Until i decide what to really do with this space, see these websites, and below the links i put my overview of what i think Christianity means in reality.
Mainly, check out my blog at ChristianGays.com (i’m straight but i was checking on a link and the owner asked me if i’d blog there). It’s the most comprehensive of what i have online at the moment.
My older site modicumx.rocks including my Christianity page also has a lot of info but it really needs to be updated.
YHWH.com – amazing, wish i wrote it myself!
I tried to summarize it all in a few key sentences, but this is the best I could do, since everything is connected to everything!
There is a “thing” or “being” that exists and we can FEEL, that is pure love. Honestly IT will pour over you like liquid love. IT …appears strongly in places like churches where people are united, especially if outside of their own egos, there to acknowledge a common greatness outside of themselves. This also includes sports stadiums when the crowd cheers together, or moments of self-sacrifice or pure honesty and goodness. Wherever two or three are gathered in the name of BEing, not self. Generally people call IT “God,” although “God” is actually a generic noun, not a “proper name.” But IT is also known by other labels.
The full nature of God is incomprehensible to human beings, so any human attempts to define IT are only approximations (in the same way insect language cannot even begin to describe the complexity of human beings). So have RESPECT for others’ points of view, because everyone’s is flawed/wrong in some way due to our human limitations.
Insisting that IT couldn’t exist just because you haven’t felt IT makes no sense, given that many things such as germs or UV rays could only be guessed at until we developed the technology to find and prove them. If we could go inside our sun star it would appear black, because we don’t have the physical capability of seeing rays of those high wavelengths. Human perception is limited to its own abilities, which are very limited. We can see and hear less than 5% of the available visual and audio spectrums. So pretending we understand an omnipresent Spirit which possibly exists in another dimension, to the point of using it to exclude other people, is no good.
Maybe you have even felt IT in some ways but don’t recognize IT for what IT is? Why do some people “feel” it and others don’t? Maybe they needed it or were just really open to it once? Even for those who believe, ITs actions often feel arbitrary, so rather than being like a “person,” could IT be something like liquid love that flows “downstream”? Or another dimension bumping against ours? Or the underlying inter-connectedness of everything peeking through? Since our whole physical world is almost all empty space, with teeny atomic elements being held together by energy, why wouldn’t we have a sense of that underlying, all-encompassing Force sometimes, especially when we venture outside of our limited selves? Those concepts are no more “impersonal” than the sea is to sailors!
Before i get into how Christianity specifically defines God (or how it should), let me share these three (edited) meditations from “24 Hours A Day” published by Hazelden:
March 24: We cannot fully understand the universe. We can’t even define space or time, which are both boundless despite all we can do to limit them. We live in a box of space and time, which we have manufactured by our own minds and on that depends all our so-called knowledge of the universe. The simple fact it that we can never know all things, nor are we made to know them. Much of our lives must be taken on faith.
April 27: Since we can’t contact God by the senses, we have to perceive him by spiritual perception. Spirit-consciousness replaces sight. Many people, though they can’t see God, have had a clear spiritual consciousness of him. We feel his presence beside us. We are inside a box of space and time, but we know there must be something outside of that box, limitless space, eternity of time, and God.
May 1: The more physicists and astronomers reduce matter, the more it becomes a mathematical formula, which is thought. When Eternal Thought expresses itself within the framework of space and time, it becomes matter. Our thoughts, within the box of space and time, can’t know anything first hand, except material things. But we can deduce that outside the box of space and time is Eternal Thought, which we can call God.
The Christian “bible” or “library of writings,” which begins with Hebrew scriptures/writings, starts by using two words for God (you can see them starting in Genesis 1 through the creation stories):
1) “Elohiym” which is a plural word meaning “strengths” or “powers.” The root “El” means “strength” or “power” and is also the root of the Arabic word for God, “Allah.”
2) “YHWH” or “AHYH” in Hebrew (specifically see Exodus 3:14-15), which can be translated as “I AM (that I AM)” but because ancient Hebrew used different tenses it can also mean “I WILL be what I WILL BE” – so a better translation might be “I Be” or “BEing.”
Because the Jews believed the “divine name” should not be pronounced (probably because as always, we demean it), YHWH in the Bible is translated “LORD” which simply means “master” or “boss” in modern English.
–> In the second creation story beginning in Genesis 2:4, the writer uses a combination of the two words:
“YHWH Elohim” literally means “The Powers That Be.”
God cannot be “male” any more than IT is “female,” and human words like Father and Son could never be exact or literal. They are only attempts to describe the indescribable. We give God human characteristics to make IT more relatable, which is called “anthropomorphism.” The mark placed to identify the center of the circle is not the actual center itself.
In the same way, the Bible describes “hell” as both “fire” and “darkness.” Neither is intended to be literal; they are both attempts to describe the unfathomable in human language, to give us a “sense” of it. Jesus also says we are “baptized by fire” so we realize that fire is a powerful metaphor used in different ways. (“Baptize” also simply means “immerse” or “dunk.”)
If God is omnipotent, timeless, and created everything, then EVERYTHING that ever happens is ITS FAULT. If IT didn’t want it exactly this way IT could change it or would have made it different. Or IT is not omnipotent. The idea of a “fall” is ridiculous. God made “Adam” knowing exactly what he would do, and IT made him that way anyway. But, that doesn’t mean that what i do isn’t also my fault. “Adam” is a word that literally means “mankind,” so it is not a story of what one man did, it shows us what we all do. God made “adam” from the adamah, or red clay, that is, IT made earthling from earth.
THE UNITY OF OPPOSITES
Good and bad, like all opposites, such as tall and short, light and dark, as well as belief and unbelief, don’t exist separately in nature/reality. Each set are like two sides of one coin, but much more like two graduated “ends” of one shoelace, a bell-shaped curve of ONE THING, only existing relative to each other. The fact that dark is the absence of light or maybe evil is the absence of good doesn’t change this.
And those opposites can NOT be divided in “half.” That duality, like Genesis says, “Is ALL good.” Free will = Good + Bad
(As a demonstration of this, get a piece of paper, noting that it has a left half and a right half. Rip the left half off and throw it away. Note that the remaining piece still has a left half and a right half. Bad is only the “left half” of all possible acts.) Like Dr. Phil says: “no matter how flat you make a pancake, it still has two sides.” 🙂
HEAVEN AND HELL
So “Heaven” and “Hell” really could not be separate places, because there is no real way to draw a line between good and bad or belief and unbelief, because they exist on a continuous scale. So it must be that the closer you are to God, the more you are in “heaven,” the farther you are from IT, the more you are in “hell.” This explains how it is both “works” and “belief in” that “save” us. They are actually the same thing because if we really believe in something, we do it. The more we believe in and act like Jesus the closer to God we are. Those places are INHERENT in what we do, not imposed on us from outside. We could say God “built them in” to reality.
“Heaven” is actually a fake word made from the plural Hebrew shamayim which means “heights” or “elevations” so it is applied to “skies” or “heavens.” In all other languages but English, “heaven” is translated better, to the exact same word as “sky,” which works OK for heavens. We now know that our planet we call Earth is not the center of the universe. If “heaven” exists now, WHERE IS IT? They used to think that the earth (erets, actually land) was flat and covered by a “firmament,” a dome or space between “waters above and waters below,” or between “heavens” and the earth. Supposedly there were three heavens, the highest one being where God lived; and Sheol, the location of the dead, was underground. Clearly they had no grasp of outer space and we now know that “heaven” couldn’t be “up,” because up is down 12 hours later. The concept also represents the idea of a “higher” plane, level, or state, as noted below under Kingdom.
The word “hell” is itself not from the original Bible writings at all, it’s likely of German, Dutch and Norse origin, meaning hidden or concealed place, similar in meaning to Hades, and they are both pagan in origin. But It is used (why?) to translate the following three words, which already have their own meanings.
- Sheol is the only concept that appears in the O.T., 64 times, and means “the place of the dead.”
- Hades: (“Unseen Place”) – “Sheol” was translated into Greek as Hades, which was part of Greek mythology as the home of Hades, the god of the underworld, son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. brother of Zeus and Poseidon and three sisters, and husband of Persephone. Who says there is no mythological influence on the Bible?
- Gehenna means “Valley of Hinnom,” which surrounded Jerusalem’s Old City, and was a perpetually burning dumpsite where people threw trash and sacrificed babies, but it has long since burned out.
KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
So if “heaven” is to remain valid, the sky can represent the “highest places.” Better translations for the old word “kingdom” are “domain” or “realm” because it’s not limited to a physical place. These days we rarely have “kingdoms” we mostly have “states” instead. So a better translation of “kingdom of heaven” is “highest state.”
literally means “miss the mark” in both Hebrew and Greek. Sin is all our flaws and imperfections, including our mis-takes, mis-deeds, mis-understandings, and everything that keeps us from continually hitting the imaginary target of perfectly beneficial existence and action and reaching or having the prize of complete wholeness. Sin is a condition, not only a sum of individual acts. We’ll never get rid of a beach by trying to remove individual grains of sand. Is there such a thing as a “perfect” tree or a “perfect” rock? Nonsense – “perfection” is a concept that exists only in the human brain, and isn’t real. “All have sinned” = “nobody’s perfect.”
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in. –Leonard Cohen
is only God’s instruction manual (that IT “reveals,” or we “realize” in an excruciatingly slow process and write down) for how the universe works. It shows us that we are all imperfect “sinners.” God cares what we do because IT loves us and doesn’t want us to hurt ourselves or others. Jesus says, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.” The rules were made FOR us, we weren’t made to fit rules, but actually when we fit them, life works!
Our imperfections do contain their own punishment (in an overall sense), because the laws of nature have their consequences. If you drop your hair dryer in the bathtub, you get electrocuted. If you lie, it causes problems. If you’re gay, it causes problems, If you can’t accept gay people, it causes problems. If you’re born without legs or arms or blind or deaf, it causes problems. People are born with all kinds of genetic damage such as missing chromosomes, or XXY gender markers which makes them physically both male and female. “All have sinned” just means “nobody’s perfect” – what part of that don’t we get?
Eve’s name in the story means “life,” which is what entices us to eat the fruit of the tree of the experience of function and dysfunction (“good” and “bad”), thereby cutting everything in half and “judging” it. In the name of pleasure we try to exclude the “unpleasureable” half of everything. And we impose boundaries and separate ourselves from everything else we interact with or that exists including God. We turn ourselves into mini gods, but only THE God understands it all, so only IT can judge or assess correctly. We also separate and reject the parts of ourselves we don’t like, which creates a “shadow self.”
Because if “smart” is “good” and “stupid” is “bad,” then I’ve decided that God created me “wrong,” since all of us are actually somewhere in between. This causes us to be ashamed of who God made us and put on “fig leaves” to cover our true selves. It is our creation of all these boundaries including those between good vs. bad that separates us from God, which is (at least) EVERYTHING. IT told us not to eat from that tree!
“Jesus” is the Greek translation of his real name, which is Hebrew or Aramaic and is Yeshua (or Yeheshua). The closest English translation is Joshua. Also, “Christ” is not a name, it’s not even English, they made a word up straight from Greek (Christos). It means “annointed” and by extension “messiah” or “savior.” In modern parlance we call such a person “the chosen one.” So in common English his name is NOT “Jesus Christ,” it is more accurately: “Josh the Chosen.”
In Jesus’s “Name”
The “name” isn’t even the point. Back then someone’s name wasn’t just a word label, it reflected what they ARE. It meant what we do when we say “my good name” or “in the name of….” “Yeshua” means “God saves,” and another name they gave him, “Immanuel,” means “God with us.” So when we pray in Jesus’s “name,” what he really meant is we need to pray in the name of those things, or in the SPIRIT of Jesus or with the HEART of Jesus. Because those are what makes our prayers work!
The Greek word LOGOS ( the origin of our word “logic”) is usually translated as “Word,” which is a good representation of the meaning, as in “What’s the word”? Because it means more than just an individual word, it is a thought/message/truth and also “expression.”
But Christianity makes a big mistake when it reads
John 1:1: “1 In the beginning was the Word…”
because the conclusion is: “the Word is Jesus.”
Wait, what? NO! WRONG!
Later on, in verse 14:
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”
OK, NOW the Word is Jesus. The divine word or message is not a book or a person; but it could be contained in a book or a person, such as Jesus. This resolves a lot of confusion when Jesus appears to call himself God, but we notice that he spends a lot of time distinguishing between himself the “son of man” and himself the “son of God.” And most of the time He talks about God as if “He” were separate.
Jesus is like a cup that holds the divine coffee. Without the cup the coffee just gets absorbed by the floor. Before him we were just trying to suck it up off the ground. But since he came we can drink it from him. (The “Word” is also referred to as male simply because the word “logos” is a masculine word in the Greek language.)
Jesus came to show us two main TRUTHS, as the embodiment of the “Logos,” which has always existed with God:
–God loves us totally and completely exactly how we are; our “sins” (flaws) are totally, always forgiven, partly because God made us this way. In fact, God IS pure love.
–To reach “wholeness” or “perfection” (heaven = the highest state) we must die completely to our “selves” for the good of the whole, doing our best to act in perfect harmony all the time. And Jesus shows us how. But we need help, and the Spirit of the living, BEing God will help us do it if we ask.
Jesus had to die in order to express the complete deal. Just talking isn’t enough, we have to DO what we believe, otherwise our beliefs aren’t. By dying he became the “embodiment” or “expression” of the truths of God. That complete self-sacrifice for the good of the “world” or the “all” is the ONLY way to “heaven” or “wholeness.”
If i keep insisting that i’m separate, how will i ever be whole? Buddha also grasped the concept of killing the self to find the all or the “whole,” but Buddhism as a religion seems to be missing the actual relationship with the real, live “Spirit” of God. Not to mention we are not supposed to have statues of the Buddha. Buddha says, “kill the Buddha.”
What is LOVE but a CONNECTION, a UNITEDNESS? Not necessarily of thought or opinion, but of SPIRIT. We separate ourselves from everything else, and from God. If “God is love” as the Bible says in John _____? then isn’t God the united ONENESS of everything? What if God is EVERYTHING, and ITs love is the unity of everything, and we begin to sense that by getting outside of our separate selves?
Smile, Jesus loves you.