Feb 28, 2011

Withholding Grace By the Christian Church (Final)

As for me, I would prefer to err, if I am to err at all (and somebody reading this is saying - YOU HAVE ERRED - I Know), on the side of grace, as opposed to relying upon convoluted texts, mistranslations, malapropisms, misinterpretations, dogma, preachers and teachers ..., well-intended or not! Part 3
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Aristotle held that there were three basic activities of man: theoria, poiesis and praxis. There corresponded to these kinds of activity three types of knowledge: theoretical, to which the end goal was truth; poietical, to which the end goal was production; and practical, to which the end goal was action. Which one is being practiced or pursued in Christian traditions today?

And you shall know them by their love? Well, that disqualifies a whole lot of religious people that I know of, if love is the measure by which we shall know them. In fact, religious people from all faiths, denominations ..., are more religious than they are godly! That is, they pray, fast twice in the week, tithe ... but lack the fifth element or central ingredient, love!

Too many Christians, similar to the pastor's wife, are harbingers of the Jonah complex. Remember, God ordered Jonah to travel to Nineveh, the soon to be capital of the Assyrian Temple, to warn its inhabitants that Nineveh would be destroyed ...

Jonah was not happy, furthermore he was reluctant to go and preach to the at Nineveh to the Assyrian people (ironically, the same general areas where American Christian's fiercest enemies reside today). He, was so reluctant to go to minister to these people, that attempted to go in a completely reluctant direction.

After being spared himself, given his reluctance to obey God and failed escape, he still couldn't understand why God would want to fail the people that he hated. And being a prophet of the Lord, he sensed the mercy of God that would follow the message, and that the people just might repent.

And, if the people would repent, he knew that God would have mercy upon, and Jonah, like many of Christians today, have a similar attitude about middle-Eastern people.
would spare the city's inhabitants. How dare God, the reluctant Jonah felt, to have mercy on a nation of people that he and many of the Israelites hated. Burn baby burn, men, women and children!

Most of the time, it seems as if God's sole purpose in sending a message of doom, is to give people a opportunity to change direction. However, even among Christian, preachers, teachers and laypeople, there is hunger for judgment on other people whereas Christians desire mercy for themselves.

Just consider Evangelist Pat Robertson of, 'let's ignore the Roadmap to Peace proposal', that was being considered by President George H. Bush Jr. (good Christian brother that he is. A roadmap for peace in the Middle-East. People got his Bible to tell the President and anyone else who would listen that it is recorded in 'the word of God', that these nations were to be destroyed.

In fact, brother Pat-Jonah, wanted to see those Middle-Easterners, especially Muslims to get slaughtered by NATO Forces. According to bible eschatology, as Pat interpreted it, the Muslims (even babies) were to be destroyed and 'Aryan Christians', were to prevail. Er herm, and don't forget that he also he wanted President Hugo Chavez to get knocked off too..., and for him to burn, baby burn!

Jihad, death to the Great Satan, Kill them Muslims, Stop the Commies..., God and most Christians like Pat would say. And God forgave Pat for attempting to run for President of the United States again, after Pat said that God told him not to run. Man, God was even afraid of what might happen to millions of innocent people if Pastor Pat was to become President of the United States.
Did you know what else, I got banned, just the other day from all events sponsored by the Black Chamber of Commerce on Parkmoor Avenue in San Jose California.

I must be the only black person in history, who was ever banned from a Black Chamber of Commerce. Well, blacks didn't care for Marcus Garvey, or (The National Baptist Convention) for Dr. MLK at first either, did either group. Man, I get banned from everything, for example the Mormon church years ago, a black church and now the Black Chamber. What is this spirit of banning, banishing and hoping that other people will burn, that is so common among western institutions, even black ones.

Now, I may just reconsider joining the White Chamber of Commerce or the Mormon Church, if they will have me and permit me to sing "Nobody Knows The Trouble I See". And like Jesus, he came to his own and they didn't receive him either. By the way, a few days after I was banned from the Black Chamber, thank God: I was then asked to consider joining the Board of Directors of a major white organization in the area. What does this all mean?

Perhaps we are making progress after all. And perhaps, now it is time for black organizations to follow the lead of the white Mormon Church and other white organizations who have stopped banning people of other races in many instances!

Okay, I've been sarcastic enough, and I have to go: I could cite more examples of this kind of idiocy, but as usual, I have too many things on my plate to attend to, and will have to get back to this article and make corrections later.
However, consider the following talking points in review.Anyone, who does not show mercy or compassion is obviously living in a delusional state, particularly, if they believe that religion triumphs grace.
And again, Adam disobeyed God, and his punishment was to live an extended lifetime of 900-plus years.

This suggests to me that Adam's God was a God of Mercy, well, how about the Christian, JW ... God? God wouldn't take any pleasure in seeing any individuals burn for trillions of years or more, even though those who claim to be followers would be all for it, if other people were to burn forever - particularly the ones that, like Jonah, they don't particularly like!

Could that be the reason that the entity or whatever it is, that we refer to as God, wisely stays away from us? Humans put Jesus to death: I suspect that it would be just a matter of time before humans would attempt to destroy an anthropomorphic God-being, if there were one and they could get to him or her!

Human Christian misinterpretation of what we refer to as God and God's will, leaves something to be desired. And if religious conclusions and interpretations are based merely upon, outdated texts, I understand how everyone came to their conclusions, but it is time to update the message. So go and, ask God? If God won't talk back, then figure out what not?

Attempting to make human understanding to coincide with that of the God entity, or other, is on its face, problematic. Again, if God is eternal, then why not simply take out your Android phone, give IT a call, and get things cleared up!

If Ibrim lived today,,Abraham, he would likely me a Muslim today, and who knows a member of Islam that would be saved by grace through faith, well, as long as he didn't consult with a western Christian.

How come individuals in other regions of the world, who possess faith, are denied salvation despite their faith in the Almighty, no matter what? Does it simply have to do with human prejudice? I know Pat, there God is not the real God and yours isn't either, I suspect? In other words, like churches who withhold communion from some people, Christian churches tend to withhold grace, from non-westerners.

Remember that neither Abraham, Jeremiah, Stephen … or many other prominent biblical characters ever heard of Christianity, yet they experienced grace and had faith.

I have seen too many individuals who are high on their own religious beliefs, which encompasses being in love with their own minds and interpretations of things! Too many in the religious world, lack and oftentimes withhold grace from people who are no better and no worse than they are.

In closing, I am reminded of something that is recorded in the book of Jeremiah, "They said that I said, but I have never spoken to them" . That scripture continues to resonate, more and more, for too many religious groups. What if God was to speak ..., and say to Christians ... one day, "I NEVER SAID THAT ...", what you said that I said, how would you feel?

Or what if one day God said: I really did tell people like Solomon, that grace trumps theology, and to seek an answer in love, rather than the other. Then, what would you have to say?

I will also remind my critics, the ones who will often quote the Apostle Paul in his letter (not scripture) that, All scripture is God-breathed...",Please respond to the following questions:

What was scripture, and what scriptures was Paul referring to when he wrote this in his letters?
What part of the Canon existed when Paul wrote these words?
What texts was he referring to?
Did, the Apostle Paul consider 'his writings', as the Apostle Peter referred to them in his letter to be scriptures?
Wouldn't a sincere examination of not only the Christian faith, and many of its tenants, texts and principles be timely, given all of the confusion that exists in the religious world (given what religious people have concluded to be divine, I believe, has more to do with human ideals and misunderstandings, and less to do with anything that a God-creator figure said, I suspect)?
Why did the Apostle even admit, that some things that he wrote, were more by permission than a direct inspiration from God?

I suspect that if Christians, and not just Christians, could get away from their regional concepts of God, and consider all of the appellations... that have been used to refer to or explain this phenomenon that we call God, that they would have to admit that their intolerance of other people and their withholding of grace from other people who are not like them, neither comports nor reflects the personality or nature of the entity or thing that they are referring to as God!

Praxis: Having said that, I believe that the faith of someone who hasn't heard of the term “God”, Yvh, Adonai …, will be sufficient for them to arrive at the truth, just ask Hagar! Or ask, knock, see or 'smote on your chest, and see IT won't respond to you ..., I would tell anyone, anywhere and at anytime, AND THE TRUTH WILL COME AND FIND YOU!

Again, if I am to err or have erred at all, I would prefer to err, if at all, on the side of grace as opposed to theology and dogma. The letter kills right? And just as you sit before your computer, IPOD ..., ask God, what it is that you really need to know, and the real teacher will be sent, even the Spirit of Truth!

Rely less on theology or theological or religious constructs, and take responsibility for your own life - don't put the responsibility for your life in the hands of another human being! When you heard from or observed all of the religious groups, that often time leave you confused, simply ask, what we refer to as GOD for answer? Why? God didn't make religion, we did that! Focus more on love then, if you really believe that God is love, and less on religion, especially intolerant religion and intolerant religious teachers.

I am afraid that too many of our religious groups, even the well-intended ones, have done what Jesus accused the Pharisees of doing: He said, YOU HAVE SHUT HEAVEN UP (or off it you prefer), you are not going in, and you are keeping others from going in. Now that's something to think about! And if you are a religious person that is so confident, pious and unlike other women and men, perhaps you ought to rethink this whole thing, but at all cost, please never think, say or feel that someone else ought to 'burn baby burn! A Christian bible scripture reads like this: And you shall know them by their love (which includes grace)!

Love, Peace & Grace

Addenda: Here is something that (what we call, unmistakably said to me (not an auditory hallucination), several years ago: IT was: Satan is going to try to cut you off..., shut you off ..., and to destroy you, but IN YOUR ARM IS THE SEAL OF ABRAHAM!

And that
is the reason that you are reading a blog rightly named as: THE SEAL of ABRAHAM, and guess what, Satan tried, but I am still here!

See, I am not a heretic, apostate or misguided after all. And who tried to do what God said? Just as religious zealots did with Jesus in his time, modern-day Christians, have attempted to and done the same to me, and still I am still here to encourage everyone, to seek after what is real rather than get bogged down in religion or religious social constructs.

There is something greater, that exceeds religious dogma and superstition - 2000 years after the common era and we should have uncovered IT by now! Just as it was in Jesus' time, it was religious zealots who believed that they had a monopoly on truth. And Jesus told them, that they had heaven closed up, in spite of all of their proselyting. I suspect that the same holds true with modern day religious groups.

I will come back and fix this one day too ... but I have to go now! And why am I so outspoken? Listen, I have burned my bridges with religious groups already, ergo I am free to pursue the truth, and to follow the example of the controversial Jesus Christ who became an enemy to establish religion. And for me, Salvation is far more important than condemnation and condemnation theology happens to be.

After all, all of us have sinned, according to the Apostle, and come short of the glory. So, who am I to judge?

Love, peace, grace (and don't burn anybody Christians)

Feb 25, 2011

Withholding Grace By The Christian Faith Part 1

"They ought to go to hell, and burn ..."! At least that is the way that one pastor's wife from a Christian church, put it.

And the "they", that she was referring to, were individuals, Christian or not, who did not interpret things the way that she had been taught by her particular denomination. Well then, where does love fit it into the equation, the kind that encompasses grace & mercy?

I wondered, after hearing her make that vile statement, about the following scripture: "...Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh ..."; what was in her heart? I also read in the Christian Canon, "... that where loved abides, grace did much more abide". Why would anyone want to see someone else to, 'burn baby burn'?

And isn't that the problem with religion in general, including Christianity, that religious people believe that their private interpretations of ancient texts are what matters more than anything else?

Poor Ibrim, if he were alive and lived in the Middle-East today, his faith would not be counted as righteousness, at least not from a western euro-centric Christian perspective.

Too much Christian dogma, is influenced by Eurocentric and therefore Aryan, Teutonic ... biase. Factually, if you were to listen closely to the Christian message as it is often explained by western Christians, too many western Christians are therefore perfectly content, if not hopeful, in believing that the majority of the people of the rest of the non-white world, religious or not, will be going to hell to burn forever!

And the real reason for that has to do with their lack of perspective, biases, conditioning and a convoluted sense of self-worth.... that they perceive is what is right and acceptable to God. And what is right, as far as they are concerned, is in effect defined by their personal interpretations and conclusions drawn, that have been filtered through the prism of their own prejudices, which they believe determines what is right or wrong from a human or divine perspective.

In other words, what they understand to be true, based on what they claim to know or perceive to be right, their environment or their dogma is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! And anyone who does not come to the same conclusions as they have, about anything as they have, then they are in error and will go to hell and burn too! R

All of us must recall that the heart is deceit ...! Peter the Knife, thought that by cutting up of man's ear, that he was somewhat protecting Jesus.

Sadly, too many Christians ... harbor more mercy for their pets than they do for other human beings. Some Christians have forgotten the scripture that reads, God does not wish for anyone to perish, in fact they want other people to perish, which bolsters their false sense of abrogation and right. Just consider Pat Robertson for example. He reminds me a lot of the, I don't touch anything unclean variety, Peter, or Jeremiah, who did not believe that the Ethiopian could do anything about his darkened skin color.

On occasion, I remind Christians that after Adam transgress, that he did not immediately die or burn, for disobeying the command of God. Instead, he lived for a Millenium. Could it be then that God was merciful, even more merciful than most religious people would be or would have been? Or, how about the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery, today she would be condemned by Christians and other religious folks, however, Jesus had mercy on her, despite legalist's and the Law. She was, according to the law, guilty of a capitol crime.

However, Jesus did not withhold grace from her. Well then, just who did he think he was to abrogate the law, and commute someones sentence? The average Christian would have had this woman stoned, and Adam nailed to a pre-Roman cross, if he veered disobeyed 'their laws'.

In my opinion, Christians seem to have the same problem that Jehovah Witness Klansmembers have, they are intolerant and 'meanly saved'! JW's, cannot explain why, according to their belief system, that there are fewer spots reserved for them in heaven, than there are Jehovah Witnesses! So one has to wonder, why are JWs still recruiting individuals to fill up spaces that have already, apparently, been taken?

Ah close up shop and go home JW's, I say: because according to your own theology, there aren't any more seats left anyway, so why are you still proselyting!

Years ago,I invited a Jehovah Witness brother that I knew to visit our Christian church. He didn't respond at the time, however, his denomination will be proud to know that this good JW came back to me later that day, and angrily announced, "I will not be coming to your church", and he turned and walked away. I wonder if there is still a seat reserved for him in, Jehovah Witness heaven?

You could just see the love of God exuding from him. Actually, I felt sorry for him, having had been raised up and endoctrinated in another intolerant religious group myself.

I immediately stopped the next group of JW's, that tried to witness to me one day on a bus stop in El Cerrito California, by asking this simple question: Why is it, if you people represent God, that you fail to reflect the (grace) of God? The JW woman turned and walked away, apologetically, after admitting that I was correct. Most of you know that are not permitted to instruct a JW - you are supposed to listen to them.

This lady broke the rule, when she listened to what I had to say. I hope that she won't loose her reserved seat in JW Heaven; she should, at the very least, be permitted to sit in the bleacher section. If one were to simply consider the methods, attitudes and behaviors of just these two religious groups, it is clear that they don't care if little children or any other God fearing individuals get into heaven or not.

Instead, like the Pharisees before them, many of them love the spectacle of proselyting, appearing to be pious and growing their congregations (and there are some exceptions to this rule). Some proselytes really believe their message, and that they are helping people to know God and therefore to go to heaven.

Now having said that, these two sample groups are mutually exclusive in one other respect, for not only will they not tolerate most of the great unwashed in the world, they won't tolerate each other either! That's right, as far as they are concerned, their counterparts are all going to go to (hell or the Gehenna) too! Man hell and the Gehenna are going to be crowded with religious zealots who never understood the message of God or Jehovah!

Neither of these groups has any patience or tolerance for any other group that has not come to the same conclusions they have. And it doesn't matter whether the other groups, or its adherents, believe, pray in faith to God, live by faith or have been accepted by God. In other words, they tell God who should and should not be accepted into the Pearly Gates too! The problem being, among other things, 'they are withholding grace', people who claim that they are no longer 'under the Law'.

The Pharisees were also merciless and surprised to find out that Jesus was not like them, he was both gracious and merciful. Perhaps every religious group and individual on earth, could learn from Jesus' examples of implementing grace in real-time.

But still Pat Robertson ..., and his crowd would say, if they don't believe what we, dominionists', believe and then, "then I'm sorry, but burn baby burn". For of course, 'the real God is the one that they believe in', the one that Pat talks to on the 700 Club, except when he is thinking about killing other world leader or Middle-Easterners.

Pat believes in western-style Jihads and Fatwahs, which him no different than his perceived or real enemies on the other side, and I suspect that Rev. Franklin Graham, had better be careful too in this regard. Folks, is it any wonder why Karl Marx said what he did, 'that religion is the opiate of the masses!
And, is it any wonder that secularist, believe that all of us are either nutty or misinformed.

Give them credit though, most of them have studied religious history, and they based upon what they have studied, they have drawn their conclusions about us. The fact is, they didn't have to study the past to understand what is going on in religious circles today.

For if you were to step and observe what is going on 'in religion', in the present, it is enough to give anyone concern or cause them to request religion altogher. Are secularists any better than religious people or religious organization? Well, they are not making the claims that often make. Clearly, we either don't love as we claim to. (I will tell you way later, hint hint, it has to do with love v. theology)!

One other thing, secularists don't have an issue with GOD (they don't believe that there is one), their issues have to do with religion and religious people!
If heaven is to be filled up with individuals like Pat, JW's, reckless and intolerant Christians'on the Right and others who are to be succinct, 'right, then send me to the Elysian fields, please!. I know that I would not last long in a self-righteous heaven, one populated with self-righteous beings, eek!!!

So where do you stand, and what are you saying then Solomon? And, btw, aren't you supposed to be a Christian, pastor and minister? Yes, to all of the above and I have been any one of the former since 1973 actually, pastored churches, evangelized, was on the radio ... But having said that, I believe that everyone on this planet is here as a result of the mercy of 'the anthropomorphic god', or whatever it is that what we refer to as God, happens to be! I even believe in divine evolution, and that the two, evolution and divine evolution are not mutually exclusive. At best, we are all sinners under grace, and none of us are perfect, except by ...!

And making statements like that, got me kicked out of the mainstream church, that I once was a part of, years ago (which saved me a lot of money by the way). But having said that, I still believe that what we refer to as God, Allah ..., is likely very different in scope, form, desire, meaning, purpose ..., than any of us know , (especially most mainstream religious groups). Apostate, heretic... I hear you! Similar conclusions were reached about Jesus too!

Who would be elitist, or arrogant enough to conclude that what they happen to believe - given their interpretations of imperfect, supplemented and augmented texts..., or having been indoctrinated with what someone else believes is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, is the truth?Just because you interpret it one way, in other words, that does not make it true!
And here is a good place to reflect upon the trial: Galileo Galilei v. Church, in the 16th Century. If you were not aware, the church was wrong when 'a religious' Italian physicist... Galileo (and posthumous Copernicus) were right. And, Galileo, paid the price for contradicting church dogma! Have you ever been in any religious group where you weren't ordered to "repeat after me", solemnly swear or hit the road toad'? Answer, most of us have been, otherwise we would not have been admitted into the group anyway.

The fact is that within any religious, scientific, philosophical or any other circle, that their teachers, texts or conclusions drawn, can and often are in error! Most will never admit it, even the one's who have since learned better. Religious people, similar to individuals in other disciples, are often too easily swayed. Perhaps, all of us should head over to the Oracle at Delphi and inquire, just who is a wise man or woman?

What's funny is, given the examples that I cited above, most believers are convinced that it is the other people who are going to burn, not them. These individuals all remind me of the Pharisee who while standing and praying, thanked God that he was not like other people! We have a lot of similar pharisees around us in religious circles today, as well as in the non-religious community, wouldn't you agree? Hey, I'm still looking down at the ground myself. Somebody should tell the others, that they are just like the rest of us, at best just stumbling along and still imperfect!

Too many Christian and other intolerant religious groups, want the rest of us to burn baby burn! Many of these same individuals would witness a human execution, and mercilessly proclaim, that the executee got just what they deserved. And afterwards, they would go out to dinner or home and watch religious TV.

I will never forget the man standing outside the prison where former mass murderer Ted Bundy was executed. He held a placard that read: ROAST IN PEACE!!!That Ted committed some pretty heinous crimes is a fact, but roast in peace? Hmm, vengeance is mine and I will repay, saith the Lord, right. It would have been better, I believe, for him to have mourned the loss of so many lives, including Ted's, at the time. Now, if somebody executes me, afterward, all of you should attend his or her execution and simultaneously yell, 'burn baby burn'. Of course, I am kidding!

I would suspect that even the most religious of the religious, even Christians who know that they already have a place reserved in heaven, would agree that rejoicing over someone elses death, like American Christians often do when it comes to people in the Middle-East ... would be a bit much. American Christians do it all the time!

I still remember reading about what took place at the trial of Jesus Christ (see the synoptic texts). Accordingly, it was, unbeliever Pilate who had mercy on Jesus, as opposed to the crowd of religious zealots, particularly the ones who cried, 'burn, baby burn'!

Or how about Jesus' disciples, who when he was still alive, wanted to call fire down from heaven (perhaps American Hellfire Missiles via a UAV), and burn up individuals who didn't see things the way that they did. Would this be a good time to mention the Christian Crusades? Nah!! Even the late Pope Paul, apologized for one.

Well, if God is love (which encompasses grace/unmerited favor), what in the world is wrong with his disciple-followers, past and present? Have all of them forgotten about mercy and compassion, particularly, in light of all of their own foibles, mistakes, willful sins ...? Are any of us who are living today, in a position to cast stones? I know that I am certainly not!

So I ask you again, why is it that members of diverse religious groups, including Christian ones, fail to have mercy or compassion on other people who are no different than they are? Wasn't it Thomas Jefferson, who in a moment of reflection said: God's justice won't sleep forever, when considering the plight of his slaves! Well you might answer, 'he was not a Christian'. Maybe so, and maybe not - but how could you tell? If you were to compare him with most other Christians past or present! Let's see, President George Washington had over 300 slaves himself didn't he ...?

Hmm, but it's the other people who are going to hell? Frankly, I don't want anyone to go to hell, but I suspect that individuals who once were bondservants and slaves in the Ante-bellum South, wouldn't mind if George, Tom and other racists and slave-holders in their time, went to hell. Harriet Beecher-Stowe, if you can hear me, 'what do you think'? There were a lot of folks then, who thanked God that they weren't like other people - black ones!

Peace, love & grace

See part 2

Feb 11, 2011

Withholding Grace By The Christian Faith

"They ought to go to hell, and burn ..."! At least that is the way that one pastor's wife from a Christian church, put it. Part 2

To be sure, I consider myself to be a strong existential believer. What did you say? Isn't that a contradiction in terms. Answer: I like it, and I still believe that there is something that exists, that we call God ..., that may or may not be limited to the God of most sacred books or any religious group. And don't tell Pat that I said that!

In fact, I believe that there is something that transcends the anthropomorphic God of most religious groups and most religious texts ... You see, I decided long ago to stop wasting my time trying to figure out whether what someone else wrote, what a religious group, denomination or scientist said or believed ... was true or not. I decided to do what Moses did, and James, the brother of Jesus instructed dispersed Jews to do, he wrote, he wrote to the dispersed Jews: "...if you lack wisdom, ask God Now", that's a novel idea and something that more people ought to do.

As most of you will recall Moses, according to the Hebrew scripture, went up on the mountain and talked directly to God. I do what they did: I got out by I-Pad, or was it my Android phone and beep beep, I asked God what is real? Why? We all have the same right, I believe, to communicate with what we call God.

On another occasion, I drove up to Lake Tahoe and stood on the mountaintop, suddenly the mountain quaked and the thunder rolled, and afterward a voice spake out and said, "Solomon my son" --- well, the part about going to Tahoe and standing on the mountain was true. Tee hee! But I did ask God, some questions. for example, why is that all too many of the so-called converted in Christianity, as well as in other religious groups so nutty and mean-spirited, also why can't these people come together and agree on the most fundamental questions ...?Simply consider the dutiful pastor's wife, as an example.

And he said unto me: "Come unto me, my son...". Well, it didn't really happen like that, instead I immediately received this input, a reply that coincided with what is written in 1 Corinthians 8:1. Now concerning things offered to idols, we know that we all have knowledge.Knowledge puffs up but love edifies. And, along with the scripture came this message:
They seek an answer in theology, as opposed to 'in love!
And that my folks is the problem, it is what motivates us, and all too often it is not love at love. What, what, what?

Religious people, even Christian ones, hang their entire perspectives and conclusions all too often on their own conclusions/exegesis' of flawed, incomplete, tampered with ... texts. Religious people can cite, recite, exegite, theosophy, manufacture ..., but they cannot seem to love, and God is love.

Today, we know much more than they most of our illiterate predecessors knew or understood about everything, I suppose. And some of us, who have gone beyond ancient texts to find answers (even from scientists), still have faith - and like Job who apparently once said, I KNOW that my redeemer lives, we know that there is something that it is real, and IT is bigger than the God of religion. What is different about people like me?

I believe that there is something far bigger than 'an anthropomorphic, religious, regional want to burn bodies in hell, God'. I have put much of what has been, and is being taught, from pre-historic texts, into a proper historical context. In other words, if our lives in eternity are at stake, then it is up to us to take the responsibility to find out what to do about it.

Relying on other people's interpretations, or solely historical texts is not enough! Our ancestors understanding was clearly influenced by what they understand at the time. Today, we know much more than they did.

Therefore, whatever IT is, that we refer to as the God being, is much bigger than the loveless Christian or JW ..., interpreted message(s). Now having said that, I have been a Christian minister now for 3.5 decades. Well, I don't get a lot of invitations to preach lately, and is there any wonder why I don't? In fact, a minister that I once knew (for a long time sarcastically asked me recently), are you WASHING DISHES NOW? I believe that he wants to see me burn too.

Why did he make such a snide comment: He has an issue with me, however, rather than talk about it (in love or by displaying grace), he chose to insult me instead. Does he have a place reserved in heaven too? Oops! Well, believe it or not, I hope so. Frankly, I am more impressed with the God of Galileo, Sir. Isaac Newton, Dr. Collins ..., than self-righteousness Christians who use the bible to build their own personal religious feifdoms!

I was just thinking about an occasion when missionaries from one of favorite intolerant God groups, happened upon me one day: it was on a porch as I recall. The message that these youthful white Mormon missionaries brought me was this: If you would humble yourself and admit that you are cursed (because I was black), they said then" --- Then what?

Would I suddenly be enter into the hallowed sanctuary of Mormon Temple, temples from which black people were banned from at that time anyway? Yippee! Also, at that time, when this nutty group of religious people were 'serving and speaking for God', blacks were not permitted to sing in the choir, and you know that black people love to sing. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot ..., I guess God told the Mormons originally, 'no niggers allowed'!

And, if I had admitted that I was cursed, I still would not have been admitted to enter into the racist Mormon Priesthood, while Mormon's were speaking for God, and being sent to the great unwashed. On the other hand, perhaps, I would have been permitted to have had a lot of wives (practice monogamy) I guess, black ones I'm certain: hmm baby! The mission of these dudes, dressed in black, while riding their bikes, was simply to tell me that I was cursed.

When I visited Salt Lake City years ago, they accepted my 'cursed money' and admitted me into the Mormon Museum, even though I was cursed and black. And a decade or so after that, they wanted and acquired a Pro basketball franchise and permitted black basketball players, like Karl Malone, to play basketball in the Salt Palace. Of course, we were black by that time and no longer niggers. Before, the Mormon God must have said, they can play basketball, but don't let them in the Temple, the choir or the priesthood.

Man, religious people are a bunch of knuckleheads, aren't they, including Mormons?
Another revelation was given to the presbyters of the church, shortly after I visited the Mormon Museum and listened to the Mormon Tabernacle Choi, in the old Mormon Church. The message was that God changed his mind, and not only could niggers play basketball in Utah, they could in fact becomes members of the Mormon church. God must have been influenced by the Civil Rights Movement and black Dr. King, because he changed his mind apparently, well according to them.

And not to long after, we were allowed to sing in the Choir (Gospel, I wonder?), and finally to be ordained and a part of the priesthood. Finally, no more 'nigger heaven', in Mormonism. I wonder what took them so long to come along, seeing how God had met personally with their founders on occasion.

Well, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young got the new revelation from God about my cursed black people, actually, both of them were likely turning over in their graves - because they were deceased. Heck, I think I'm still a pretty cute black man - I look better than any of them did when they were alive - I've seen their pictures, eek! Anyway, today I can join the Mormon church ..., preach and be friends with Reverend Orrin Hatch (if they never read this blog). I simply cannot believe that I was deprived of that honor for so long!

How many of you know that Minister Orrin Hatch, aka Senator Orrin Hatch(never been cursed before), occasionally preaches at a black church in the nation's capitol? You don't have to believe me, just visit the Bible Way Church headquarters, the next time you are in the nation's capitol. Ask to be taken to the upstairs gallery, and you will see his picture of him hanging on the wall when he preached at Bible Way. They let him, a Mormon, come in and preach at a black pentecostal church!

Let's see, Orrin a preacher? I wonder what VP, and then Senator Joe Biden would think about that, remember the Judge Thomas and Anita Hill hearings, you might as well say. Orrin, wasn't very loving to current Veep Joe Biden, Head of the Judiciary Committee at the time. However, it was a great day for the Mormon ministry, Orrin, helping to defend one black conservative against another black.

Factually, I'm like God I believe in this regard, that is if you were to study the bible closely. From most biblical texts, it is clear that God wasn't that religious ITSELF and I can see why, that is if what the prophets and disparate writers wrote was true. God, apparently spoke through the prophets and said, I AM SICK OF YOUR SACRIFICES< OBLATIONS... And on the other hand, he loved and had compassion on brother David, a womanizer and murderer, and Moses the Killer of Egyptians... Hmm!!

Even Jesus, after giving the sermon in the Synagogue one Sabbath, was subsequently 'tossed out' and almost thrown down a hill by the religious Jews. It must have been a Mormon (Synagogue) that Jesus was in, just kidding again! Religion makes people nutty. And people don't want me to preach in their churches, (or Jesus to the people) hmm!

What is my point: God's people need to be less religious and superstitious. On the other hand the people who seek to follow God, need to be transformed from their ideas and thoughts that are of their own making, in particular the supercilious religious ones. Did I just attack religion. You got it buddy. You will find that what most secularists, agnostics or atheists if you prefer have an argument with, it is not God at all. Their problem is with religion and religious people.

Frankly, I have the same concern as they do, AND REFUSE TO DRINK THE RELIGOUS KOOL-AID! Once religious people can get past religion, religiosity and dogma, they will be able to discover and meld with the entity or thing, or non entity or non thing 'that really is God'!

So back to my existential faith and belief system: frankly, I don't believe that everything in the Canon or any other textbook for that matter, in totality came from or was completely inspired by God. In fact, we know that flawed texts ended up in the Canon, and how could a collection of books that derived from so many different authors and disparate sources, all be attributed to God-particularly, when the writers of these texts didn't always agree with each other? Some of these books were historical, others poetical ...

Does anyone truly believe that, God of the Christian Bible, believes that 'the love of money for example, is the root of all evil? Think about it folks, that makes no sense at all.

Or how about the scripture that reads, "money answers all things"? That's ridiculous!

I believe that love can answer all things. For example, consider women: They want money, men have money, and therefore women want a man. On the other hand, men want women, and if they want to get a woman they know that they have to have some money - and that my friends is love. Just kidding again, and I know that I will go to hell for that one too, won't I?

Today's preacher, teaches and preaches a lot about money (network marketing) ..., even more than their predecessors did, sermons like THE MONEY IS COMING, instead of Jesus is coming. That is a favorite of the Reverend Kweflo Dollar. I got into it with one of his members on a flight to Buckhead Georgia one day. How dare I critize him for his American Capitalist Church Syndrome message, and performance at church.
I preached about American Capitalist Church Syndrome, in Seaside California, over a decade ago.

How many individuals, in antiquity, had any money at all, yet Reverend Kweflo instructs people to take money from their pockets and pocketbooks, and waive it over head during church services, while chanting, "the money is coming"! My deepest apologies to Reverend. Moon, Reverend Ike ..., today's preachers owes these gentleman, if they could, an apology.

Having said all of that, I am still convinced that something exists that transcends all of the buffoonery that is associated with any religious group or religion for that matter. I suspect that scientists are on a better track, than many religious nuts happen to be. And don't dismiss me as a heretic yet, because, Jesus, during his time was considered to be a whack job too. Jesus and I have had something in common actually, both of us have lived outdoors among the people, preached to them and have been tossed out of religious organizations.

My former Bishop wrote letters telling the other churches in the District, that Reverend Solomon has been disfellowshipped. Now I really do love my former Bishop, he really is a kool guy, but religion got the best of him too. Why was I disfellowshipped, well, it was because I resigned from the organization. That's right, I was kicked out for resigning!

Well no wonder Brigham ... didn't want 'niggers' in the church, the choir or the priesthood either, he would have had to disfellowship them too. How many times have you heard a Christian say that God is Love? Well, if that is true, why is it that Christians (and not only Christians), continue to seek their answers in flawed theological texts 'as opposed to in Love' and from God?

Love heals, but theology, eschatology, theosophying, pontificating, intolerance, disfellowshipping and dispelling people who don't see things the way that you do, never will.

One time, my existential God told me: MY SON (thunder and all), just kidding: In the same manner that I put my glasses on each day, I was to put my divine glasses on, and to see things through ITS eyes.

Well, I did that until I switched to contact lenses, and it still works. In other words, I see things a differently, when I view things from God's, not theologie's or solely a religious perspective. Before then, I was seeing and interpreting everything through what I read in the Canon, the eyes of human bible interpreters, preachers and translators. And by the way, most of them, even the ones from the same denominations ..., didn't agree when interpreting.

So, why are there so many denominations, sects, religious groups ...? The answer is because too many of them are caught up in theology (twinged with politics and personal preferences), and rarely do any of them understood or operate from a position of LOVE. I have been asked over and over again, why don't I take over the churches where I have preached at? Well, I don't want to do that because we have had enough coups' in religion throughout church/religious history.

Besides, some Sunday's, similar to Jesus and the synagogues & Temple on the Sabbatih, I don't want to go inside of a church building. Instead, similar to Elijah, John the Baptist, Jesus and others, I would prefer to remain outside, perhaps in Lake Tahoe and worship God, or minister to a group of people on the street. Now Jesus had his mountain, and so do I - so don't be so quick to condemn me! And what do I minister to the people who no longer believe in religion, or God because of religion and religious people - I teach them to seek after what is real, and that if they will do that, IT will find them.

Aren't Christians supposed to be above legalism and theology? If you asked anyone who has been in Christianity for a period of time, particularly, dispensational Christians or dispensational theologians and theologists, why is it that things are different now than they were before with God, (ask the Mormons or Christian, they would likely tell you, that we are living in the dispensation of grace and truth, as opposed to individuals who lived under the law ...

That may be true, or it might be a rationalization that has been employed in order to explain or justify, change and causation. But ask them this question next, when will the dispensation of Grace and Truth ever begin at their church or at other religious establishments?

Peace & grace ... continued