) we we will act. Do you see Christlikeness as interchangeable for "Divine nature inside us and inside others"? Another term I have read recently was "Christ-consciousness," which is sharing the mind of God. I agree with the idea that as I understand God more, we may think more alike, but I am pretty sure God's mind is superior to mine. I could never have created life or other natural processes so complex!

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I feel very comfortable with the "image of God" or "Christlikeness," but I am struggling with the fact that I myself am on a path to divinity. Do you see the terms as being interchangable?

 

Do you see Christlikeness as interchangeable for "Divine nature inside us and inside others"?

 

I, too, attend a Methodist church and appreciate the focus they put on sanctification. They're not quite so scared of good works as the Baptists are. ;)

 

For me, the word "divine" has alot of connotations to it so I guess it comes down to how we see the divine manifested. Of course, theism focuses on the divine being omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. God, in theism is seen as being all-powerful or sovereign, existing everywhere and everywhen, and knowing all things. When these aspects of divine are put forth as the main marks of divinity, not even Jesus stacks up too well as being divine.

 

If we interpret being divine as the theistic notion that the laws of nature are suspended in order for miracles to happen, then while Jesus, according to the gospels, meets this criteria, we still have an understanding of the divine that relegates God and Jesus to either entirely supernatural or super-human. Is the primary mark of the Christian the ability to perform "miracles"? I don't think so. Jesus said his followers would be known, not by these theistic understandings of the divine, but by...love. Love for each other. Even love for enemies.

 

So if the divine is seen as the ultimate source of love and life, then I believe that in a very real sense, we can (and even should) become divine. But the concept of divinity has to be divorced from the old theistic notion that God descended from the sky and wore a body of human flesh. Divinity is not so much about essence but about character.

 

Like you, I struggle to think of myself as divine. Even Methodist belief in original sin and sing the songs of how we are wretches in God's sight...while ignoring the notion that we still bear his image. But if one of the goals of Christianity is for people to become more Christlike, then becoming divine doesn't seem like such a heresy. What do you think?

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I wouldn't describe it as heresy or blasphemy, but I think we can work to become a source of life and love but not THE ultimate source of life and love. Maybe I am just too limited in my thinking. I agree that most of what you describe as theistic has its own problems.

 

I think maybe I'm old fashioned, but I'd rather the progressive Christian curriculum substitute the words "Holy Spirit" for the words "Divine nature," and then they could say that other faith traditions have other words to express that sense of the presence of God within us, like "Divine nature."

 

I appreciate your response - gives me something to ponder today!

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If we interpret being divine as the theistic notion that the laws of nature are suspended in order for miracles to happen . . .

 

Jesus here. I'm going to wade in here, saying first to both of you, AllInTheName and Wayfarer, that I respect your questioning and your commitment to better understand your relationship with God.

 

But Wayfarer, I must challenge what you are saying with respect to God and the laws of nature and miracles, and I invite you to do some in-depth reading into the laws of nature before you make a hasty decision in saying these laws "are" suspended when miracles take place. The laws are not suspended when miracles take place. Human beings just don't have a very good grasp of what the laws are. God is not "constrained" by the laws when creating miracles. Nor does God have to "suspend" the laws in order to create miracles. God works within a logical, comprehensible system of very advanced physics that they designed themselves. So please . . . it is time for you, as modern thinker and Progressive Christian, to set aside this kind of simplistic, dualistic way of thinking about God and miracles. Quantum events happen every day. However, few mainstream people are willing to stick their necks out and say these events fall within the normal parameters of the quantum universe. Theologians like Albert Schweitzer and Rudolf Bultmann got it wrong.

 

Second, I note that in the paragraphs written above, neither of you is willing to come out and say the dreaded "s" word -- soul. I understand and sympathize with the reality that many people misuse "soul" and try to frighten other people into obedience by talking about "fallen souls" and "unworthy souls" and "lost souls" and "souls made in original sin." But the fact of the matter is that each person in God's Creation IS a soul. You cannot talk about your divine nature while simultaneously trying to sidestep the fact that you have a soul -- that you ARE a soul. There are many problems within the church vis-a-vis the nature of the soul. But those problems must be confronted head on, not ignored, denied, or swept under the carpet because they're difficult.

 

A false dichotomy has arisen in the liberal, progressive movements of Christianity, a false dichotomy trumpeted by thinkers such as Bultmann. You are all tripping over yourselves to avoid the "duality" that is supposedly implicit in the very concept of the soul. The thinking goes that if you tell people they have a "soul" then you are going to fall into the traps of Gnosticism and docetism, which teach that the "soul is good and divine" and the body is "bad and filled with sin." Well, to hell with that. That kind of damaging thinking has nothing to do with God and the soul. That kind of negative thinking is exactly what it sounds like -- immature, non-holistic, manipulative, irresponsible, and selfish. Those with dissociative thinking patterns -- split personalities, multiple personalities, and psychotic disorders -- are vulnerable to this kind of fractured understanding of what it means to be a human being.

 

It is not dualistic to say that you have both a soul and a body. You have both a physical heart and a set of lungs. I ask you -- is it reasonable to tell other people to stop speaking about their hearts and their lungs as two separate organs because to do so would promote an unhealthy dualistic understanding of the body? You would scoff at someone who had no knowledge of anatomy and who tried to claim that everything inside your torso is just one big blob of an organ. Realistically, you know that your heart has a separate job from your lungs, but that your heart and your lungs need each other. They're separate but they're mutually interdependent. You can't live without a physical heart, nor without working lungs, nor without the emotional and intellectual qualities that originate in your soul. Your soul and your physical body are separate but mutually interdependent during your entire human life. From the moment the ovum starts to divide until the second your physical body draws its last breath, your soul is hard-wired into your biology. You can't get out of this. It's the way God makes you. It doesn't help human beings to try to pretend the soul isn't really there. THAT is the dualism -- to take a holistic reality and try to fracture it. Don't do this. You need to accept that God is darned well smart enough to figure out how to hardwire your soul into your DNA. The fact that you can't figure out how to do such a thing has no bearing on the scientific reality of your soul-in-human-form.

 

Once you accept that you have a soul, it becomes easier to understand the whole "divine nature" question. Your divine nature is about integration, balance, harmony between feeling, action, thought, and word. It is about soul seamlessly blended with heart, mind, body, and strength.

 

Amen to you.

 

I love you, Mother and Father!!!

 

Love Jesus

August 20, 2008

Edited by canajan, eh?
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Guest wayfarer2k

Hiya, Jesus! I am SOOO glad you don’t type in Aramaic!

 

>>I invite you to do some in-depth reading into the laws of nature before you make a hasty decision in saying these laws "are" suspended when miracles take place. The laws are not suspended when miracles take place. Human beings just don't have a very good grasp of what the laws are.

 

I’d agree with that, Lord. I’m not a physicist, but my job does depend upon my ability to make accurate and repeatable measurements. At the same time, I know that there are those much smarter than I (who is just about everybody) who deal with quantum physics where the Newtonian “laws of physics” either don’t come into play or are superseded by…well…who knows what. Again, Lord, I’m not a physicist and I don’t claim to understand exactly how the universe operates. I’m lucky to have my socks match in the morning. So keep that in mind as You read my reply.

 

I am trained in looking for repeatability and consistency in observable phenomena. This being the case, I have to ask how repeatable or consistent is it for people to walk on water? For people to take 5 loaves and 2 fishes and feed 5000 with them? For people to be born of virgins? For menstrual blood to stop flowing by touching, with a finger, a piece of cloth? For the dead to be resuscitated with no damage to the brain or other vital organs? For pigs to be given demonic possession? For storms to stop just because someone says so? For sight to be restored by a mud pack?

 

I want to believe, Jesus, that You literally did all these things. But I’m a “doubting Thomas”, Lord. I need to see and touch. You’ve allowed for that in the past. Why not now?

 

Which brings me to my main struggles about Your miracles, O Virgin Born and Sinless One. If You are “the same yesterday, today, and forever” as the book of Hebrews says, then why don’t You do the same things today in the same way that You did back then? And if Your disciples are supposed to do “greater works” than You did, then why don’t they do all of these things today?

 

>>God works within a logical, comprehensible system of very advanced physics that they designed themselves.

 

Respectfully, Lord, maybe He DID…but He doesn’t NOW. I guess He ascended somewhere else when You ascended to Him. Please don’t take this wrong, Jesus, I know You could instantly turn me into a crispy critter, but if You can write in English on this board, why not just start doing the same things NOW as You did back then? I know, I know, Your “miracles” didn’t make people believe in You. Your disciples still denied You. But *I* would believe. Like Thomas, if I could see and touch, I would believe. All You have to give me is the observation phenomena, the explanations of it would just confuse me.

 

>>Second, I note that in the paragraphs written above, neither of you is willing to come out and say the dreaded "s" word -- soul.

 

I don’t dread the word, Lord, it is just that Your Holy Get-Out-Of-Hell-For-Free-Book is so vague on what “soul” means. According to Your book, even animals have souls, the “breath of life”. So do animals go to heaven and hell? Is that where my Fluffy is?

 

>>Well, to hell with that.

 

Please don’t start with the threats again, Lord. They didn’t work too well 2000 years ago. They probably don’t work to well today either. You haven’t been listening to that Jonathan Edwards guy, have You?

 

>>Those with dissociative thinking patterns -- split personalities, multiple personalities, and psychotic disorders -- are vulnerable to this kind of fractured understanding of what it means to be a human being.

 

Oh, c’mon, Jesus, now WHO is playing word games? I know that You believe that these things are really caused by fallen angels with red suits, horns, and pitchforks. So don’t tell me about “dissociative (the word is “disassociative”. Despite Your sinlessness, You really should use a spell-checker) thinking patterns” when I know You really believe people are possessed by evil entities.

 

>>It doesn't help human beings to try to pretend the soul isn't really there.

 

I agree with You, Lord. Especially after that hell-threat. I agree. I agree. I think, and feel morally free to burn me if I’m wrong, that the soul is the “life-force”. I do see the soul and the body as linked. But, Lord, again, Your Holy How-To-Go-To-Heaven-In-367-Easy-Steps-Book does separate the body from the soul occasionally. In fact, most of those who follow You claim that the soul is immortal while the body is not, despite that renegade Paul’s assertion to Timothy that God ALONE is immortal.

 

>>The fact that you can't figure out how to do such a thing has no bearing on the scientific reality of your soul-in-human-form.

 

Sure it does. Hey, is that smoke I smell? Is it getting warm in here? Look, I can’t believe in what is totally beyond my understanding, Lord. I am not THAT kind of a believer. If You are looking for someone to never question You, then talk to Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. Oh, that’s right, Jerry’s up there finally cleaning out heaven out, isn’t he?

 

>>Your divine nature is about integration, balance, harmony between feeling, action, thought, and word. It is about soul seamlessly blended with heart, mind, body, and strength.

 

I do appreciate Your infallible and inerrant words, Lord. But I am a dunce. Or I’m possessed. Or I’m just one of those damned to hell. I just want You to be consistent, to do NOW what You did THEN. Surely, O Damner-Of-Those-Who-Don’t-Believe, You could do just a *few* miracles, even if You and I both know they are really quantum physics slight-of-hand, to prove to us that You didn’t fly off to Alpha Centauri 2000 years ago?

 

Eagerly awaiting Your response. And Your return.

 

Your humble and stupid servant,

Bill

 

PS – Seeing as You won’t tell anyone when You are going to return, can I at least get Your email address so I can stay in touch?

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I do appreciate Your infallible and inerrant words, Lord. But I am a dunce. Or I’m possessed. Or I’m just one of those damned to hell. I just want You to be consistent, to do NOW what You did THEN. Surely, O Damner-Of-Those-Who-Don’t-Believe, You could do just a *few* miracles, even if You and I both know they are really quantum physics slight-of-hand, to prove to us that You didn’t fly off to Alpha Centauri 2000 years ago?

 

Jesus here, Bill.

 

Okay, well then, I'll just assume on the basis on what you've written above that you are a hypocrite, Bill. You, the man who tells others on this site that you're moving away from the conservative thinking towards a more accepting and empathetic view of humankind's relationship with God, seem to be content -- on the basis of a single post from me -- to pull out some of the worst scraps of ###### ever put in the Bible and try to project them all onto me.

 

Well you know, Bill, you aren't going to get very far on your quest to know if you're going to stop thinking critically and justly towards other people the first time they piss you off.

 

So I pushed your buttons. Well, get over it. You want to know God? You say you want to ask questions? Well, that's what I'm hoping for. But in your post you didn't ask any questions. All you did was vent. You vented all your rage and frustration at the human beings who have so royally f****d up the message that I tried to bring to humanity 2,000 years ago.

 

So you don't like the idea that Jen is channelling me, Jesus. Well, get in line. There are a lot of readers on this site who think Jen is just BSing everybody. But not everybody thinks so. And that's the reason I post. There are a few people who think it might be possible. So to them, I speak.

 

You seem to be a pretty bright man. You seem to know the Bible has been redacted to suit the agenda of its various writers. You think the parts about the miracles of Jesus are original and untouched verses? You think they haven't been tampered with? Edited? Altered to suit an agenda? Where is your willingness to ask questions when it comes to these passages in the Bible? Why do you take these passages as "gospel truth" and not demand to understand what a miracle means as far as God is concerned, not as far as human psychopaths are concerned? (And Bill, for the record, the correct word in psychiatric argot is "dissociative" not "disassociative" -- and that level of criticism about Jen's spelling was not called for).

 

You will not find a single post on this site where I, through Jen, have ever claimed that I walked on water. I have also stated clearly that I was a fully human human being, not born of virgin, but of a very normal mother and father. I have relayed the story of the healing of Lazarus, which did not happen as it is described in the New Testament. I have explained that I was NOT sinless, that I made a lot of mistakes that I had to learn to forgive -- with God's help. I have given a brief version of what happened to me after they took me down from the cross and put me in a tomb. I have done my best to explain my story in a way that is understandable to others who believe that God is a real presence in our lives. If you cannot accept that, and if you do not believe the words I have typed through Jen, that is fully your choice. At no time in 3 1/2 years on this site have I demanded that anyone stop paying attention to their own inner wisdom and "follow me." I have done everything in my non-human-but-fully-angelic power to encourage readers on this site to take MORE personal responsibility in their relationship with God, not LESS. I have brought forward information that I have continued to hope might be of benefit to others as they ask their own questions. I have tried to raise questions. I have not tried to quash debate. I am doing the best I can to confront the actual theological issues that exist. There is a lot of very poor, methodologically unsound theological theorizing going on in the world today, and I do not apologize for calling attention to inadequate methodology.

 

It is factually incorrect for you to say that I am looking for someone who never questions. It is also factually incorrect for you to say that God is looking for someone who never questions. The problem is not that people ask questions. The problem is the way people respond when they don't like the answer to the question they've asked.

 

Bill, I've gotta say . . . your reply above to me on the matter of miracle and the soul could be a "poster" for the current state of relations between God and God's people. People yell, rant, complain, blame, nitpick, and project onto God every single thing that is wrong in their relationship with God, and claim human suffering is God's fault. Yet when a bona fide miracle lands in their lap, their ignore, deny, dissociate, create a 100% Newtonian and materialistic explanation for it, and take full credit for the miracle themselves.

 

You want it both ways, Bill. But I trust that you and God will work it out. That is between you and your divine Mother and Father.

 

I forgive you, my friend, for your cruelty towards me personally.

 

Have a great day.

 

Love Jesus

August 24, 2008

Edited by canajan, eh?
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Jesus here, Bill.

 

To JEN: (I won't write to Jesus anymore because he would know what I am going to say anyway)

 

I had hoped that the tone and nature of my post was seen to be "tongue-in-cheek" -- humor. If it came across as cruelty, I'm sorry. I wasn't trying to be cruel, just to bring up things that I'd talk to Jesus about if he were really here in my room with me.

 

See, Jen, I was raised in a very conservative vein of Christianity where what could be known about Jesus came ONLY through the bible -- sola scriptura. I have never experienced a "mystical" Jesus and, also coming out of Pentecostalism, I'm dubious about people that claim to speak for God and for Jesus. I always figured that if God were God and Jesus were really Jesus, they could speak to me directly. After all, that is what the bible claims they do, right?

 

I've seen, in my experiences, some pretty bad things happen to people as a result of someone saying "The Lord told me this..." or "The Lord told me that..." So I'm a skeptic when someone claims to be God's, or even Jesus', mouthpiece. None of this is meant to demean your experiences however. If you channel Jesus, then, for you, that is fine. But how would I, as a skeptic, know if it is truly Jesus you are channeling?

 

My background has taught me that I would need to compare the "Jesus" that you channel to the "Jesus" found in the bible. After all, while you and some progressive Christians may deny it, the bible does claim that Jesus never changes. I think history has documented pretty well that Jesus, whoever he is, did not have the power to keep his message pure down through the ages. Despite the claim of the biblical Jesus that his words would stand forever, I suppose you and I would agree that, yes, they're pretty messed up. And, again, if the "Jesus" that you are channeling has no correlation to "Jesus" as presented in the bible, then why even say that it is Jesus? To me, that would be analagous to saying that I am channeling Elvis and then to state that I never lived at Graceland, I never acheived star status, I never had any hit records, and that I died in a car accident. Who would believe that I was channeling Elvis? If the Elvis I'm claiming to channel bears little to no resemblance to the Elvis of history, why even make the link?

 

On the other hand, I know that some progressives say that God has not stopped speaking, that God continues to speak through people today as powerfully as the Jews felt that God spoke through Jesus in the first century. I'm sure that *I* will never be one of those people, but if I were, I wouldn't claim that it was Jesus speaking through me, I wouldn't try to claim his authority for my own. I just wouldn't be comfortable with it.

 

So, Jen, I hope you see where I am coming from. I assumed that you channeling Jesus was tongue-in-cheek. I guess I assumed wrong. I'm sorry. I'm not sure how to say that I reject that kind of thing without it seeming disrespectful to you. But because of my religious training, when someone claims to be Jesus, I would either have to take those claims VERY seriously or very tongue-in-cheek. I'm not ready to take them seriously. I'm sorry, but I guess I'm just not that "progressive" yet. I would expect the channeled Jesus to act like the biblical Jesus.

 

Finally, yes, I am a hypocrite. I come out of a faith tradition that claims to follow Jesus while producing "cookie-cutter" Christians that seldom act like Jesus as found in the bible. To me, they are a bunch of hypocrites. As Gandhi said about Christianity, "I like your Jesus, but I don't much like your Christians because they are not much like him." I am a hypocrite because I don't yet know what my REAL face is like. I am too busy trying to remove the old mask of religious peity that my upbringing put upon me. I don't know who I really am without all the religious mumbo-jumbo. So I am probably at the most unsure point of my life as far as my beliefs go. I'm learning to live with that "lack of faith". I think progressive Christianity has something to offer people like me, especially writers like Borg and Spong. When I finally, if I ever do, find out who I really am, I will no longer be a hypocrite. Until then, if my hypocrisy bothers you, you are, of course, welcome and probably justified to ignor my posts.

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So, Jen, I hope you see where I am coming from. I assumed that you channeling Jesus was tongue-in-cheek. I guess I assumed wrong. I'm sorry. I'm not sure how to say that I reject that kind of thing without it seeming disrespectful to you. But because of my religious training, when someone claims to be Jesus, I would either have to take those claims VERY seriously or very tongue-in-cheek. I'm not ready to take them seriously. I'm sorry, but I guess I'm just not that "progressive" yet. I would expect the channeled Jesus to act like the biblical Jesus.

 

I appreciate your thoughtful comments in the post above, Wayfarer.

 

I accept that you reject what I do. I won't lose any sleep over it. I don't ask you to take my word for what I do (nor have I ever asked anyone on this site to take what I say on faith alone). But I do what I do, and I do it well. I have no desire to stop reading your posts. You have meaningful things to say. I will take your body of writings as a whole, and on that basis decide whether or not there is common ground for discussion between you and me. I only ask the same from you. I am a channeller. I am also a scientist. I speak to Jesus on a regular basis. When Jesus wishes to speak for himself on this site, he always clearly identifies his posts. I can't do more that.

 

I am not claiming to be Jesus. I have not made this claim, nor will I make this claim. However, I know Jesus very well as the individual child of God that he is. To me, he is not part of the Trinity, nor the only divine son of God. But he's a kick-ass teacher, an amazing mentor and healer, a wonderful friend, and I could not be the person I am today if he didn't give his whole heart to help me every day.

 

I believe with my entire being that every person on Planet Earth is loved in this way. I don't claim that I'm receiving special treatment. The difference between me and many others is that I have stopped trying to reject the love and forgiveness that God (i.e. God the Mother and God the Father) make available to all their children. I live in a state of constant gratitude for God's love. Please note the distinction I draw between God and Jesus. To me, God is God (our eternal and divine Mother and Father), and Jesus is an angelic being to whom it is possible to communicate in accordance with known laws of neurophysiology, probability wave functions, and non-local effects.

 

There are several other points in your letter above that I would dispute on a factual basis. I will come back to them at another time.

 

Jen

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To JEN: (I won't write to Jesus anymore because he would know what I am going to say anyway)

 

Bill, this is Jesus again. Just to let you, my know, your above statement is factually incorrect. I am not God. I am just one angel. I am not omniscient, so I don't know what you had for breakfast today, nor do I know what you're going to say. This is big family, my friend, and you have your own guardian angel to talk things over with.

 

God the Mother and God the Father know what you had for breakfast today, but, you know, it didn't come up in the conversation I had with them this morning.

 

Love Jesus

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Jesus here. I'm going to wade in here, saying first to both of you, AllInTheName and Wayfarer, that I respect your questioning and your commitment to better understand your relationship with God.

 

Second, I note that in the paragraphs written above, neither of you is willing to come out and say the dreaded "s" word -- soul. I understand and sympathize with the reality that many people misuse "soul" and try to frighten other people into obedience by talking about "fallen souls" and "unworthy souls" and "lost souls" and "souls made in original sin." But the fact of the matter is that each person in God's Creation IS a soul. You cannot talk about your divine nature while simultaneously trying to sidestep the fact that you have a soul -- that you ARE a soul. There are many problems within the church vis-a-vis the nature of the soul. But those problems must be confronted head on, not ignored, denied, or swept under the carpet because they're difficult.

 

Once you accept that you have a soul, it becomes easier to understand the whole "divine nature" question. Your divine nature is about integration, balance, harmony between feeling, action, thought, and word. It is about soul seamlessly blended with heart, mind, body, and strength.

 

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Thanks! This is VERY helpful --- in line with what I was seeking with the original post. I have learned that much of my language to talk about God is too limiting.

 

OA - Thanks for replying, too! I'm glad you weighed in. I DO appreciate the chance to get others' thoughts as I'm trying to understand. I'm glad I'm not God, that there's a power that's more than me.

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