Friday, May 28, 2010

why occult "works" then boomerangs

I know someone has a question regarding why occult work seems to work, and then suddenly and repeatedly falls apart along the exact same lines as the original formulation.

Not in a mood for heavy blogging, so here's the gist. When someone does occult activity they lay down tracks, and the more they use the tracks the heavier a path they leave. Suppose they think they fulfilled their original objective. It's not like they can "pick up the tracks" of the path they had laid. The path of their spelling, or other occult activities (astrology, anagrams, numbers, cards, etc) remains because they made it happen. It's not like they can undo history like it never happened, as they obviously did those occult things to achieve a presumed result. Once the result is obtained (or as more usual, is a total fail), the spiritual and activity path remains as they have left footprints.

At this point the "wages of sin is death" kicks in along the pathway that was laid down. Occult work is sinful and evil because it places a pathway in place and presumes someone's right to oppress another person (or "self bless") where that right belongs to God alone. So the footsteps remain of the original occult activity. Punishment, either deliberate delivered via God by his angels, or natural (consequences of very bad decision making) then follows the same footsteps that person had laid down.

Let me use an easy example. Let's say someone put a spell down, or did occult work, against someone using the number five. Let's say it was done through numerology (where they whammy some person using presumed "5" power) or it was done through anagram or other "word" power (using the letters F, I, V, E, as in "fie to V" or something like that to whammy someone with a V or whatever). Working or not, valid or bogus, the occult work drew a line that involves the number 5 or the letters F, I, V and E. God and his creation nature will respond and follow that path back to the person, their supporters, and/or even those who benefit from other parallel bad deeds (not necessarily part of the whammy 5 group).

A natural backlash example would be if the person uses 5 for magic/occult and then is blind to some real life danger that involves 5, since they are thinking only of magic and not real world. So they get run over by a truck on route 5 or something because they fall into an unconscious neglect of their normal real life caution since they think they "control 5." So without even realizing it they drive along route 5 and ignore normal safety protocol.

A God backlash example is he allows his angels to confound the occult maker by opposing them via the same pathways they had laid down. So angels will throw, with God's permission, a boomerang, so to speak, along the 5 or the F,I,V,E footsteps, and that boomerang will often hit something that at some point is in service to or allied with or a beneficiary of the person who had performed the occult in the first place.

So the bottom line answer is that when someone does an occult deed the footprints never disappear since the act, successful or bogus, was real and a part of actual history. It is thus opened not only the one way original sense of the whammy or whatever, but not only back along the path to the originator, but also creates tributaries (like a river) along similar streams. So a 5 whammy by person A against person B can well create 5 whammy paths to C, D, E and so forth because energy will settle into similar channels of connectivity. Duh.

That is why all occult activity is forbidden by God and never can be considered "good," ever.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

who is really in jail, on death row, enslaved?

Many people in this world who walk around thinking they are free, yes, even empowered, are actually the ones who are sitting in jail, the ones who are on death row, the ones who are enslaved. It is very easy to identify those who are really imprisoned from those who are not.

The more that one does not believe the truth, whether in religious or secular matters, the more one is actually in jail, on death row and enslaved.

There are those who tell lies and bear false witness, and those who believe and/or obey the lies and false witness. They are equally in jail, on death row and enslaved. Equally, there are those who don't lie but refuse to believe the truth. Unfortunately they too are equally in jail, on death row and enslaved. This applies to both God's truth and day to day worldly matters. I will give you simple examples so that you understand.

Suppose that there is a well known food toxin, something like salmonella, and there are three categories of people who react to that knowledge. Those who tell lies say it is not harmful, and thus no safe food handling measures must be taken. Those who believe and obey the lies therefore pass on the effect of that lie by not handling food safely and cleanly that others consume. Those who know salmonella is dangerous but refuse to think that it can happen to them allow this to continue and thus put themselves and others at risk.

All three of those types of people are in "jail" because they are imprisoned by erroneous actions (or refusals to do good) and thus limit their options for dealing with the situation. It is an apt criminal parallel because their refusals, whichever of the three types, endanger not only themselves but others, via their distortion of truth, denial of truth, or refusal to serve the truth! They are on "death row" because, just to stick with the example, there is a risk to life and health that they are refusing to deal with and thus it will eventually catch up with them, and in the case of a pandemic (just to use the example let's pretend a salmonella pandemic is possible), they and everyone else sit on death row, awaiting that pandemic. They are also enslaved because they are in service to the lie, rather than freed by the truth. The truth expands legitimate options and actions, while lies only cut one down to the chains of the lie's one option, which is inaction on behalf of one's self or others and, if one is part of the lying and enabling, "spreading the chains" for others to wear.

Here is the problem. I had given you just one example, an analogy, (since most do not actually dispute the problem of salmonella in theory, but MANY willfully do not follow hygiene and other protective practices on behalf of others). Put aside the analogy, now, and think of how MANY LIES every single person on earth is now subjected to collectively, in total, on a daily basis. One cannot even tell the originating liar from the enabling liar or the victim of lying because the entire fabric of truth in society and individual honor, morality and conduct has broken down and become in service to power, ego and money drivers. Children are on the third generation of being raised by more fiction than truth, in the home, in schools, on the street and via media "entertainment." Remember, it's not just an outright lie that is the problem, but withholding of actual quality education of truth and discernment that is the almost larger problem.

Back to the salmonella example. How can a child believe or not believe the risk and also the safety precautions if they have not the background education? Think of the list of things that a child must understand in order to do something like wash their hands and be careful not to eat tainted food. They have to understand what "dirt" (germs) is, they have to understand how dirt gets on or in them, they have to understand what being sick or well is, they have to understand that it is not something to immobilize them with fear about but that they can be safe, they have to understand how to clean with soap and water, and they have to understand timing (washing before one gets dirty is not helpful, for example).

So imagine a child that is told, and believes, that salmonella is dangerous and they need to avoid bad food plus wash their hands and for the sake of making a silly extreme point to illuminate what I mean, assume the child's been raised in isolation, not having any education nor have parents raised them with the list of necessary knowledge given above. What is a child to do with hearing "salmonella is dangerous?" Think someone named "Sally Nelly" is dangerous? Think that the salmon fish is dangerous? If the child does not understand you are speaking of dirt/germs, what they are, where it comes from, how it gets to them, how to solve the problem, and when/how to wash, they cannot do anything meaningful with a truth spoken to them at all!

That, friends, is the problem. We have a world that starts children out with cartoons and video games, and nothing about reality of life, and by reality I don't mean code words for the bad parts of life, but I mean all the goodness of how life actually exists. When you do not raise your children, and when you gain money or power through lack of service to truth, you not only enslave yourself and others, especially children, but you are all in jail and you are all on death row.

Even if you do not promote all that is so misleading in our culture, by taking up airspace with crap you are crowding out the opportunities and the motivation for people, especially young people, to learn what is really important and to be liberated by the genuine freedom of truth.

Here's another example. Suppose that a certain local political seat is always filled by people who meet in secret and decide who that candidate will be and fix the election so their person always win. Do those hypocrites go home and tell their children that they can "dream big" and maybe be President one day? They smirk as teachers, both enablers and well meaning ones, teach kids in school about the political process and try to "inspire" the kids, yet they know full well if one of those kids grows up and tries to run for office they are not on the preordained predetermined "win" list. The same with being famous, being made a "star," of "making a difference in the world." If young people don't even know the facts of the world, and how it operates, and how to choose from truthful options and choices in action, how can they "dream big" when they don't really understand the choices and the realities? Society pushes the predetermined winners, pretending it can happen to "anyone." Then for the one it happens to, fine, (except when they find out they now have obligations to the rainmakers), but what about the ninety-nine others out of a hundred who wasted their time, talents, their heart, and their love, to pursuing a dream that was never actually an option to them? If they knew the truth they could have actually done something else, far more satisfying.

Many people in society push "follow your dreams" and "give it your all," knowing that they will "award" that prize to one or two of their predetermined chosen, while letting those who believe this at large wither on the vine. Meanwhile people could have been doing what they have always done, which is to grow up in a truthful and well educated (though not of course pure or unblemished) society where they can always be aiming themselves at valid and authentic targets, instead of manipulated illusionary crap. Crap that enriches the bank accounts and egos of those who are on top of the total life lie pyramids.

Friends, and I call you that, even toward those who have persecuted me, stop thinking that I'm the one being controlled, limited, manipulated and in "jail." It is you all who are in that place, you all who are in jail, on death row, and enslaved. The more you believe the lying crap that is out there everywhere, the more you will lose your pursuit of genuine happiness in life, the more your life is likely to be foreshortened (and those you care about) and the more you have to consider that you may be on the path to eternal death, first as the living social slaves that you are, and after death, to the place where disbelievers and those who did not honestly serve God, in eternal exile from goodness and in torment. I really don't wish that on anyone, but I'm cheering both Darwin and God onward on this one, if you keep asking for it, that's what you are going to keep getting in life and in death.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

random but connected God thoughts

I know many people are works obsessed, even while proclaiming being saved by grace alone. Likewise non-believers (and those of hybrid beliefs, some God, some pagan, which is just as bad) have world views that include the delusion that one can assign to one's self and to others "grace" bestowing chores and "to do" "checklists." It was when thinking about that problem when I was on Twitter this morning that I started to collect in my mind a few random scriptural references and explanations about God that will help you to detox from that mindset, which is dangerous and cruel, to say the least.

1) Be sure to understand that love and fear of God, and one's relationship with him alone, comes before ANY works, whether those that are "recommended" in the Bible or not. To explain let's go to the heart of the instruction of Jesus, where he added the commandment to love thy neighbor as thyself. He ADDED that commandment TO the others. In other words, you still have to obey the first ten commandments, most particularly 1-4 which proclaim and worship God alone.

Most Christians have understood that full well. It's only in modern times that people have a kind of Chinese menu attitude toward "achieving" salvation, where they think they can "specialize" and make "to do" lists that will get them saved. Thus they think that they can do a lot of "good deeds" related to the new Commandment, and that will earn them points. Wrong. When Jesus talked to his disciples or the crowds he knew he was speaking to God's Chosen People, people whose entire life and indeed their government was based on their faith and relationship to God! You, dear friends, are far from being in that boat. So let me digress a bit with some Old Testament perspective.

I've blogged before that no one knows God like the Jews do. It's a fact. The Jews "grew up" alongside of God's continual presence. They know in their soul, in their heart and in their guts the essence of God far more than any other person can ever do, no matter how pious. When Christians speak of a personal relationship with God, usually through Jesus Christ, that is still not the same as people who traveled side by side with God in a tent.

It is with that familiarity with the real presence of God that is the baseline situation, the baseline culture, the starting point for all the Law and the Commandments that follow. So each Commandment (and other Law or instruction in the scriptures) is built upon the reality of the pre-existing knowledge both personal and community wide of God being real, of being ever present, and his un-judgable via human means Truth.

Let's give an example, just for a mental air freshener exercise. Imagine an Israelite of the time of Moses who, just for the sake of argument, broke all Ten Commandments and never actually followed them at all. He is still, in one sense, better off than every modern Christian. Why? Because he knew for certain God is real, as he had to just glance over at the meeting tent and see Moses emerge from speaking with God! That guy might be an idiot for assuming the God he clearly could witness to every day is going to not punish him at some point for disobeying, but he never doubts the reality of God, because he can see him! I mean, duh, think about it. That guy is a gambler, assuming he can sneak worship of an idol in here and there, skip keeping the Sabbath holy, covets all day long, etc, even kills the occasional person, but he knows God is real because he can see him, and he travels with him.

All Jews carry inside them that *sigh* of reality, which is that God is real, and that their ancestors walked with him, and that sin will result in punishment and suffering sooner or later. But see, Christians, even the good ones, are constantly testing "if God is real" and "if he hears me." They don't have that core spiritual DNA, for lack of a better term, that the Jews have, which is a long history of direct interaction with God himself, here on earth. Believing Jews, even the most lukewarm, have like a unique understanding that you can espy sometimes, even when they are not aware of it. It's when they talk about God, or about a Jewish tragedy, or about the state of Israel (arguing usually) and someone gets philosophical. You can see the look in the eyes, fleeting as it may be, as they think back over the obey-disobey-obey-disobey relationship they've had with God, but all happening against the backdrop of God's actual existence and presence among them.

In the Bible you can read how the Israelites became anxious when several hundred years would go by and God would not bring them a prophet, a genuine prophet (prophet is someone who speaks God's words, not is foretelling futures and so forth like moderns think). Jews were anxious, angry and melancholy for exactly that reason during the time of John the Baptist and before... as they had been centuries without a prophet. But they didn't run around "testing" to see if God was "still there," as just about every Christian I know actually does (if you strapped a lie detector test to them). Oh boy, Jews know God is there, has been there, and will always be there, but they also know he often is silent to individuals and communities.

So back to Jesus adding the new Commandment. Jesus was telling those people who I described right above here that Commandment, adding that to their already framework of understanding the every minute reality of God.

Thus the new Commandment is not a checklist item for getting in good graces with God. Rather, you can think of it as the test, not of God by man, but of man by God, because if you have the first Ten Commandments right, the new Commandment will flow from you naturally.

This is why you have to run from people who imply they can give you a list of chores or any checklist based on the new Commandment and that this will in any way "earn" anything for you with God. Absence of being like the new Commandment is a problem yes sir, but you can't "earn" points by pressing the new Commandment good-deed charity button over and over because if you are doing that you are demonstrating you don't get at all Commandments One through Four.

How can I show you this another way in the scriptures? Easy, by looking at Jesus with Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, who were disciples and early followers and friends of his. Everyone loves the story where Martha is slaving in the kitchen serving Jesus and the others while lazy Mary is able to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from him. When Martha expects Mary to be rebuked by Jesus, Jesus kind of sighs and says basically, "Don't blame Mary for choosing the better part."

Now, here's where modern people miss the point that everyone else (pre labor saving devices and first world prosperity) knew to a T. That is that it's not like Mary sat around all the time! It was that one time that she sat and listened to the important teachings of Jesus. The rest of the time she was working at providing for the household, and probably in the fields too, just as hard as everyone else. See, moderns think that the "enlightened" people can sit around (Jesus "said so") while "other" people serve them, and that it's kind of their fault anyway for choosing that "life path." This scripture has gotten a gooey New Age taint. People forget, what I explained above, that all Israelites, including the Jews of Jesus' time, already GOT the reality of God. They didn't think in terms of works and brownie points, what to do and what not to do, to earn being on a better "life path." So with those soot colored glasses they read this scripture and totally miss the point. On this one occasion Mary was so moved by what Jesus was telling to those around him that she sat at this feet, rather than doing her USUAL WORK. That's why Martha complained, as she too wanted to listen, but felt she had to do the work.

But see, Jesus is telling her to just trust and learn from him, rather than fret the meals and the cleaning. Remember that Jesus twice led thousands into the desert with no food or water, and he provided for them. The people trusted him. How much more so could Martha have trusted him to let people go without food or water or a clean house for a few hours or a day while Jesus was teaching? That's why Jesus gently rebuked with a sigh.

But see, just like the new Commandment, the story of Martha and Mary is fodder for those who do not understand the reality of God, unlike the people who knew full well the reality of God right then and there, throughout the times of the Bible. So certain modern people glean the Bible for checklist, scorecard, chores and brownie earning point activities, thinking that "puts them and others on the right path." It does not because the right path is knowing one hundred percent God exists and is there all the time and that YOU need a relationship with him first. It does not matter a mouse behind or any other body part if you are making someone wash dishes, or not, read scripture, or not, throw dirt around for someone else to pick up, or not, and all, like an accountant, "applying" to one's "checklist" of "what the Bible says to do." You will DO the things that are right, in their season and time, IF you FIRST understand and obey God's reality.

2) I cannot possibly overstate that you must understand when Jesus tells the disciples about the rich man who went to hell, described in Luke 16. You need to understand that was a PIOUS BELIEVER who probably did all the right things in every other respect, but ended up in hell, to his total shock. (Believe you me, sinners know why they are in hell. Those who think they are square and OK with God and end up in hell are those who are shocked, as that guy was. That's why he wanted to warn his brothers, not because they were obvious sinners, duh, but because they probably thought they were wonderful, worthy, pious people too! Remember that during Jesus' time the Jews had degenerated so that they thought the healthy and rich were rewarded by God for being good, while the poor and the sick were punished for being "sinners.") Everyone who heard that story from Jesus totally understood that, unlike today. The rich man was punished in hell because he ignored the ONE person God expected him to save from illness and starvation. So believe you me, that guy in hell (he's still there) had a long "good deed" checklist, but oops, he left out the one person that he should have saved. James warns that to know to do good and not to do it is a sin.

3) Here's some blunt truth. You know how in the Apocalypse Jesus tells those who "did not know him" (because they did not feed, clothe, visit etc others in his name) to begone and not be saved? The only reason that Jesus is having that conversation at all with them is that those folks did believe in Jesus. Nonbelievers and those who deny God don't even get to that point of conversation, as they are rejected just as they rejected God. So again, the people who are rebuked by Jesus for lack of good deeds were ALREADY Jesus believers. You have to believe and obey God in the first place before you even get a shot at meriting through your natural sanctity appropriate good deed leadership. It's not like Jesus is saying that good deeds earned them the right to approach Jesus upon death. Belief in Jesus, in God, earned them the right to approach him, but what they did with that belief (or not, as is this case) is what gets them rejected. It's the fact that they did not follow through with their total and accurate belief in Jesus by now exuding that sanctity toward God into service toward others that got them in the hot place.

I hope these thoughts help.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Jesus role models citing scripture or not

Friends, this will probably sound a little critical, but do not take it to heart, as I am not criticizing scripture citers, and in fact I enjoy very much even the free wheeling citing that takes place on Twitter. I am, however, going to finally address two errors that many make in citing scripture.

1. Many err by approaching friends (or foes) and cutting loose with their opening statements as scripture citations. Instead of being person-person and then citing scripture as the conversation develops IF NECESSARY, scripture is used as the "opening salvo" as if a war or prosecution weapon. That is Satan's role modeling, not Christ's (Matthew 4:1-10).

2. Many think that you cite scripture first, then "understanding" will follow. It is the other way around. You must understand God before you cite scripture, and that means the entire context. You do not fire, aim, ready with scripture, you ready (understand), aim (discern appropriateness) then fire (cite). Rev. Billy Graham in his daily question column is an excellent role model for the correct order, by the way.

But above all, look to Jesus and how he spoke so you can understand what I mean, and you can follow his scriptural direction with worthiness. Let's go to the positive example of his Sermon in Matthew 5, before analyzing the negative example by Satan as I pointed out to you in Matthew 4.

Matthew 5
1. And seeing the crowds, he went up the mountain. And when he was seated, his disciples came to him. 2. And opening his mouth he taught them, saying,

[Notice that Jesus is on the mountain, seated, and surrounded by disciples. These are three postures of authority, understanding and discernment. Previously in Jesus' life as documented in the Gospels, you realize that he has authority from God, is in communion with God and thus receiving direction and understanding, and he has assumed the teaching role, thus demonstrating discernment. You must likewise develop your own understanding and discernment before you put yourself on a mountain, be seated, surround yourself with disciples, and then even open your mouth!]

3. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

[Does Jesus "cite scripture here?" No.]

4. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth."

[Does Jesus wow them with citing scripture? No.]

5. "Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

[Does Jesus finally whip out all that scripture to cite yet? No.]

6. "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied."

[Still waiting for the scroll & verse?]

7. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."

[Hey! I'm not gonna listen anymore cuz Jesus doesn't say where God says that in the Bible."]

8. "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God."

["That Jesus sure gonna be in trouble if he doesn't provide us with where God defines in the scripture what "clean of heart" means, sheesh!"]

9. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."

["I thought God didn't have children? Where's that in the scripture?]

10. "Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

[Hey! "Where's that listed in the redeemable rewards index in the Bible???!!!?"]

11. "Blessed are you when men reproach you, and persecute you, and speaking falsely, say all manner of evil against you, for my sake. 12. Rejoice and exult, because your reward is great in heaven; for so did they persecute the prophets who were before you.

[Wow, Jesus will surely be in trouble now because he then goes on to teach that disciples are compared to salt and light in the world, without listing by citing in scripture exactly which prophets were persecuted!!!! Goodness, why isn't that Jesus Christ citing scripture!!!]

By the way, Jesus could have cited scripture from Psalms for Matthew:4, Isaiah for Matthew 5:5, and again Psalms for Matthew 5:8. Early Church scholars spent a lot of time analyzing Old Testament scripture to identify and footnote the New Testament to identify scripture that Jesus would have been well aware of.

Now, let's look at the negative example, of what I am teaching you about today, Matthew 4.

Matthew 4
1. Then Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit, to be tempted by the devil. 2. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

[Many people jump right to the dialogue between Satan and Jesus, and miss the huge point that Jesus was fasting, and thus in contemplative prayer, for forty days before they spoke! Again, you must understand that the point is not that "Jesus was sure real hungry" but that Jesus spent forty days of spiritual preparation before opening his mouth and citing scripture!]

3. And the tempter came and said to him, "If thou art the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread."

[Satan opens the conversation and you might say, "Hey, he's not starting with scripture." That is true but he is referring to Jesus being the Messiah, promised throughout the Old Testament! So Satan is starting the scripture based accusing first. This is the mistake that SO MANY supposedly pious Christians make today; they walk up to someone and immediately accuse or assume based on scripture, without even asking as much as "Could you explain to me what you are doing and why?"]

4. But he answered and said, "It is written, Not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God."

[Notice two things. Jesus, knowing that Satan is correctly accusing him of being the promised Messiah, does not even bother to confirm that via scripture. Jesus does not dignify the "IF" that Satan starts the accusation with, by confirming the truth of that accusation, that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus addresses the temptation with scripture, knowing full well the thoughts of Satan, who is going to engage in dueling scripture with him, and who started it by alluding to Jesus "if" being the Son of God, the promised Messiah. Secondly notice that Jesus paraphrases the scripture, not getting hung up in citing every single word in the 'original' order nor citing the book and verse.]


In Matthew 4:5-7 they again duel in scripture, with Satan citing first. In Matthew 4:8-10 Satan does not cite or allude to scripture at all (except to imply that he is the fallen prince who is able to supply all worldly things to Jesus) and instead, directly tempts, which Jesus replies to with scripture, and Satan departs.

Jesus' authority is once again confirmed as being from God the Most High and Holy in Matthew 4:11 where "behold, angels came and ministered to him." Angels did not have to "help Jesus out" by sending him "spiritual guide messages" to "tell him what to say to Satan." This is another delusion of modern people, even those who seem to be good Christians, that there is "coaching" going on from heaven. There is not and that is a total misunderstanding of being infused with the Holy Spirit.

To remain, however, with my main point. Study how many times Jesus could have cited scripture, and did not. Further, study how perfectly appropriate Jesus is when he does choose to cite scripture, and how he does it with patience and never as a rebuke with people.

With some people, many, actually, *sigh with sadness,* about all the scripture one hears from a human is when they are rebuking or trying to shame or embarrass another person. Where's that in the Gospel? Where does Jesus role model that?

When you go up to someone and immediately spout a Ten Commandment to someone, or some other scripture in order to discomfort them, all you do is copy the enemy, Satan, not Jesus. You further yourself, and probably the person you are speaking to, from the Kingdom of God, not drawing closer, through love and plain ordinary truthful every day speech, as you would use if you were really following Jesus. You rely on the scripture for your own understanding and discernment, you don't use it as your opening salvo, as the punches you exchange in the ring. You don't hope for that "killer scripture" that will "sucker punch" your "opponent." How much farther from Jesus could you be with that? Any farther would take you into the dangerous realm of not being a genuine believer, but an agenda driven utilizer of script.

Again, do not be alarmed about sharing favorite scripture, such as on Twitter, or in conversation. Be warned, though, that if you are using scripture to fire sniper bullets, you are going to hit yourself with them.

I hope that you have found this helpful.

Monday, May 10, 2010

When Catholic Mass sermons go bad

I'm doing something I've never done before, which is start up the old computer while watching morning Mass on TV, so that I can criticize the sermon that I just heard.

For those not Catholic, here's the structure. There are usually two Bible readings during Mass, plus excerpts from one of the Psalms. The sermon (or homily) follows a reading from the Gospel. Those of you not Catholic can probably grasp quicker than it seems some priests do that the sermon follows the Gospel so that the priest can EXPLAIN THE GOSPEL.

I just listened to a sermon by a priest who I thought knows better, but obviously does not, that was one of the worst I have listened to. It referenced the Gospel not at ALL, except for a lame sentence added at the end. Instead, it sounded like a New Age sermon touting healing miracles.

How did this mistake happen? Here's the problem. Catholics correctly uplift and celebrate saints on their special days. It is correct because people need to hear practical real life inspiration by those who have been demonstrated to be in sanctified service to the Lord God. So I didn't mind mention of the virtues and life story of "today's saint." However, it went on too long, and then to my horror, as I expected the priest to FINALLY get around to um, you know, MENTION THE GOSPEL, he went into a detailed awe struck ridiculous detailing of the medical "miracle" of modern people who have been "cured" by their belief in the saint.

As a result we heard allllllllll about the doctors, the patient, the big old cancer boo-boo, about some nun who sucked on cigars to help a leper patient, blah, blah, blah. I'm glad I don't have breakfast before Mass because I'd have hurled.

I consider it a SIN to be a priest and to give a sermon that does not even mention, say nothing of actually explaining, the GOSPEL. The sermon in a Catholic Church is not a pep talk on whatever subject the priest thinks would be hip (or someone tells him to do, as I know happens). It is also, as the Gospel, a SACRED part of the Mass, as in the sermon the priest is actually imitating both Christ and his disciples, by EXPLAINING GOD.

Worse, if it can get any worse, the lack of connection between the Gospel reading and the blah blah blah about the people who have miraculous cures, help out the down and out, etc creates a false idea about the Gospel message in people's minds. They assume they are linked and they are not!

The Gospel today, about Lydia, who heard Paul, believed, was baptized and saved, was not about Lydia thinking "Hm, here are holy people. I better believe in them in case I need a miraculous cure someday." It is the OPPOSITE because many early believers had nothing but martyrdom for their faith to look forward to. Lydia believed because she knew the Truth, through the Holy Spirit, when she heard it. She didn't "invest" in "this God" in case Paul and the others would cough up a miracle, or "in case" she needed a miraculous cure. Yet, incredibly, this priest let that impression linger, and even basically said so at the end (the old saw that you never know who might come along with miraculous power, blah, blah, blah).

Look, you don't breathe air because you think someday a tank of oxygen might cure you in illness, do you? Each day you take a breath and think to yourself, "Well, I better keep breathing just in case one day I am sick and only a tank of oxygen falling out of the sky will save me." No, duh, you breathe each day because 1) you need to and 2) it is the correct thing to do all on its own (ie. the truth). Likewise you don't believe in God in case some miracle is needed someday, or because someone may OR MAY NOT have had a miraculous cure! You believe in God because like the air, God is the ever present reality.

Heaven help us. Do we not have enough problems?

Priests, you better make sure that your sermons address the Gospel. If not, why are you there?

Prayers for the priests who are somehow keeping their sanctified purpose in the midst of those who seem determined to lead them astray. Do not follow "self agenda" sermon giving priests as your example. You are there because of the Gospel and you are indeed even alive because of the Gospel. You better be helping the people understand THAT Gospel in each and every sermon that you give, period.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Strip club boss killed, hypocrisy example

I mean, forget about the obvious hypocrisy that this guy "Lolly" Jackson (South Africa) was caught speeding in his car supposedly on the "way to church." That's not even the irony, the hypocrisy that I'm going to point out.

No, his strip empire manager has asked "for privacy" during their time of mourning.

Privacy for a STRIP empire manager? That's rich. Strip is the opposite of privacy, no? He had controversial billboards, no? His employees live off of girls' lack of privacy, no?

So I think they ought to publish photos of his bullet ridden body. He'd approve, no?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Money & power, crime and sin

This set of thoughts, which I hope everyone finds helpful, is more about human nature and God's relationship with humans, than a classic Bible study or commentary type of blogging.

Here's the problem. The Bible states that money is the root of all evil. First you need to understand there are two types of over fondness of money, and hence it's misuse. The first problem is to love money more than anything else, including believing in, fearing and obeying God. Thus many people love money for itself above all other relationships, both their human relationships and their relationship with God. The second problem is to love money for the power that it gives you over other people, or over elements of God's creation. For example, some people do not crave money and its luxuries, as do the first category of people, but they crave money because it buys power and control over others. So this is why St Paul and others trace just about every human evil back to its roots of money.

There is a third problem, whereby decent ordinary people do not love money, or crave its power, but will do evil things because they feel boxed into doing so in order to survive. This is a third category which is involuntary slavery to money or, rather, the people who control and dispense the money. People who dole out money to those who need it in return for making the people do unethical things are the second category of people (the money as power lovers) while those who accept the money out of either genuine or perceived need are this third category, those who are enslaved to money and its power.

Understanding that, you must recognize that there are three inevitabilities that each person with this unhealthy relationship (whether category 1, 2 or e) with money participate in. One is crime. Two is sin. Three is both crime and sin.

By the way, it is tempting to believe that all crime is also a sin. While that is usually true, I need to teach you all thoughtfulness, in order to see the shades of nuances correctly. It is not a sin, for example, to disobey a law or authority (and thus be branded a criminal) if that law or authority is not righteous toward God or fellow human beings. So one can be, like the early Christians, a "criminal" who breaks a "law" or "authority" when one refuses to worship idols. That, then, is a crime that is not a sin and, actually, in this example, a virtue.

The problem is that many people rationalize love of money as being kind of a "Robin Hood," and thus not criminal or sinful. They are wrong because the premise (love of money or its power) is not in service of God because one cannot use a human tool (money) to serve God, who is above and beyond all those things. God wants your attention and obedience; not your money, either to him or in his supposed "service." There is no way that a person can love money and then make rational decisions about "how God would 'want' the money spent." One has to be a good Christian, Jew or Muslim first, with a solid untarnished relationship with God, before one can even make baby steps in deciding "how Jesus" or "how God" would "want" money spent in his service. Remember, the Apostles observed first hand how Jesus taught them these things, yet one still fell, in part due to money, Judas Iscariot. If Judas Iscariot was troubled in deciding "how God would want the money spent," what makes any human alive think he or she is well equipped to know better? Especially a human who is far from being perfected in their relationship with God and God alone? Love of money and power (including the very seductive power to be a "do gooder") is by definition a BARRIER to understand God.

Now, here is something you need to understand about me personally. I have no interest in being a "crime buster," I never have and I never will. Part of my calling and my ministry is to tell everyone the same thing, which is the reality of God's word as it is in the Torah, in the Bible, and in the Qur'an. In other words, there is only one God, and His word is constant, the only truth, and irrefutable. So if I met the worst criminals in the world, I have no concern about their crimes or their sins. I have concern that they do not understand the consequences of those crimes and sins, the consequences that will be rendered by God, and not by human beings. I would sit down face to face with even the worst criminals and say, "Friend, you need more information before you continue, and that information is that God is real, judgment is real, and that hell is real and that, further, unlike jokes and cartoons, hell is un-endurable, and no one there is 'handling' it." I would not be interested in attempting to persuade them away from their crime or sin. I simply deliver God's truth and leave it up to them.

I hope that you have found this helpful.