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Showing posts from November, 2015

Tainted Love?

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A Christian understanding of homosexuality is a topic I've shied away from, although I obliquely address it in The Liberal Agenda, because it can be so divisive. That it is a divisive and difficult topic makes me deeply sad. A refusal to face a topic because it is difficult could reasonably be called cowardice, so here we are.

People love to know the rules don't they. It's a fact of human nature that we want to be told what we're allowed to do and what we're not allowed to do. This is "the law" and the old testament of the bible is largely the story of humanity understanding God's nature and how to be right with God through a very detailed set of rules.

In Jesus' time there was a group of religious people who particularly loved the rules. Read Matthew 23 for some of the choice things Jesus had to say to these men, the Pharisees:
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s fa…

Soul Healing: Becoming Whole

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Soul healing means becoming reconciled to who you are, finding peace with yourself. And it's something we all need, in more or less obvious ways perhaps, but none of us are completed works and there are unplumbed depths in everyone waiting to be set free.

We're all big people, deep people, at least in potential. Think of all the people you know and the friendships that come alive as soon as you're with that person, all the books you've read, music you've listened to, films you've watched and places you've been to. Think of all the things you can do, your skills and abilities, there are many of them. You're incredibly complex, all of this and more is within you, but how much of that can you recall consciously at the moment; how much of all that's inside you do you use at any one time. There's a great deal to be released in all of, a tremendous capacity to love that we have only just scratched the surface of.

One way that a particular need for s…

The Fire, The River and a Sword

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Several years ago I decided that I wasn't going to be a Christian and sing flowery songs of worship about having rivers of living water flowing out of my soul if I didn't actually experience it. If I give my life to this faith, if I'm going to believe that it's true, then I'm going to prove it true in my life. What I sing of, what I declare, what I say I believe, I will experience and understand.

A big part of my journey over recent years has been meditating. I meditate for an hour a day. It's an exercise of the soul to develop focus and cultivate mental strength. Along with these qualities I've found it bringing enormous healing to my soul, a topic I have waiting in the wings to write about. As well as meditating for an hour a day I pray for two to three hours a day. This wasn't something I intended to do, it just sort of grew out of exercising and using the time to reach out to God with body, soul and spirit. Trying to push everything within me to re…

The Varieties of Religious Experience: The Religious Outlook

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I recently started reading The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature by William James. It's one of the classic books in the study of the mystical and I've only just begun reading it. In this book William James is mostly concerned with the individual mystical experience and my main interest is the corporate experience of God, but despite the moderately archaic language I'm enjoying it so far.

In the early part of the book William James attempts to tease out the difference between the religious outlook on life and a purely moral or "stoic" outlook on life. Here is his conclusion:
For when all is said and done, we are in the end absolutely dependent on the universe; and into sacrifices and surrenders of some sort, deliberately looked at and accepted, we are drawn and pressed as into our only permanent positions of repose. Now in those states of mind which fall short of religion, the surrender is submitted to as an imposition of necessity, and th…

An Evolutionary Spirituality: A Personal God?

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In Seeing Angels  I looked at how the spiritual powers, angels and demons, are related to our life. In a discussion about this blog entry on facebook a friend asked a very reasonable question:
While I certainly wouldn't disagree with your musings on human nature, I find it difficult to understand why the forces that unify us have to be personified. Surely biblical descriptions of demons and angels are just as easily understood as metaphor?

You know I respect your beliefs (and have family members who share them), so I'm not trying to be argumentative here. Just putting another side of the case. This question is ostensibly about the nature of God and spiritual powers (the forces that unifies us), but this question is separable from enquiring about our own nature. In replying I outlined my view of an "evolutionary spirituality". This is an understanding that we're not separate from the forces that created us. The theory of evolution lays out how life, and therefore s…

Seeing Angels

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The central thesis of Christianity, viewed from a particular perspective, is that all humanity is connected. That God, the spirit of perfect love utterly pure and without guile, can be in all of us and that through oneness with this love we can all be joined. The metaphor for the church of Jesus is one body, one new person. Through Jesus we are unified in love and have the same spirit, one mind and heart. The mystery of this is that though we are joined, we do not lose our individuality. In fact as we become more joined with Christwe become more ourselves, more who we were intended to be.

The test of the reality of this is how much our lives are shared, in spirit and truth not just in theory. The substance of the kingdom of God is shared lives, and this is how we become one body - our lives and hearts are mingled and life moves freely amongst us. A people alive in God and God alive amongst us.
Romans 12:4-5
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the s…