I am wealthy

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It must be nice to have the luxury to debate these issues

“the Biblical vision of gender”

My Beautiful One

Rebekah wrote a post that connected with immediacy and clarity.

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We are rich in time and, boy oh boy, how we like to waste this wealth!  We are rich enough in time to sit and verbally spar with each other.  We are rich enough in time to dump static opinion and beliefs over each other.  We are rich enough in time enough to examine spiritual “belly-button-fluff” over which we obsess.

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Riches are referred to in the bible over which we obsess.

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And I have found that wealth is taken literally.  Riches are “stuff” of money and purchase.  A big car.  A fine house.  The best jewels.  The finest wine.  All “stuff” we can hold and touch and count and store.

Yet I am rich in so many ways that is nothing to do with I can hold and touch.

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A family living in a place of safety.  A family living in good health.  A family living with excellent and free healthcare 24/7.  A family who takes for granted three meals a day.  The freedom to write words like this and press send to the whole world.  The freedom to be bored, to be restless, to be distracted, to be yearning and spontaneous.  The freedom to live as I wish constrained only by my fears and timidity.

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It must be nice to have the luxury to debate these issues.

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The bible for me becomes ever more simple, ever more connected, ever more immediate.  Call it what you will, debate it as you will … dismiss it as you will … for me there is one great truth that is rejected ONLY if I fear this truth:

‘Love them, me AND you.  Unconditionally.”

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What is to fear?

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Well I used to fear love.

I used to fear not controlling, not measuring, not counting, not receiving, not being in charge.  I used to fear losing all those “riches” I thought of as “love”.  I relied on rules and law and commandments.

Because if I was going to treat you okay I wanted an enforceable contract that said you were going to be grateful and that you were going to treat me okay.  But I wanted a contract with get-out clauses.

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Like … familiarity breeds contempt.  Like … the grass is always greener on the other side.  Like … what I found attractive in you now repels me.  Like … I reserve the right to count whether or not you give me more than I give you.  And the biggie …

It’s only wrong if you catch me in the act

(and even then it’s your fault I felt the need to do it)

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And all of “that” is NOT fear … ?

All of that we think IS “love” … ?

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It must be nice to have the luxury to debate these issues.

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‘Love them, me AND you.  Unconditionally.”

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Riches are riches.

I am wealthy.

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What am I doing with this truth?

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When that kicks in – loves checks out

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I think loving me the hardest of all.  I don’t mean the “I can’t be bothered.” … the “I could never do that.” … the “Let someone else do it.”   Nor do I mean the “I am better than anyone else.”… the “I have rights.” … the “What about me.”

I mean loving me as I would love my own child … my own partner … that stranger in need … that best friend I have known for ever … that special someone I would walk over hot coals for …

That kind of “loving me”.

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The greatest of these.

God?  Well loving God comes in all shapes and sizes.  Initially like a stranger who must be obeyed.  Then, perhaps, as a wonderful deity who can only be worshipped and praised.  Then, maybe, the most important relationship in my life.  Then, possibly, a friend – a best friend.  No longer the detached “up there” gaseous ether.  Now someone I trust.  Not to “fix things” all the time.  That is my role – just like no friend expects me to “fix things” in every part of their life.  That would be just plain weird!  Just someone who will always think the best of me.  Never give up on me.  Always have an ear for me.

I heard someone who does daily marathons for a living say that we rarely – if ever – really know what we are each capable of.  I think that lack of knowing underpins this “The Greatest of these” …

Others?  Well loving others is pretty easy too.  An odd donation … I am praying for you … My thoughts are with you … perhaps even a volunteering of my time – my skills – my resources – my heartbeats – perhaps even my whole diary!  Which is like giving my life for you (the “others” we must love).  Except that is a weird kind of love.  It’s an obligation kind of love.  A duty kind of love.  A service kind of love.  A bit like a God kind of love.  I should (if I am a good Christian).

I heard someone say that “We are a broad church”.  That the buildings aren’t “it” that “we are” it.  But I still don’t really know what “it” is.   Or why I am expected to go to “it”.   I think “it” gets in the way of “The Greatest of these” …

And then me.

What I have found over the years is that when I consciously register that I am “doing” love (in whatever moment of my life and with whoever that moment is with) … It is no longer love.  It is me “giving”.

And I have learned that when I think “giving” I think “getting” (in some weird default can’t control it kind of way).  I have found that when this “The Greatest of these” is a “commandment” … giving AND getting become involved.

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And when that kicks in – loves checks out.

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And as I absorb the essence of (what I think) is the point of the bible … I find that “commandment stuff” less and less relevant.  Along with all this “transaction” faith we have created … The need to sign-up for the creeds stuff.  The “I believe” stuff.  The hierarchy stuff.  The “institution” stuff.  The “religion” stuff which includes creation and sin and a lot of deaths and more sin and atonement through more killing innocent creatures bred for the purpose of “their blood shed for me”.

And then the great “reset”. 

The cross and resurrection – and a conundrum.  The “blood shed for me” being the biggie – with the “resurrection” being the proof it’s all good.  Because if the blood is “it” then why the need for the resurrection?  And if the resurrection is “it” why the need for the killing and blood?  there is loads of healing and bringing others back to life – loads of “your sins ore forgiven”  – all without a cross in sight …

And why the “facts and evidence” we have now made all of this.  The “But God Says” (in the bible).  And the bible is The Word of God (but the Koran isn’t).  Nor is (just) the Old Testament.  Nor is  the continuous political meddling relevant – other than it proves the bible IS God inspired (really???).

Why that “need” for the bible to be “it” – unless it is so the church can be “it” – which means I get to be “it” by being saved and believing in all of “it”?

The Greatest of these.

Two words have become more and more powerful in my journey with The Greatest of these …

“I Am”.

I

and

Am

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The Greatest of these is I and Am.

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(what else can top that?)

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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.”

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

(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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An example of being “biblically correct”

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Amazon might be an easy target – but they do what the do really well most of the time.

Most of the time!

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“We had an experience with Amazon yesterday.   An item for one of our grandchildren.  Bulky to deliver and bulky to keep in the house.  But useful.  Something that chills-out Alfie when he unable to express frustration on a dial from 1-10 (as we do).  Alfie just has 10.  And Alfie “chills out” by bouncing – and with more spatial awareness than I have – enough to watch a tv programme and still not fall off the thing!  Special needs are special deeds.

Anyway, Amazon speedily delivered this item bought “Used – as good as new”.  Except it was “Used – not fit for purpose.” A huge tear in the edging cover.  Feet unable to be screwed on to the base.  And bulky.”

“Problem – what problem?”, justmebeingcurious 

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Might not look like anything even close to “biblically correct” …

Or just maybe …

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So to the bible bit …

Seems to me that we use the bible the same way.

We don’t have the authority to overrule the bible.  No one in the organisation or hierarchy has.  But we do HAVE the authority to enforce the bible (on behalf of God).”

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Why not pop across and have a look?

Thank you –

Paul

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Creating “conditional life”

“I never asked to be born!”

The cry of an angry child.  An ungrateful child.  A child who is correct.  The child did in fact not ask to be born.  The gift of life is for the parents.  For the creators of life.  The life is their gift to themselves.

“We are having a baby!”

The news of excited parents-to-be.  Parents who have left their own parents, joined together to become one flesh.  The one joined flesh now a few cells old.

A few cells maybe destined to become someone tapping out words like this in a few decades from now.

Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:4-6

“I never asked to be born!”

I wonder if we have it wrong.  All this biblical stuff about who can and who cannot become one flesh.

“I never asked to be born!”

If the right to life is a sacred right – then we oblige the gift of life on those who were not invited.  We oblige those we have created with our own created “conditional life”:

Here is your body, here is you brain, here is your soul – we gave you all of that –we have given you the gift of life!  So don’t screw it up – don’t be someone we don’t want you to be.  Have your chromosomes, your hormones, your reproductive bits all in the right place, the right shape, and the right working order.   Be attracted to the right gender or our gift will be damaged.  You will have damaged our gift to you.”

Isn’t that what we have made these verses?

For Christians who talk about all being equal, all being welcome, all being saved by grace – isn’t all “that” about the inside stuff – the character stuff – the soul stuff?  Isn’t all that NOT about the outside stuff: the colour, the size, the weight, the height, the internal organs, the external organs, the physical bits that we call a body?  Isn’t this being saved about the bits we cannot see, the bits we cannot explain, the bits we call “me”?

“I never asked to be born – and I never asked to be given “the bodily organs” of a male/female!”

For those who are born with the inside stuff of a man and the outside bits of a woman … for those who are a woman outside and a man inside … or any other combination under the rainbow …

Why do we use the bible only to endorse the bodily organs we can see, dissect, repair and replace?  Why do we not “use the bible” for the inside bits the church – and each Christian – teaches and preaches as the bit that matters?  Is not differentiating between who squirts in the “right or wrong” way no different to who has the “right or wrong” colour skin?  Is that not measuring and judging the “outside bits” – rather than the “inside bits”.

There are others verses about the outside and inside:

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.  Blind Pharisee!  First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.  Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.  In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”  Matthew 23:25-28

“I never asked to be born!”

Is true.

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