Sunday, May 07, 2006

Towards a New Spirituality and a New Understanding

Oh, my God! It doesn't get much weirder than this.

The Vatican today announced that it plans to sue somebody — anybody! — over both the book and movie versions of The Da Vinci Code because, it claims, "both offend Christ and the Church he founded."

It's no secret neither Mary nor the Widow's Son have much good to say about organized religion. Look through the archives of the Burning Taper and Sacred Fems for dozens of blog entries about religion. Watching Christianity, both the Protestant and the Catholic versions, piss its pants over The Da Vinci Code is both sad and hilarious!

What are they so afraid of?

Maybe they don't like it that they're no longer in charge of the world. I mean, it hasn't been too many years since the Catholic Church's official Holy Inquisition ended. You know, the one where they slaughtered and tortured millions of innocent people because they didn't believe official doctrine.

What about revenue loss? People who are no longer afraid of the ruthless, jealous and vengeful God that most Christian churches demand we believe in don't make tithes and offerings to keep churches' coffers and clergymen's pockets full.

"This is one of the fundamental human rights: that we should be respected, our religious beliefs respected, and our founder Jesus Christ respected," Cardinal Francis Arinzehe, an also-ran in the race to be named the new Pope last year, whined. Respect is earned, Daddy-o, not given just because you want it.

Though the poll currently on SacredFems.com hasn't yet indicated that most everyone agrees, we tend to believe that this film is going to change the world, perhaps rather quickly. People don't buy this religion stuff quite like they did even just a generation ago. Young people today aren't dropped off at Sunday School like they used to be, to have the myths drilled into their nervous systems. Today, there are new myths, some that inspire us to greater heights, and sadly, many that seem to be taking us as a society down a long, dark tunnel towards oblivion.

We don't know where the future of humanity is going, spiritually or physically, but it simply cannot keep going on the path it has been and hope to survive.

A new paradigm of spirituality is called for. Yahweh-Jehovah neither inspires us nor instills fear in our hearts anymore. Jesus has been commercialized and caricatured, parodied and poked fun at, not just by Christmas and countless South Park episodes, but by the very churches that still promote Him. Which Jesus is the Real One, if any? The Catholic one, the Mormon one, the Jehovah's Witnesses one, the fundamentalist Southern Baptist one? The Jewish one? Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ Jesus? The one from Jesus Christ Superstar? The Prince of Peace or the one who "came not to bring peace but a sword"?

What's the future for Christianity? They've splintered themselves into a couple of thousand different sects, and in any small town in America, there are at least a dozen different Baptist churches that have split off from older churches because they congregants couldn't get along with each other. If they now have to threaten to cry alligator tears in a courtrom somewhere to force people stop "disrespecting" them, then obviously, it's over for the Bible-thumpers and Bible-wavers of whatever Protestant denomination or Catholic order. Christianity's time as Alpha Religion is passing.

Let's just pray to God that a new, higher spirituality prevails and propels mankind toward a Higher Plane of existence. We shudder at the other possibility, that we might fall into something even worse than we have now, devolving into a mind-numbing theocracy like those in Muslim countries.

To once again quote God, as recorded in A Conversation with God: The New Revelations:
There are five things you can chose now if changing your world, and the self-destructive direction in which it is moving, is what you wish to achieve.
  1. You can choose to acknowledge that some of your old beliefs about God and abotu Life are no longer working.

  2. You can choose to acknowledge that there is something you do not understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which will change everything.

  3. You can choose to be willing for a new understanding of God and Life to now be brought forth, an understanding that could produce a new way of life on your planet.

  4. You can choose to be courageous enought to explore and examine this new understanding, and, if ti aligns with your inner truth and knowing, to enlarge your belief system to include it.

  5. You can choose to live your lives as demonstrations of your highest and grandest beliefs, rather than as denials of them.
These are the Five Steps to Peace, and if you take them, you can shift everything on your planet.
This article is cross-posted on SacredFems.com.

— Mary and the Widow's Son

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19 comments:

  1. To Widow’s Son and all who read his postings and his wife’s postings:

    Those who claim the name of Christ should not be afraid of Dan Brown and his skeptical charade of Christianity. The theories of Brown are nothing more than warmed up heresy from years ago – and for some reason – people are paying him good money to simply reheat the old heresy of yesteryear.

    DIVIDING LINE
    The dividing line between Brown’s book and movie – The Da Vinci Code – and the true character of Christ should be evaluated. First of all, Brown’s claims find themselves founded upon the shifting sand of heretical writings called – Gnostic Gospels.

    PROBLEMS WITH THE GNOSTIC GOSPELS
    Several problems exist with the Gnostic writings. First of all, they were written by people claiming to be Apostles in order to get their writings noticed. These people knew if they made false claims about Christ and spread their writings across the regions – they would never get notoriety. Therefore, they wrote false claims about Christ, His character, and Christianity – and published them in the name of an Apostle. This would be like Mr. Widow’s Son writing a sermon that made horrendous claims about Christ – and publishing it in the name of John Calvin. It was an attempt to quench the Church of Christ and run the name of Christ in the mud.

    Another serious problem is the unreliability of the Gnostic writings. Many of these writings are dated in or around 200-250 AD which is simply too far removed from the life of Christ to be taken seriously. The Gospel writings are written by those who knew Christ personally and who are writing from a first hand experience. When compared to the Gnostic writings – the validity is very clear and obvious to the eyes of the reader. Furthermore, the true author of the Gospel records is God Himself. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that “ALL SCRIPTURE” is given by inspiration of God! The reason the Holy Bible has stood the test of time is because of the inspiration of God. The reason the Gnostic writings failed in their era was due to their obvious flounders and lies. They failed in their day – and they will fail under the name of Dan Brown in our day.

    Finally, another problem is the contradictory claims which violate Holy Scripture. Holy Scripture has stood through the era of the Gnostic writings and it will continue to stand the test of time. The warmed up heresy of Dan Brown will not affect or shake the true Church of Christ Jesus. It may add fuel to the flames of heresy mongers of our day for a short time, but in the end – when the cards are laid out on the table – Dan Brown will simply be labeled as another heretic who took a pop shot at Christ Jesus and failed miserably.

    -----------
    For more on the subject of – The Da Vinci Code – visit the following sites:

    John Ankerberg Show ---- http://www.ankerberg.org/Articles/historical-Jesus/DaVinci/HJ-Da-Vinci-Code-questions.htm

    Albert Mohler ---- http://www.albertmohler.com/commentary_read.php?cdate=2006-04-12

    Michael Youssef ----
    http://www.leadingtheway.org/site/PageServer?pagename=bc_DebunkingDaVinci

    Isaiah 40:8
    The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

    Josh Buice

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  2. Verily! Josh the Baptist has proclaimed his truth. Thanks for sharing. It's now all so clear!

    Clear as mud. Yeah, that mud you say Jesus is being dragged through.

    Only fundamentalist Christians like yourself believe the Biblical Gospels were written by the Disciples whose names are attached to them.

    Scholars argue over the date of the Gospel of Matthew, dating it as early as 45 AD or as late as 100 A.D. Fundamentalist conservatives with their egos and cash flow on the line tend to be the ones who date Matthew early.

    Many scholars do not believe Matthew the Disciple wrote the book with his name on it, because much of the book drew from the Gospel of Mark, an earlier book certainly not written by someone who personally knew Jesus, as well as from sources Q and M.

    Mark was written between 65-80 AD. If Matthew borrowed heavily from Mark, it stands to reason that Matthew was written later, which pushes the envelope on the author having personally known Jesus, simply based on timelines and lifespans.

    Luke was most likely not written by Paul's companion Luke the Doctor, but even it is was, Luke didn't know Jesus, either. In the book, the author does not claim to have been an eyewitness of Jesus's life, but to have investigated everything carefully and to have written an orderly narrative of the facts.

    John was most likely the latest of the four Gospels written, and most scholars believe it was written in two (some believe three) different stages, from as early as 50 A.D up to 120 A.D. Chapter 21 refers to "the Beloved Disciple" (assumed to be John) in the third person, an odd way for the author to start talking if he was referring to himself.

    Therefore, Pastor Josh, your statement that "the Gospel writings are written by those who knew Christ personally and who are writing from a first hand experience" would seem to have as much truthiness to it as most of your other comments over the months — damn little.

    Your reliance on a passage from 2 Timothy as "proof" that the entire Bible is "true" is nothing short of ludicrous. A thing cannot prove itself simply by stating itself is true. It may say it is true, but saying it is true does not evidentially make it true. Don't they teach Logic 101 at that seminary you go to?

    We don't even have to wait for your mythical cards to be laid on the table, Josh. Citing John Ankerberg as an expert reference on ANYTHING is doubly suspect. He has about as much credibility in the scholarly world as Sponge Bob. I wouldn't trust Ankerberg to give me the correct time of day.

    — W.S.

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  3. Hi... if the Da Vinci Code was not enough we have now the Gospel of Judas.... wot should we make out of this Gospel... there is an interesting article on this gospel and Swami Paramhansa Yoganandajis view at www.karmablog10.com within the Christianity category.... you may want to check it out..

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  4. PROBLEMS WITH THE MAMALUJO
    Several problems exist with the the canon Gospels of MaMaLuJo. First of all, they were written by people claiming to be Apostles in order to get their writings noticed. These people knew if they made false claims about Christ and spread their writings across the regions – they would get notoriety. Therefore, they wrote false claims about Christ, His character, and Christianity – and published them in the name of a few Apostles. This would be like Mr. Josh Buish writing a sermon that made outrageous claims about Christ – and publishing it in the name of MaMaLuJo. It was an attempt to control the Church of Christ and ruin the meaning of Christ's message.

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  5. Ole groucho is up to his ole self once again,

    I see groucho's face and wonder - who is this grouchy person? I then realize that he must be scared to place his own face on the picture - his own name on the screen - because he is afraid of taking responsibility for what he says.

    Grouchy groucho - you need to cheer up - but in order to do that - you need to be saved by the GRACE of God. Without that - you will continue to be grouchy - because life will be miserable and full of endless chases for light and self meaning in a sin filled world. Furthermore, you will not have anything but endless darkness and burning fire to look forward to in a place called hell when you breathe your last breath --- no wonder you are so grouchy!

    ole grouchy groucho - if you could only cheer up - if you could only see true meaning in life - if only - ole groucho!

    Josh Buice
    Not afraid to take responsiblity for my words - unlike Mary's husband and grouchy groucho!

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  6. Responding to Pastor Buice,

    The issue of true authorship of the canonical gospels is still in question among some scholars. Jewish pseudopigripha was an accepted literary form. With the passage of time, the details regarding true authorship have become somewhat vague at best. Some scholars contend that some books exhibit differing historical expressions within the same book. That leads some to contend that some gospels may have been written by more than one person.
    The general consensus is that the canonical gospels were written by the actual apostles to which they were ascribed to.

    The gnostic writings were for the most part writings from different schools of Jewish/Christian/pagan traditions that were rivals for the style of Christianity that was embraced and promoted by force by Constantine and the Holy Roman Empire.
    The decidedly "Pauline" slant to the Christianity that has come down to us was not the same that was promulgated by the surviving apostles in the early days of the Church. There are even evidences that some of the early Christians and Jews believed in a type of reincarnation. This belief is further carried on into modern times by the surviving "Nestorian Christians" who settled in Egypt and China after being harangued and persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church in AD 845.

    I would like to point out to Rev. Buice that not all gnostic writings are heresies. Just because a book was not included in the canon does not mean it was damned as heresy. The Gospel of Thomas was not included because it paints a decidedly "eastern" interpretation of the nature of Christ's sayings and his divinity. The Protoevanglion of Mary paints a decidedly impish picture of a child Jesus using his powers for some less than divine purposes.
    Regardless on what people believe,much remains veiled. Buice's truth may not be the truth for all. He refuses to even entertain the idea of any other interpretation of Christ's message and mission other than that which he holds as being correct. This is to his credit and should not be disdained. However; I am still skeptical and there are still loose ends that need to be tied up.
    Does Mr. Brown contend that the DaVinci Code is gospel truth? Not necessarily. But what he does want to promote is the ability for people to question those loose ends and to find the truth, no matter what it may be.
    It is mentioned in the Bible that those who seek God shall find him. Rev. Buice seems to have found his God. That's great. Yet he seems to believe that if you even question the loose ends or seek beyond the norm...then you are in a grievous state of sin and in danger of damnation. I don't believe damnation awaits all seekers and scientists. The DaVinci Code is a good story and does have some interesting points. If there is no truth to anything in the story...then why are the Catholic and some branches of the Protestant faiths so afraid? Freedom of speech goes hand in hand with freedom of conscience. Who knows...It may drive folks TO the Church. It may drive some away. It may just be perceived for what I believe it to be...A great story with an ingenious plot!

    FRDS

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  7. That's right, attack the messenger, not the message.

    Yes, I see what kind of responsibilty you take with your profile picture and the import you give it. I'm not sure it's of your best side, however.

    I'm just waiting for you to make sense. Good try, though.

    Gg

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  8. Groucho,

    You can't expect Rev. Buice to ever accept any other explanation other than the one that has been drummed into him. He is a product of the fundamental theological seminary. He gets his marching orders from radical fundamentalism.
    His response is typical party line... "Well, you're wrong because the Bible says so and the Bible is the inerrant, unchanging word of the God of Glory, and if you don't believe that, then you're damned to Hell...Hallelujah! Can I get an amen brothers and sisters??!!"
    You see... Fear provokes theologians and scientists alike to fall into the "party-line" and not to rock the boat. Scientists fear for their professional reputations and source of government funding. Theologians fear for losing their congregations money-purses and to a lesser degree, their own souls.
    I do believe that this legend of Christ should really be independently, scientifically, and clinically examined without regard for long-held regard or bias. If truly a miracle occurred...then it would hold up scientifically. It would be well worth the time and expenditure.

    FRDS
    BLOG: The Modern Freemasonic Journal

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  9. FRDS,

    You said, "The gnostic writings were for the most part writings from different schools of Jewish/Christian/pagan traditions that were rivals for the style of Christianity that was embraced and promoted by force by Constantine and the Holy Roman Empire. "

    My response - Athanasius was not driven by Constantine to call down Arianism! He did not receive any special reward from Constantine for risking his life, and in at least one occassion - he stood up to Constantine for the cause of Christ. When you seek to purport that Constantine promoted by force the Christianity we have today - you miss the boat. Constantine stood up for Christianity in a day of persecution and tribulation for the church, but he did not cause or formulate Christianity that we have - God did that through Jesus Christ.

    Furthermore, we should exalt Christ rather than tell fancy lies about Him for money. You and grouchy gumby are always quick to suggest all preachers are out to get money from people in the name of religion, but I would like to point out the fact that Mr. Brown is out to get money from the world, in the name of heresy.

    Telling the truth about Christ -

    Josh Buice

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  10. Rev. Buice,
    Constantine's adoption of Christianity is for suspect reasons according to many modern scholars. Notice that a lot of Christian holidays are in line with Mithraist holidays and the worship of Sol Invictus. He persecuted and indeed got rid of a lot of Jews in his kingdom. It was said that Constantine only asked for salvation upon his deathbed. This is all a matter of verifiable historical record.
    James Carroll wrote quite succinctly in his book, "Constantine's Sword" of a history of anti-semitism that carried on throughout the early Church to latter-times. The only forms of religious expression that were not curtailed in Constantine's kingdom were pagan and Christian.
    As far as money...I don't think that is your motivation. But to many, unfortunately...it is true.
    I do have an issue with the 200% person, though. 100% human...100% divine; of current Church thought.

    By the way...I know Grouchy Gandhi...He is not all that grouchy.
    :)
    FRDS

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  11. The story Mr. Brown tells is indeed not new. By regular church standards...it is heresy. It could be truth though. The Church is desparately afraid of this book and this movie. The Catholic Church is ready to sue anybody they can over it. If a heresy is untrue...then let it die under it's own falsehood. All the Church does by fighting this movie and book is to promote intrigue and with human nature being what it is... Makes us all interested.

    FRDS
    "Kinder, Gentler masonic person"

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  12. I was listening to XM Comedy 150 this morning and heard a bit from Robin Williams that was recorded during one of those charitable "Comedy Relief" shows from what must have been around 1988.

    He was talking about having gone to see the movie "The Last Temptation of Christ," which was, you may recall, a film that got Christians worked into a tizzy much like they are today over the upcoming "The Da Vinci Code" movie.

    Williams said he had to cross a picket line to get into the theatre. People were shouting to him, "You won't be able to get into the Kingdom of Heaven if you go see this movie!"

    He replied: "You gonna be there? If you are, I don't want to be!"

    He said they were carrying signs that said, "This movie is not real!"

    His response: "No movie is real, you bozo!"


    — Widow's Son

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  13. Widow's Son,
    I remember that as well! Amazing how anything that threatens to throw mud at a sacred cow scares the Beelzebub out of some folks.

    FRDS

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  14. Widow's Son,

    Suppose for a moment that you love Mary with a supreme and sacrificial love that abounds higher than any other love you know. Suppose that a film maker decides to make a film about her and the film happens to be a biography. Suppose the film portrays her to be leading a double life - one life with you and another life on the street corner while you are at work. Suppose for a moment that it continues to show and suggest actions that are not true – Don’t you think it would bring hurt to your heart? Would you be able to sit out there in the theater and laugh at such a film? The scars from a film about your wife that was not true – and that was very graphic in its portrayal of her so called “double life” would linger the minds for years - and possibly a lifetime.

    You may look at people when you walk out of the film and say, "No movie is real, bozo" - but inside you will be left with a sick feeling due to the disgrace that was brought toward Mary - your wife whom you love.

    That is the best way I can describe the feeling within the church community. Everyone knows it is warmed up heresy - but it still hurts every time some new heretic seeks to take a pop shot at our Savior - whom we love dearly!

    For the glory of God!

    Josh Buice
    Acts 4:12

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  15. So if I'm understanding your analogy correctly, you're Jesus's girlfriend, and you're jealous hearing about all the other people He loves?

    Or are you saying that Mary Magdalene wasn't Jesus's wife, but a streetwalker? Hmm... that IS a common perception of her. Is that Biblical? Is that doctrine? Sounds kinda dangerous to be saying that about the wife of your Hero.

    Why is it "heresy" to believe Jesus was married and sired children? Jesus may have had a pet Italian wire-haired terrier named Anastagio, too, but it not being mentioned in the Bible in no way makes it impossible to imagine or heretical to suppose that he did.

    If he was "fully God" and also "fully man," would he not have acted as most men do, and taken a wife and had children? Might not that family have fled to Fracne after he was killed?


    — Widow's Son

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  16. If I am hearing you right, you don't care about ole Mary's perception in the community - and you don't seem to care that someone called her a street walker? Is that right?

    As for Christ - He is my Savior - not just my hero.

    As for the hypostatic union - I wouldn't expect a non-believer to understand that. Jesus was fully man and fully God at the same time. He possessed 2 natures which were intertwined into one body - a divine and a human nature - hypostatic union. You can read Cyril to see how he explained it.

    All for the glory of Christ Jesus!

    Josh Buice

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  17. Response to Rev. Buice,

    RE: Film about beloved Mary

    But it falls under freedom of speech. If it were true about my beloved Mary...Then so be it. The Church doesnt believe it...some do...it is yet unprovable. So it's not slander. It's healthy speculation.
    I am sorry that it hurts you and members of the Church so. But I would go see it...even if it were about my beloved...even if it defamed her. Let not one person's ideas be silenced...even unto heartbreak. Let it be heard.

    FRDS

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  18. I have this mental picture of Josh the Baptist wonder boy standing on top of a mountain hold the ten commandments pointing his finger in judgement as the self-appointed spokesmen for God.....but which one??

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  19. Alabama Freemason,

    Or perhaps with lightning shooting out of his arse at us lowly heretics. hah hah hah!!!

    FRDS

    PS- Now that's funny...I don't care who ya are...Thats funny!

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