INTERPRETING RELIGIOUS WRITINGS
“Seek the truth and the truth will set you free” *22
I believe I was given the word “Equality” and time to study and write about it because it is the one word that most sums up the universal golden rule found in all beliefs and is the direction we need to go in, especially at this time in our history to avoid more physical, as well as spiritual, world wide disasters.
Do we realize most scriptures are written from the male viewpoint, during very male dominated times in history, that has tried to justified inequality?
More aggressive by nature, males are also usually physically stronger and have been the ones with the “hunting weapons” dominating much of our recorded history. Because of the belief that “might makes right” we live in a world of inequality.
Inequality has been our religion, no matter what has been preached our actions tell a different story.
“THESE PEOPLE HONOR ME WITH THEIR LIPS BUT THEIR HEARTS ARE FAR FROM ME THEY WORSHIP ME IN VAIN FOR THEIR TEACHINGS ARE BUT RULES MADE BY MEN”
“Isaiah 29:13, and repeated by Jesus in Mark 7:7
Rules that enforce inequality are man made rules, from a false Idolatrous Image of God.
A Living God of Holy Love and of All cannot be partial to one group, or sex, or age, or culture and we can know this from many sources in Christianity, including our last Vatican II Catholic Council, where our Scriptural Canon law comes from and where as never before, it is made plan that as Scriptures do say many times, in many ways, God is “not a god of partiality”.* (scriptures given at end of book)
Most scriptures of “Equity” repeat in different sacred books and are consistent with the Universal standards in most cultures of the Golden Rule to treat others without partiality (without inequality).
Raised as a Protestant there was often a yearning, especially in my early teen years to go back to the Catholic Church of my Huguenot ancestors, in spite of the persecution they suffered, especially in France. It was the candles, the stories of Jesus told in the stained glass windows, the smell of the incense, I felt then.
Fortunately my Indian heritage allows me to easily see that all can be and originally was sacred, to experience our world, mountains, air, water, energy, as God’s special creation, a sin to misuse or not to be appreciative of.
I know from much evidence, it was God’s plan for me to witness for equality, especially to the Catholic Church, the apostolic Church that first wrote or decided what would be considered the inspired Scriptures of God’s covenant with Gentiles, as well as the Hebrews, about 315 AD. They wrote the Bible as is in Catholic official versions and who have most of the original scriptures are in Vatican vaults.
If Christians are to come out of idolatry and go towards “Equality,” it must come officially from The Church. And it did during the last Vatican II, for in several places, there is wording such as “Every type of discrimination, based on race, sex, culture, age… is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to the will of God” *23
Both Pope John Paul I and John Paul II promised to do what they could for the equality of women, and one lasted only a few days after that statement he made to his Wednesday speech to the people in St. Peter’s Square, and Pope John Paul II after taking his name, and promising to do something for Women’s equality in 1979, in the next few years, got way-sided somehow, but that is another story, whose truth of John Paul I death, possible also from his desire and stated willingness to clean up the Vatican Bank, as well as help the plight of women, will not be fully known until the day of judgement.
Since Vatican II had given the legal canon rite to end discrimination for the female half; it seemed good to me to become a Catholic. But after the first couple of years of going daily to services, I began to lose hope that there was any willingness, especially at the top, to change, to actually give females, “Equality” within or out of The Church Jesus founded.
Our Catholic Church was the only local Christian one open for morning or evening services. I felt I needed that closeness to God, and God’s people. Yet I could see many were members who had been raised in and hung onto Vatican I, and the old ways.
Unless change came from their leaders few people would even know the Holy Spirit had spoken in Vatican II, of the churches need to end age-old discriminations and prejudices.
I began to lose hope that I could work any more in the church, than any other spiritual group of people and it became harder and harder to worship God there.
One Sunday morning as I walked to church, it felt so wrong to go that I turned around and started walking back towards the beach, where I could for sure feel close to God’s strength. Walking less than a half of a block I suddenly felt God’s Hand in mine.
I did not see anything as I had so many years before when only five years old but now felt a definite and very strong imprint of The Hand in mine. The force of it spun me around in a half circle, right there in my tracks, and back towards the church!
It was a powerful sign that God intended me to witness in the church, of our need for “Equality”.
There is no doubt in my mind this would never have happened to me or anyone else, except for the importance of the witnessing I had vowed to do, that “Equality” can prevent Spiritual destruction as well as physical wars in our world.
As the Priest talked that morning I also learned one more piece of the huge crossword puzzle of Christianity that is passed on only by word of mouth, the oral traditions, some are true little pearls, not to be trampled on, by those not ready to hear, or because there wasn’t room enough to put all they knew and had heard, in the Bible.
This is one of the big problems with religious division? Many outside lack the information gathered, stored, and shared only within the Church for the past 2000 years.
Religious intolerance, like other forms of prejudice causes gossip and misinformation, about what other people believe and act upon, and many look or listen to the Church, whether they believe or not.
The first year in San Diego, one of my daughters, I believe had an encounter with the same Angel that I had seen in the middle of California telling me to come here to San Diego.
Angels can take on the appearance of a human and we may even be unaware of their presence. *24
A picture of a cross was given as she waited, one foggy morning, for her school bus. Given after she gave a “nice looking young person” 35 cents of her 50 cents lunch money, just because he said he needed it for bus fare. In 1977 35 cents was enough to ride the bus into downtown San Diego, or to buy her lunch.
Her description matched uncannily the angel, whom I had seen only a couple months before but had not told her about that very unusual experience, when I had been told to move here to San Diego.
We had by then settled in the little suburb of Ocean Beach. Yet it would be several more years more before I would learn this far end of America was also the leeward side of St. Michael’s Bay.
The cross was a reminder of the reality of the angel’s visit, given to her because she is such a loving child and has a gift of insight that far surpasses most of us, while her sister has been blessed with the Holy Spirits special gift of faith.
The cross is a symbol of Christian suffering that shows what words cannot really express, of the pathways traveled to the land called heaven or eternal life. The burning and often painful cross of life may be the hardest for us as humans to accept, let alone carry well!
Perhaps it is the necessary way of burning out the worm of negatives from our lives, which is that part, I believe, that goes through the fire or “gehena” of the Cross. The ever-burning city dump out side Jerusalem was called gehena, the word for hell that Jesus used.
LOVING ONE ANOTHER
Loving can break your heart
Again and Again, like thorns that stick to the quick.
Best to bear the Cross of Love heal our pain.
Reach out to Love again
Instead of retreating inward
We can accept each one’s human frailty
Change what we can
By overcoming evil with Good and
Loving One Another with a pure love.
Love the pearl worth more than all else.
Chosen poverty is one thing, you can even glory in it and become quiet self-righteous,
Real poverty is another thing altogether!
Forced to leave keeping up with the Jones’s or Jane’s, I did gain time.
Time needed to spend with God, and to learn from and witness for “Equality” necessary for Peace!
Some believe that more war is inevitable from their interpretation of Biblical prophecy. Yet the reason God gives us prophecy is to change our directions we are going in, so that the worst does not have to happen. God is not the static dead God of fatalism!
The story of Jonah surely was written to tell us that, when people do repent, see the wrong and correct it, there is no destruction. God is big enough to deal with any possible enemies, if we are willing to let God work through our hands.
It is our willingness, our priorities that have to change and that means first turning our hearts and lives over to a peace loving God and not anything less.
A young Christian friend, the girls met, named Tim, tried to help us to find and then furnish an apartment, mostly from second hand stores and even some discarded alley furniture.
He told me of a vision he had then of a nuclear disaster. He had been given the date of March 9, 1978, that we had to prevent this disaster.
I mentioned the date in a paper (about our need for “Equality” if we were to go toward peace) that I had given to the church and any one else I could think of to send it to. I would learn from that experience what it is to be a “Jonah” prophet.
Instead of giving his specific date, I should have said we were very close to a nuclear disaster, the way the National Organization for Scientist had put it,” we were only a few minuets from midnight”!
So it was not just me that felt the danger.
I believe that scientific clock has been moved back now by the prayers and fasting for a week, just in San Diego alone, where over 5000 pledge cards were signed and gathered by one church group.
The Holy Spirit inspired one faith filled Protestant Pastor Jerry Bernard, to head the effort there.
Still occasionally see him on TBN, one of the Christian Television stations, that has grown almost, if not, world wide in the past few years. There is also another TV station, 3 Angels Broadcasting Network that is reaching the world, as well as Catholic TV.
Another sign of the end of this age of evil, Jesus said to the effect that the whole world would first hear the gospel or the good news that each and everyone is precious and worthy of salvation in the eyes of God, (if only because we were created in God’s Image, both male and female) but such a message must first be heard before it can be accepted.
The Monsignor, our pastor, urged the parish to attend interfaith services, both at our Catholic Church and the following week later, at one of the Protestant Churches a block away.
Then President Carter renewed a national day of prayer, as did the United Women for Peace. The International Businessmen’s Christian Organization, my brother belongs to. They too were asking people of good will to fast and pray for peace.
Since that time we have come a long way but we are still in danger. There is no place to run from such a disaster, that a nuclear world war would cause. Radiation would pollute the earth’s atmosphere, through the jet stream that circles the earth in hours, blocking the sun, with below freezing darkness possible for weeks or even months.
Even the underground cities, the controllers of the nuclear buttons have access to, would most likely be filled with chaos and unending terror, before long.
The earth is the home of the Prince of negatives for only a comparably short time, in terms of eternal time. Prophesy from the book of Revelations, tells us we will eventually have “1000” years of peace, but indicates this is after a holocaust that could kills up to a third of the people. *25
Only in our time have we seen this kind of destructive power, for so many to die in one war. The sign of Jonah is also to be given in the “end of this age”, Jesus said. *26
Jesus was a Jonah sign for his time 2000 years ago, as well as for us today, by his being three days in a tomb and then resurrected. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and miraculously saved by God.
In spite of my continuing to fast and pray daily, The Holy Spirit did not give any word or evidence of comfort until the eve of Easter. I was expecting at least a sentence if not a paragraph to help me know what I should do.
I only heard the soft whisper of the word “Faith” months later. This I realized was the one word I needed to hear most, to ease the heavy burden I was feeling then. I was to keep the faith of a resurrection for this world! I feel that stronger than ever, if only enough people can be reached in time.
We can avoid any more wars or holocausts if we will go towards “Equality” and equal justice for all.
“What does the Lord require but to do justly, love Mercy and walk humbly with God” scriptures say.* 27
By 1985 I felt a strong urging from God to go to Israel, by way of Rome. I was able to go by selling what I had left of my personal belongings. The girls were pretty much on their own by then, with their Dad, his family as well as mine helping them, when they could.
Upon arriving in Jerusalem spent the first month in a French Convent in the Arab section of the Old City at the site of the third station, it was amazing to come into Jerusalem at night, to first see that bright Holy City on a hill. Another memory deeply imprinted.
After a month I was able to find a little room of my own. Also soon met a heaven sent woman from New Zealand who was willing to help me gather signatures for a Peace Scroll, when she could, as both of us were working part time on an archeological dig.
She was actually helping dig out a 2000-year-old Roman villa, about a mile from Jerusalem, usually in the hot summer sun, while I got to sit under a shade tree, cleaning and labeled what was being dug up.
In the afternoons we stood at the huge gates of the old city in Jerusalem, gathering signatures. The peace scroll said, “For Peace I will treat others with Equal Respect,” in Hebrew, Arabic and English.
We made the peace scrolls out of wooden rolling pins, found in the long, narrow mysterious streets of the “Souk,” or Arab markets. Wrapped with rolls of parchment like butcher’s paper, delicately carved olive candlesticks were doweled on to the ends.
The Arabs we talked to were primarily angry at their lack of “Equality” in a culture that prided itself on the equal rights of the Jewish citizens. The Arabs feel this is their ancestral and Holy Land too.
They were not getting equal pay for equal work, their sections of town and streets were left Un-repaired, often with huge pot holes in the streets. Their list of injustices are as many as are groups world wide, who because they lack equal rights, are being treated unequally.
Yet Jerusalem is supposed to be a Holy City and the whole land is supposed to be Holy and is Holy to three of the major world religions, Jewish, Muslims and Christians. The Arabs and Jews and many Christians come from the same ancestors.
The Scriptures of the Jewish people clearly say they are to treat others with the same equality or equal rights in their laws. But they have refused to treat the people who are their racial brothers, who also live in that Holy Land, with the same equal rights they enjoy. Many of them, including the rest of the world, now is suffering because of the inequality there, between Arab and Jew, that those in control have forced on us all. Why is it so hard to see this is the source of most of the worlds discontent, the inequality here, as well as the inequality practiced there?
The only lasting solution I’ve heard besides a World War III that would only increase and continue violence and evil is to make it an International Holy City, which in reality it already is, at least the huge walled old city I lived in for seven months in 1985, is already divided and settled into by approximately third Jewish, Christian, and Arab sections.
The top of the Holy Mount has enough room to build the Jewish Temple again without disturbing the Golden Mosque. It is a matter of religious “Equality”. The Holy City of Jerusalem will always remain Holy to all three Jewish-Christian-Muslim religions. There is no escaping that reality.
As a result of their unequal treatment there was much anger, especially among the young, and those who experienced it the most. They too have customs of inequality, especially towards females. Each culture seems blind to the wrongs or inequities in their own yet can so easily see the faults of others.
This blindness of our own faults is why we need spiritual healing in our world rather than more physical force or threats.
There were a few little incidents that could have been disastrous for me, like a bomb that killed 17 people, at the Damascus Gate where I often sat and “just” happened to be a few Holy Spirit delayed minutes with the Peace Scroll that day.
Another day there was a knife threat, by some of the young PLO men. About ten circled around me. They eventually left after my talking as I had never talked before and only slashed some of the pages.
Another time I was spit at, by one of the more radical Jewish black hatters. The orthodox there are convinced they have a living Messiah from God guiding them. The evidence of this miracle worker who seeks more war is as an antichrist not the true messiah, who promised to come back in full view to everyone, but the orthodox, don’t even accept Jesus as a prophet, let alone their Messiah.
We had to watch the Scrolls carefully to keep from getting them stolen, especially after one of them had been. I like to think it was because they were so beautiful. Overall, considering the tensions boiling at that time, we were miraculously watched over and were able to get thousands to sign, many of them PLO members.
Thousands also gathered several times in torch lit evening peace marches that both Arabs and Jews put together separately, and together, but the fear and hardened hearts of their leadership, most left over from their last war, and the leadership of “their Messiah” meant they were not willing to work towards peace.
The first three months of this journey to Israel, I had spent in Rome. Working, as a volunteer part time, for the Sisters of Charity and later, when in Israel, with the archeological dig, in the valley where David slew the giant Goliath.
While in Rome, my own giant would be the stonewalling of the all-male controlled Roman church, it took much persistence to find a way finally to talk for just a few moments to the pope.
He normally can only be seen by heads of states or the world’s most powerful. I had already tried by mail, for a long time, with little success.
I found that every Wednesday he rides in his pope mobile across St. Peter’s Square and speaks to the many thousands who come from all over the world. By being there very early in the morning it was sometimes possible to get close enough to the roped off area to hopefully get a message to him, once in a while he would stop and speak to someone or accept flowers.
Next to the last time I would be able to come, he did stop, right in front of me. I was too surprised to speak but handed him my short prayer about “Equality”. The next week, to my amazement, he again stopped in front of me. This time I was able to mumble something about our need for “Equality” for peace.
“Shyness hurts you” a friend once said. And when I finally feel comfortable enough to speak wouldn’t you know I usually tend to say too much or not enough!
He looked up to the heavens and back to me, as if to say, Child, their can be no such thing as peace!
I want to find excuses for his not putting into practice “Equality” in the church, as he has that natural charm and charisma of all the politicians I’ve seen. Yet since his mother’s death, when he was very young, the male dominated church has been his primary influence.
One of his aides handed me a picture of Jesus as a baby, naked. This was to point out Jesus was a male. Oh what does it matter whether Jesus had two or three “legs”. It is the goodness of one’s spirit that matters.
There is no way Jesus could have come, taught or preached 2000 years ago, as a woman, because women at that time, were not allowed to even go into the temple or synagogue, let alone teach in a synagogue or on the streets.
Jesus, as Christ, The Anointing and word of God, can work in either male or female.*28 Inequality again is what puts so many into Idolatry of thinking God is male only.
Most women in Biblical times and until very recently have been treated as property, first by their father’s, than husband. It was not until the early 1920s that women in America were even allowed to vote.
One Arab women I met in Israel shared this story with me of how it feels to be a female in a world completely dominated by males from birth until death. She was willing to fight to her death now with only rocks as weapons, to help gain her people’s equal rights in Israel in hopes of gaining her own, and her sisters, freedom.
“I am trapped! We were always trapped, from the day we are born. I am not allowed to draw a free breath in my whole life. My mind, my voice, and my desires have always been locked inside a prison cell. I cannot walk into the gathering room of our house and speak freely. I am not allowed to read a real book”.
“I am not permitted to argue. I cannot disobey, even when I am right. I must not be allowed to learn. I can only do and say what other people allow me. Obey..work..what is joy?”
“How wonderful to be able to read and not be afraid to be slapped for it. To get on a bus and ride away, not come back until dark! I cry until I cannot cry any more. I’ve been molded into a lump that is not supposed to have her own feelings.
“My emotions have been controlled and enslaved from the time I was a little girl. Shame, slap, forbidden, slap, shame.. shame.. Even my body is not my own. It exist to defend my fathers honor. It is not mine! And when I am given or sold into marriage my body will belong to my husband to do as he wishes. I have no say in the matter. So I am trapped.
” I do not want to die like Fathers wives, as receptacles. I do not want to be kept in a cage.”
Note: In the early spring of 1995, I heard one of her sisters had been killed by a member of her own family for not wearing the prescribed headdress in public! On grounds the family had been shamed! This kind of inequality makes a woman’s life worth much less than the male members of the family.
In my own lifetime I have noticed, even here in our valued free nation, few men really seem to hear me when I’ve try to speak of anything spiritual, they are so conditioned against women’s opinion, have little value for it, because they know most authority in religious groups are male.
There is an unfilled Biblical prophecy that may yet have to be fulfilled before this age is ended. “Women shall encompass men” *29
There have been several attempts to make light of this Prophesy or confuse it’s understanding. The word “encompass” from the Hebrew can also mean to “include”.
It would seem possible that in our age the equal rights of women will finally be recognized. We would all benefit if both sexes were equally respected and every ones rights protected. We desperately need the balance that equality brings to the altar of civilization.
In the last few years it seems like the consciousness of both men and women are gradually increasing, concerning our need for “Equality” and putting an end to discrimination of all kinds. Prophecy is not often well understood, until its time.
I do not believe that God has spoken to me alone but to thousands, maybe millions of hearts. If not verbally, somehow in their spirits, for many now seem to realize it is the time to seek the equal rights of all, for the benefit of all. Who would not prefer and desire to be treated as an equal human being?
For non-believers, or believers in only what can be seen with the five senses, realize the seemingly intellectual safety of not believing in anything that cannot be demonstrated by science. Would you consider the known and repeatable observations, which are what the scientific method is all about, as observations too?
There is an orderly kind of intelligence that is in our genetic make-up and in all living things that suggest intelligence, more than just random chance.
An infinite pattern of beauty and variety in the world and in our being, that at least points to some kind of intelligence as Creator.
When we are not caught up in negative emotions, such as anger or being oppressed, there is an also a feeling and need of thankfulness for all the good things about life, a sense of humility, a natural virtue of wanting to go towards the best we can be.
The emphasis on blind religious belief has shifted in recent historical times to the other extreme, to only what can be scientifically proven and repeated by our physical senses in our physical world.
To limit truth or reality to only the material and ignoring the spiritual part of our natures takes us from one extreme of religious superstition to the opposite extreme of materialism.
Just as to close the mind to only what has been known in the past limits the reasoning ability and causes many, in the name of their God or gods, to act in an intolerant, destructive way to others, to those who see truth in a different way.
Make no doubt about it, whether we worship a Loving Creator of all or our pocketbook that fills and decreases often beyond our control, or get caught up in some charming leader, we each of us make something a god!
We inherit our cultural ideas that shape our beliefs and take, primarily on faith, the pure motives and knowledge of those who have passed it on to us. Rarely do we feel comfortable with or change to a much different cultural belief or religion, than the one we grow up in.
Because we tend to reason from what and how we have been taught, by personal experiences or the lack of. We use that to judge and interpret more incoming information.
There are many viewpoints in each religion, conservative, liberal or middle of the road. Many ways of seeing or interpreting the same religious words or choosing what we want to see.
When we turn on a TV set we determine whether we are watching a part of history, such as a newscast or a documentary or a dramatic story that may or may not be based on true life.
Stories often are told symbolically or not to be taken literally, telling only the part the author wishes to be told, to get across a point or moral idea. Moral stories or parables act as the framework to express the moral, often in such a way that it will entertain and hold the interest.
Books were rare until recent times and the ability to read them even rarer. TV’s were non-existent when I was a child, so we need to understand the ancient world by its own ways and customs, if we want to rightly interpret, what the past is saying.
Folk tales and parables that expressed their beliefs were told around campfires and fireplaces for thousands of years, before the printing press was developed, in the 1500s.
While each world religion reflects its own time, space, and cultural biases about God, these same religions have, the universally known moral laws, to do good and not evil, The Universal Golden Rule, that can create peace and goodwill, among those who practice it.
There is an individual and social damage when the Golden Rule is ignored, or wrongly interpreted, in politics or religion.
The infinite part of matter and spirit cannot completely be studied with our finite means and limited range, such as microscopes and telescopes. There may be much more we don’t know than that which we think we know now.
Not until a naturalist, Charles Darwin, gathered sufficient scientific evidence to show a long standing evolution in the creation process did the scientific and educated community began to question, with any success, the translated versions of Biblical creation stories that seemed to have a literal six-day creation. As well as seemed to justify inequality, from the second creation story.
We have to be careful what translations or copies we use. Such as English translations from the original Greek writing of the New Testament that substitute masculine nouns and pronouns, instead of translating the common gender of the original Greek writings.
For example in I Timothy 3:1 the Authorized Version reads: “If a man desires the office of Bishop….” More accurately translated from the Greek originals, “If anyone desires…” * 30
Some errors in translation are caused from the use of punctuation, which was non-existent in the most original manuscripts we have and only began to be used a couple of hundred years ago in copies. Also many Greek words have a significant choice of English words that can be used, some quiet different.
There are other kinds of problems with translations that if not known or misunderstood can put us in danger of worshipping a false god.
Such as the realization that the exact words spoken by Jesus were at first handed down by word of mouth, sometimes for long periods of time before they were written down. Many were not written down. *31
As for gloomy and boring religious services and beliefs is it any wonder people think little of heaven when the picture is one of playing harps or boring music, and doing nothing “fun”.
Who would want to believe in a God who is gloomy, who doesn’t like to see people dancing? We know King David pleased the Lord by dancing.*32 May it remind us that we were conceived as love and joy and are destined for eternal happiness when we seek The God of love.
The God I know has a sense of humor and above all is loving and would never ordain that half of those, created for free will, be ruled by the other half!
We know now that conquering groups of people and nations have in the past tried to assimilate the beliefs of those conquered as fast as possible, by destroying their past, as much as possible, especially religious beliefs to be able to control mentally, as well as physically.
Even as sincere followers, most of us have a hard time being sure, at times, just what God’s Holy Spirit is saying to us, When our own wills are resisting God’s better will, and when we haven’t spent enough time in prayer.
One of the reason we need “fellowship” with other believers, is that God can sometimes reach us through them, and they can be more objective than we are, when we are too selfishly or too emotionally involved.
Jesus sums up how to judge God’s laws and the teaching of the true prophets. “To first put the living God of all, in your heart, mind, and soul and to love others as you love yourself.” *33
God’s Holy Spirit is the only known protection, against negative spiritual forces, which are capable of overpowering and controlling minds that are not protected.
The chance of, unseen to us, forms of life, not so unlike our own, yet also different or far advanced in knowledge and abilities is better understood only as we learn more about the possibility of other life forms, either from other planets, or other dimensions of reality, in the vastness and potential of the universe.
Whether these physical and/or spiritual forces are from outside our human planet, or whether they are possible creations of our mental processes, we cannot prove beyond doubt at this time. They may just seem as real as any other thing personally experienced!
The hope alone, of eternal life being possible, should be enough for you to want to experience for yourself! If you are leery or fearful of knowing, your soul may already be in danger of being hardened to spiritual realities!
You may also be recognizing that you need to ask the Holy Spirit of God to be under spiritual protection, so any possible negative forces cannot unduly influence your spirit, until you’ve had time to experience the reality of God for yourself.
One way of understanding spiritual beings or forces that are normally not visible to our eyes, may be the speed of their energy level. They can have the ability to slow down or materialize, at least for short periods of time, or at rare chosen times.
A simple analogy, most of us can relate to, is an electrical fan. At rest the fan blades can be easily seen. When electrical energy is turned on to a sufficient speed, it spins the blades so fast they are no longer visible, until they are slowed down again.
We know now our own material bodies are made up of speeding molecular forces and atomic particles, too small to be seen with the normal eyesight, yet going at a faster rate of speed than the physical eyes can visualize.
Our life force, or energy field, affects our visibility or invisibility. Just as the visibility of a different spirit kind of being, is determined by their molecular speed or the degree of rotation of their atoms. Other things, not yet known, could also affect the visibility of matter or energy.
The center of our atomic “small” (relative term’s) matter; can be compared in design, to even the largest objects in our solar system, such as the sun or stars, and the planets that revolve around them.
The nucleus of our numerous atoms have charged circulating particles, in constant orbiting motion like planets and give off energy, acting like billions of little suns.
Astronomy tells us there are more than 50 + billion known solar systems, similar to our own, in the vast universe of space surrounding us. Of seemingly infinite variety, they appear to us as only distant stars. Within us exist billions too, of only microscopic size stars and galaxies!
While much in the universe seems to be in random patterns, when seen in galactic proportions are wondrously created. Cells which make up our body tissues are woven together, in an intelligent pattern.
Perhaps when we can see more or understand more about the galaxies around us, other kinds of patterns might emerge. Inanimate as well as living patterns!
Did someone like a God or gods possibly come here from another planet? Supernatural beings to us or ? We know only what others have experienced and they tell us what was told to them, then what we personally deduct from our own experience, or lack of!
What can be found in religious scriptures, and from many people’s personal experiences is the evidence of intelligence life, much greater than our own, more knowing of past, present and future and more loving, at least some, available and willing to help us to become the best we can be.
As well as others, also experienced what are called evil or negative forces that want and will attempt to enslave our minds, misuse and even try to destroy you. These may have come from other galaxies or heavens that we call demons or devils, who were once good “Angels” that rebelled and were cast out. Here on earth trying to enslave who they can!
Only when you have a personal friendship with God will you be able to tell the difference and that only if you have the Holy Spirit gift of discernment! A gift not given to all but to those who are ready and who sincerely request it, this would be taking on a huge responsibility few would want, or easily handle.
It is almost impossible for most people to believe through faith alone, from other people’s experiences, such as those we read about in scriptures. This is one of the reasons why a spiritual rebirth, a personal experience with a Holy Loving God is needed.
There may not be an out of this world vision but there should be a confirmation in one’s heart or spirit, a willingness to accept that there will be more confirming guidance of what is the right and the best thing to do, in your heart.
THE FALLACY OF ONE WAY SUBMISSION
Christianity is about a Loving God, who created a human Christ, with the co-operation of a woman, to be both human and Godlike. Christians call this Christ Jesus. The Hebrew name for Jesus was Yah Shua, meaning Son of God. Christ means “Messiah”, or God’s “Anointed One”.
Jesus is known for showing mercy, giving the opportunity for eternal life to even the seemingly least deserving. He willingly died to show God’s resurrection power over death, and as a sacrifice or atonement for all people’s sins, at least for those willing to believe, God loves us that much.
Religious beliefs, we accept on faith. Either from being told about or from a personal experience with the God, who answered Moses question from the burning yet non-burning bush, with “I AM THAT AM”. Without such a miraculous experience your faith depends upon your trust in other’s experiences or your own logic of an orderly, not randomly made world!
It still seems better for ones-self, as well as others, to go towards the best there could be! To try to find out for yourself! To decide for yourself, if you haven’t already, you have this moment to do that; you’ll never know how many more you may have!
The lesson of “Equality” is that we are all of equal value, a part of the whole that we each have a part in to play. What we do does affect others, directly or indirectly. Workers are needed as in any worthwhile effort. Everyone’s work is equally valuable as needed for the common good.
Even in early Biblical times of so much slavery, God was not dealing with husbands and wives in the same submissive way many now interpret, or teach as “God’s Way” of the public female submission in those days.
For example, Manoah and his wife, the parents of Samson, had been childless and she wanted a son. An Angel appeared to the wife with the message telling her, not him, how they were to raise him, as a Nazirite. *34
Manoah prayed that God would send the Angel again to give them more instructions. Once more God sent the Angel, not to him but to the woman. Didn’t God know that the husband should be the one to receive this communication?
In the story of Ananias and Sapphire *35 God held both the husband and wife equally responsible for their lie to the Holy Spirit, for they both dropped dead.
The “ideal wife” of a Hebrew man is pictured in Proverbs *36 She is clearly a decision-maker who runs a business, deals in real estate, teaches and is called blessed by her husband and children. They apparently didn’t believe she was outside her “prescribed role”!
The Biblical love poem, the Song of Solomon, pictures equal love, respect, and even initiative of the part of both lovers. No one-way submission here.
Surely, some say I Peter 3:17 shows a one-way submission on the part of wives. Yet if you read it in context, it shows tat these women were living with non-Christian husbands whom they were seeking to win to this new religion.
Peter didn’t have the opportunity to write to those husbands, so he tells the wives to follow the customs of the land with a quiet spirit. What choice did they have, if they wanted to stay married, in their culture?
Does anyone need to feel they are above or below anyone else to live the best possible life? What are you to do when you can’t agree? If we each know that we must be willing to consider in a fair light what the other believes or wants (mutual submission) we are more likely to do that which is most fair to all instead of the most self-centered thing.
To act fairly, equally to all, is the best way to act towards each other? When both are not sure then on our knees we can seek what God wants us to do. Most likely the answer will be to do the best for all concerned, or who might suffer the least.
A one way submission partner destroys closeness and honesty. Real love and true intimacy comes most easily between those who have an equal say and power in their mutual love for one another.
Equals can admit weaknesses and fears for there is no “image” to uphold, no threat to position or authority. Shared decision that turns out badly may bring sorrow but not cause for blame or resentment.
Good marriages are built on equal respect and rights. That’s the real way to decrease the unhappiness in marriage and slow down the divorce rate.
Money is one of the biggest problems for marriage. In an equal partnership both partners need to feel they have an equal control or considered in the decisions of how it is spent, or there will be problems that come from resentment and somehow getting even, on an unconscious level often, that is hard to pinpoint why one or both are somehow dissatisfied, in sometimes totally unrelated or insidious ways. Sometimes one of the other are better suited for necessary functions in the marriage and during the early years of the marriage these become more obvious. What works best for each family is the ideal for that family, as long as it is not harmful to either. What cannot be agreed on, after mutual prayer can often be seen in a different light from an expert, in the field concerned.Then again, who am I to claim to be able to give such advice, I was not able to keep my own 9 year marriage intact. But I know a lot of it was because of the common male belief in inequality, plus neither of us were allowing the Holy Spirit to be first in our lives at that time.
Jesus often included women, where Jewish customs did not. A man was not to talk much, even to his wife, and even more so not to a female in public. Jesus talked openly with women. *37
Having already affirmed Martha by accepting her invitation to dinner, he affirmed Mary’s choice to listen to him teach instead of helping with the dinner. “It will not be taken away from her” he said. *38
Women were to follow Jesus from the area of Galilee, all the way to Golgotha’s Cross.
The head of both the husband and wife was meant to be Christ or God, not either just the male or female. If there is not mutual felt agreement, than one or the other, or both, need to seek Holy Spirit guidance till they are sure they are going in the right direction, or seek counseling, where conflict remains.
The Holy Spirit gives women, as well as men, gifts of leadership.
The same Greek words for deacons and pastors are given for women in the original Greek scriptures of the New Testament; yet in many of the later translations when the woman is mentioned, the word is translated servant.
Servant is another possible translation, for all of God’s people who “serve” in any kind of ministry, but hardly fair or truthful to translate it one way for males and another for females.* 39
The believer’s sword is the double-edged sword of Truth and Love, not of human steel. It is tempered by the fire of suffering and sharpened by the determination to shape us more in the image of God, in the Truth that sets all free. * 40
OH MADONNA HOW OFTEN I HAVE WISHED TO BE
THE MOTHERLY MADONNA MARIA
WHO SITS BY HER HUT PATTING TORTILLAS
OH MADONNA HOW OFTEN I HAVE WISHED TO FOLLOW
THE STEPS OF LOVED ONES TO THE FOOT OF THEIR CROSS
OH MADONNA HOW OFTEN I HAVE DESIRED TO SHARE
YOUR SHAME AND HUMILIATION AS A LIVING EXAMPLE OF YOUR CHASTITY
ALAS WOE IS ME I AM JUST A 20TH CENTURY WOMAN WHO PREFERS TO BUY MY BREAD WHILE I PURSUE MY CALLING
ALAS WOE IS ME WHILE I WOULD IDEALLY DIE FOR OTHERS I DREAD AND FEAR THE PAIN THE LOSING OF PRECIOUS ONES
AH WOE IS ME SWEET AND PURE MADONNA MY IMPERFECTIONS STICK TO ME LIKE WARTS ON A TOAD
HELP ME DEAR MOTHER MARIA TO DAILY BE YOUR HANDS IN GIVING BIRTH TO THE GOOD NEWS OF GOD’S EQUAL LOVE IN OUR UNEQUAL WORLD
Note: Mary in English means “Blessed” or “Full of Grace,” as the Angel Gabriel greeted. In Hebrew, Mary or Miriam means also means “rebel”.
NON-VIOLENCE AS A WAY OF LIFE
Because short-term effects are often achieved by violence, this tends to reinforce the belief that the end justifies the means.
The constant experience of violence, physical and/or mental, causes blunted consciences, warped attitudes and leads to the treatment of others as things. Without the mutual recognition of each other as equally human and of equal value, no real true love is possible.
Non-violence teaches that every act, which harms others, harms the self as well.
It is the quality as well as the quantity of life that matters, the journey, as well as the getting there.
Non-violence seeks to convert, but not by force. It is the view of each person as equally human, and not a thing. There is truth in putting yourself in another’s place and see how others see the world around them, especially with children.
Non-violence is not passive; it acts when it sees injustice. It is not the easiest way. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “A point that characterizes non-violent resistance is a willingness to accept suffering without retaliation, without striking back.”
Non-violence can break the circle of ever increasing violence. Many believe that to feel truly alive, is to live love in a non-violent way.
There will be times of failure but it is the best possible life force, while violence is a negative force whose results are destruction, in ways hurting the abuser as well as the abused.
Religious or holy wars have probably killed more people than have died naturally. Many have been willing to fight to the death for their beliefs to prevail. This is very strange because, almost without exception, these same beliefs speak of a peace loving God, who desires for people to have an equal respect for one another.
The problem seems to come in when this respect is limited only to those of the same belief.
When leaders are able to persuade people to fight, this is more likely when a group insists on they’re having the only truth. There are always non-human beings around, who benefit by keeping us at war with one another. They can be found in alcoholic bottles that are misused, as well as other drugs, prescribed or otherwise, when abused.
They can be found in negative attitudes, and a lack of gratitude and appreciation for the Creator of all, whose very breath sustains us, and without The Hand of God we are without sight or light.
In the past, force and violence have been used more instead of tolerance, or seeking non-violent means to convince others what is right. Eventually it breeds rebellion and teaches the child violence is acceptable behavior.
If we could only remember the word “discipline” comes from to make a “disciple” to set n example. What kind of an example is violence but a bad one?
“PRAYER TO GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT
OH HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD GUIDE ME, STRENGTHEN ME, CONSOLE ME
TELL ME WHAT WOULD BE BEST TO DO I WILL LISTEN TO YOU
TRY TO DO WHAT YOU KNOW IS BEST
ACCEPT ALL THAT YOU PERMIT TO HAPPEN
FOR YOU ARE MORE KNOWING, LOVING
LET ME BE YOUR INSTRUMENT OF PEACE.”
AMEN, YES, AMEN .
“God gives the angels charge over thee.” *41
Stories of meeting Angels have been around since the earliest times of written history.
Most of the world’s religions accept Angels as the Spiritual forces that act as messengers between a Deity and the human race.
There are over 300 Biblical references to Angels. The Catholic Church teaches that each of us is given a Guardian Angel at birth that always remains at our side.
In the Islamic religion, everyone is said to have two Angels, one to record good deeds and the other to keep track of bad deeds.
When called upon Angels have given comfort, protection and inspiration. Following Jesus forty days of praying and fasting, after his baptism, he resisted Satan’s temptations and “the devil left him and behold Angels came and ministered to him.” * 42
A great wave of Angels seemed to have occurred in the Middle Ages and can be seen in the art and poetry of those times.
Many movies now feature Angels and one of the most popular TV shows of recent times “Highway to Heaven” was about an Angel whose mission was to persuade people to love and help each other.
The devil or Satan (Ibis to the Muslims) is known as a fallen Angel; he is also called Lucifer and represents the leader of all evil spirits.
Four of God’s Biblical Angels Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel have the root-el ending, which is one of the earliest ancient names for God “El”. Angel (El) or from God is found in several ancient languages.
Angels may be male or female or considered genderless.
St. Michael the one who saved the Biblical Daniel from the lion’s den is also considered the Angel of the last judgment.
St. Michael is the Angel I believe I saw, when I returned from living in Hawaii and agreed to witness for “Equality”.
Without “Equality” becoming a way of life for our world there is no question in my mind we face a world judgment in a short period of time. Prophecy is not given so we can wring our hands to live in fear but because we have been given the opportunity and chance to change the worst we are headed for.
That is the primary purpose of Angels acting as messengers. God’s Angels will encourage you for good and never to do evil.
Angels seem to be part of the creation of life in our universe, just different from our own, but created beings with limited powers, compared to the Creator of both angels and humans.
Angels are known as good or evil spirits depending whether they attempt to lead us away from a holy and pure love for one another.
Jesus warns us that some Angels have a special charge over children and to take heed not to harm them. *43
Ancient Church Prayer to St. Michael:
“ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL DEFEND US IN THE DAY OF BATTLE
BE OUR SAFE GUARD AGAINST THE SNARES AND WICKEDNESS OF THE DEVIL
MAY GOD REBUKE HIM AND MAY YOU O’ PRINCE OF THE HEAVENLY HOST
CAST AWAY ALL EVIL SPIRITS WHO PROWL ABOUT THE EARTH SEEKING THE RUIN OF SOULS.
OH GOD COME TO OUR ASSISTANCE OH LORD MAKE HASTE TO HELP US.’
IF JESUS CAME BACK AS A WOMAN WHERE WOULD SHE GO TO PREACH?
CERTAINLY NOT TO THE MOTHER CHURCH FOR THAT IS CLAIMED BY MALES FOR MALES ONLY
PERHAPS TO A CONVENT INSIDE CLOSED DOORS BE HEARD
THE SAME CLOSED DOORS OF THE TEMPLE 2000 YEARS AGO
MEN STOOD THEN INSIDE WHILE WOMEN AS PROPERTY WAITED IN THE OUTER COURTS
NO WONDER OUR WORLD IS STILL IN CHAOS WHEN ONLY A FEW PRESUME TO RULE OVER THE OTHER HALF OF OUR WHOLENESS MALE AND FEMALE BOTH CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD*
*From Genesis, chapter one and five The First and Third Creation Stories
Some scholars say it is close to impossible to know whom or what the historical Jesus was really like. It is hard to know with certainty any past we have not directly known or experienced.
We often rely on the stories of history from those who won the physical battles, and those books that were allowed to be published, or distributed by those in power at the time. Only in recent times, especially since the widespread use of the internet, could just anyone, not sanctioned by someone in power, be allowed to publish, and even now publicity is not easy to come by, and the media pretty much controlled by a very few men with both money and/or fame.
The Vatican vaults hold five versions of the New Testaments that were completed as the New Testament, almost 300 years after the death of Jesus. It is said by many scholars they have only fragments and a few pages of any earlier originals. Two of these five versions have never been released to any outside Vatican Priestly Scholars and very few inside have direct access to the very fragile and locked away documents!
These versions we do have were written at the end of many years of severe persecutions, when most of the Christians had been killed by orders of the Emperors. Then during the Emperor Constantine’s reign, after a dream, where he saw his soldiers win a dreaded battle with the Christian cross on their shields, so around 300AD he ordered the soldiers to wear the Cross and declared Christianity to be the new state religion, after winning his battle.
The New Testament is the work of several Church Councils during the first 400 years after death of Jesus. These were Church Councils of Bishops, from all over the known world at the time, who were called together by those in authority in Rome, to decide what writings, of both Christian and Jewish would be decided for inclusion within the Bible, and accepted by the Church for Christians.
This is one of the reasons The Church still claims to have the right to interpret the Scriptures, especially in morals and matters necessary for salvation.
As a public Church it is the only one that has continued to exist since the time of Christ, established by the Apostle Peter. *44
As fallible and human at times as St. Peter was, we know also the humans in the Church have been too, “The Church is for sinners, not for the self-righteous”.
Does this mean one has any right to reject it, or must attempt to change it for the better? Is there a time, or has there been a time, to “come out, my people, so you do not partake of its sins”. ?*45
For myself I know from many signs from God, when I doubted whether I should remain, that I am to stay, and do what I can to make it what Matthew 23:10,8. Says”. I read it as “Christ is our only Teacher, and we are all one.”
Since Jesus told us, just before being assumed into Heaven, to wait for The Holy Spirit, that would be sent to us, to guide us, and lead us to the fullness of Truth. So until the Day of Judgment, one must be certain they are being led by God’s Holy Spirit, for that is the only for sure Spiritual guide, for anyone who chooses to follow God’s law of Holy Love. The Spiritual guide, Jesus promised those who were willing to follow the path of Godly Love.
If you’re not sure, or are mentally, emotionally unable to distinguish a Holy from an unholy love, do not think you will be able to make the right decision, but seek a spiritual and mental advisor, the best you can find, until you can.
Councils of Bishops within the Church are held about ever one hundred years to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the church at that time. The Church has claimed only two infallible statements by Popes in the last several hundreds of years since it declared the dogma of Infallibility in the 1100s AD. The present Pope, John Paul II, has not yet given the official stamp of infallibility to any of his words. Note: Nor has Pope Benedict XVI, as of this 3rd edition, 2008.
We now have quiet a bit of archeological evidence gathered especially in this last century, like the Dead Sea scrolls, well known. There are many other lesser known and recently found archeological evidences about other “Christ” like religions.
Even to the miraculous birth of a child of God, born to a human mother, who brought new light of a God of Love, performed miracles, was crucified and resurrected. In Egypt, 5000 years before Jesus, there were those who shared the same belief about a God-man, Osiris, who had been born of a virgin in a cave (often used as stable), visited by Magi, or wise men.
Also crucified for disturbing the status quo of the ruling rich and powerful and resurrected on the third day, giving the people then a belief in eternal life and hope of their own resurrection. This belief would have been known to the Hebrews during their 600 years of captivity in Egypt.
Even closer to the time of the present Christ (The word Christ in Hebrew means an anointed one from God) there is a similar Greek god, about 400 years before the time of Jesus. Some of these latest archeological documentations can be found in “The Jesus Mysteries,” published from ancient scrolls not found until recent years.
Such evidence, especially since the dark ages has often been burned when found. What does this mean? Did God send a God-man into the world at different times, to different cultures or has one culture borrowed the beliefs of another culture and made them into their own?
Is there truth in a universal or more than one cultural experience of a Christ person, someone who brings unselfishly a heavenly knowledge of a better way to live while here on this earth, that has been given to separated cultures and times?
Most of us do not have a working knowledge of the Hebrew or Semitic forms that were used to write down their first oral scriptures? Often the experts are in disagreement.
Because we know so little about the simple, without vowels punctuation marks , etc., and therefore hard to understand original languages, with many debatable meanings! We have no absolute proofs. For the meanings of words can and have changed over time and mean different things to different people, with different information or from a different cultural understanding!
Jesus according to the Gospel of Matthew, did live, possible many years, in Egypt and may have been familiar with their beliefs. Most Christians believe Jesus was God, as well as a human, and always possessed all knowledge but took the form of a limited human, while here.
At least while in the human state, Jesus professed to not knowing everything, (at least his human half) like the date or hour of the end of this age, and only what God told him. *46 His message, was our need for a change of heart from doing evil to doing good.
To do what is just and fair, all part of the meaning of the word “Equality”. Christian Scriptures say Jesus healed the sick, fed the hungry and preached of our need to be “reborn,” born anew or born from heaven.
Christian scriptures also tell us Jesus quarreled with the religious authorities and was put to death on a cross by the Romans, but was reported to have been seen alive, in a resurrected body three days later, by many. Convinced he was still alive his disciples would turn from despair at his death to preaching, after his resurrection, the hope of eternal life for those willing to believe sin and death had been conquered by Jesus.
He preached love not only for one’s family and friends but extending love even to one’s enemies. He spoke of coming not for the self-righteous but to change the hearts of sinners, for “they are the ones in need of a Doctor”. *47
Jesus showed attitudes towards women that were unusual for that first century world. He publicly associated with them and many traveled with him during his three years of ministry.
He first appeared to two women, after his resurrection, and told them to go and tell the others. *48
So they were the first preachers of the Christian “Good News” of salvation from death, for all people.
His moral stories of parables, the ancient way of teaching morality, are as likely to be about women as men and he held them up as models, no more or less than males.
The “Equality” of both men and women survived, at least for a while; evidently well into the 12th Century, after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Especially in some Christian communities where all material things were held in common, for when any were in need. We know for sure in the earliest Christian community’s women played key roles and served as prophets, teachers and missionaries. The same Greek words for deacons that described male elders are used, for at least one female, in the New Testament. * 49
Communion chalices, with women’s names engraved on them, have been found from the first few centuries of the early church. There are many Church documents, that tell us for at least the first 1000 years in the Church, women took part in all aspects, now done only by males, but only since the Council of Trent, because sexism won out over equality during those dark and Middle ages, especially during the Council of Trent, and the advances made in Vatican I and II, have not yet been able to overcome these deep set sexist traditions and worldly customs of “might makes right” and at least 5000 years of Patriarchal rule, language, customs.
It was the custom among Jewish people at the time of Jesus to marry or be promised in marriage by they’re early teens. Most marriages were arranged even in childhood among the Fathers. So most of the disciples would most likely already have been married before they met Jesus, to become disciples. One such example mentioned in the Gospels was Peter, whose mother-in-law was healed by Jesus, according to Gospel Scriptures.
It was unlawful for a woman to even speak to a man outside her family, at the pain of death, so controlled were women, they were not allowed into the inner Temple where the men went to hear their Old Testament Scriptures and to discuss them. Women were required to stay in the outer court. The most orthodox of Jewish sects still do not allow women inside, and Muslim women are also segregated in most religious services.
Much of Jesus teachings were about concern for the oppressed of the world. What we do day to day. “What you do to the least of these, you do to me” Jesus said. *50
One of the teachings taught in Christianity is that salvation from evil or sin is needed for an eternal life in heaven.
Salvation was not given because any of us deserves or earn it by good works, but as a free gift because God loves us with an unconditional love, as a perfect parent or Creator. The sacrifice for sin Christ paid for is for all that are willing to accept the gift.
For this reason, that it is given for all, I believe, salvation cannot be lost, only refused, once it is given, for it is a gift of Grace, an act of faith. *51
We could have much purgatory or hell to go through before we are purified enough to enter into a spiritual state, although we may retain our free will and choose bitterness and hate instead of Holy Love! Eternally?
Jesus spoke of, our need to be Spiritually “Reborn,” we do this by asking The Holy Spirit to guide us, to the fullness of truth..*52 It then takes years to grow to spiritual maturity.
A time of asking both God and others to forgive past wrongs and giving forgiveness to those who have wronged you. I hope you have done this or will take the time to do it right now.
No dogma required, except acknowledgement that a sacrifice for sin has been made for you and a willingness to be led from now on, to the best of your ability, by The Holy Spirit to the fullness of truth. The Holy Spirit being the Spirit of Perfect Love, an Equal Love for all that would never guide you to harm another. As you grow in this Holy Love you will know without being told what is right to do!
Maybe some need to rededicate their lives as they have drifted away in disbelief or selfishness. Maybe like me they misunderstood or had an immature image of what God or Holy Love is. We all need to repent, or ask forgiveness when we realize we have sinned, with the intent to do better. We may need to make amends when possible, if not to the one harmed then to someone or thing as a penance for the deed, when possible.
While we are not saved by our own efforts, we show and give evidence of our faith and belief by our works, or our faith is dead and not alive. * 53
God values us just as we are but sin, and a lack of faith, are the barriers between us being able to feel and know the presence of The Holy Spirit in our lives.
It is difficult to “hear” the truth such as “Equality” unless you are willing to put This Holy Spirit first in your life, the better will, above your own will, and then equally important to love others, as you love yourself.
If you still can’t accept “Equality” then maybe you might question how much you really care about yourself? You may need to go back to “How Best To Respond To Past Hurts” and read again!
Genesis, we now know, was one of the last of the Jewish books to be written, around 500 BC. A collection of stories handed down by desert tribesmen, told by word of mouth for centuries, some by campfire and some from the tents and later temples of the priesthood.
These are religious moral stories not scientific descriptions. Story forms or Parables were the best way to teach and remember around campfires. Jesus tells us he taught in parables and the Jews still use Parables to teach religious lessons, if taken too literally you might miss the moral of the story.
It is not necessary to reject the theory of evolution, since the ancient Hebrew word for day does not have to mean that creation was limited to six 24-hour days. The word translated as day can also be, in the ancient Hebrew, any period of God’s time.
By using the six-days of creation it taught the Jewish practice of the six-day work week, so in the story God also observes the Sabbath, as if God needed the rest!
There are several combined creation stories in Genesis, at least three. Chapters one, two, and five are the beginnings of the most obvious and most Bibles have special notations (`) so indicating, such as usually is found between vs. 3 and 4 of chapter two.
Latin and English versions of the Bible translate masculine images, especially by the use of male pronouns that are not in the originals. God is Spirit, neither male or female, yet with the qualities of both male and female.
In the early writings of the prophets there is reference to the feminine and maternal image of God. “As a mother comforts a child, so shall I comfort you.” * 54
“How often I have yearned to gather your children, as a mother bird gathers her young under her wings, but you refused me.” Jesus said,*55 and as The Christ, would have both the feminine and masculine natures of God, just as The Holy Spirit can live within both male and female. *56
Yah-Ruah, meaning “God’s Breath” the Hebrew name for God’s Holy Spirit, is as much a feminine as a masculine Hebrew word, but is translated into English as “He”.
Moses was also familiar with the image of God as Mother, for in his frustration with the children of Israel said, “I didn’t conceive them or give them birth, you did God, they are your children, you gave birth to them, you nurse them!”*57
Throughout the scriptures there are other feminine images of God. *58 Realizing God as Mother, as well as Father helps us mature spiritually, keeping us away from “Idolatry,” Idolatry being the worship of a false image of God.
Because we are limited we often have a limited view, while no man has seen the fullness of God,*59 many have had visions of God, Angels, and Jesus, and other spiritual beings.
Literally millions now maybe billions have experienced the presence of God’s Holy Spirit. We know or “see” St. Paul says, only dimly, our spiritual world. Yet what a power source is there for those willing to pray together for the best to be.
For many what must be first overcome is their past faulty reasoning or information. We need to realize that when long held or needy beliefs are challenged, their can be anger instead of reason.
Each of us are in different stages of being led to the fullness of truth and will be able to see truth more or less at different stages in our spiritual maturity. Be careful not to become slaves to a fallible human way of reasoning. Don’t discount the power of good faith!
To help co-create the miracle of equality or equal rights for all, the only Miracle of Peace we so desperately need, right now, we need to understand the effort it took to end slavery, sexism, most forms of inequality that go back to the earliest times of our recorded history.
Today “The inequality of sexism is for women what slavery was for blacks”. Many still share that slavery in our world today.
It is a giant step for our times to attempt to end all these forms of discrimination against others, but a giant effort needed, if we want a chance of preventing ever more disastrous wars.
I remember a little old lady I found crying in the park one day. She had been searching fruitlessly for her lost Doxy, her last joy in life, she said. Wanting to console her, I started talking with her about the good times I’d once had with my little miniature doxy, a long time ago.
As we talked, she began to tell me, in her slight German accent, of long gone happy days she had spent growing up in Germany, of the beauty of the forest where she lived in the mountains. The rivers and Castles had seemed a fairyland to her.
How it was when she was 14 years old and Hitler had come into power. She said it never occurred to her or to anyone she knew that he would lead them into the great evil of such a terrible war.
She had proudly marched with her friends in an army of young people, the German Youth Core, run much like our Scouts. She said it seemed they had suddenly been caught up in the glorious excitement of a National Patriotism.
She was encouraged to be proud to be blond and blue eyed. Vanity led them easily into the belief they were the most intelligent and deserving race on earth.
They believed they were a superior God chosen race and could rightfully take all the good things in life, their God given right. Even if it meant getting rid of those darker skinned Gypsy’s and the Jew’s, who she thought had crucified Jesus. It never occurred to her that Jesus had also been born a Jew!
Getting rid of them was necessary to purify their land they were told. One of course was duty bound to follow the law of their land and how could such a vibrant leader be leading them astray?
Looking back now she thought they must have been mass hypnotized into believing the world had been created just for the glory of their beautiful race.
Now bent over with guilt and shame of their stupidity, she found comfort only in her canine companion, without him, she was left completely alone.
I too remembered relatives who had given their all for that evil to stop. People had lost much and so many their lives, in that Second World War.
Time had dimmed my hurt and resentment for those who had been involved with Hitler’s holocaust, yet I saw from what she said, how easy we are mislead by vanity or greed. Just wanted to help her find her little doggy so that both of us could forget and at last forgive.
One of the problems of limiting God to being only in those who think in the same way as we do or believe the same belief, is that we create a view of “we” verses “they,” that ends with break downs in communication, and sometimes violence.
True communication is possible only if we share carefully defined definitions. Even in regard to such words, as “God is infinite,” which at first glance would seem impossible to be the cause of wars!
Yet such basic non-provable unknowns create great barriers to communication and tolerance between people. Such as the Christian concept of an infinite God becoming a man that contradicts both the Jewish and Arab commandments and concept of only one Creator who does not take a finite human or limited form.
Also Partly because the Ten Commandments say not to make, or worship, a graven or material image of God. To do so is called “Idolatry”. Yet in the statement “Let us make mankind in Our Image, male and female” means to many that God has an Image, that can even be more than one person. So the debate continues on how to interpret scriptures!
To many it seems contradictory for God to be every where, yet also be limited to the trinity or to three persons of God, as in part of Christian theology or as in some other religions to be thought of as One. Even harder to accept a being separate from that which is in or a part of creation! The Trinity is a true Mystery, one may or may not be able to accept on faith. To be Catholic one must.
How to separate the Creator from the created, except by degrees? We cannot define God as infinite and limit all matter to not being infinite, if it is a part of the wholeness or image of God. Nor do we need to because of our present scientific knowledge and our limitations, they remain speculations, non-provable.
When we are not sure what to believe we need to ask God’s guidance. Then act on faith that an answer for us is on its way.
We have only copies and translated versions of scriptures, so when in doubt of the actual words used, consult with other translations. Christians with more recent translations such as the Jerusalem Bible, Revised Standard Version, and New International Version, all now Catholic approved versions.
Translators too, we have to remember, have tended to interpret and translate from the cultural framework in which they have lived and been taught in, and what knowledge they had to work with, in their times.
If God had intended for scriptures to be taken literally, word for word as the absolute or infallible word of God, then surely the originals would have been preserved for us and available to study.
All translations are by people with some kind of unconscious sets of blinders. As well as different readers come with different abilities to translate the word into their culture and times.
What is meant by the “inspired word” is open for interpretation. Be careful of dogmas that can box you in or separate believers of a loving God. Whether they be Jew, Christians, or Muslims, or? For all three recognize Jewish scriptures as part of their heritage and Muslims also reverence Jesus.
The evidence is in for a Loving God who is not unjust, unfair or partial. Those who choose to follow the best possible will also choose to act in the same manner.
Many believe we live in a time of the “end of the world” such as described in the Biblical Revelations, when as many as a third of all people may be killed. *60 A possible nuclear disaster?
It becomes a war of words as “end of the world” can also be defined as “the end of this evil age”. Without a doubt it could be, if enough would heed the given warnings and turn from our inequality and injustice.
It is my belief and hope we are near the end of this age. Yet “near” or the Biblical “soon” could easily be another 500 or more years in God’s kind of time or eternal time. Either way it does not mean we are not to continue to care for this world we are the caretakers of. As some are prone to do with the excuse the end is near!
We already do have the means to bring heaven to earth, when The Holy Spirit guides us, by access to the final covenant promised from Biblical scriptures, that we will know in our hearts, without being taught, what is the right thing to do.* 61
This could be the time when the inequalities and injustices that leads to violence and eventually war can be stopped for most. Religious leaders that help us now are those that teach us to accept and love others, seeking to find the best in each other, as we help others to see the best in us, not the worst.
To do this we need our own self-esteem, and the confidence to follow beliefs you have received, not just from others, but from your own experience, with God and that which is the best within you. When we have only a little self-esteem we believe we deserve only a little happiness or that we deserve abuse. Yet we may be worth much more than what we can even imagine. Think the Best!
We need to find a place where we feel loved and needed.
Understanding that such love comes first from our homes, where we learn to see the world. From the people we live with. Seek to create a Holy Loving home, if only in our mind and dreams.
Many times we need to forgive those we have to live with and believe that our life has its source from God and will eventually return, so we can leave judgment and revenge in God’s Hands.
Sexual release without love is only a temporary attempt at release from loneliness, or spiritual emptiness. Wrongly used it can make our situation or feelings worst for it can give us a feeling of being used or misusing others, instead of expressing real love. Not to mention lifetime unwanted consequences of pregnancy or sexual disease.
Drinking and drugging can be a game of roulette by changing our ability to rationally discern or see reality as it is. That can also hurt our self-esteem and general welfare, especially when we run into reality and it knocks us down, and we are unable to understand why!
Allowing us and our children to see a new and better way of treating each other can have a real and lasting change of thinking and a better life experience. It is parents, as well as the schools and churches that create the best roles models and set boundaries of self-control.
Because we still live in a violent world we each need to do what we can to make it a safer world. That requires us to ask for and follow the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit every day, to help have the best life. There is an old African adage: “It takes a village to raise a child”.
Many have used this wisdom against one of our strongest political women, Hillary Clinton, to belittle her, when she, as First Lady, tried to get us an inclusive and reasonable health care system, they attacked her instead of dealing with the problem of our health care system that left over 40% unable to afford health care insurance.
The essence of civilized morality is an equal respect for each life.
Most cultures have surface social systems that define the value of a person, such as physical appearance, popularity or athletic ability. These tend to determine how valuable people consider themselves to be, so that those in service positions or those who don’t earn a lot of money are seen as having less value than others.
Can you believe “You are unique, one of a kind! Some things you can do no one else can do! You are of infinite value to God, to others, the only one like you that has ever existed or ever will exist. There are no two exactly alike.”
Words from the miracle working Evangelist, the Reverend Dr. Daisy Osborn, heard in her home church, in Tulsa , Oklahoma. I felt fortunate to hear her and influenced by her preaching about our equality.
Still we remain fragile, dependent, and needful of each other.
“Being yourself the example, do only good and no harm to others.” One of the earliest of the “Golden Rules,” from a “pagan” religion.
Sexism, racism, are both learned attitudes. No one is born hating anyone. Why can’t we keep that birth attitude? ” We seem to be born with self worth or value but many of us lose it from bad parenting or hurtful and harmful experiences with others, especially those we look up too.
Studies show the most violent of crimes are usually committed by those who as children were given little attention or love. A parent with love and tolerance in their hearts is about the best upbringing a child can have.
So many children have come from homes with constant criticism put downs and violence that is excused as discipline. Violence, especially when a child is unable to defend itself only teaches the cycle of violence, so they learn to hit others, especially those smaller than themselves.
Setting a good example and having a good loving attitude is so important to being a good parent. To break the cycle of violence, we all have in our past experienced to some degree, we will need to go towards non-violence, in all our relationships.
Children sometimes will misbehave to get attention, when nothing else seems to work, because it hurts when no one seems to care. Seek the cause of bad behavior in a child as early as possible, reward, at least with praise, any good behavior.
Few of the problems of enough food and human rights have any respect for national boundaries. One of the major lessons we are still learning is how interdependent we are, in global or universal terms. How we act locally ripples out to even have a worldwide effect.
Babies that are not wanted are often condemned to a slow death of both body and soul. In 1994 over 700,000,000! (700 million) babies were born. Seven million more were born in India alone. In this year of 2000 we have over 40 million in the process of starvation and how many more millions hungry, neglected or abused?
Where do we start making a better world if not in childhood? In our own homes, schools, then out into our world. How can we have a good or just world without the belief of “Equality” or equal human rights, the most basic rights of food extended to all?
Just putting yourself in other people’s shoes that you care for, family, friends, especially children in such ways that make their life easier will end up making our life better too.
Thinking about and caring about others around us helps us not to be so selfishly self absorbed, which is what leads to self-pity and much misery.
It is now in our hands, to do what we can, each of us, within our religious, economic, and political organizations, if we are to turn from the more destructive paths of our past. Enter into the time of making plows for food out of weapons of war.
“In all things God works, with those who love, to bring about what is good.” *62
Outside a Jesuit Church in San Diego is a statue of Christ, with no hands, below is the saying, “I have no hands but yours.” God chooses to use your hands!
MORE CREATION STORIES
A creation story south of the Border, that is still being passed down by word of mouth, says that long ago people could easily communicate with both God and other animals. They were told by God that as long as they didn’t cut down too many trees they would continue to live in paradise like conditions.
Some being greedy for more land they cut down more and more trees until most did lose the ability to talk easily with animals or with the Spirits they call the gods.
There are also, in South American countries, pre-Inca Creation stories about a God of Creation called “Viracocha”, who created the world when it was dark and had no sun.
This God shaped clay figures of people and animals and breathed life into them at Tiahuanaco, near Lima, Peru.
The created people were instructed in language, customs, and arts and finally some of them were flown to different continents where they were to live thereafter. When Viracocha said good by, he disappeared over the oceans, after saying he intended to come back. Many temples were built and dedicated to this Creator.
The Spanish, who conquered South and Central America, found the story of Viracocha wherever they went. In the legends there was the assurance that this Son of The Sun will return, that peace will eventually come to the earth and that a way to heaven is open. * 63
One of the primary Egyptian gods was the sun god “RA”, who traveled through the heavens on something, called a bark or boat. Some of the early carvings of gods appear as if they might have on some sort of space suit, including enclosed helmets, and sometimes, in paintings they are circled by lights of power.
There are many early symbols that record knowledge about astronomy based on a round earth. The Great Idol of Tiahuanaco, near Lima, Peru, records the state of the heavens over 27,000 years ago. It is one single block of red sandstone, 24ft. in length and weighs over 20 tons.
There is also a 10-ton block of stone with a gate carved through it in the middle, called the Gate of the Sun. Above the gate is what looks like a flying god, with 48 figures. There is a legend about their golden space ship, which came from the stars.
Another legend of a spaceship from the stars brought a woman, named “Oryana”, who was to become the great Mother of the earth. She is said to have given birth to 70 children before returning to her star.* See Biblio 32
In the Bible, before the flood, “Sons from the heavens,” visited the earth and had children.*65 Also in the Bible we can read “Behind the being I saw a chariot which had wheels of fire and every wheel was full of eyes all around, and on the wheels was a throne and this was covered with fire that flowed around it”. *66 Sounds like some kind of rocket!
Stories of Alaskan Eskimos say the first tribes were brought to the North by a “god” with wings!
Some of the oldest American Indian stories mention a “thunderbird” that brought fire and fruits to them.
The Mayan legend, called the Popol Vuh, says the “gods” knew everything. They came from the stars with advanced information and traveled back to the heavens in “fireships” or flying boats. *67
Tibetan books “The Tantyua and Kantyria” also mention prehistoric flying machines.
“Mahabharata,” an ancient India epic, that is believed to be at least 5000 years old, talks of a weapon capable of punishing a country with a 12 year drought and another that could kill the unborn in their mothers womb, possibly a form of radiation gun or bomb. It gives descriptions of rockets and knowledge that a vehicle can ride on a ray.
The first book of the Mahabharata talks of an unmarried young girl, who has a visit from the sun God and has a son by him that, was very fair. Fearing disgrace the child was put into a basket in a river and fished out by a leader of the people, remarkably similar to stories of Moses and Jesus.
A similar story of Adam and Eve is told in Tibet that represents the first man and woman on earth, living in a Garden of Eden, in a blissful land of innocence. In this version, the woman was the first to know or release the “Kundalini” or serpent power or force that lies at the base of the spinal cord. Once it is awakened, like a coiled serpent it rises up the spinal cord, eventually to the brain and beyond into the spiritual or astral world.
Such an awakened person becomes powerful or dominant. With complete control of this serpent force it is believed you can achieve almost anything. One would then have the power to move mountains, or walk on water, or be buried in a sealed chamber.
The Kundalini or serpent power is believed to be awakened and can be misused by sex. So the priest taught that sex was sinful, that sex was at the root of all evil. As the first woman tempted the first man with this Kundalini awakening, sex was thought to be the downfall of the world.
In the Biblical book of Genesis it is also the woman who is blamed for the first sin that bring death to humankind, (written by males of course) because she listened to a talking serpent instead of the voice of God who had commanded them not to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, in the garden of Eden. There is an almost identical African tribe story with only the names changed.
In contrast the Shintoist, the native religion of Japan, believe the gods who created human life created an inherent happiness and well being within them. Life is believed to be basically good. People are good because the gods who created them are good.
They have no list of commandments, and no moral rules that have to be followed, as they know in their own created being what they ought to do and ought to not do. The inborn Golden Rule, all sane mature people seem to have.
Their beliefs are much like the Biblical final covenant, that when you put the true God of love and equal justice in your heart, mind and soul you know what is right to do.
Japan has for centuries-practiced “Shinto” The Way of the Gods” They see no dividing line between divine and humanness. The same wonderful, if not mysterious forces that move in nature, they believe moves in each one. Life is considered part of the divine nature and nature part of the divine.
During the 10th and 11th century Japanese women of the upper classes were allowed to write. For over 100 years, almost every Japanese author of significance was a woman. Most well known was Lady Murasaki Shikibu, an author who wrote the classic “Tales of Genji”. *68
Egyptian women were much better treated than most women of ancient cultures. They had authority in the home and citizenship rights. Their legal status equaled that of males. Husbands treated them well and she could not be enslaved.* *69
Egyptian mothers taught their children early that gentleness is better than a show of strength. That good acts are better than destructive ones. Power is more effective when used in a loving and mature way. Egypt became famous as a land where a person could travel safely. Juvenile delinquency was rarely a problem.
Devoted to their families, the feminine influence created a kind and affectionate people. In family life, promiscuity was frowned upon and monogamy was the rule. Yet a different set of morality was also practiced in the royal families.
Even though most primitive religions had many idols or images of created beings they called gods, many also had a belief in a Supreme Being, often a sky god, a creator from either another place in the universe or The Creator of the whole universe.
Egypt and Greece are not alone in having beliefs of a God-man, born of a virgin, even in a cave or stable (similar ancient word) who gives the people wisdom and miracles and who is not understood by those in authority, eventually crucified and resurrected, long before the time of Jesus.
Most of these stories were destroyed during the dark ages by invaders and the Roman Catholic Church, yet archeology continues to find places where the evidence has been hidden.
It is logical that if a religion is passed from one culture to another it would tend to be personalized by the culture of its new believers.
According to some of the creation stories in Africa, people were originally created in a state of happiness and childlike ignorance.
As were Adam and Eve, in the garden of Eden. God provided all the necessities of life in this state of Paradise.
The Masai people’s name for God is “Nursing Mother” in Tanzania, Africa. Their High God gave certain commandments to follow. When these rules were broken the result was separation from God.
The role of ritual sacrifice by their Shaman or Priest is to please and keep a good relationship with the gods.
African religions, like others, have stories or parables that explain how death came into the world. Death is believed by most people to be some form of a continuation, and not a complete end of this existence. The Spirit, separates from, and does not die with the flesh.
Many of the early religious stories are somewhat similar, such as the ancient myth of a great flood, but with different heroes and names.
One of the earliest places of discovered writing is in Sumeria, the land of Ur, where Abraham and his wife Sarah came from.
Abraham’s first son by another woman is considered the father of the Arab race and Sarah’s son the beginning of the Hebrew race.
In the Sumerian story, the land Abraham and Sarah came from, tells of a friendly god who warns the saintly Ziusudra to build a ship. By doing so he saves the seed of mankind and other forms of life. After sacrificing to his gods, they allow him to live with them in a paradise called Dilmun. Noah’s story?
In another version from the Gilgamesh Epic, that predates the Biblical story of the flood, the builder of the ship is called Utnapishtim. There are similar ties to Noah’s Ark such as “When the seventh day arrived I sent forth and set free a dove. The dove went forth but came back there was no resting-place for it and she turned around….” * 70
Why is this not general knowledge? Is it from censorship because of wars, conquest, Dictators, with a belief in inequality, and greed!?
Many of the oldest books have been destroyed or not preserved. In the library of Alexandria in Egypt, over 500,000 volumes alone were destroyed by fire, said to have contained most of the knowledge of that time.
The huge library of the temple of Jerusalem was destroyed for the last time during the siege by Rome in 70 AD. Over 200,000 works in the library of Pergamon in China were ordered destroyed in 214 BC by the then Chinese Emperor Chi-Huang.
Uncounted writings were destroyed during the dark ages by zealots and religious fanatics. Hitler had books burned in the public squares and as late as 1966 books in China were piled up and burnt during the Mao’s revolution.
One of the first actions of most dictators when coming into power is censorship and the discouragement of free ideas, especially religious freedom. Partly because there are inherent rights of Freedom and “Equality” are serious threats to dictators, and believers in inequality.
When we give each other equal rights we create not only religious and political freedom, but also an openness that makes it possible to live with each other in harmony, without dictators. This was one of the primary goals of many that have given their lives to establish Democracy, here and throughout our world.
Not only to have a freedom of religion but the “Equality” of equal opportunity and equal rights that cannot be taken away by political or religious rulers who come and go.
To live together, without the disastrous effects that intolerance brings, requires equal respect, where one’s beliefs do not interfere with any one else’s rights.
“Freedom is fragile, like a flower” yet by nature preferable to slavery. Many have and will continue to risk their lives for freedom, feel the need deep within us.
In the Riga Veda, the Hindu Hymn of Creation, the use of a neuter pronoun “THAT” in capital letters is used to avoid any idea of a man or human like image of a God. While this Creator is called Brahma, it is known also as a trinity. Shiva being the destroyer as well as restorer and Vishnu the Savior God.
The creation of the world is usually seen in the Hindu religion as a continuing thing in which humans share in, not just something that happened long ago. Therefore the three gods are still at work in the continuing creation, destruction, and recreation.* 71
It is believed that one can know Brahman or God. Hindu scriptures give many suggestions about how a person may experience “the essential unity that is the pattern of all creation.” When you know the “Atman,” your inner self, you also know the heart of the universe, the “Brahman” or “inner self” of all creation. So a person may know “Brahman” by knowing one’s inner self.
One of their scripture readings says: “The Spirit within me is smaller than a mustard seed. The spirit within me is greater than this earth and sky and the heavens and all these united. It is all Brahman”.
Happiness is believed to be found in finding this inner self, which is the same as the real nature of the universe or part of the all that is God. “Love of others leads to love of God.” is a Hindu saying.
In India the first Buddha, or enlightened one, lived about 600 BC. Lao-tse lived and practiced the religion of Taoism in China about this same time. Both are ways of non-violence, as they believe the world moves according to a divine or godly pattern.
The three treasures of wisdom of the Tao are love, moderation, and humility. The happiness of mankind is felt to depend upon one being able to adjusting to this order of the world. The Tao being a way of perfection. Perfect balance and perfect harmony. Getting back to the proper way of all things as the goal in life.
Lao-Tse taught “in our world there is no place for some to think themselves better than others. There is room only for all to live in mutual helpful ways.” Another saying attributed to him is “Let no one seek private gain or personal success” “The good for others is the good for oneself.
Confucius later introduced many such sayings or rules for living that were based on co-operation and mutual helpful ways. The Golden Rule he stated in negative terms. “Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you.”
Gandhi, a Hindu known as one of the most famous Spiritual leaders in modern times, believed the best kind of life was the life of good deeds to others. When he was thirty-four years old he took vows of purity and poverty and dedicated himself to others.
He refused to recognize caste distinctions and worked for a world where all religions and people would have equal privileges. He believed that only by ending inequalities and discriminations could we end war and have a peaceful and prosperous world.
Political freedom was won for India when Gandhi led the Indian people in a non-violent protest from the inequality they then lived with, under the British rule. They won by standing up for their rights but refusing to fight violently. Even when violence was used against them!
They won because enough people, both British and Indian believed in their right to freedom and refused to be enslaved or owned by another nation, any more.
The civil rights movement of the 60″s in America was greatly influenced by these methods of non-violence when combined with the Christian/Judaea belief in “Equality”, and American beliefs of equal rights, found in the US Constitution.
There are many interpretations of beliefs in all religions. Negative, as well as positive actions have been justified by the use and misuse of religious scriptures, all of them attempting to act in God’s name!
In the Hebrew Scriptures there are at least five covenants made at different times in their history.
The first one recorded in the Bible is with Noah that extends to all people, and then with the man Abraham and his descendants, later with a twin named Jacob, whose descendants became the Israelites. Another covenant was made with Moses and his people, and some see another covenant with King David.
Many Christians believe they have that final covenant that ends with Jesus.
Muslims accept much of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. They also believe God established another covenant for them, though their Prophet Mohammedan, 600 years after the time of Jesus.
Seeking the truth for each one is a lifetime process because at any time we may find that new piece of information that we didn’t know before, that changes our reasoning because we see the mystery or life a little clearer!
Few of us will stray far from the conditioning of our culture and times. When we refuse to listen or consider new possibilities our minds and hearts begin to harden, that is, when we stop listening to the Spirit of Truth, whom Jesus said would be sent to guide us.
While we may, by the damage or deterioration of our health or mind, lose our ability to spiritually “see” or reason, it does not mean we can’t, with God’s help, at some time be restored in this life or in the next or eternal life.
When we can “see” negative and unfair traits in our words or actions we are at a point where we can stop that cycle of negatives, just because we have become aware of it, where before it was hidden from us. We “can’t change our past but we can change the present so we don’t have to repeat the past”.
Nor can we change others but we can change ourselves so that others must respond to us differently, or we can choose to stay away from them, physically or emotionally. This is the philosophy behind Al-Non, the free self help group therapy for family and friends of alcoholic and other addictive abusers, very helpful to many and now in most American communities.
To use human words fairly, equally or justly is to also recognize that there is more than one possible level of understanding.
When we limit what we call God, as less than perfect, then it becomes easy to project our own imperfections unto an image that we worship and create an idol, Idolatry, that will put us in spiritual blindness.
A God, who is not an idol must remain nameless, not completely humanly definable. It was a nameless God who told Moses to tell the people, “I AM THAT AM” OR “I AM BEING” has sent me to you. *72
This kind of God could also indicate a living process, a becoming. It is saying that God is, but this being is not like a thing that we can name or put limits on. In Biblical scriptures God is also portrayed as a walking companion, anxious parent, comforting Mother, as well as a Father.
Realizing God as both Mother and Father helps keep us from worshipping a false image of God. A male only image being a false image or “Idolatry”, in Biblical terms.
Idolatry of all kinds, such as a person or things like greed, fame, success, limited and imperfect gods are common sins of idolatry found in scriptures. All of them lead to one form of inequality and the most numerous affected are women and children.
The using of only male pronouns to describe God misleads those who do not realize the generic use of language so they fail to see God is their Spiritual Mother, as well as Father and fall into the idolatry of male worship!
To witness to the wholeness of God is to recognize the Mother as well as the Father . A holy loving God is not limited and God is: “Not a god of partiality” * 73
Put God first in your heart, mind and soul and love others as you love yourself.
One more section of book to read. Click on “End of Book,” or third section where you will find the Bibliography and Biblical references too, May you be Blessed today.