This Easter Sunday …

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“My teaching as a Christian was that these past three days were busy days not sad days. That the deceased Son of God was busy visiting dead people – saving all those dead people who had died before the cross and all that – saving the ones who should have been saved throughout time before the cross – the ones who weren’t saved because there hadn’t been a cross – and now there was …?

Well Jesus was busy retro fitting saving.”

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PARTEEEEE … !

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I was taught that today the party is in church.  Well …

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“This Easter Sunday I am not going to church.”

 

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(why not invest a couple of minutes in finding out why … )

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That is the choice of the living, paulfg

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Happy Easter

🙂

 

Paul

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Glorious Good Friday

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“I have suggested in conversations that whilst church and religion is a great “starter pack”, just like kindergarten, there should come a time when “church” says, “That’s it – now leave here and find the world, find others like you, grow as you will never grow staying here – goodbye.”

I have never had a positive response to that.”

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Another “reflection” on the annual Easter Festival now underway.

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“Either “The bible says we should gather together – that is church”, or “But where would we go, and how would we find others like us?”

Just like questioning Easter.  Tinkered-with and sexed-up to keep it fresh – but essentially the same thing year after year – a surprise party without the surprise.

Does this sound jaundiced?”

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“Yes it sounds jaundiced.

Because there is an alternative.  To actually be one of those “radical faith festival celebs” (just without the festival or the celeb).  Radical faith is no more than thinking outside the (religious) box – enjoying the freedom to allow God out of that box – finding “nourishment” more and more in the everyday AND the everywhere AND in everyone.”

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Why not head over to “Does this sound jaundiced?” and have a look – it is Good Friday after all.

Thank you –

Paul

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Putting off the “love bit”

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“It’s never going to work”, Nan’s Notebook

“I am not a believer.

I left Christianity nearly 20 years ago and have not regretted my decision for one single moment.”

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More and more I wonder why we have made “believer” synonymous with “faith and/or religion” – which means “believing” is now “believing” in a proscribed and defined deity.  And is the cause of much verbal warfare (and far worse) … of many institutions and the ongoing “warfare” over their legitimacy/supremacy assumed AND legitimacy/supremacy challenged.

(all of which “gets in the way” a tad)

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I was a believer of many things before I became a “believer”.

I still am.

I believed in love – and still do.  I believed in hard work and getting up again – and still do.  I believed in kindness – and still do.  I believed I shouldn’t be rude – and …  I believed my mum and dad knew everything – and …  I believed my big brother was awesome – and still do.  Just not in the idolising/hate way I used to.

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In short, my living is founded on beliefs of all kinds.  And those beliefs changed and still change.  My “believer” belief no different.

“I am not a believer.” Is like saying I am dead.  Unable to believe anything anymore.  Beyond belief.  Literally.

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I am.

A believer and always will be.

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But what I believe … Now that changes constantly.

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I see Jesus being a believer.

Of love. Of kindness.  Of meeting each where each is in that moment.  Of not labelling or categorising or compartmentalising.   Of allowing and empowering.  Of enabling and liberating.  Of changing for me as I change for me.

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As for the “factual” and “literal” healing and miracles and superpowers and dying and resurrecting and the “evidence” of the bible …

Which must include all that sacrifice and slavery and original sin not eating bacon sandwiches and genocide (repeatedly) of the Old God … 

I don’t need that to be true as I don’t need the New God and the cross to be true.

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For if I need that to be true to be a “believer” … what else do I “need”?

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So, when Nan comes along and blows great big holes in my “believing” (she has written a superb book challenging the “believers” beliefs) … then where do I go and what do I “believe”?

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And all that Old God “badboy stuff” … ?

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My reading is that loads of that (going back to the Garden and forwards) was a crafted and superstitious and controlling bigging-up of “my God is bigger than your God” rhetoric.  Because there is no point in being “Chosen” if your God ain’t the Biggest Baddest Top Table God.

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But – If I read the bible right … I don’t think Jesus needs anything.

Which is the power of love without any conditions at all.

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Maybe that’s why we struggle with love.

We need it to be conditional.

So we argue about “the conditions” …

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which (conveniently) puts off the “love” bit.

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Making God in our own likeness (r)

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We are built for the light.
The light of life. The light of new living.
We are built for the light.

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We are built for the dark.
The dark of night. The dark of renewal.
We are built for the dark.

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You are each built diverse.
Strength in diversity. Richness in living.
Why do we not value diversity?

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We are taught to fear.
Not good fear. We are taught bad fear.
Why do you do that?

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You are taught control.
Not control to balance. To control all-everyonething-crap.
What “diversity” in that?

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We are taught un-love.
Transaction of fear. To confuse one with the other.
And now you fear love.

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You talk of false teachers.
Those who teach unfear as love.
We prefer correctness and belonging.
We prefer a flock the same we call diverse.
A monogamous diversity all the same.
Safe to bitch and unchange.
Safe to whine and unlove.
Safe to transact “love” and “law”.
And blame “God”.
Or somethingone else.
Have no other gods … ?
We have made biblically and scripturally correct
Your new God of Gods.

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Correctness in fear (of being wrongalone)

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And so you teach correctly
To (correctly) fear and (correctly) unlove
To (correctly) seek sin and (correctly) transact grace
To (correctly) bind together those who (correctly) follow
To (correctly) out-reach those who (incorrectly) unfollow
We don’t want our (correct) bible changed (really)
We don’t want change (really)
And this is taught as correct (biblically)
And that results in fear (and unlove)
Which isn’t false teaching at all (really)
You teach
Our new God of Gods (really)

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But taught un-falsely correctly

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(r) = reproduced from “Making God in our likeness” – Just me being curious 

We is always me

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“Somewhere along the line we pick up all of that baggage.  We learn to hate people whose skin color is different, whose beliefs in God are different from ours, who are not from our country, who….  You get the picture.  Where we learned this is not important, how we deal with it is.”
To such belongs the kingdom of God, The Modern Theologian

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How WE deal with it.

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Mike writes about something we all have to deal with at some point: “how do I deal with this.”

I read headlines of how someone else is dealing with “it”.  Someone far away from here.  Someone too young to be a “real” role model.  Someone only in their 30’s.  Someone who hasn’t been around that long.

“Jesus taught about love”

But the person I think of is not Jesus – or maybe is.  Who knows.

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Jacinda Ardern: ‘A leader with love on full display’

The main suspect is Australian, and the victims were from a number of different countries including India, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Somalia. So when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared behind a podium to deliver a statement a few hours after the attack, it wasn’t just New Zealand who listened to what she had to say. “It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack.”

By so swiftly and decisively describing the shooting as a “terrorist attack”, Ms Ardern seemed to show an awareness and consideration of the fact that many people feel officials are reluctant to use this word when an attacker is white, even if that attack is politically motivated.

Her acknowledgement of the fear and sorrow of the Muslim community didn’t end there, either. She hugged the victims in Christchurch, wearing a black headscarf as a simple show of respect; she gave people the unifying cry “They are us”; and addressing parliament for the first time a few days later, she made a small but bold statement by opening her remarks with the Islamic greeting “As-Salaam Alaikum”.

But she’s combined this show of empathy with promises of concrete legislative and cultural change. A few hours after the attack, she announced a clampdown on the country’s lax gun laws “within 10 days”, and speaking to the BBC’s Clive Myrie she promised to “weed out” racism both in New Zealand and globally. “We cannot think about this in terms of boundaries,” she insisted.

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How WE deal with it.

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We is not you.  We is me.  We is me.  We is me.  Always.

“Jesus taught about love”

But teaching is only “teaching”.  What I do with that teaching is down to me.

Not the teacher – not the class – not the school – not anything to do with anybody else other than me.

Because “we” is always “me”.

First, second and always.

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Thank you –

paulfg

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Love thy neighbor

I started copying/pasting a small flavour of this beautiful post …

But I found that I was copying and pasting almost the whole post.

The words are that beautiful. Really meaningful truly beautiful.

We are talking about love. My favourite subject. Like a whole bible full of love. If you know where to look.

Mike does.

Why not see if you agree …

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Thank you –

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Paul

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(as always comments closed here, please leave a verbal hug at Mike’s place)

The Modern Theologian

love thy neighbor 3Do you have a Christian love for your neighbor? We all know the story of the Good Samaritan, and how to identify who your neighbor is: the one who treats you with love and compassion. But is that what it really means? Are we just to love those who love us back?

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When Theology doesn’t mean Jack

Less than 500 words.

The few words written by Tom “T. F. Thompson” drilled somewhere very deep inside me.

To explain why would need much more than just “500 words”.

It would need my whole life journey.

I hope something shifts inside you as well as you read these few words.

Thank you Tom –

Paul

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(comments closed, here, please add any words under Tom’s words)

Hard Times Ministries

There he stood in shock; he was stunned and trembling and beyond denial that my friend, George’s newborn child was dead. And yet, yes, his child was indeed dead: dead to the touch, dead to the world and now lay cold and blue and lifeless and pitiful inside the maternity ward of the hospital. Compounding the demanding situation was now, another lady from another room who beckoned George to tend to her plight as her child too was motionless and was presently held by the hysterical mother who begged for God to answer the cry of disbelief.

Pray for my child.” she sobbed. “At least baptize my infant child so that he might enter heaven with our master.”

Of course, George knew this was ridiculous. There was no need to baptize a dead infant, and no, there was no theology to back it up: In fact,the opposite was true.

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