Well, I heard another doosey of a semon this morning, which got my writing wheels turning once again. The subject matter actually comes at a very timely moment after looking into the whole question of how the gospel writers and fathers of the faith invented their version of “truth” by constructing stories written for the purpose of convincing their Jewish contemporaries in particular of the notion Jesus of Nazareth was the messiah, and the only begotten exclusive son of God.
The pastor’s sermon consisted of fielding questions from perishoners, and as I expected, he simply regurgitated the answers he already “knew” from seminary school and from fellow “experts” in the field of god – namely other pastors who were just as unaware as he to answer these questions. I rolled my eyes as he spoke of how good it was to ask questions, and how Jesus was asked questions all the time. The problem with pastors is they truly cannot ask real questions and seek real answers because to do so would be to dismantle their very belief structure. Since that is not an option for those pastors who wish to keep their jobs, they must instead humor themselves by seeking only “theologically sound answers,” namely, those which adhere to preconceived beliefs, which are not Truth. Basically, if it is Truth we are seeking, the last person we should ask is a person who has a belief or agenda to defend, as they cannot see the Truth beyond their beliefs and prejudices. Sadly, that means these pastors who are supposed to be leading us to Truth, are completely unqualified to do so since it is their beliefs they are worshipping and defending, not seeking Truth. Truth seekers question everything, and never “stop out” when their beliefs are confronted. Genuine Truth seekers have tremendous courage to look beyond their beliefs and prejudices, as Truth always lies beyond the limitations of belief, prejudice, and agendas.
One of the questions the pastor dealt with today was “Is it fair for God to withhold salvation from those who have never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ?” The pastor responded to this question by saying we are all sinners, and that sin is universal. I was with him so far. I agree. That is true. Next, he said it would never be “unfair” of God to withhold salvation from anybody since nobody deserves salvation, and that if we truly “got what we deserved,” we would be punished for all eternity. By this point, my head was rolling as I listened to this nonsense. The problem with this notion is his very limited view of salvation itself. Salvation is not deserved nor undeserved. It is neither. He sees it as going to heaven after we die because we say we believe Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. No. True salvation is recognizing the Truth of our identity – that we are God, Love, Truth within, not our limited, prejudiced god of self, ego. This is not the result of anyone dying for us, but awakening to Truth within – a beautiful dance between ourselves and God, Truth. We question and seek, and awareness of the One dawns. To simply accept a belief out of fear, coersion, or ignorance is not true salvation, but that is exactly what this pastor proposed today.
Obviously the pastor has no conception of True salvation because he believes it is limited to thinking one has to believe that one person is the “only path” to salvation, and that it is “arrogant” of us to question God. He quoted from Romans 9:20, “But who are you, my friend, to talk back to God? ….” And so we see the insidiousness of fundamentalism – to keep people locked into the fear of staying “believers” by threatening dire consequences if one should dare question God. Heaven forbid we should actually ask real questions. I have usually liked Paul’s writing, as it does often reflect much truth, but this passage is anything but truthful, as it squelches the very fabric of authentic Truth seeking – questioning. This is the biggest copout nonsense excuse I always hear from “believers” about why we should not question – the non-question of “Who are we to question God, as we cannot comprehend His ways?” I suppose for some people, because “God is God,” he gets a pass even though these characteristics of “god” contradict what we know to be truthful and loving.
The Gospel of John is in my opinion the biggest sales package for false Christianity out of all the gospels I have read. If you can buy it or sell it, it is never Truth being “sold.” God, Love, Truth is not for sale. Never has been, and never will be. What one can “sell,” “buy,” and “convince” someone of is never Truth, but only that which is not Truth, like belief, prejudice, agendas, and ideology. That being said, there is still much truth in this gospel, but this work has all the earmarks of agenda promotion. The gospel writer himself even blatantly stated his pupose in John 20:31, “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” Of course, the gospel writer also saw fit to sprinkle in some threats to be sure to scare people into becoming “believers,” as found in John 3:18, “Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in God’s only Son.” This statement proves the purpose of this gospel is to promote an agenda, which is by definition, a lie. An agenda, a belief, is not Truth. The fact the gospel writer states the fact he is trying to convince anyone of his claims proves it is not Truth he is promoting and defending. Truth never needs to be promoted nor defended, but shared. Those whose hearts are truly committed to sharing genuine Truth could not care less about what someone “believes,” as it is irrelevant. All that matters for genuine Truth seekers is sharing Truth, and recognizing the condition and state of one’s heart is most important, not what one believes. Defending belief is not sharing Truth. Sharing Truth is never a defense because there is nothing to defend. That is why Truth is total freedom, as only Truth is free of the need for justification and defense. Propaganda and defenses of belief are for politicians and lovers of games, lies, and deception. Belief and its promotion through propaganda is just a game, pure and simple.
Belief is idolatry because when we defend our beliefs, we are simply defending ourselves since beliefs are nothing more than an extension of ourselves. Yet false Christianity as promoted by the church puts belief at the center and foundation of its existence, which is putting ourselves and not God as the foundation of worship. That means traditional Christianity is the worship of ourselves, our wants, needs, and desires of our unsatiated egos. Whatever our egos want, we create and worship it as a subsititute for actually seeing and sharing Truth. This fact makes traditional Christinity nothing more than idolatry, and a violation of the First Commandment to love the Lord your God with all your strength, soul, and might. And while such words would get me burned at the stake or stoned as a heretic, this worship of belief concept is found in the scriptures themselves, from Paul in Romans 10:13, “Everyone who calls out to the Lord for help will be saved. But how can they call to him for help if they have not believed? And how can they believe if they have not heard the message?…” The pastor continued on by saying, “If we don’t proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ people are in big trouble because they can’t be saved unless they believe. And they can’t believe unless they hear what they’re to believe in. ….People’s eternal destiny is at stake. We have a responsibility to tell them.” So, we see these well-meaning Christians have mistaken their beliefs about Truth to be actual Truth, when it never is. Paul was mistaken, as salvation has nothing whatsoever to do with belief. It has everything to do with awareness of one’s True identity as God, Love, Truth within, not the limited ego with its beliefs, prejudices, and agendas to defend.
This “good news” traditional Christians proclaim sounds like mixed news to me, and no matter how nicely Christians want to massage it and make it sound more palatable, the fact is, their god is one who puts a gun to our head and says, “Believe or else.” That turns the True God of Love into a childish and egotistical manipulator, and completely contradicts everything we know to be Truthful and Loving. This is not the authentic God of Love, but the false god of self. Since the only reality is Love, then the only God is Love. Since the only God is Love, then He cannot be nor act in any way which is contrary to Love. Belief, justification, punishment and reward are the products of ego, and have nothing whatsoever to do with the God of Love, as Love, God…is the only reality…