Is religion dangerous? My answer is no; but also a resounding YES. First at the heart of all religious systems the intent is to journey from the profane to the divine. One would think this would be a wonderful human development of seeking a higher power for the good of humanity. The higher power may be on the outside such as a God or God’s, or the divine is finding ones higher self. Religions of the world vastly differ on how one takes this path.
The varying religious paths prescribed towards divinity shows the beauty of diverse cultures. Religion becomes a danger when one religion demands that they are correct and others are not. Secondly the adherents of the religion feels it is their duty to God to impose doctrine by force.
Two religions have been known to cause the greatest amount of danger to humanity. That is Christianity and Islam. People of these faiths have killed and suppressed nations. Subjected mass amount of anguish upon differing beliefs with laws suppressing the rights of non adherents.
Why, it has not always been this way? Yet even very early in Christianity’s history fights over correct doctrine took place. When Rome saw the opportunity to use Christianity as a way to help control and unite the empire the Roman Catholic church became the enforcer of God and king within Europe.
War was waged against Islam the fairly young religion that was sweeping the middle east by force. A fight that is still in place today. All of this stems because religions such as Christianity and Islam are absolute in their doctrines and pathways to God.
In our modern world religion is used in American politics such as the election of Donald Trump. Yet this is not new. Kings would often claim they ruled by divine right and who can argue with God?
My proposal for religion especially that of Christianity which I am apart of, is the elimination of dogma and doctrine. A true freedom of religion that I pray also on Islam. Let each person be his own pope. Let each person decide the best path within their chosen faith. Let each person develop a path to the divine based on their own understanding of their faith. A faith that all is permitted under love.
In my heart this is what Jesus taught.
With the vast amount of polarization which has infested the country I believe that we need to be committed to introspection. It is my observation those who consider themselves both progressive and conservative are spiritually sick. First and foremost, I need to repent of my own spiritual decay. While I believe that the church needs to be at the forefront of social justice, I would suggest we do not take things to extremes. We can push beyond what the population desires and instead we receive a backlash from conservative society that has taken the form of our current president. Similarly, conservatives need to be aware of real issues that face the nation. If you claim to be a Christian and take the words of Jesus with any sense of sincerity you cannot be a nationalist who is only looking to make America great again. Our goal is to make ourselves great again, to help make our neighbor great again, and for them to help us in our endeavor.
Our theology could be at the root cause of our problems. Generally, we all think that we know God, his agenda, or if he is even a he. We need to pray, meditate, and search our souls. I am not going to tell you what you should believe, or not believe, except one thing. That one thing which will unite us to him and to each other is love. Love allows for all things to be possible. Love allows for each person’s opinions to be heard and for each person to try to understand each person’s side. What must not be compromised is the acceptance of the opposite of love, which is hate.
Finally, as divisive as the issues are. As angry as they make us. As much as we want to scream and fight; we must decide how much. It may be better to allow your spiritual disciplines to help control our human emotions. To seek within instead of constantly pushing and fighting. To allow ourselves not to look at this as an “us vs. them” and instead understand that we are all apart of the body of Christ. To understand that we just do not know, and probably never will, yet we do have the capability known through the scriptures; love. Living out love is Christianity. Jesus was love and so shall we be. That is all we really know.
The reality is that humans are like fish in a pond. Occasionally, we may take a leap out of the water and for a split second we see this unknown we then decide to interpret this unknown world and build a philosophy around it. Each spiritual leader who has taken those split second jumps out of the water then interpret the unknown in different ways; this then creates the world as we currently know it. I think that it is important to understand that Jesus broke things down very simply. We in the human incarnation cannot under any circumstances understand the full nature of God. If God was to speak to us and tell us the mysteries of the universe, we would not understand it. It would be like a physicist trying to explain the laws of nature to an orange. No matter what we do we will never get the orange to understand.
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Sobriety sucks! Even the great apostle Paul understood this fact. “Do not be drunk with wine which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18, NIV). Sobriety in the sense of not being intoxicated through excess of alcohol etc. is a good thing. Trying to be abstinent from everything that gives us pleasure is dumb and sucks. So forget sobriety. Listen; basically humans are cancers on the earth. From the day we are born we start the clock until death and it is filled in between with suffering. To live is to suffer and vice versa. The Spirit of God is our comforter and through faith, prayer, medication, visualizations of divine bliss we can negate the suffering a bit on our way to death. I know it sounds morbid; but it is true.
Here are some “sober” activities. Motorcycles, videogames, exercise, reading, hunting, and fishing; these activities require no outside substance but will release endorphins into your body. What are endorphins? Endorphins are a naturally produced chemical secreted by the brain during various activities that give the person a sense of pleasure. Endorphins are also pain and inflammation reducers this chemical is similar to a natural opiate. So when you are thinking that your goal is to be sober but you love the way you feel after a nice run; wrong you’re an addict. We all are; it is impossible to be human and not be. Literally are own brains know that living on this earth sucks by God’s grace we can tap into a natural free source of drugs in order to help balance out. If for whatever reason we were unable to get high we would probably be considered depressed and suicidal and not realize it.
Other activities that involve drugs which people who think they are sober condone include but not limited to; caffeine, sugar, nicotine, basically most food. I suppose you could live on vegetables and water without any physical activity your chances of a long life are slim. Essentially what this concludes to, is we live an existence that without intoxicating activity we will die. The human spirit trapped in these monkey suites must stay high to stay alive. Now I understand that this does not mean that we need to get drunk, snort coke, gamble away our life savings and put needles into our arms. This also goes for eating ourselves into oblivion, drink ungodly amounts of soda, and smoking cigarettes like a chimney. Smoking cigarettes and eating unhealthy amounts of food are perfectly fine in the communities of people who are abstaining from our traditional drugs and alcohol. Many people just replace one drug with another and that is ok as long as you can be more responsible with one more than the other. Essentially sobriety is not good for you. As a human being trapped on this godforsaken planet please stay intoxicated! I do not blame people for abusing substances, they are dangerous but so is the existence we live in. So what the heck is my argument?
I am saying that there is no such thing as 100% sobriety in its truest form. There is sobriety from certain substances; that is a good thing. I know that this is a fatalistic way of thinking, but there is really know other way of thinking about it. We grow up going to school to get a job, and then work so that we can have a few toys and die; and that is if you are lucky. Human beings are a cancer to the earth and until we evolve in our spirituality we will continue to be plagues upon the earth with are life sucking, addicted ways. But I get it; we all need something because being sober sucks!
Why are Christians such control freaks? I think that it has been embedded into Christianity itself. Many believe that one must stay away from the “world” whatever that means? That the Christian must watch every move they make so carefully that they do everything in order to please God or be a good “witness.” The way I look at it, this causes nothing but, anxiety, depression, panic and fear. Supposedly we were saved by grace and not of ourselves; but that is not good enough. We always seem to need to add something to the program. We just cannot leave well enough alone. Maybe it seems too easy to really believe we are loved. That a kind God loves us so much he sent his son to die for us. While the Bible is filled with what I like to interpret as Christian suggestions; Jesus said to love. That includes loving ourselves enough to not become anxious over the faith that saved us.
We poison our youth with teaching of abstinence and staying away from the opposite sex as if they were the evil from man’s rib; and vice versa. Even as adults sexuality is such a huge issue within the church. Please, maybe if we talked about sex more openly we would not have these scandals. Yet this is just one way that many in church leadership control the people. I remember growing up not being able to watch TV on Sunday or doing any extra work. Yet we went out to eat after church with no one ever complaining about the restaurant workers; looking back it is confusing. I guess it is just human nature.
Examining our American society we all have been trained, you just do not get something for nothing. You have to work hard to live; that kind of sucks. God; I did not ask to be born here, couldn’t you have made me an angel? We must go to school, just to get a job, go into debt, now I must keep that job or loose the house and car; forced labor at its finest, what a scheme! Who invented this crap? What if I want to sit around all day and smoke bong hits, read my Bible and go about getting into adventures, helping people as I wonder the earth? Would they call me a Christian or a homeless man?
Time to rid ourselves of the shame! When Jesus was walking the earth he would complain about the heavy moral weight that the Pharisees would place on their converts. Often we come to Jesus and then decide now it is time to be a moral crusader. Is that what Jesus taught us to do? Go around teaching people how they should or should not live? I do not think so. He taught us to love one another and even that is an impossible feat. All we can do is try our best and not worry about it. Jesus said not to worry, so do not worry. Simple enough, but our human nature insists that there is more to it. I Wish I could tell you that there was a way out of this mindset. I do believe that some people are living lives of more freedom than others. As the apostle sad we need to crucify this flesh daily.
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Because of the scope of the topic this post is limited, I only desires to argue the basic definition of prophecy from the Judeo-Christian tradition. Growing up not only an Evangelical but also a Pentecostal, prophecy is normal place in my theological conversations. I have found that many people do not understand prophecy and even worse many feel that it is something reserved for a select few. In the next few paragraphs I will give a basic definition of prophecy and also give you some tips on becoming a prophet yourself.
When thinking of prophecy many look to the Old Testament books that are considered to be written by prophets. The Old testament books include; Isaiah, Jeremiah, Laminations, Ezekiel, and Daniel. These five books are known as the Major Prophets this is because of the size of the text not anything special. The Minor Prophets include Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The New Testament has one prophetic book, that being Revelations. What makes these books prophetic? First let us examine what Biblical prophecy is.
Prophecy is a foretelling of something yet to possibly take place. Many prophecies are inspirational or an interpretation of an event. These certain individuals made proclamations that were interpreted by people as messages from God to man. These texts were then formed into a large part of the Old Testament. Only Revelations is considered a prophetic book in the New Testament. The obvious question then is how did people realize these prophets were speaking in the name of God? We can look at the life of King Saul Israel’s first king. The Spirit of God came upon Saul, Saul prophesized: we do not know what he said, yet it was presumably inspirational words, predictions, and admonitions. So the act of prophesying was not limited to a certain group of people, or just the prophets known in the Old Testament. The New Testament also gives some details concerning prophecy. First off, according to Paul prophecy should be the most sought after of all spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14). Essentially the Christian prophet receives a message from God which should be shared with the church. I have found with my own experiences as a prophet that this is not limited to the church. Prophecy is an act in which you become inspired and then you speak the words that have bubbled up inside you. You begin to understand that it is through faith that what you know what you are saying is from God. Of course there is the human interface which is corrupt, that is why it is important to also test the prophets. Basically to test the prophets, simply do not believe something just because they said it was prophetic; this is Biblical, so is common sense. Not everything a prophet speaks is from God.
The big question that some of you may have is can I be a prophet? The overwhelming answer is yes! Not only is being a prophet something all Christians have the ability to become; the apostle Paul says that it is the spiritual gift that should be most sought after. I am going to skip a lot of technical details and get straight to the point when it comes to prophecy. The first thing you need is faith. Faith in this situation is having the crazy idea that; yes I am a prophet. That’s right you are a prophet and you can prophesy. Okay, now that you are cool with the fact that you are a prophet, you have to stir yourself up and speak some prophetic words.
Stir myself up? Basically what I mean is to get emotional. Often times we speak prophecy without realizing it. We can become angry with our current life situation and speak the desires of our heart into the Universe and what may come back is what you asked for. This has happened to me. In church a prophetic word can start filling up inside you during a time of prayer or worship. You might be thinking that this is not from God; yes it is. Now you must proclaim it, or at least tell someone. What I do is work myself up through prayer, maybe listen to some inspirational music and get into a trancelike state. Then cut loose and proclaim with the power of my words. Remember that heaven and earth was created through sound; so you being God’s creation have the gift of words to create just as God. You must however believe the words you speak; you must know that they are divine.
What if I am wrong? What if I give a prophetic word and it never comes to be? Simple answer; this will happen all the time. While you may be influenced by the Spirit of God, the words are still coming from you. The words then are coming through an interface that is marred by limitations. I can prophesy that I will win the lottery; it doesn’t mean it will happen. Will it increase your odds? I believe that it will. The thing is, do not be afraid to be the prophet that you are called to be. Prophesy, have fun it, it is a gift God has given you. This ability does not only helps yourself, it helps others as well. Be the prophet.
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IT HAPPENED AGAIN: This is what Mario Murillo states in is article loathing the fact that “millions of Spirit-filled Christians voted for the Democratic party.” Oh no! We are going to reap God’s judgment now! The silliness of the Evangelical church does not stop! Murillo is one of its clowns leading a three ring circus of fear. I want break down his article; but first I want to let you know why I am writing this. I am not against Murillo; I am against the division this type of rhetoric creates. Basically it is implied that Republicans are the party of God and Democrats the party of Satan. Of course it is the same issue, abortion; and well add in some sex to spice it up. Evangelicals seem to be more fascinated with sex than a teenager.
I am not accusing Murillo of being a racist as he assumes some people may think; I truly understand why he believes the way he does. I can understand this type of Christianity because I once possessed similar theology. Murillo is disappointed in the African American church in which he claims 90% voted for the Democratic Party. I am sure he used sound research to come up with that statistic. Before that statement he seems offended by a quote which states “White men are the biggest terror threat.” Well it is true. The white race has caused more terrorism in the United States than any other to date. He writes in horror that “We are left with the inescapable conclusion that born-again and Spirit-filled Christians in large numbers voted for the Democratic Party.” Oh no! Not the Democratic Party! The Party that desires to expand healthcare, raise the minimum wage, protect the rights of minorities, and just be nice people to each other. We do not need to change religious beliefs Murillo, we need to get our hermeneutics correct; or at least try. I think love would fall into a good category to start.
But of course I hate the babies because I support democrats; how can I be a Christian and vote pro-? Life, death, I do not know; can we just stop! We could be more of a church if we decided to let go of our theological egos. Can we ever admit that even the most adept theologian cannot explain “clearly” verses in the Bible? As ministers we try by God’s grace. Claiming absolute knowledge is lying to the people who trust us.
Murillo claims that, “A vote is not a statement just of what you are against but also what you are for.” Well if that was the case we never would vote. We cannot be for and or against everything a politician or a Party is for. His claim makes no sense. And here we go Psalms 138:13 we can spin verses however you want, let me assure you none of them are clear. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” The Psalmist seems to be expounding on his desire to be in God’s presence from beginning to end, to be delighted in the Lord, to allow the Lord to search him and be united to him. I really do not think that David understood biology or medical science very well. But maybe; who knows? Regardless I am not a fan of abortion; who is? It is a serious event in a woman’s life that can be forever life altering. As a Christian I would never counsel anyone to have an abortion, and I would never judge a woman who has. It is not my place, my places to love not legislate morality. We do not know what put that woman in that place. We cannot understand her pain. Further if you want to play by Murillo’s rules by voting Republican you are voting to keep in place policies that create catalyst for abortions. Poverty being a major catalyst; but who cares about the poor as Jesus said, “They will always be with us.” See, I can spin verses like records.
Murillo states, “Have you ever wondered why Planned Parenthood fights so hard to convince a fetus is not a person? Even they know, if a fetus is indeed a person abortion is taking a human life.” No, Mario I did not, and you did not give us your opinion either. I am assuming because you think that Planned Parenthood is some demonic entity that is bent on killing as many unborn babies as possible. I am sure you think that they have a production goal that they must reach. You, and Evangelicals like you are what is dividing the church. I can agree with you on some points. I do not think that abortions should be celebrated, life is precious; all life. We do not however know when a fetus is ensouled. We don’t and we probably never will. To believe, at the time of conception is just a guess.
You state that some Democrats believe that the Bible can be hateful. Yes, it can be hateful. The KKK, the Confederate Army, and slave owners defended their actions with Bible verses. You say that we should not leave Jesus out of the voting booth, I agree. The fact is the majority of the Republicans platforms are anti-Christ. You are right, we are seeing damage done by Christians the problem is it is coming from you; not the people you are pointing fingers at.
Please share: and be sure to check out Mario Murillo and read his article “IT HAPPENED AGAIN” https://mariomurilloministries.wordpress.com/2018/11/08/it-happened-again/
Murillo, M. (n.d.). It happened again. Retrieved from
Automation technology is a wonderful thing; in the hands of the right people. Fast food restaurants, grocery stores, factories, and more are replacing humans with machines. Robots are taking over and they are going to put people out of work. I think it is a wonderful thing. Most of these jobs are crap jobs that nobody wants anyway. Not many people in High School thought I want to work at Walmart for my career. People want to be painters, poets, astronauts, firemen, policemen, actors, sports players; come on, you get it. We take away talent from our nation and world by placing people in jobs that could easily be automated. This then begs the question of what about my job?
This is what I would do. I would gather the profits from the automation and divide it up among the people. I would build Universities that people could attend for free, provide the tools and skills that meet the potential of the individual. Have centers for people to go and meditate and pray all day. Grocery stores would be plentiful and you would not even have to pay for the food; grab what you need and leave. Hospitals would be filled with the sick and doctors not having to worry about money because money is not an issue. Prisons would be limited to only people who commit violent crimes and because of automation utility bills would become nonexistent. The only thing money would be good for is pleasure.
We would run the country as a place of abundance not lack. People would be paid based on their contributions to the fields they love. We would reach new heights spiritually in which money becomes almost a non-issue. Everyone would be housed, clothed, and fed. The priority of humanity would be achieving a closer relationship with divinity. We would clean the earth and venture into space. We would start a new civilization on Mars and beyond. If you can imagine it, then it is possible. No limitations will be accepted because we are limitless in ability.
Why even bother going to church? This is the question I ask myself every Sunday morning. I am sure it may be the question you also ask yourself. Many people attend church because they feel as Christians they are supposed to attend. Is the church making the lives of attendees better? Is the church making lives worse? What is the whole point of putting on a dog and pony show, smile at your neighbor and then sleep through someone telling me that they heard from God? I hear from God also; where is my microphone?
Some people go to church because it is truly a blessing in their life. Church is become a social outlet that allows them to interact with people who are likeminded and distract themselves from the Monday through Friday grind. That is perfectly okay, they actually are benefiting from attendance. Some people go to church because the feel it is what God wants them to do. The famous scripture quoted regularly to keep people in their seats, “Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another all the more as you see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25, NIV). This like many verses can be spun anyway you want.
If you ask me why then people should meet together? I would say because it is good for you. I mean you do not have to meet with people you hate; meet with people you do like, even if it is at the bar down the corner. That could be a church just as much as anything else; sharing laughter, a meal, and good conversation, to me that is church. Church does not have to be this place that you have to drag the kids out of bed for, get into a fight with the spouse, and suffer through the hangover from the night before while you are singing, “If you are happy and you know it say amen.” The very structure of church may just be what is wrong with the church? Did those who gathered in the upper room recorded in the book of Acts have any other agenda but to hang out with one another? I would think it was what felt good for them. Nobody forced them to be there. They felt compelled to gather and wait for the promised Holy Spirit. Later the church changed and differed from community to community and that is okay. All churches are not the same. Some people you just do not want to hang out with. When you go to many Evangelical churches in America today it could feel like a Trump rally. God forbid you say you think socialism is a good idea; you will be pounced on like a rabbit. Forget the part in the Bible about sharing everything equally.