The Christian Noob (n00b)

born & raised Catholic, now going to a Presbyterian church & still learning

Sunday series: 05/17/2009 (#35)

Where: Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church at 11:15am

Bible reading:

“49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. 50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.” (Luke 24:49-53 KJV)

Comments then:

  1. Sixth Sunday of Easter
  2. Once again, I feel pressure in my sinus [cavity] causing a headache. Today I also have nausea and a choking feeling on my throat.
  3. Today I feel out of place — as if I don’t belong. Maybe I should not write my essay on religion before coming to church.
  4. Easter ends with the Ascension of Christ, which [is] always on a Thursday [but celebrated on the following Sunday]. That concludes the 40 days that Christ stayed with the Disciples.
  5. Affirmation of Faith: From The Apostles’ Creed
    • “he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;” [underlined]

Adult Education:

  1. What is our God like? What does our God do? What can I expect?
    • God as… Jesus, a God who loves, God as a loving parent.

Comments now:

  1. Under the Thelian Sky: Beyond the Great UnknownThe essay I mentioned above is included in my book Under the Thelian Sky: Beyond the Great Unknown (Copyright 2012).
    • Note that my book series is Christian science fiction and there’s some fantasy within the storyline.
    • As such, the date format used by the people is YOL (Year of Our Lord) using hexadecimals starting with Creation as year 0000 (very nerdy).
    • Sol 4 is the fourth planet in the Solar System — Mars. Therefore Sol 3 is the third planet — Earth.
    • Oneism is a made-up religion that I used in the story as a catalyst for some of the events in the three-part Under the Thelian Sky series.
    • By the way, if you want a copy of my book in exchange of your brutally honest opinion/review your opinion, let me know.

    PART VI: OBSERVATIONS: GOD & FAITH SYSTEMS

    Aside from the failure of the various governing parties, we are honored to report that faith in God did survive as we recognize one only God. We are obliged at this point to remind the honorable Department of Faith and Science and anyone else with access to this report that we do not all worship the same way as this is our right of Religious Freedom Act as adopted early in the formation of our society.

    We understand that most of the inhabitants of Sol 3 were religious — much more than later in that world’s history. As such, religious practices and beliefs did not change much from Sol 4 to Sol 3. The only difference might be the increasing number of faiths and/or variations of each. For purposes of our investigation though, we have much more literature from Sol 3 although more than half was lost or destroyed by the inhabitants of Sol 3 themselves. We believe that the latter act of destruction was a form to erase all record from something; whatever that something might have been.

    Note that all quotes from authors and/or books in this report from Sol 3 use the Anno Domini date structure. Also note that, as per our current beliefs and knowledge that the Christ (the Anointed) did come in human flesh, we see what the natives of Sol 3 called Christianity as our current religious belief system and ideology.

    “01 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 02 The same was in the beginning with God. 03 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 04 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 05 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
    — Gospel of John 01:01-05, King James Version, YOL 21B2

    As we continue our observations on the various faith systems in both Sol 4 and Sol 3, we record the common understanding of the belief in a Godhead figure (the Almighty) using some psychological and philosophical theories. We try to be as objective as possible, otherwise indicating otherwise when making an opinion on a given topic.

    It was understood that Christianity (recognizing Jesus being the messiah, the savior, the son of God Father and God himself) came from Judaism (not accepting Jesus as the messiah). At the same time, Islam (considering Jesus a secondary prophet) had its roots both in Christianity and therefore in Judaism. Hence these three faiths were referred to as the Abrahamic religions for sharing the same prophetic and historical figure — Abraham. The relationship between these peoples and faiths continued in religious teachings and practices since Abraham and the Ten Commandments given to Moses.

    “27 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. 28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. 29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.”
    — Exodus 34:27-29, King James Version, YOL 21B2

    Therefore by learning and understanding Christianity, we could learn a great deal about Judaism, Islam and other religions including, but not limited to Hindi and Buddhism. At the same time, understanding or at least reading about other religions with an open mind could have been considered helpful to learn about these peoples as well as the Christian faith. Ignorance in general was the main problem in western society — mainly Europe and the Americas — as it often blinded its peoples from other religious and cultural truths.

    Surprisingly enough, although Jesus might have not be mentioned in or be part of other religions, the theological teachings and principles were similar in most faiths as those in the three Abrahamic religions.

    Surprisingly we can also learn about Christianity especially studying the criticism of some philosophers, sociologists or other scholars. Such critical view of religion — heresies as referred to in Christianity — can explain another understanding of the Christ (the Anointed) and/or other concept of Godhead. For example, Friedrich Nietzsche pointed out that Christians should actually live like the Christ (the Anointed) without waiting for a reward — Heaven.

    “The ‘kingdom of heaven’ is a state of the heart — not something to come ‘beyond the world’ or ‘after death.’ The whole idea of natural death is absent from the Gospels: death is not a bridge, not a passing; it is absent because it belongs to a quite different, a merely apparent world, useful only as a symbol. The hour of death’ is not a Christian idea — ‘hours,’ time, the physical life and its crises have no existence for the bearer of ‘glad tidings.’… The ‘kingdom of God’ is not something that men wait for: it had no yesterday and no day after tomorrow, it is not going to come at a ‘millennium’ — it is an experience of the heart, it is everywhere and it is nowhere… This ‘bearer of glad tidings’ died as he lived and taught — not to ‘save mankind,’, but to show mankind how to live. It was a way of life that he bequeathed to man: his demeanour before the judges, before the officers, before his accusers — his demeanour on the cross. He does not resist; he does not defend his rights; he makes no effort to ward off the most extreme penalty — more, he invites it… And he prays, suffers and loves with those, in those, who do him evil… Not to defend one’s self, not to show anger, not to lay blames… On the contrary, to submit even to the Evil One — to love him…”
    — The Antichrist, YOL 22C7, published in YOL 22CE, Friedrich Nietzsche

    In most religions, there is a Godhead figure (either one God or a collective interpretation of God from various entities). Regardless of the human name (El, Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Krishna, Buddha, etc.) or body form (human- or animal-like) that we humans needed — to relate to such Godhead — they were still referring to the same entity and not multiple gods. Of course, not many would have agreed with the latter assumption as it is still too much of a hypothesis without a way to prove this theory.

    Unfortunately the interpretation and worship of the Godhead varied between different peoples, languages, traditions, customs, literature and other documentation (Bible, Torah, Quran, scrolls, other religious writings, laws and regulations, chants, etc.), mythologies like superstitions, folk tales, norms, society and over all culture including sexuality. With all these variables, religion became a regional belief or group of beliefs. Hence it was close to impossible for various peoples to come to an agreement of the understanding and worship of the Godhead. At best, different peoples could relate and/or share core religious beliefs and practices.

    Ironically religion and faith divided peoples for several millennia. For example, in Christianity, there were five main divisions — Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Protestantism and Restorationism. Within the latter divisions, there were numerous denominations. Outside the main divisions of Christianity there were several other groups that the rest of the Church considered cults, most of which did not believe or care for the Holy Trinity (three persons in God, but only one God: God Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit).

    Although it makes little to no sense whatsoever to us, some groups of Christians were extremely violent to others over the little theological differences including Christology (how much the Christ — the Anointed — is the son of man and/or how much he is the son of God). Because of the latter and understanding of the various differences of these peoples, lots of individuals simply opted to interact solely with others of the same cultural background or at least the same religious background. This obsessive schism with very little limitations and/or flexibility ironically made some peoples mortal enemies of others bringing them to wars or brutal mass murders to the point of genocide. The same was true in other religions.

    At the same, the nature of mankind was selfish and violent enough for any person to hurt, torture, kill or destroy anyone or anything to enforce and/or propagate any sort of belief (religious, political, social, economic, etc.) that someone else may have not hold. This last statement is the biggest contradiction to what most religions teach us — love and peace to one another.

    The schism and/or discrimination due differences based on faith systems and/or any other for that matter falls on the Constitutive Other principle from Emmanuel Levinas. If a person cannot be assimilated, he/she should be destroyed. This mentality has existed since the beginning of time. Resistance is futile as we have always tried to destroy what we do not understand and/or care to try to understand — especially religion, race and social values including sexual behavior.

    “To approach the Other in conversation is to welcome his expression, in which at each instant he overflows the idea a thought would carry away from it. It is therefore to receive from the Other beyond the capacity of the I, which means exactly: to have the idea of infinity. But this also means: to be taught. The relation with the Other, or Conversation, is a non-allergic relation, an ethical relation; but inasmuch as it is welcomed this conversation is a teaching. Teaching is not reducible to maieutics; it comes from the exterior and brings me more than I contain. In its non-violent transitivity the very epiphany of the face is produced.”
    — Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority, YOL 2310

    Perhaps what makes the latter even more dangerous is the victorious assimilation of an individual, in which we often try to push our ideologies and control him/her. In other words, if we cannot enslave such person, we will destroy him/her — what a perfect irrational behavior.

    “Evil brings men together.”
    — Aristotle, YOL 19E8-1A27

    This was the harsh reality of mankind that triggered a third world war that excelled in brutality only matched by the degree of hatred. The inhabitants of Sol 3 were irrational beasts with enough of a level of intelligence to build a primitive technology that would still be used centuries in the future in some updated form, of course.

    As such, the most fiendishly brutal acts were done in the name of religion and God — the Crusades (forcing Christianity unto others), ethnic cleansing (race, religion, etc.), many disgusting forms of murder based on religious differences and other forms of persuasion for force people to follow God in the limited manner of a groups people. The whole argument of my God being different than your God made many believe that there were multiple fake gods and each group believing their God was the true God.

    To these individuals who had changed so much from the time of Sol 4, it was never proven on time how each worship form was right in some aspects and wrong in others and most importantly that they all worshiped the same and only God. We now know the errors of the inhabitants of Sol 3. What we still do not understand is how and why each one of these numerous groups broke off the faith system and tolerance of differences that had been understood and followed for centuries in Sol 4. It was a step back to mankind that caused a third world war — the ultimate destruction of life on Sol 3 — and hence the need for colonization of our new home planet. At least, this time we were able to hold to our technologies and we are making sure we teach our youth about our ancient mistakes and stupidity.

    In all, God and religion are mysteries, which are beyond the mental capacity and limitations of mankind, as much as we hold on to the Scriptures as the only source of truth and/or may look for scientific explanations for various mysteries. As such, there are numerous papers trying to prove that the Scriptures are true with science. At the time, there are many other papers trying to prove the opposite — a total witch hunt from groups, especially atheists (non-believers).

    Regarding the topic of atheism, we do not understand how anyone could believe that we just exist out of chance in the universe — regardless how much Friedrich Nietzsche repeated it in his book The Antichrist (YOL 22C7, 22CE). Aside from the common belief of the Godhead (good, love, Creation, salvation, etc.), some religions also believed in an antagonist (evil, hatred, destruction, damnation, etc.). In Christianity, the Godhead includes Jesus the Christ (the anointed, savior, messiah) and the Holy Spirit.

    Therefore most Christians also believed in the Anti-Christ (the antagonist, the opposite of the Christ, in other words over all damnation) who had many human names — once again for humans to relate to it — as Lucifer, Satan and Hades. At the same time, part of this belief included the concept of sin (breaking any law given to Moses by God, secondary and/or similar belief shared by other religions as well), hence the belief in Heaven (eternal reward for a life away from sin) and hell (eternal punishment for those who do not repent from sin).

    “‘Sin,’ which means anything that puts a distance between God and man.”
    — The Antichrist, YOL 22C7, published in YOL 22CE, Friedrich Nietzsche

    For many, this concept of being rewarded for our actions was undoubtedly one of the main reasons to exist on earth as children of God. At the same time, many others argued that these beliefs might simply be the ageless desperation of life after death — the fear of one’s mortality, a means not to die and cease to exist, an extension of life. Once again, we must wonder if believing in a deity is merely fear or ignorance of the unknown and unexplainable by scientific means, hence the witch hunt previously mentioned.

    Therefore many individuals belonged to a religious group just because such individuals were born into that given religion. These individuals merely experienced religion as belonging to a culture and/or a tradition of some sort. At least within Christianity, some denominations based their worship on principles and discipline taught by Jesus, joy and love of Jesus, the sovereignty of the God, repentance and obedience following the Ten Commandments to gain grace and be welcome in the Kingdom of Heaven or other variations of the positive aspects of the Almighty.

    At the same time, other denominations concentrated on the evil of mankind, the influence of the Devil upon mankind, sin, temptation to sin, the rapture, the end of the world, eternal damnation, hell and/or other fears — not necessarily the joy and gratitude for being children of God. It seemed that Nietzsche and Huxley were right after all. Nietzsche said that human fears were used by religion to control and persuade masses to a certain action — in this case to believe a twisted form of Christianity in which people were made to fear God.

    “What is the meaning of a ‘moral order of the world’? That there is a thing called the will of God which, once and for all time, determines what man ought to do and what he ought not to do; that the worth of a people, or of an individual thereof, is to be measured by the extent to which they or he obey this will of God; that the destinies of a people or of an individual are controlled by this will of God, which rewards or punishes according to the degree of obedience manifested. In place of all that pitiable lie reality has this to say: the priest, a parasitical variety of man who can exist only at the cost of every sound view of life, takes the name of God in vain: he calls that state of human society in which he himself determines the value of all things ‘the kingdom of God’; he calls the means whereby that state of affairs is attained ‘the will of God’; with coldblooded cynicism he estimates all peoples, all ages and all individuals by the extent of their subservience or opposition to the power of the priestly order. One observes him at work: under the hand of the Jewish priesthood the great age of Israel became an age of decline; the Exile, with its long series of misfortunes, was transformed into a punishment for that great age, during which priests had not yet come into existence.”
    — The Antichrist, YOL 22C7, published in YOL 22CE, Friedrich Nietzsche

    Huxley later mentioned that people’s fears were used to persuade others as a form of brainwashing — with the example of Hitler who seems to have been one of the worst murderers or leader of murderers in his age.

    “Hitler was systematically exploring and exploiting the secret fears and hopes, the cravings, anxieties and frustrations of the German masses. It is by manipulating ‘hidden forces’ that the advertising experts induce us to buy their wares — a toothpaste, a brand of cigarettes, a political candidate. And it is by appealing to the same hidden forces — and to others too dangerous for Madison Avenue to meddle with — that Hitler induced the German masses to buy themselves a Fuehrer, an insane philosophy and the Second World War.”
    — Brave New World Revisited, YOL 230D, Aldous Huxley

    In such cases, many religious groups employed fear either as a simple means to control the masses, to persuade and/or to spread beliefs that were taught from generation to generation and accepted as truth. Unfortunately we all know that, although we know what we are called to do, we do not quite do so.

    “We understand that not only human beings, but all living entities are parts and parcels of God. The parts are meant for serving the whole, just as the legs, hands, fingers, and ears are meant for serving the total body. We living entities, being parts and parcels of God, are dutybound to serve Him.”
    — The Science of Self- Realization, YOL 233B, Swami Çréla Prabhupäda

    In failing to do these duties that Swami Prabhupäda pointed out, mankind engaged in acts of horror that most people would have never thought of before — the Crusades (YOL 1FAE-205F), the Holocaust (YOL 22F4- 2300), the destruction of the World Trade Center and murder of almost 3000 persons (YOL 2338), suicide bombers and other acts of irrational religious fanaticism. People mere proved time and time again how brutal and demonized we had become. It would take a true act of God to mend the hate in human heart. Putting all the barbarism and hatred aside, we seem to profess the same ideologies as those of Sol 4 and then Sol 3. It clearly seems that God’s Creation as whole was intended to worship him regardless of its place in the vast cosmos.

    Considering that we are missing lots of information connecting the various events noted in this report, we are confident that we have recreated the last days of Sol 4 and how its former inhabitants colonized Sol 3. With these explanations, we can understand our current society and thank our ancestors who survived two planets in the system of Sol before coming to ours.

    Note that most of the inhabitants of Sol 3 practiced a form of the Abrahamic faiths — Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These religions are closer to the most common faith system that we profess, simply referred to as The Faith, from which Christianity is the closest and we used it a comparison point to other faiths.

    We also have to note that we had encountered other faith systems that reject or ignore God, for example, Oneism in Sol 4. We understand that on Sol 3 there was a religious belief of no religious belief. As such the belief of no God or atheism (from the Greek word “atheos” and the French “athéiste” meaning no god) within itself was a faith system, which was adopted by intellectuals of the time — especially Darwinism based on the book The Origin of Species (YOL 22AA). This phenomenon tried to prove (01) that the belief in God was mere superstition and hence irrational (stupid) and (02) that the belief or understanding that there is no God was rational. The ideology of atheism was similar to the Oneism faith of Sol 4.

    “1. We believe that we are all deities without any form of supernatural powers or other fantasies. We are all creators of this world and everything on it. We actually were born in the world of Aedin and colonized this world about several millennia ago. We do not know or care to understand who or what created us in the first place.”
    — The Book of One, Core Beliefs: 1, YOL 0278

    Perhaps there was a need for these individuals rebel against God and proclaim themselves as divine or important above others. In either case, this is an ideology that we cannot understand given our intellection of Scientific Faith. As we have been taught since early age, “the assumption of no God cannot be proven by science.”

    (Under the Thelian Sky: Beyond the Great Unknown, Copyright 2012)

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One response to “Sunday series: 05/17/2009 (#35)

  1. Rina Mosquera 04/18/2013 at 21:57:45

    No hay que desilusionarse, el hombre por naturaleza creyente, en esta dimensión todavía necesitamos del nombre y de la forma.

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Frankie Olvera

frankieolvera.com

Lloyd Kaufman

born & raised Catholic, now going to a Presbyterian church & still learning

Tromemoir

MONSTERS AND DAUGHTERS: Growing up with the Toxic Avenger

Lee Ann McAdoo

Psychic. Lion Tamer. Ensorcelling Muse.

Jenna Abrams

Rely on common sense

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