God Doesn’t Care

27 Sep
English: Religious symbols from the top nine o...

English: Religious symbols from the top nine organised faiths of the world according to Major world religions From left to right: 1st Row: Christian Cross, Jewish Star of David, Hindu Aumkar 2nd Row: Islamic Star and crescent, Buddhist Wheel of Dharma, Shinto Torii 3rd Row: Sikh Khanda, Bahá’í star, Jain Ahimsa Symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post is in response to an article here, part of a project titled ‘Project O’, which is all about people’s opinions on opinions, and whether culture dictates what we feel or how we express it.  Only the first four paragraphs are actually in response to the article, the rest just grew into some gargantuan speech I didn’t expect.

I know that not everyone believes in God, and if not, that is between you and your own heart.  Personally, I do.  Not with the ‘God’/Religion I was raised in, or at least, not in the same way that I was raised to practice, but I do believe in God, and I do believe that Jesus Christ was His issue, sent here to show us the true path.

I also happen to believe that the ‘path’ has been horrendously distorted by mankind.

This post is mainly a rambling of my thoughts about God, Christianity, and just thoughts I’ve been having lately about faith and religion.  I don’t expect many people to like it, including those who don’t believe in God at all, and a whole heap of those that do.

Now that you’ve read the warning about what this post contains, should you decide to comment, please be sure that your comment falls within the ‘commenting guidelines’ located here Thank you.

***

Just as a side note… that preacher, the one who came to your school… he was wrong.  The bible clearly states that eating the meat that is sacrificed to an idol is only wrong if it is wrong to YOU.

It does go on to say that if it is offensive to your brother and may cause him to stumble (in his walk with Christ) that you should not eat it, out of a desire to not become a stumbling block to another, but that the eating of the meat itself is NOT wrong.

Just thought I’d share that.  I’m speaking of Romans, Chapter 14, in case you were wondering my source.

It’s a chapter that I fear many Christians forget in their dealings with others.  God clearly states that just because something may be wrong for one person, does not make it wrong for another.

It’s been a very long time since I bothered with church, or God for that matter, but recent events in my life have led me to begin looking into many ‘paths’ to ‘God’ (or whatever you wish to call it), including the path I was raised to follow (Christianity), but turned away from out of anger and disillusionment with the majority of the people who claimed to be so ‘godly’, yet were the nastiest people I knew (personality-wise) outside the four walls of church.

What I’ve found through my search is that there were many things that were/are glossed over, ignored, or cherry-picked through, just to make some holier-than-thou argument valid.  There’s actually a lot more love and acceptance in the bible than ‘Christians’ (I’m using the term loosely, here) give credence or voice to.

I’ve been looking into a blend of practices, ideas, and theologies (if that’s the right term) for getting back into balance in a way that I feel is ‘right’ for me, because, while I would possibly love to shed the ideas I was raised with regarding religion and just start all over, I find I am unable to do so completely, and I feel like it is something I need to keep as a part of my life, but not the same ‘Christianity’ I saw and was taught as a child.

I feel that it’s time for me to make my OWN religion, in some respects.  To incorporate and utilize the parts of other religions and practices that don’t conflict with my core beliefs.

Just like that preacher who came to your school and lied to you, you must be able to know your own faith, so you won’t lose your faith because of those who are either ignorant because they are simply repeating what someone else told THEM, or they are intentionally misleading you because of their own agenda.  This is the reason I have begun taking the time to look things up myself, to see what the Bible really says on it, and taking the time to meditate, giving myself quiet moments to reflect on things, and to listen for guidance.

I believe that there has been a great (and unnecessary) division between religions throughout time, that many of them are essentially the same, simply using different words to describe the same events, or different expressions of the same practice.  I’ve chosen to have my own religious ‘melting pot’, and to study to see if I can find these parallels between religions, and perhaps open a door of understanding between people who, until now, have always seen nothing but a wall between themselves and others.  Perhaps through my studies, I will be able to find a door in that wall, that others of discerning heart and open mind can walk through, and find peace and understanding with their spiritual brothers and sisters.

Galatians 5:22-23 in the Bible states the fruits of the (Holy) Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Gentleness, Goodness [sometimes referred to as kindness], Faith, Meekness & Temperance) and it also states that God is love (1 John 4:8), therefore, whenever we see love, we are seeing God, in whatever form it takes, be that Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam or any other religion (and even in NO religion).

God is not bound, nor do I believe he/she/it adheres to, the labels we give religion(s).  Labels are and were created by humanity, and our need to put everything into boxes and ‘order’.  I don’t believe that God is ‘order’.  Love is not order.  Love is madness.  True love is painful and chaotic.  For love (and I’m not talking about romantic love, just love for another human being) people have sacrificed their dreams, their freedoms, and even their lives.  There’s nothing orderly about that.

Many Christians believe that meditation is wrong.  That it is a practice from a religion that does not worship ‘God’, however, Isaac meditated, and the bible says he did (Genesis 24:63), so if Isaac, a man of God, meditated, then why would it be wrong for ANYONE to meditate?

Meditation promotes Joy and Peace (fruits of the Spirit!) and has been scientifically shown to stimulate and increase the area of the brain in which kindness and generosity (Goodness? Another fruit of the Spirit) and good-will are ‘located’ (sorry for the lack of proper terminology, but I think you understand my meaning), yoga has also been shown to have this same result.  Hmm… sounds to me like meditation is something God would be rather fond of, when you think about it.

Some Christians are taught in church that when the Bible says ‘meditate’ it actually means ‘pray’.  I disagree with this.  If you believe the Bible to be the word of God, then you must believe that if God had meant ‘pray’ then he would have SAID ‘pray’.  He certainly had no problem using the term anywhere else that He meant ‘pray’!  The word meditate is used at least 10 times in the Bible.

Now, I believe that meditation and prayer are not mutually exclusive terms.  I believe that you can do one, yet call it the other, and still be correct, but to exclude one, saying it is not Godly is, in my humble opinion, erroneous.  I’m sure that many will disagree, because indoctrination is hard to overcome.

Christianity teaches us not to question God, yet, did Jesus himself not spend his time answering questions, from all people, regardless of who they were, where they were, or how they asked?  Did he refuse to answer one person’s question because they did not approach in the ‘right’ way?  Did he not patiently answer all questions, from Jews Pharisees and Gentiles alike?  Even those who questioned him, secretly hoping to ‘trip him up’, even knowing what was in their hearts, knowing that they didn’t ask seeking wisdom, but seeking to either get him in trouble or prove him wrong, he still answered.

God, as shown to us through the actions of Jesus, will answer anyone who asks him anything, regardless of where their hearts lie, and regardless of their motives for asking.

No one has a right to tell another that they cannot approach God in their own way.  No one.  Jesus himself rebuked his disciples for even trying this (Mark, Chapter 10), when they tried to stop people from bringing children to be healed, and again when others tried to stop a blind man from calling out to him.

Who are you, who am I, to stop another from approaching God, in whatever manner they should choose to do so?  Who are we to tell someone that it’s not God speaking to them when they meditate?  Who are we to tell someone who calls God ‘Universe’ instead of ‘God’ that they are wrong?  God goes, and has gone, by many names, The Alpha and the Omega, Yaweh, Lord of hosts, King of Kings… the list is virtually endless.

Again, if God is the author of the Bible, one must look to that as proof that God has many names.  In the book of Acts, Gallio even tells the Jews, when they tried to bring Paul up on judgement, saying that he was “persuading men to worship God contrary to the law” (Acts 18:13), to which Gallio replied that if it had been a matter of wrong, or wicked lewdness, he would listen to them, but “if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters.” (Acts 18:15).  Hmmm.  Really?  Funny how I don’t recall hearing about this particular story all those years ago in Sunday School.  Probably because the church didn’t want us to know that, as far as God was concerned, what we called him, and how we called out to him, it just doesn’t matter.  God doesn’t care.

I think that the general attitude of exclusivity and elitism of Christianity needs to be addressed, but it can only be done on an individual level, by allowing yourself to open your heart and mind to God, and listening for that ‘still voice’ when he speaks.

All the chattering that traditional Christian prayer consists of surely doesn’t seem conducive to listening to a quiet voice, now does it?  Seems to me that meditation is actually more in line with the goal of hearing God than ‘prayer’ could ever be.

Perhaps prayer is ‘talking’ to God, and meditation is ‘listening’ to God.  I don’t know.

In the end, it’s an individual choice, what one will or won’t believe, and how one will or will not practice their beliefs… all I know is that the religion I observed ‘in practice’ while I was growing up was not a religion that felt very ‘Godly’ to me, and for a long time, I turned my back on it completely.  It has taken 2/3 of my lifetime to realize that I don’t have to give it up, I just have to make it work for me, in a manner in which I feel is just and right before God.  It’s me that will be judged for my actions, after all, not you.

So if you don’t like the way I commune with God, you’ll have to take it up with Him, because He told me He didn’t care.

Remember 1 Corinthians 3:17:

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

(I stole this quite relevant reminder from this blog post… the author of which I in no way claim condones or agrees with this post, blog or its content.  I just liked how they said it.)

 

By the way, if you actually made it through this entire post, I commend you (and I owe you an apology, because I know I rambled on waaay too much, lol).

And may blessings be upon you all.

~A

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39 Responses to “God Doesn’t Care”

  1. Opinionated Man September 27, 2013 at 3:11 am #

    There was a lot there. Thanks for the ping back. 🙂

    Like

    • KraftedKhaos September 27, 2013 at 3:13 am #

      Of course.

      I know there was a lot, it all just sort of … came out. Obviously I didn’t want to put all of that on your blog, no matter how tolerant you may be of opinions, LOL.

      Like

      • Opinionated Man September 27, 2013 at 3:25 am #

        🙂 No worries. Whichever was more comfortable for you.

        Like

        • KraftedKhaos September 27, 2013 at 3:26 am #

          I’m going to send you an email shortly. Just a heads-up.

          Like

          • Opinionated Man September 27, 2013 at 3:29 am #

            Shall I batten down the hatches? 🙂

            Like

            • KraftedKhaos September 27, 2013 at 3:40 am #

              LOL… I hope not. Just wanted to let you know it was coming your way, while your attention was still in my proximity. 🙂

              Like

  2. Ann "afriend4ever54" Friend September 27, 2013 at 3:54 am #

    Outstanding post! Awesome bible references too! 😄 God bless you!!

    Like

    • KraftedKhaos September 27, 2013 at 4:09 am #

      Thank you, Ann. Thank goodness for on-line concordances, though, because even though I knew those verses were IN THERE, it’s been so long, I had no idea exactly where they were to be found! 🙂

      I’m extremely pleased you liked it.

      Blessings upon you,

      A

      Like

  3. Ann "afriend4ever54" Friend September 27, 2013 at 5:30 am #

    Reblogged this on afriendofJESUS2013Blog and commented:
    Showing love to our neighbor! 😜 God bless you!

    Like

  4. mypersonalchef September 27, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    Awesome post as usual !
    Also another post that is in tune with my conversations. Was literally talking about this two days ago. I too was raised in the Catholic faith and I had these questions at age six. And I had these answers as well.
    We have all been made in the image of God…but God was not made in the image of Man…yet we all try so hard to make it so. God does not have Man’s characteristics, yet we’ve made “Him” to be the angry vengeful God at times or the loving benevolent God at others sitting on a throne stroking “His” great beard. (And because I love to ramble as well…) I also love to ask folks…if you can believe in God then why not Santa Claus? He’s also a great soul sitting stroking his beard determining who’s been good or bad. I haven’t gotten a good response yet.
    Anyhow…I honestly believe that it was and is Man’s ego and pride that says Man was made in the image of God. While I agree with this…I disagree that it is Man alone that was made in God’s image. God is in everything in this universe. The trees, animals, oceans, land, sky, …God is also in the things we have co-created….the cars, tables, chairs, books, symbols, … Heck I’m even going to out on a limb and say God is also in war and moments of great stress and disorder and hate. Why? Because God simply IS. This is why God does not “care”. God does not judge. We ALL came from the God Source…every form of energy IS the God Source. I AM The God Source. YOU Are The God Source. Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you…Why? Because we are all the SAME. If you knew the person you’re next to is God… Would you treat that person differently? If you knew the food you consume on a daily basis is God would you eat it differently? If you knew the plants in your backyard garden was God would you treat them differently? What about the trees? The animals we raise and slaughter? What about yourself? If you knew you contained the God Source…would you be more protective and reverent of the Temple of God? It’s all there in all of our Holy Books…yet we’ve glossed over and ignored it.
    Just some food for thought. 😉

    Like

    • KraftedKhaos September 27, 2013 at 8:37 am #

      I differ in my beliefs slightly. While I agree that ‘the Source’ is within me, I believe that Source is something ‘other’ than my humanity. I believe that the Source (what Christians would refer to as the Holy Spirit, I suppose) is the ‘Divine’ part of me, a part of God that is within each of us.

      I believe that, while I AM, God (or the Source, or the Universe, what have you) is ‘the great I AM’ (derived from YHWH used in the Bible, which translates to ‘I AM’). In other words, what is in me is a part, but the source of what is in me is more ‘I AM’ than I am, if that makes any sense, LOL!

      I believe that learning to align my humanity with the Source/God is the purpose of our existence. That, while God exists in all things, what makes humanity unique is that we have the knowledge of our dual existence (humanity and divine together in one).

      Perhaps the ‘forbidden fruit’ consumed by Eve from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was actually an embracing of the separation of the human from the divine? Perhaps the ‘sin’ was in being led to believe that her humanity was better than the divine? I don’t know. That just came to me, so I’ll have to ponder that one a little more.

      Like

      • Ren September 27, 2013 at 10:32 am #

        We are debating the same side of a coin 🙂 There is a lot that can be discussed and a lot that can’t fit into a comment to a blog 🙂
        The Divine is a PART of all of us. The trick comes in recognizing and acknowledging that part in all of us.
        I AM Source…is an acknowledgement of that connection. I AM also Human…Made in the Image of God. But because we ALL contain that PART of the Divine…we are ALL ONE…just representing different PARTS and Perspectives of the Divine.
        My point was…if we can get to the point where we recognize, acknowledge and respect the divinity in all forms of energy…we will know Truth.

        Another poster commented that God does care. But he too is taking a small part out of context…and again there is only so much that can be debated within this forum. God/Source/Universe/The Divine/I AM/YHWH does not care which path we follow…Do you recall the story I shared about the Teepee? http://renatadossantos.com/2013/08/11/a-meeting-with-papa-bois/#more-106
        We will all get there in our own way and time. And this includes those elements and aspects of life which are deemed negative.
        When you tell folks that everything happens for a reason or that we chose to experience lessons in this form. They ask you well what about murder, rape, child abuse, handicapped or kids with terminal illnesses, starving folks in Haiti or Ethiopia…etc. Does God not care then? And are those things for a reason? Are you telling me that those folks CHOSE those experiences? Yes, Yes and Yes. But please understand…you CANNOT apply our human concept of “CARING” to an Omnipresence. We want to relate it to a human experience so our human mind can comprehend something bigger than each of us combined. For most of us, our human minds are limited by what we wish to see as the immediate. And we are so fond of saying hindsight is twenty twenty. It is very human of us to gravitate towards the “positive” easy flowing aspects of life…the ones that resonate with Universal Principles of Love. But we cry and bemoan the negatives. We need to experience the negatives as well as the positives. We can’t be biased towards and reject the other. After all, they are both co-creations of the Divine. In layman terms…it is painful for a mother to let her child grow up and go out into the world…but she does so because she knows the greatest gift she can give her child is to let him go and experience his own path. It does not mean she does not care. Her act of letting go is one of ultimate care, regardless of the outcome. The greatest act of love in return…is the child fully exploring his path…using the knowledge taught by his mother…or even rejecting that knowledge because it does not serve his journey. Lol…I may have gone off topic now 🙂 But again, not the best format for this debate 🙂
        I’ll stop rambling…

        Like

        • KraftedKhaos September 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

          Grr. My computer froze, and of course lost my reply!

          I said that I believe the great ‘trick’ on us (humanity) is being blind to the Divine in ourselves and each other.

          I know your comment deserves much more of a response than that, but this is ‘shift change’ day, and so my sleep-deprived brain is half mush at the moment, lol.

          Love and Blessings to you, my friend,

          A.

          Like

  5. Pastor Allan Descheneau September 27, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    Hi! You linked to my article as one of your sources so I thought I’d give a comment. Thanks for the link btw.

    I appreciate your honesty and your desire to seek God without the trappings of religion. I also can understand what it’s like to be turned off by religious hypocrites. There are a lot of people who feel that way, I fear.

    I don’t agree with your premise that God doesn’t care how we approach him. I wrote a post a while back about it.

    http://artofthechristianninja.com/2013/02/14/the-five-solas-sola-christus/

    If love I chat further if you want to.

    May God bless you as you seek Him.

    Like

    • KraftedKhaos September 27, 2013 at 8:49 am #

      Thank you for the reply, and for the link. I will try to get to it, as I’m always interested in and open to other people’s ideas, I simply weigh them against my core beliefs, check in with The Voice, and go from there. (my inner voice, not the dubious reality singing show by the same name, lol).

      I would also like to add the caveat that I believe we are each led in the way which best suits us at the time, and what is okay at one point in our journey may not be so at a later point, when we’ve grown in spirit and understanding. 🙂

      May Blessings be upon you,

      A.

      Like

      • Pastor Allan Descheneau September 27, 2013 at 9:13 am #

        I was wondering how checking in with Christina Aguilara would help… 🙂

        Looking forward to hearing back from you about your journey.

        Unsolicited Advice: I was once told that people needed to be open minded, but not so open minded that their brains fall out.

        Like

        • KraftedKhaos September 27, 2013 at 9:23 am #

          *laughs* I’ve heard that, as well. Trust me, I’ve met some people who should have nets surgically attached to their ears so their brains don’t go rolling down the sidewalk 😉

          May Blessings be upon you,

          A.

          Like

    • Ren September 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

      Hi Pastor…I love your blog, very good thought provoking content. I read the Solas Christus…and I’d like to get your insight on a two things that jumped out at me. Please keep in mind, I’m engaging in intellectual debate…don’t take anything personal 🙂 I was raised Catholic and had exposure to all religions as a child. I also entered this form knowing the Holy Scriptures and being able to show the similarities across seemingly different religions. As I got older, filters came and my recollection is not so great these days 🙂 I digress 🙂
      There is a huge misunderstanding of the Hindu faith. Firstly…the concept of Hinduism is a Colonial construct. The true original religion practiced is the Vedic religion. Second…at the core of “Hinduism” is the belief in ONE Supreme being…which is also split into Three. The One Supreme being has no gender yet embodies both male and female. Yes, there are other “deities” or “murtis” that followers “pray” to. However, they are derivations of the One Supreme being.
      Like Christianity, we believe in One Supreme being…which is split into Three. Another twist that has occurred over time and Man grappling with comprehension of an Omnipresence…was to give this One Supreme being a gender. Historically, this Supreme being was female, got changed to male and has gone back and forth depending on which group you talk to. But I’m going off topic again 🙂 Like the Vedas/Hindus…Christians also believe in Saints and Angels…that we “pray” to either to intercede on our behalf or in some cases directly. We believe in praying to such and such Saint for direction, improvement in health or finding loss things…or Angels for protection, etc.
      Like Hinduism/Vedic and Christianity…Muslims also believe in One Supreme being…and they have several “prophets” that they turn to as well in times of seeking guidance and inspiration.
      Different words…different stories…same principles. Same belief: that of One Supreme Being.
      What has happened over time? Just that…Time. Ever played the game where one person whispers something to another and by the time it comes back around, it’s totally far from the original message? The same has occurred in all the major religions…we will focus on the three you mentioned: Islam, Christianity and Hinduism. Because I can tell you that ALL of the traditional religions believe in One Supreme Being.
      We are only all too aware of Islam these days. But what we mostly forget is that the teachings of Islam is one of peace and brotherly love. We recognize that a small group of individuals have twisted those teachings to serve their purposes, morphing both the follower and the outside observer to believe it is a religion of fundamentalists seeking jihad.
      Christianity has seen its fair share of hate driven wars and genocides. And what do we do? We say…oh no that wasn’t us, that wasn’t our faith…that why we started our own branch of the faith. Fact remains…your current version of Christianity stemmed from somewhere originally and twisted it to suit the needs of your belief construct. The Catholic religion itself was formed out of the merger of several practices at the time: those that we consider heretic and those that we consider Gospel. What of the other religions that followed the path of Christ at the time? They got bumped off the boat because they didn’t fit into the mold at the time. History is written by the victors. And those victors tended to be the ones with money and power and clout. Research the history behind any of the religion’s prayers, stories, holy days and beliefs…and to research it you have to explore the thesis of those who are outside the bias of the religion itself…in order to be objective.

      My second thing that jumped out at me was “Jesus Said and Proved He is God”. I’m not going to argue with that. I believe it whole heartedly. Where I differ is that Jesus came to us to show us the path to God. He came to show us the Divinity that resides in each of us. He came as Man to show us that we too are capable of doing the “miracles” he did. Let’s take the walking on water story…

      Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
      Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
      But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
      “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
      “Come,” he said.
      Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
      Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
      And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

      He came to teach us the depths of faith. That each and every one us are the Temples of God. We all have the “God Spark”. He came to show us what is possible. To walk the path of God, you need to acknowledge “His” presence in you. “He’s” not an outside entity…”He’s” a living breathing force and energy in all of us…in everything. When we surrender to the Higher Power residing in all of Us…we become “Christ-like”. Jesus was “truly the Son of God” because he embodies what we are fully capable of being. He surrendered to his path. He accepted his Divinity. He fully embraced that PART (That’s for you Krafted 😉 ) of the Divine that is in All of Us. There are stories of men who walked the path WITH God and became one with God. There are stories in modern day times of beings who have walked different paths to seek enlightenment…and we describe them as “god-like”. These are instances of Man surrendering to a Higher Power.
      We can put blinders on and say it is not possible for Man to do these things and call them “miracles” when they do. But to do so, makes the path, lessons, experiences of those like Jesus, Vishnu, Buddha, Swami Nigamananda, Paramahansa Yogananda, heck John Lennon, Ghandi, Martin Luther King (they served as reminders), etc…in vain. These are souls that came to show the rest us what our true potential is. And they walked this planet as humans to prove that it can be done. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. “Self-realization is the knowing – in body, mind, and soul – that we are one with the omnipresence of God; that we do not have to pray that it come to us, that we are not merely near it at all times, but that God’s omnipresence is our omnipresence; and that we are just as much a part of Him now as we ever will be. All we have to do is improve our knowing”.

      Your thoughts kind sir 🙂

      Like

      • Pastor Allan Descheneau September 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

        Hi Ren, it’s nice to meet you!

        I love engaging in intellectual debate too and am happy to give you my thoughts on a few of the points you brought up. I appreciate your openness and willingness to dialogue about these things. Too many people have closed their minds.

        — On “One Supreme Being” being the claim of many religions.
        On the surface, I agree with your premise that most religions have many similarities. (Thanks for sharing about Hinduism BTW, I learned a lot.) This is the part where I have to ask you not to get offended, ok! 
        One of the reasons I believe that religions are so similar is that it’s easier to convince people of a lie if it looks enough like the truth. Satan doesn’t seem to use opposites to lead people away from the truth, trying to convince them that black is white… he uses alterations of the truth – off-white shades that look white until held up to something that is truly white.
        From a distance the world religions all seem to lead to the same place, and even use the same jargon, but up close the “God/god” that is being worshipped is very different from the God revealed in the Bible.
        The claims of Christians (and of Christ) are exclusive claims. God is very clear in scripture about who He is and what He’s all about. The claims of Jesus as being one with God, the only way of salvation, and the one, true, perfect interpreter of the Law, don’t leave much room for alternate interpretations.
        So, to get around that people have to either alter the bible to fit their meaning, deny what scripture says, or simply invent new scriptures by claiming they have had new revelations from God that supersede the old ones.

        You are right that Christianity has had its share of wars and genocides done it its name (so has atheism and other religions, btw) and that Christians distance themselves from them. by saying they weren’t from our “branch of the faith.”
        Christians go a step further than your claim that we say they are from another “branch of the faith”… we go further and say weren’t even from the same tree. All throughout the history of Christianity (and Judaism before it) there have been people who have misinterpreted God’s word and used religion to promote their own selfish ends. That doesn’t make them a Christian, it makes them a religious hypocrite using Christian language, anathema from the faith.
        That’s why historical Christianity has always come back to the plain reading of revealed scripture. The Bible is the baseline of our faith and practice, and anyone who has gone beyond it is working out of their own ideas, not God’s. There have always been people who use the Christian religion to get power and privilege, but not practice what Christians teach. And to counter them there has always been a remnant of faithful, often oppressed and martyred people, who preach against them.

        So, when it comes to questions like: “Who is God?”, “How are we to be saved?”, “Who is Jesus?”, “What is the truth?”, “How can we do religion right?”, “How are we to conduct ourselves as humans?”, “What is wealth for?”…. etc, etc., for the Christian (and for everyone else, we would say) the answers are found in the Bible. The answers are not confusing and they are written in such a way that everyone can understand them.
        All of the trouble, confusion, false teaching, false religions, etc. come when people misrepresent, alter, deny or add to the revealed word of God.

        — On Jesus teaching that we have the “God Spark” that needs to be discovered.
        I’m not sure where you get the idea that Jesus came to teach about a “God-Spark”. Certainly He was the perfect example, and He showed us how to live, but it was always within the framework of our complete lack of ability to do anything. (Some theologians would call this the doctrine of Total Depravity, which I subscribe to.)
        This concept is all over the Epistles, especially Romans, but since we are talking about Jesus, let’s look at the words of Jesus:
        “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” (John 15:5-6). We don’t have life without Jesus. We don’t have a spark or light or anything. Without a divine intervention from Jesus, we are simply a branch without a vine, withered and dead.
        Or consider His parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14). His teaching wasn’t that there was some good in all people, but that we had to admit that we were completely messed up and that we needed God to save us.
        Or even the more famous passage of John 3:16-21. The world is “perishing” (vs 16), Jesus could have come to “condemn the world”, but didn’t (vs 17). He came to save it because we can’t save ourselves. Our salvation is not contingent upon us fanning to flame a spark within ourselves, or finding some kind of light, but believing that we are in darkness and Jesus is the source of light (vs 18-21).

        So, there’s my “thoughts”. I hope you read them as they were written, with love, respect and a thankful heart for your willingness to read. I wish we could meet face to face and do this over coffee though!

        Like

        • KraftedKhaos September 27, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

          Reverend Descheneau,

          You probably didn’t receive a notification, but Ren replied to your comment. She ran into the occasional problem here on WordPress of there not being a reply button after your comment.

          (I’ve noticed this problem when a line of commentary continues for more than a few ‘back-and-forths’)

          Anywho, just letting you know she replied in case you weren’t sent a notification. 🙂

          Like

      • Ren September 27, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

        Hi Pastor,
        For some reason there isn’t a reply button under your response 😦
        I would love to do this over a cup of coffee ..in my case tea or hot chocolate…coffee knocks me out for days. 🙂 I certainly do miss a good intellectual discussion 🙂
        I apologize on the placing of my words. It wasn’t my intention to imply that Jesus came up with “God Spark”. The statement was mine. And you are right he does embody it.
        Similarities vs differences… Ahhh…. The “differences” do not exist. Our interpretation of each version of the Truth have led us to believe there are differences. If you’d like to bring Satan into this 🙂 (Whole other discussion there 😉 )… It is the very use of opposites that have torn Man apart throughout history. There has been very very little teachings worldwide that show the similarities. The average joe/jane simply accepts dogma, rarely questions it and applies it to their frame of context and understanding…hence the reason we have extremists, jihadists, crusaders, racists (because folks can argue that Bible does talk about the three sons of Noah being the forefathers of Race: Shem, Japheth and Ham…As well as arguing that Ham’s son, Canaan, is proof that slavery is justified and sanctioned). The popular views, regardless of religion…are based on the differences. To me…your description of Satan’s actions fits that bill. It has been the focus on opposites that have created bloodshed & hate. Unless you’re telling me that Satan’s “off-white white” is one of peace, unity and oneness? Which I know you’re not saying 🙂
        From a distance…the world religions look dis-similar! It is only when you study each that one sees the similarities. Please provide me with examples of where you personally have studied each religion’s version of God and found it to be different from the Christian God? You yourself mentioned that you were not aware of the history behind Hinduism. So how can you make such a claim? This would be a good example of “it’s easier to convince people of a lie if it looks enough like the truth.” You cannot Know Truth if you personally have not walked and researched it for yourself. Have you read the Torah? The Koran? The Bhagavad Gita? Have you listened to the stories of the Hopi? What about the Gnostics? Or even the Zoroastrians…from which Judiasm, Gnosticism, Christianity and Islam stemmed from? Have you studied them with the same passion and hunger as the Bible? And which version of the Bible have you studied? The Torah, Koran and Bhagavad Gita remained in the original language that it was written. The Bible hasn’t. The fundamental Truths are still in the Bible yes…but there is a lot to questioned as well…for the mere fact that there are several versions of it in existence. (Likewise, each religion has to be questioned and researched to get a true understanding of each as individual paths and to find Truth). Again…the whispered secret going across the room. There will always be errors in translations and translations and translations and translations… I have seen the Bible I grew up morph into hundreds of versions today. I have seen Christianity morph into the different versions that exist today…and I’m only 36!!!
        You cannot have a debate if you do not know the other side..sides. “To know thyself, know thy enemy”. And I’m not saying those outside of Christianity are enemies…but we treat them as such. If they don’t conform to our way of thinking and belief…then they must be bad. A little secret…they think the same way.
        Jesus was a Jew. The Jews refused to believe that he was the Messiah. So he continued on his path and he embraced those who were willing to surrender and follow: “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” The Bible actually brings up this topic several times. “But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
        I agree with you on the hypocrisy …it is in all religions 🙂 But like you imply…the hypocrisy comes from our self centered interpretations of the Holy Scriptures…regardless of religion.
        Yes, I am aware that other religions and paths have had their fair share of bloodshed and hate. It’s all part of our journey as Humanity. We need to understand the Duality of Man. We need to have had experienced the Good and the Bad in order to move forward and learn.
        I am not denying the Word of God. I have spent my life wanting to know God. I have spent my life knowing that this form, this body…is a vessel for my true nature, my soul. I have spent most of my life wanting to return Home. It is only recently that I have come to the understanding that while an Outer Home exists with God…God is very much also residing within me. And with that knowledge, I know that I Am Already Home. I may be 36…but I have an old soul.
        Yes… Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. But we are the same plant. It is the same energy that runs through both the vine and the branches…when attached. Without him, we are nothing. This is also where I disagree… without Jesus’s presence to show us the way…we are lost. We needed SOMEONE like Jesus to show us what we truly are. Jesus is ONE version of Humanity’s story. We also needed someone like Buddha, Vishnu, Krishna, etc to help put the story into context for those seeking guidance in those cultures.
        Allow me a brief segway…Let’s say Aliens from another planet came to Earth today. They had great beams ships and beams of light coming from them and they sucked up individuals into this beam of light. Several ships across the planet simultaneously. Then they leave. With me so far? 🙂 What happens in the telling of the story that was fact? The majority of Earth’s population would have witnessed it. Some may go out and create a religion around it. You can’t deny the existence of them now…cause we witnessed it. There may be a brief moment of Human solidarity…as occurs often after any major event that threatens our survival. The Christians, I am willing to bet :), will have two versions…The Rapture occurred or Satan came and sent his demons. Not to mention the debate over evolution. The Muslims, the Hindus, the Jews, etc…everyone of us will have our version of the Truth…Each country will have their own version. A version and construct of comprehending what transpired. Over time, we argue whose version is true. Years go by, generations go by…the experience becomes legend, myths, words translated and mistranslated into Holy Texts over time…it becomes some ancient thing our forefathers once believed in…because it doesn’t have any bearing on our life today as we know it. But it feels somehow wrong to deny something so ingrained into us, even though some will….so we twist it to conform to our modern day understanding. Again…so that we have an understanding of the knowledge that we are not alone.

        Sorry…I have to cut this short..need to go …but would love to hear your thoughts so far 🙂 I hope you understanding where I was heading with my segway. 🙂

        Like

  6. Growth Hunter September 27, 2013 at 8:00 am #

    Quite a read…
    Though in a broader sense, you might find my post http://growthhunters.net/2013/08/28/religion-or-spirituality/ interesting, much lighter hearted 🙂
    Have an AWESOME day!

    Like

    • KraftedKhaos September 27, 2013 at 8:52 am #

      Thank you for the link. I intend to get to all the links posted (although we’ve all heard where good intentions take us, LOL), and look forward to a lighter read on the subject 🙂

      Thank you for your comment!

      May Blessings be upon you,

      A.

      Like

  7. elenaramirez September 27, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    Hi, Thanks for the ping back to my post. ” I LOVE GODS LAW BUT I DO NOT LIKE LEGALISM” You, know I can relate to many of the things you wrote about in your post. But I will tell you the truth, this is something, we each have to work out individually with our Lord. My friend, God does care. He cares very, very much for you. May I make a couple of recommendations. Be careful what Bible you use. You want a Holy Bible. The King James is still holy. It has been preserved for 400 years. The others, I call rubber swords. They have been compromised. They have taken a word, that was not corrupted. And they changed it. So these Bible versions are no longer holy. So when one may search, they find, a part truth, but then a lie from the enemy, so the anointing is not there. This is a secret many do not know. And I just wrote a book, a few months ago. I am trying to get in the market, etc. But, I believe my book, has many principles, and secrets, that to some may be common sense. To build fath. But I believe there is something for everybody in my book. HOW TO HAVE FAITH ~ MY SECRET PRINCIPLES OF FAITH, WITH A TRUE AND LIVING GOD JESUS CHRIST, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. http://howtohavefaith.wordpress.com. but let me just say this. I understand, how you might feel, your growing. And it takes time, to have that faith, and to feel God cares. But don’t stop. Watch your words, and I say that in love. Remember, the principle of Proverbs 18:21. This will make a difference in your faith. If you are interested in my book, let me know. But I pray, God bless you. I believe you are on the right path. I have a few blogs here. My main blog is http://elenasjustmythoughts.wordpress.com Go there, maybe there is something, to minister to you. Take care, and thanks. God bless you. I am praying you know God cares, every day for you. He loves you dearly. So much He sent His son, to die on the cross for you and me. Praise God, He inhabits the praises of His people. PRAISE YE THE LORD, PRAISE THE LORD O MY SOUL. PSALM 146:1. Blessings and love, in Christ, Elena Ramirez

    Like

    • KraftedKhaos September 27, 2013 at 11:04 am #

      *smiles* I was not saying that God does not care FOR ME, or for anyone else for that matter. Indeed, I believe God cares very much for us all. God *is* love, after all. 🙂 What I meant was that God does not care HOW we approach him, in worship and in the seeking of wisdom.

      That if we are led to meditate, it is not ‘unholy’ in his sight, that if we are led to sing, or to dance, or to walk through the woods, simply feeling his presence, it is not ‘wrong’, unless our own hearts lead us to believe it is so, for He resides in each of us, and leads each of us toward Him, each in his own way.

      To put my post in succinct biblical terms, all I was saying was that Man is not to judge the way in which God speaks to another’s heart. If he came to Moses through a burning bush, he can come to me (or you) through meditation, or whatever other means he chooses. 🙂

      May Blessings be upon you,

      A.

      Like

      • elenaramirez September 27, 2013 at 11:36 am #

        Amen love that clarification. Glad you did make it. Blessings dear heart, have a wonderful day. And I so agree. You know why. And I think sometimes we have to see that, because we can get in that judging state. But, we all sin, we all come short of the glory of God. So for any of us, to act or to judge others is really forgetting what Christ did for us. So we have to be mindful of that, or we can get in that “religious” spirit. This can actually take away from our faith, or from even getting answers. Something else I address in my book. Well enough….thank you, praying you have a wonderful day. Elena

        Like

  8. elenaramirez September 27, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    And I just want to say one more thing, that I address in the book. Beware of “religion” that Pharisee spirit. We are trying to build a relationship with Christ. That comes from what He did on the cross. Religion, is rules and regulations, traditions made by people, and that really gets in the way. Because they forget the love. And God is love. Blessings…Elena

    Like

    • Opinionated Man October 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

      I disagree with that. That belief is what lead to so many Christian schisms and has in the end hurt not only Christianity, but any religion where people just decide to “interpret and make their own way.” That is how we have snake worshipping Christians that share a common denominator, but no commonality in religion other than the word “Jesus.”

      Like

      • elenaramirez October 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

        Dear Opinionated Man,
        I am not sure, what your disagreement is, because it sounds like you agree with me. When people interpret and make their own way, that is “religion.” This does hurt Christianity. It does hurt the body of Christ. In the highest form, that is not relationship with Christ, and this is what we should obtain. So thanks for responding, but I don’t see your dispute, or the discrepancies, to further this into a debate, or an argument. I pray, we all grow closer to Christ, and we do not fall into the traps of religion. Christ warned us, let us not be deceived. Have a good day. Elena

        Like

        • Opinionated Man October 24, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

          As an Orthodox Christian, eastern Orthodox, we believe our faith comes from the same line as the Catholics from the original church of peter. I define my religion because I have to distinguish myself from others. I DO believe in established religion and tradition and think that it is essential in knowing God. That is because smarter men and women have written down their thoughts and their thoughts are more sound than your average humans, who in my opinion are on average stupid. That is why I said we disagree, I believe in organized religion. I also cannot stand when people tell me what Christ said because half the time they interpret scripture totally wrong. Thanks for the return comment. -OM

          Like

          • elenaramirez October 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

            I do agree with you on that, the word of God, has been interpreted, and this is wrong. That is why I do not propose to anyone, to use any other Bible version, than the King James bible. Because it has been established for 400 years. Because God warns us not to add or change word. Salvation can even be lost. Read Read Revelation 22:18-19, from a King James bible. Religion has changed it. They have changed the word of God. A lot of it is missing. Or words added. But as far, as being in a religion, I am careful, to not identify myself with any religion. For the reasons, that you mention. Religion, is rules and regulations. I do not need men’s interpretation. I let the Holy spirit lead me, and that is relationship with Christ. That I have by seeking Him. Not people, or religions. And for the record, the Bible, the King James Bible says, that interpretation comes from the Holy spirit. People can interpret it wrong. II Peter 1:20. So we have to be careful. I wrote a book on the secret principles I have on faith. Feel free to check out my link. And have a great day. http://howtohavefaith.wordpress.com

            Like

          • elenaramirez October 24, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

            I meant to say misinterpreted, in that first sentence. Thanks….

            Like

  9. thekindnessblog September 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    Interesting 🙂

    Like

  10. Ren September 27, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    Hi… I’m back but only briefly…connection is a bit spotty. I think a better word to relate to Christianity…isn’t God Spark…but maybe instead The Christ Consciousness?
    So, if we can agree that there is a Christ Consciousness? And that the Christ Consciousness is in Jesus? Krafted…This is the PART I keep referring to. When Jesus says things like I am the vine and you are the branches…If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done on to you…
    That is, if you are in tune with the Christ Consciousness or that Divinity that is in all of us to the degree that Jesus did…you too would be able to do “miraculous” things like Jesus. When in reality…it is only miraculous because the majority are not in tune. There will come a time when the majority of Humanity is open, surrenders and is in tune with the Christ Consciousness. And the things we deem miraculous now, would be expected and a matter of course. We won’t take it for granted though. There would be gratitude and respect for the Christ Consciousness that resides in us all.
    I’m going to close off here and hope this gets through.

    Krafted…excellent blog…lots of great discussion…albeit a bit off topic 🙂
    Much Love
    Ren

    Like

    • KraftedKhaos September 30, 2013 at 3:56 am #

      LOL… I carefully chose my blog name for the very reason that *I* am off-topic! Not only do my interests often change like the weather, my thoughts bounce around like a bucket of rubber balls dumped down a stairway! 😉

      Some are serious and heavy, some are light and fun, and some just won’t sit still long enough to even get a fix on them at all.

      I love when people have off-topic discussions, because sometimes they lead to something important, or to self-realization, or simply a sharing of thoughts that might otherwise have never been shared.

      Off-topic on, my friends!

      May Blessings be upon you,

      A

      Like

  11. Opinionated Man October 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    I came back and read the comments. Waited on purpose. While I am not going to enter in the debate I will say I think all of you believe very different things and finding “similarities” to me is an injustice to a personal belief. I do not care to find “similar ground” for that reason because I personally clearly define what you, and you, and you, and you believe. One word changes a creed, One word changes a belief. -OM

    Like

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