Why I am writing this blog
The first reason is after 9/11 and the rise in attacks in the name of God I have to speak out about such events. These current events are not new in the history of many religions; in fact the only major religion I can think of that hasn’t attacked other beliefs—all forms of attack are the same and have the same end in mind from subtle condemnation to the grossly physical—in the name of its theology is Buddhism. Not withstanding Buddhism doesn’t teach that there is a “God” in the western sense however it may be the wisest method to seek God without the trappings of a belief system demanding that others suffer because they have a different point of view.
Since 9/11—9,257 people, so far, have been killed. 2,977 in the original attacks (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_September_11_attacks) and 6,280 and climbing every day at the rate of 1.7 per day, (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war)
We have done more damage to ourselves than al-Qaeda ever dreamed of in their wildest fantasies. Not just physically but morally and mentally as well. Attack always brings fear and we are a nation engulfed in fear. It is the atmosphere we breath each day. Fear makes people slaves.
There must be a better way? My aim as I work through my theology will be to show that forgiveness is that way.
How is this accomplished? I’m still working that out on a personal level for it must be practiced by me first in all I do. We had a choice after 9/11. As a “Christian” nation I believe we made a mistake.
One day as I was walking down the street God spoke to me and said; “God is not a bully.” Why are you telling me this? I responded. God very gently said; “You are a bully.” Well that hit home because of course I was and still find myself wanting to coerce others in one form or another. After that encounter I began to see many different ways I had bullied people in my past. And this blog is an account of the journey of re-evaluating everything in the Light of a gentler non-condemning and non-coercive God.
And this is the second reason: for much of my life I was a bully and I have seen first hand the effects that attitude has had on my three previous marriages, my walk with the Lord and just the general disruptiveness of always attempting to get my own way no matter what and at whose expense, plus needing to be “right”. After giving a sermon, as a guest speaker, on this topic a parishioner came up to me and very gently said I was like a bull in a china store. Well amen to that.
When I began to explore the nature of my bullying I discovered how I had interpreted the scriptures to match this personality trait. Seeing God as someone who will punish all men in the eternal flames of hell because they—for one reason or another—were not able to come to the same beliefs as myself was an easy interpretation to make. I also begun to see how I projected my anger and condemning onto God. Again this was very easy to do from reading the many passages in the Old Testament and interpreting the New in light of the Old, in a literal sense.
This blog is an account of my spiritual journey away from such interpretations of God. It will be an attempt to show how His mercy endures for ever and ever because that is who he is. I will discuss how the merciful unchanging God can only love for all eternity and the idea of having anything within Himself other than who he is, is impossible, for everything that is True, Real and that Exists is God and only God. If hell exists and is a place of eternal punishment it would have to exist in God because there is nothing that can ever be outside of Him. He has no boundaries. He is the sphere whose center is everywhere and boundaries nowhere.
I will be talking from a Christian—not Orthodox, fundamental or necessarily evangelical—perspective because since I gave my life to the Lord in 1971 he has never left me in even most apostate moments.
John 12:20 Now there were certain Greeks among those that went up to worship at the feast: 21these therefore came to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.”
At that time seeing Jesus meant looking for a single man but how are we to see him today? It is my wish to see him in everyone I see; for if “we have done it unto the least of these you have done it unto me.” I take the least of these to mean every individual in the entire human race. If we see our brother/sister this way, how could we even attack our brother or sister in anyway whatever, weather he be an abortionist, gay, al-Qaeda, our worst enemy, someone of differing beliefs or our next door neighbor. If God wants us to see Christ in All people, which I believe he does it must be He sees his Son in ALL of humanity since the beginning of time. For it is we the “Son of Man” for whom Jesus became the Son of Man to demonstrate what it means to be fully human and fully divine.
He wants us to do the same.