DON’T BE AFRAID TO LET GO !! . GOD WANTS TO GIVE YOU INFINITELY MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU CAN HAVE BY FEARFULLY CLINGING TO THE PAST !!
I posted on Sunday evening about the problems that arise when we interpret imagery from the book of the Revelation too hyper-literally. What it boiled down to was that one is then forced, in order to be consistent, to interpret all of the book’s wild, apocalyptic imagery literally as well, leaving us with Godzilla-like creatures living in earth’s oceans, space-dragons, and biblical “villains” attending first century congregations, centuries after their deaths.
Another issue with interpreting the lake of fire imagery as we do, is what it does to the Protestant doctrine of salvation. Were I to ask you, as a Protestant, “who goes to the lake of fire?”, how would you answer? It’s likely you’d, if you’ve got your doctrine sorted correctly, answer with something simple like “unbelievers.” And at least, according to the Revelation text, you’d be right. So, were you asked directly by someone who, let’s say, was involved in sexual activity that you deemed unsavory and immoral, “Will I go to hell because of said activity?”, again, if your doctrinal ducks were in a row, you’d likely answer with, “No, you’d go to hell because you’re an unbeliever and rejected Christ, but not because of any particular action.”
Here, though, is where the text in question would begin disagreeing with you. Let’s take a look:
8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
-Revelation 21:8, NIV
Sure, “unbelieving” is on that list, but only after “cowardly,” and is then followed by other actions, like sexual immorality and lying. The issue here is that if rejection of Christ and unbelief is *what sends someone to hell, why all the behaviors? Why not leave it at unbelief? It seems like all these extras only add to the confusion. Also, in light of this, the Protestant doctrine of salvation not being by works, etc., stops…working, because here it is specifically *works and actions that are sending people to this place.
Now, sure, we could simply say that these are metaphors-behaviors typifying the villainous force in the book, and doesn’t mean specifically that anyone who is a cowardly , occasional truth-stretcher, will go to hell. But at that point, why not understand the lake of fire itself to be a metaphor? If you’re willing to metaphor-ize one part of the book, why not other parts?
Just some thoughts for this lovely, Tuesday morning.
Warning Warning Warning
You’re really going to want to get this! It’s a bit uncanny, but the fact is the warning is always exactly the same (which at least simplifies everything immensely). Whether suffering from physical, emotional or spiritual distress; poverty, isolation, obsessiveness, doubt, fear, lovelessness, etc., ad nauseum, the culprit is identical: you’ve gone off track with God. Don’t wish the pain to subside – not until you’ve effectively faced and dealt with the root cause that keeps lurking in multifarious guises. Get a hold of that and yank it out and you’ll be free to soar! Oh, but one caveat to put you in mind of: there’s nothing whatsoever that you can do that will weigh one jot or one tittle in the balance of God. Don’t despair: He will do everything for you. And this, by virtue of the fact that He’s already done all that needs to be done. The prize is yours, here and now.
“If only Paul had been accorded a few amenities in his life – freedom from imprisonment, for example – he could have … and would have done so very much more,” you say?
Yes, he could have.
And he would have.
His impact at that time would have been far more spectacular and far-reaching.
He would have … because he could have … healed and restored thousands more.
He would have done everything conceivable, except, perhaps, to write half of the New Testament.
Religious Lie: “God is angry.”
Religious Lie: “Women can’t wear pants, makeup, jewelry, or cut their hair.”
Religious Lie: “You will go to hell for drinking an alcoholic drink.”
Religious Lie: “God only paid for sins until the next time you sin.”
Religious Lie: “King James Version is the only translation accepted by God.”
Religious Lie: “If you don’t repent right after a sin and you suddenly die, you will burn.”
Religious Lie: “Sinless perfection can be achieved in the flesh with the Holy Spirit.”
Religious Lie: “Pray that God will show up in the service tonight.”
Religious Lie: “Unless you ‘move’ God won’t show up.”
Religious Lie: “You must die daily to sin.”
Religious Lie: “God is mad at you when you make mistakes.”
Religious Lie: “You must make sure you get every sin under the blood, or else.”
Religious Lie: “You are UN-born again every time you sin.”
Religious Lie: “Gossip is a small sin, but the others are punishable.”
Religious Lie: “I’m a sinner saved by grace.”
Religious Lie: “You have to beg God for His presence to come down in your worship services.”
Religious Lie: “You have to ‘shout’ down your blessings.”
Religious Cliche: “God really was in OUR service tonight.” (Like He only chose to come for a reason that night….. God is everywhere!!!! All the time!)
This is not quite ready for Sunday morning, but the image of God is created in each and every person. Therefore, as a person believes in their heart, so are they. Out of the heart flows the issues (circumstances) of life. So it may appear that there is a separate God, but there is only one God, and the image of that God is determined by your own imagination. Now, we know that the true image of God is love, so any image short of that is just a false god, born from wrong believing. The Kingdom of God is in every human being alive. However, it is still subject to the perspective of the individual. That is why we still have death, disease, war, famine, poverty, and everything that is born from the curse of the Law. We still have people hell bent on crafting a God in their own animalistic image. From this image, death is the end result. Every answer to each individual is contained within them. It is faith, or the belief in the unseen, that releases a man from this wretched, self destructive, belief system. I could go on about this, but for now, for brevity’s sake, everyone has the capacity to LITERALLY operate as Jesus on this earth. Jesus is the physical manifestation of God………so are you
Once we cross into the state of sonship, we are set free. The Bible lays out the pattern that we all are destined to experience. Jesus is the state of understanding who you are. There is so much to say about that…….
Q: If we’ve already been healed, how come we’re still sick?
A: Because you don’t believe you’ve been healed.
[That’s called “Unbelief”]
Q: How can I get over it?
A: Act like the healed person that you really are.
In traditional theology, people are being turned off in droves! The self-appointed “powers that be” have laid down their law and inspiration, joy and awe are out the window.
What in the $%^&^% is their problem? So, a person messes up badly, obviously misinformed or whatever. Finally like all of us, they die. And the religionistas want them – not to suffer for a million years – but to suffer FOREVER. What in the blazes is up with that???
Any building whose structural integrity depends on everything remaining exactly as it’s always been, is not truly a structure, but merely an illusion. If the changing of a light switch plate here and there, or maintenance on a bathroom will cause the entire building to collapse, there is no actual structure to the building, it is merely illusory.
In the same way, a Christianity, or a belief system, whose structural integrity depends on beliefs always remaining exactly the same, without movement, growth, or development, is not a belief system, and certainly not Christianity, but merely an illusion. If one cannot question doctrines like biblical inerrancy, or eternal conscious torment, or even something as banal as the origins of “Satan,” without the entire structure collapsing, you have no structure.
To put it simply, all structures, all *true* structures, that is, ought to be able to handle deconstruction, without it resulting in a full collapse. Sadly, today’s brand of Christianity is not deconstructable, and the moving or changing of a single belief truly will result in the entire system’s fall. This is why we must allow certain old structures to fall, without attempting to reform them. Then, after their fall, we can sift through the rubble, and reclaim some of the artifacts the former, illusory structure had hijacked, but attempting to reform such structures can only result in you being buried by its fall.
It’s time to find a new and better way, and to allow the old to collapse.
Started the Christian RELIGION.
Saw human beings as SINNERS.
Died in order to RESCUE people from God.
Established a spiritual HIERARCHY of “clergy” and “laity”.
Created a theological ORTHODOXY about God.
Wrote or read the NEW TESTAMENT.
Advocated the hatred, DIMINISHMENT or maltreatment of another human being for any reason
Taught that WOMEN were subservient to men.
Denied the image of GOD in any human being
Believed that humankind was SEPARATED from God
People spend way too much time analyzing various approaches to healing and conducting their lives superficially. They try this method and that method but they NEVER QUITE GO DEEPLY ENOUGH !
When one half-hearted attempt doesn’t bring instantaneous results, they believe they’ve disproven the method and they wander off. They never come anywhere near reaching their goal because they never reach for it strongly enough. They weep and wail and swoon and croon – but it never takes them far enough out of their hypnotic, sickly state. This can come to an end right now as we use the greatest mind-expanding ploy imaginable: plunging into the depths of Quantum physics. This is tantamount to magnifying reality itself exponentially! We can sail past our little lives to the extent that the cares and woes literally CEASE TO EXIST.
I am going to type a little squiggle. Please take a look at it:
NOW THE IMPORTANT QUESTION IS NOT “WHAT” YOU SAW –
THE IMPORTANT QUESTION FOR YOU TO ANSWER IS “HOW” YOU SAW IT.
I just looked at it.
I saw it with my eyes.
You told me to look at it.
How could I have missed it?
With my eyes, silly!
It was right there.
This is stupid.
I couldn’t miss it…
I opened my eyes and looked.
This is how it is with God within you. What do you have to do to activate the power? Nothing. Look. Or, don’t look – it’s right there. In you.
You don’t need to petition God. You don’t need to do anything IN ORDER TO REALIZE THAT GOD IS IN YOU.