Monthly Archives: December 2007

Conspiracies

I visited a friend last night who surely has a degree in conspiracy theory – this guy knows his stuff, ranging from Freemasonry to 9/11. Ever since I’ve known him, he has shared his insights, and the sharpest disagreement I have had, and still have, is the myth of British Israelism. According to Wikipedia,

British Israelism (sometimes called Anglo-Israelism) is a Christian theology (though largely rejected by mainstream Christianity), based on the premise that many early British people, Europeans and/or their royal families were direct lineal descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel and in some cases of the Tribe of Judah.

It is anti-semitic, as it makes the nation of Israel to be false. My friend seems to suggest that those currently calling themselves Jews are no friend of Yahweh, rather they are bearers of his curse. You know, there is only so much I can take of such rubbish. It is bad enough for Christians to tell the world that God is sending them into eternal torment, which as I’ve said before is a twisted and disgusting notion. While my friend also believes the same in this regard, he is quick to take the Hebrew Bible historical myths into a modern context, practicing an exclusion of another degree.


Dichotomies

This blog was formed out of my experience of losing faith in religious dichotomy – that we can know truth in an absolute sense. Culture and the Internet does not help me in my quest to do away with believing in terms of dichotomy. Just now I was caught up in the old game of right and wrong, of trying to judge whether or not the author I am reading is worthy of my attention. There is such a thing as healthy critique: rather than simply taking an author’s word as gospel, from the basis of relativity, we can conclude that all knowledge is ultimately flawed and worthy of scrutiny, as most scientific theories have been contended throughout history. Yet when I have had doubt in the past about an author, I would search for as much negative data as possible, and then disassociate myself from the author.

In ‘seeing the world in colour’, I can appreciated every thought, knowing that each has its flaws. Blindly following anyone based upon the emotional impact of the work is just as problematic as creating sets of right and wrong authors. I’m much better off taking the good with the bad, holding a healthy skepticism of any text that assumes truth. Experience shows me that if I do take the work to speak absolutely, I will quite soon come up with a wall of credible opposing positions. We each speak from a limited position of knowledge, blinded by our unique perspectives.

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Making God Personal

As I track back over my years as a Christian (and even prior to my conversion), I had many an occasion to relate to God like I would a person – and at times felt like he was talking back to me. God was always the convenient person to talk to when I was undergoing some kind of trial; when life cruised along, I had no need of the relationship.

After the deep examination of my faith, and thinking through the experience of others, I now reach the conclusion that I no longer believe in a personal God; I no longer picture a supernatural being that I can be in relationship with, a super-human who governs the universe. In some circles such a comment would make me an atheist; yet I have not abandoned belief in God in the slightest. Which now leaves most of my conservative associates rather confused as to what I do believe.

‘The Big Man’ in the sky was, and is, a useful metaphor for some; yet in our pluralistic society, it does not serve the good of humanity. Where Christianity was the predominant religion, with God and Jesus the central points of focus and society operating under a feudalistic system, these metaphors had a great deal more meaning and application than they do today. Unfortunately the evolution of our Western society into a self-satisfying paradigm could in part be blamed by the personalization of a Christianity that is focused on having a ‘personal relationship with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ’. Where religion is compartmentalized into life in this regard, all manner of evil is given free reign, as we serve the interests of ourselves and our families over and above the greater interests of the world.

That is not to say that there are not many within the fold of conservative Christianity that find within a personal relationship with God in Christ something that permeates their whole existence, to the point of being wonderful activists for worthy causes. I believe this is evidence more of heart and passion than belief; for just as much good is being done by those outside of any faith-experience, or inside of other faiths. I do not wish to denigrate any person’s belief system at all, even though at times the fundamentalism that is so prevalent frustrates the crap out of me. Rather, I am more interested in the distillation of vital faith that ignites passion for a life of love and inspiration and beauty and joy. Instead of a merely dry faith that revolves around knowledge and emotional experiences, I crave a faith that brings together the best of humanity. I don’t find this in the ‘personal God/personal Christ’ paradigm. I find God in you; I find God in me. I find God in everything good, lovely, perfect, beautiful. I find God in this moment, in the stillness, in the silence.

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Blogging on

Sometimes I feel embarrassed by what I’ve left around here. I’ll blog something I’m thinking deeply about, only to look in retrospection with new eyes and see it as merely self-indulgent. I am very tempted to delete these entries, but instead I will leave my messiness out in public view.

I’m also blogging over at http://journeytopraxis.blogspot.com/ as my recent divergence from the essence of this blog now demands an alternative place to journal. Journey to Praxis is a place where I am journaling my movement away from a lifestyle self-satisfaction to one that is deeply satisfying to all of life – in other words, a life of love, justice and compassion.

Beyond Black and White can continue to be the place where my focus is on spiritual thoughts. Blogging itself is a little self-indulgent, but at least in some way it is a contribution rather than a bundle of thoughts that stay locked within my head.