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