Freethinking Theist (rant)

Recently someone asked on social media if anyone in the group I belong to was an “atheist / agnostic / freethinker.”

When I first heard the term “freethinker” years ago, it was in regard to a college scholarship for atheists. I inferred the term was coined to imply anyone with spiritual inclinations is brainwashed and entrapped into a certain way of thinking. With all my exploring, this couldn’t be further from true.

This post made me investigate the term again, and I found it actually refers to one who does not adhere to religious teachings or dogma, someone who comes to his or her own conclusion about faith matters. It does not strictly refer to a nonbeliever.

I commented: “I am a freethinking believer (theist). This means I don’t reject science for god; rather, I accept science as the workings of god. I also respect agnostics and [open-minded] atheists because “religion” and its ignorant blind eye to science refuses to listen to voices like mine, let alone nonbelievers who have valid points.”

Honestly, it’s no wonder logical observers turn away from the idea of God, the way religious people behave and speak.

Now, while I do believe in God, I see the validity in agnosticism. Agnostics admit they cannot know, rather than arrogantly claiming they are the only knowers of truth. Both believers and atheists are guilty of this superiority.

This is why I research scientific facts, to further comprehend the mystery and grandeur of creation, which is so complex I must conclude there is intelligence behind the design. But I am humble enough to recognize I will never know everything or know the whole truth.

I am not pantheist because I see evil acts and disease as, well, diseases of the divine body (hence, panentheist), not divine essences as well.

I still have faith in Christ as the human manifestation of God’s mind, but some of my brethren go too far with their cocky assurance in the Bible as the only source of truth.

I love the New Age phrase “as above, so below” and see it echoed in the Lord’s Prayer. The Bible translation “The Message” actually uses this phrasing. Well, lo and behold, upon searching its origins on Google, I found a blog denouncing the phrase as occult (links below). Of course someone would. Christians think New Age practices are satanic deceptions, even though I can tell you right now some of these practices have greatly enhanced my spiritual journey with God. (Upon research, I have found there are satanic usages of the phrase, referring to earth and hell rather than heaven and earth. See links below; for my purposes I am always referring to heaven and earth, as are most loving New Age practitioners.)

I am so fed up with these Christian teachers actively searching for ways to discredit New Age. Almost always, they use the word “deception” in the article or website domain name. This is so hypocritical. They are the deceivers by brainwashing believers into thinking no truth can be found outside of the Bible, that the Bible is the only collection of thoughts God has ever had (or will share), and any exploration outside of the faith is evil. And they say New Age is cult-like? If they actually took the time to speak with people of other faiths, rather than coming to unfounded conclusions based on pigeonholes, they would know New Age practitioners come from all faith backgrounds, and we are accepting and loving. We actively see the divine energies of the universe in every person.

The Bible lists what is unacceptable. If it isn’t mentioned in the Bible, it is acceptable to explore. I have heard a few televangelists talk about this, so it’s not a heretical concept. Certain scholars would have you believe if it’s not in the Bible, it’s “evil.” Such an approach would cause you to only ever speak about Christ and experience nothing. Whatever is not expressly forbidden is an invitation to learn and experience. How could a god that created the universe be limited by a single book on our dust speck of a planet?

The first article linked below states that recognizing the oneness of the universe within us all is wrong, because we only achieve oneness through Christ.

This Biblical scholar is failing to address that God is one being manifested as three persons. His manifestations do not distinguish Him as three gods. Therefore, achieving oneness through Adonai (Christ) doesn’t change that we are all one through Elohim (Spirit) and Jehovah (Father). The trinity cannot be separated. For example, an author, his words, and the reading of the words are all part of a finished document, but the document is one thing. Interpretation comes from the reading, but the reading is not distinct from the words and the author – these are what make the comprehension possible. All three as one.

I’m repeating myself to drive a point: to argue “No, only oneness through Christ,” is like saying, “No, read with no words.” It is not possible and isn’t an argument. Yes, we are one with the universe and God, and divinity is within all of us because of Christ – and Father and Spirit.

To put the metaphor in context, the Father (Jehovah) is the author. He is the originator of all existence, every soul and idea. If one manifestation is “above” the other two, this is the one. Without Him, the others would serve no purpose. This is the original, main manifestation with whom we strive to connect through Adonai and Elohim. [Embodiment: relationship / heart]

The Holy Spirit (Elohim) is the creative force. He created the universe and gifts us with the ability to create. He is the source of our comprehension and understanding of the world around us. [Embodiment: interpretation / head]

Christ (Adonai) is the creation manifestation, the physical form. He is the means by which we comprehend; our ability to interact and know God. In the metaphor, he is the words themselves. Even the Bible calls him Logos, the Word. [Embodiment: obedience / interaction / hand]

Conclusion to that bit of sidetracking: We are, indeed, one through the universe because the universe is the physical body of the one God, who walked among us as human to connect with us in a way we could understand, and to heal the universal cancer of Satan by entering the Hell dimension the only way possible – through death of the human form. My understanding is that God as deity is too pure and good to enter Hell – it would be like the resistance of parallel magnetic poles. I understand good and evil are opposites and magnetic opposites attract, but in this metaphor the similarity is in the power. Heaven and Hell are likely warded against each other, so God was obligated to become human in order to descend and defeat Satan’s “ownership” of us. Could he have done it another way from the beginning? Of course, but then we wouldn’t have this story. Do you ever watch a movie and think, “Well, why didn’t he just do that to begin with?” Because there wouldn’t be a plot and no reason to watch the movie. God is foremost a storyteller, and I’m sure there are alternate dimensions with stories different from ours. Sometimes I wonder if our lives are simply entertainment for a greater cosmic audience.

Final conclusion to all this musing: spiritual growth and maturation is not dependent on the Bible and church leaders alone. The Bible is an important starting point to understanding who God is and what our origins were, but don’t let “scholars” scare you away from other paths of discernment. Please pray for guidance to avoid true satanic deceptions, but believe me when I say New Age and other nature-oriented spiritualties are not evil. Lacking the whole truth, maybe, but not evil.

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

 

Links to claims that New Age is occult:

https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=21580

http://www.biblebb.com/files/tonyqa/tc05-186.htm (This one at least accurately describes the New Age meaning behind the phrase “as above, so below,” although it tries to claim that the concept is incompatible with the Biblical “true nature” of God. However, I find it is compatible; there are verses that confirm this: one is Ephesians 4:6)

 

Sources for further reading:

http://www.truth-revelations.com/index.php/geometry/8-as-above-so-below/ (some sacred geometry thrown in)

http://gnosticwarrior.com/as-above-so-below.html (“as above, so below” is not the full phrase – full phrase discussed here; includes science and alchemy discussion)

https://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/a/below_above.html (this one mentions magic and the “higher self,” which I’m not inclined towards, but it’s still a decent read; very short)

 

Note: I do not ascribe to The Message “translation” of the Bible. It is a dumbed-down version that changes the meaning of many if not all verses. My purpose in bringing it up was to refute the poor points of the articles that discussed [trashed] it. Here is an entertaining (albeit almost ridiculously overblown) dissection of The Message’s Lord’s Prayer. It mentions an angle of “as above, so below” that should be taken into consideration. When I read the phrase, I always say “as above in Heaven, so below on Earth,” to clarify my intention.

http://av1611.com/kjbp/ridiculous-kjv-bible-corrections/Lords-Prayer-to-Whom.html

 

I Hate “Blind Faith”

I am so frustrated with atheists who claim Christians “blindly” follow the “invented” instructions of their “invisible friend in the sky” without their own “moral consciousness.”

First of all, I have studied my religion for many years, and explored others, to validate that I am correct in what I believe. My faith was a choice; I was not indoctrinated or brainwashed.

Second of all, where does “moral consciousness” come from? People didn’t just invent morality, otherwise anything would be permissible. There is a reason murder and rape are always cringe-worthy. Morality comes from the personal Supreme Engineer, whether you want to call Him Jesus, Yahweh, Allah, Vishnu, whatever. There is a creative, divine design behind this ordered chaos. I have thought deeply about this.

(“Personal” in reference to God means He has a personality and that He is a knowable individual, not some “cosmic force.” While it can mean that He cares and wants a relationship with each individual He created, in context it does not mean this. It took me a long time to comprehend that, what with my Christian upbringing telling me, “Jesus is a personal God and wants a relationship with you.” I don’t mind understanding God as a cosmic force, however, since He is GOD and can be whoever, whatever, whenever. I believe He can be both personal and impersonal, depending on the context of manifestation.)

I have no problem with studying science as God’s method of creation and maintenance. I read a comment online in response to someone with a similar viewpoint, asking, “Why do you still call [the unknown before the “Big Bang”] God, if you aren’t really a Christian?” The writer didn’t imply that he wasn’t a Christian (only that a 2,000 year old book wasn’t the only source of knowledge about our Creator), but that aside—

Oh, I don’t know, because GOD isn’t confined by religious definitions? Because God is the term ascribed to the Supreme Being, regardless of dogma?

Excuse my biting tone.

Atheists are so concerned with pointing out believers’ ignorance that they forget to hide their own.

I’m not saying “blind faith” isn’t a thing. There are plenty of Christians I’ve known that never question or try to understand anything beyond the words ancient Hebrews put to paper, and they believe to do so is blasphemous. These believers, who see science as a threat and explain it away by claiming it is another “belief system” that exists on theory alone, are destroying our credibility. They are the reason we are seen as uneducated, unable to spell properly, and only capable of circular reasoning by quoting Scripture and nothing else. I do not understand why Christians think Scripture alone will sway the opinions of nonbelievers who see the Bible as a long book of fiction anyway.

I was up late last night looking for videos that explain how science and religion coexist. I will link a few below. Mind you, some are half an hour in length, but there are many good points if you have the time to watch. (If you are a Christian or other believer with an open mind, I recommend avoiding the videos’ comments sections – most of them are angry atheists who don’t want to entertain the idea that God is behind science, and they are there simply to troll and spew their misconceptions of Christianity.)

A five-minute video explaining how the beginning of the universe is evidence of God:

 

A five-minute video that entertains God but focuses on the science:

 

A half-hour program exploring different areas of science that support God:

 

Another half-hour program on how the universe, specifically our Solar System, exists the way it does for Earth’s benefit:

One comment from this last video I do want to address briefly is, “Why is fine-tuning called for, in any case? An all-powerful “deity” would be able to create life regardless of conditions, wouldn’t it? (In fact life’s existence, despite conditions that were absolutely inimical to it, would be some pretty powerful evidence for a Creator!) If you say fine-tuning is required, then you’re saying this “god” is bound by the physical laws of the universe–doesn’t sound very omnipotent to me!”

Well, God is the physical laws of the universe – He created them. He is not bound by them so much as they are bound by Him. Now, why didn’t He just create Earth in a perfect utopia without the need for buffers from asteroids, among other things? The video does not address this, but we know it is because of evil. Whether it is evil within Him or an external adversary, this inhibits Creative energy to a degree. God invented laws so He may follow them and “evil” cannot interfere. Even “evil” is bound by physics.

In another blogger’s words (Biblically-based):

http://wideawakechristian.blogspot.com/2013/10/blind-faith-stupid-faith.html

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

Panentheism and the Body Metaphor

In Part One of The Problem with Biblical Literalism, I briefly spoke about the idea of Panentheism, or all-in-god. Not to be confused with Pantheism, or all-is-god, Panentheism is the theory that God exists within His creation, and His creation exists within Him. However, creation is not God. He exists outside of creation as well.

In other words, Panentheism claims God is immanent and transcendent.

Christianity also claims God is both immanent and transcendent. In practice, however, most Christians understand God only as transcendent – He created us and is separate from us. Immanence, or God’s presence among us, is all but abandoned, or briefly mentioned in passing when discussing the Holy Spirit.

Theism2

I have read a few Christian articles that denounce Panentheism as another tactic to distract us from Christ. I do not see it this way at all. In fact, the theory helps me better understand the nature of God.

A common metaphor Panentheists use is that of the mind-body relationship. I have expanded on this idea to incorporate Christianity.

The human body is necessary to live and experience, but our souls exist beyond its death.

God, the Great Soul, created the universe out of Himself as His Body – to experience and exist in tandem with His creation. His essence is within all things. While it enhances His existence, He is not transcribed by it – He does not require “the body” to be God. However, as long as “the body” exists, God is within it, just as our awareness is within our bodies until we die.

Sentient beings are like red blood cells, countless but necessary for the body to “live.” Satan and sin are cancers. Free will gives the red blood cells a choice to flow for the benefit of the whole body or be infected by the cancer (turning away and denouncing God).

Christ is the cure, the immune system of mighty white blood cells. Each infected cell (all of them since original sin) now can choose to be healed, or stay infected. The healed cells may become re-infected but always have the option to be healed again. The cells that stay infected wither, and once dead, they are eliminated from the system, never to be a part of the body again.

That is what Hell is – a complete severance from God. It is a choice, and the result isn’t a fiery inferno, but nonexistence. Since atheists already believe death is a metamorphosis into nonexistence, they get exactly what they expect.

Angels exist, too – they were created right before the body as the neurotransmitters, necessary for the mind to communicate and control the body. As I have mentioned before, they are the pathways, not the targets, and so cannot receive God’s love as we do. The brain sends these “messengers” to tell the “body” what to do. In a sense, they are Christ’s support, dictating to the immune system and other “bodily functions.” While the mind/spirit/soul (the “trinity” of the brain) is aware of the body, it cannot itself travel to the kidney or liver or heart. The Father controls the body, angels execute the control, and Christ comes to us personally with the Holy Spirit to continuously heal.

I’ll admit, this is not by any means a perfect metaphor, but I believe it is an appropriate one, as we were created in His image – not only do we have a trinity of mind/soul/spirit, but our bodies function the same way physically that His does metaphorically. “In His image” does not literally mean that He has some kind of physical form that mirrors ours.

The following article acknowledges how Panentheism could be compatible with Christianity, except that it “denies creation ex nihilo” –

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2012/08/whats-wrong-with-panentheism/

Of course, I disagree. In fact, I believe Panentheism because it affirms creation ex nihilo – if God created out of nothing, then it comes to bear he created from only Himself, and therefore, the universe is His physical form – His body. How is this denying Genesis?

This theory brings God closer to us, and it is more effortless to have a relationship knowing we are part of His body. Olson does make interesting points about redefining what redemption and salvation mean in this context – how it might mean God is dependent on it, rather than it being a gift for us. This is why I agree with Martin Luther’s “weak” Panentheism – God is, indeed, within all of creation, but He is not transcribed by it. He doesn’t need it in order to be God.

We don’t need our bodies, necessarily, but they are a blessing in that they allow us to experience and learn. As I mentioned in Part One of The Problem with Biblical Literalism, perhaps the all-knowing God wants to experience His existence through ignorant eyes, to see what His body/children see and create more from those experiences.

The following article explains Panentheism but refers to it as an “age-old heresy” and gets some facts wrong (I blame her source), such as “God is bi-polar,” “God is finite,” “Creation is ex materia,” and “God is changing.” These are tenets from pantheism, which dictates as the universe changes, God changes with it. This is not necessarily true of Panentheism.

http://www.rebecca-writes.com/rebeccawrites/2008/3/28/theological-term-of-the-week.html

Weak (Palamite) Panentheism replaces the idea of God’s essence with “divine energies” that permeate the world and allow God’s presence among us, without the possible interpretation that He is dependent on creation. It is more compatible with the Christian idea of God than what I have described here, and does not mesh as well with my metaphor, but it is enlightening for Christians and those investigating Christianity who are uncomfortable with how the faith tends to reflect deism and stoicism, which focus on God’s transcendence and disregard His immanence.

Watch this video for more information on how weak (Palamite) Panentheism is compatible with Christianity:

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

The Problem with Biblical Literalism, Part Two

(I actually wrote this one first as more of a rant, so I may repeat myself.)

Biblical literalists make me want to slam my head into a wall.

I just read some comments regarding the new “Ark Encounter” exhibit in Kentucky. People are vehemently arguing that dinosaurs lived at the same time as humans, saying science has changed theories several times, while the Bible never changes (ignoring of course the differing interpretations and teachings done in churches). They claim death did not exist until Adam sinned. So, dinosaurs were still around [again, ignoring 1) the Bible doesn’t mention dinosaurs, 2) the extinction would have killed Adam and his descendants, and 3) the earth is not 6,000 years old].

Literal death. Did not exist. Until sin.

No.

Spiritual death, yes.

Otherwise, Jesus would have made us literally immortal with his sacrifice. I’m pretty sure we are all still physically dying, yes?

Our spirits die (read: rend from God) because of sin. Jesus paid the bounty to the devil to restore our spiritual immortality alongside our creator.

Now, did God originally intend for us to live on earth longer than 100 years? Perhaps. The Bible supports this theory. But arrogance through sin shortened our mortality.

While Christians interpret literally to “prove” science wrong, atheists often are biblical literalists as well, for the opposite reason — to prove Christians are ignorant.

And, unfortunately, the atheists are successful. One pointed out for the Flood to cover the entire earth, it would have had to cover the Himalayas. Sea creatures would have died at that reach of the atmosphere.

This is true! But such mockery only works if the Bible is entirely literal. This is not true.

The flood covered the entire known world. God inspired the writers of the Bible, but humans communicating with other humans, that far in the past — they didn’t know the Himalayas existed, and obviously did not mention it. Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, is a flood plain. What with the Tigris and Euphrates rivers overflowing, along with the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Caspian Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Black Sea, forty days of intense rain could easily have flooded the land mass. And all of humanity likely lived within that area at that time.

Besides, what if the Ark had drifted out into the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea?

Much of the Old Testament is the history of the Hebrews. History is recorded by those who experience the events, not objective third parties who interpret evidence millennia later. Those who were there described it as the whole world because that is what they observed. As such, that became the oral tradition and eventually written word.

The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. — Genesis 7:18-20, NIV

The waters covered all the high mountains the witnesses knew about. Fifteen cubits is roughly twenty-three feet. “More than” is ambiguous but does not necessarily include all heights taller than twenty-three feet; most likely it referred to mountains that were only a few cubits taller that could not be reached to measure.

The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible. — Genesis 8:3-5, NIV

Ararat is a region, not a specific mountain. The ark may have landed on a lower ledge or hill rather than the very top of a mountain. We don’t know how rapidly the water receded either, only that it did so steadily. It is not heretical to doubt the flood covered the entire world or the highest mountains. In fact, knowing the context and geography helps align our faith with science, rather than ignorantly disputing what God is revealing.

Also worth noting is that the writer (assumed to be Moses) records Noah’s age to be over 600 years old. As I mentioned above, sin shortened our mortality. Oral tradition may have exaggerated his age. Whether we were meant to live over 1000 years, whether God blessed Noah with a longer life due to his righteousness, or whether “year” is a completely different length of time than what we use today is up for debate. Our year is based on the earth’s revolution around the sun, which was not even considered a scientific possibility until centuries after Christ. All explanations are possible.

The Real Noah's Ark

More information about the flood (historical/mythological correlative evidence):

https://ncse.com/cej/8/2/flood-mesopotamian-archaeological-evidence

http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/6746/20140128/noahs-ark-round-mesopotamia-flood-cuneiform-instructions-mathematically-accurate.htm

https://newrepublic.com/article/116287/babylonian-tablet-describes-noahs-ark-pre-bible

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

The Problem with Biblical Literalism, Part One

Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

Genesis 1:28, NLT

“…except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”

Genesis 2:17, NLT

There are some Biblical literalists that read, “you are sure to die” to mean that there was no physical death before Original Sin. If this were true, why would God command us to “be fruitful and multiply”? Surely, he would know that this commission would eventually create an unsustainable population, which all the earth’s resources could not support.

Let’s examine why we procreate, scientifically. The purpose is to perpetuate our DNA. It is an instinctual desire to prevent our genetic code from going extinct. In a sense, it is the result of an instinct to be immortal.

If we were immortal originally, why would we need to procreate? “To build a society/civilization/community,” you might say. Of immortal people? There are not enough resources to support seven billion times seven billion plus people. Death has to come into play; logic dictates this.

There is no way we could have been immortal. God would have made the earth as expansive as Heaven if this were true.

Death here is a metaphor.

To take the Bible literally is to discount the creator of language. We use metaphors every day. Why? Because they exist to help us explain things. Why? Because God created them for our benefit.

He already uses language, a creation for our benefit, to communicate the Word to us. Metaphors are an extension of language. It discredits and demeans God to assume He does not use, or is not clever enough to use, or thinks His language-speaking children won’t understand, figures of speech.

Death here refers to spiritual death. The choice to sin separates us from God. It is a choice to abandon God, to denounce the reason we exist and have the ability to make that choice. It is a choice of hell – of the death of the spirit.

And the death of the spirit leads to a physical death that is sooner. The longer we live, the more bad choices we have the option of making. The more bad choices we make, the farther we are from God. This is why God (metaphorically) sent angels to guard the Tree of Life, so Adam and Eve would not eat of it and live forever in their sin. More evidence that they were mortal to start with – to be immortal they would have had to eat of the Tree of Life.

Christ came to give us the choice of life, of union with God, again after rejecting (severing our bond with) Him. To save us from a permanent spiritual death.

For further discussion:

https://answersingenesis.org/death-before-sin/genesis-2-17-you-shall-surely-die/

http://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/1589/what-is-the-specific-meaning-of-die-in-genesis-2

So, why did God create us, if we were always meant to physically die in the end? Why do we exist to “be fruitful and multiply”?

That’s akin to asking, “What’s the meaning of life?”

I would be mightily arrogant to assume I had the answer.

However, there is a way to think of this if you are willing to expand your beliefs beyond what is revealed in the Word.

First, the Bible does tell us that God created ex nihilo, or, out of nothing. It only stands to reason that he used His power, Himself, alone, to create the universe. Therefore, it is logical to think of the universe as an extension of Him, that His essence permeates everything. All is in God, God is in all. This is not God Is All – that’s pantheism, and it assumes God requires the universe to exist. He obviously existed before all of this. The one paradox no one has been able to decipher in this life is that God has always existed and will always exist – no beginning and no end.

All in God and God in All is Panentheism, a pagan notion, but one that is in tandem with Christianity and the other Abrahamic religions. God creates the universe out of nothing, therefore out of Himself. Why do this? To experience Himself from the eyes of ignorance. To discover wisdom anew, to experience awe and wonder with us, beside us, within us. To experience ignorance becoming knowledge from all different perspectives. To know what it is to suffer from the Adversary infecting our world.

To understand one’s people and one’s enemy from their perspective is to better defend and defeat. Not that God needs to do this, as the omniscient Creator, but He wants to, because He is Love. Love needs a target. It cannot exist alone. That is why we exist. While angels exist as well, they cannot receive love; that is not their purpose (see my later entry Panentheism and The Body Metaphor).

It could be simplified into, “God is lonely and bored,” but that puts Him in a box. There is no way to really know the meaning of life, but knowing that wonder and awe are a large part of experience, and one of the reasons we were made, is beautiful and comforting.

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

Why I Cannot Support Atheism

“The worst moment for an atheist is when he is really thankful and has no one to thank.”  — G. K. Chesterton

I believe in science. I believe in natural selection and evolution as the ways God set(s) the universe in motion.

Atheism does not explain why evil exists. Atheism views everything as complex groupings of cells and processes. Atheism claims morality is possible without God but doesn’t explain where morality comes from, how it evolved, or how it can exist without absolutes. The Merriam-Webster definition of morality is, “[a set of] beliefs about what is right behavior and what is wrong behavior.” If morality is relative, nothing is right or wrong. Rather, what is right or wrong changes depending on perspective, so what is right or wrong is not constant. Therefore, morality cannot be properly distinguished. In essence, “morality” cannot exist if it is always different from person to person. Murder and larceny are just choices people make, and suffering therefore is a choice.

My spiritual, intuitive mind can respect others’ beliefs, but I cannot embrace this nonbelief as an option for myself.

If atheism were true, why do people have different opinions, perspectives, and personalities? It is not entirely the complexity of the brain doing all this. The way the brain works, if evolution is true on its own without God, we should all be the same, as animals. It cannot all be put on separate experiences either.

I have been an introvert since I was three years old. I had no experience at that age that shaped my brain to believe reading was more fun. I had no experience that made me believe I shouldn’t rely on other people to define my happiness or ability to have fun. I had no experience that told me crowds are uncomfortable.

Education, being financed by the government and being liberal in nature, should have made me liberal. Yet I still believe in God, not to have an “imaginary friend in the sky” (every part of that mockery is wrong), but because I recognize that I have a mind, soul, and spirit. My brain contains all three in its miraculous construction. This trinity dictates how my brain understands concepts; my brain does not control how this trinity forms.

I do not write this as an attempt to prove atheists wrong or to convert them. I do not pretend to try. This is to explain why I turn to God as the answer, and why atheism is not a compatible worldview with my understanding.

I have compiled a list of aspects that differentiate humans from the rest of the animal kingdom. It is ever-expanding, but I will leave the current version here.

Humans:

1) Recognize and appreciate music (contours of sound) in our minds and through our bodies, beyond the boundaries of mere communication

1b) Recognize and appreciate the beauty of art through eyes and ears, and create the beauty of art through mouths, hands, and bodies (evidence shows apes and dolphins, among other animals, can create “art,” but whether these animals recognize it as such, and especially whether they appreciate it, is debatable)

We have:

2) Complex and numerous languages

3) Ability to read and write (record thoughts and comprehend others’ thoughts)

4) Capacity for spirituality and idea of the divine

5) Capacity to comprehend science and conduct experiments (including technology)

6) Politics, morals, ethics, social mores

7) Knowledge and fear of death (While animals do have the self-preservation instinct, they do not know that they will die. They do not have inclinations about the future – they live in the present. Also, past events shape their instincts, but they do not recall these events as vivid memories like humans do.)

Man is both an evolved ape-man and a separate creature. To protect and have compassion for creation, we must be a part of creation. All sentient beings have eyes, are able to eat, having beating hearts, are able to breathe. We are designed to recognize this in order to connect with them.

Why are our brains so highly functioning, while other animals do not have such capabilities? Why did our weak, fleshly husks become the dominant species (ahead of lions, tigers, wolves, and other large predators)?

We are the result of intelligent design via evolution.

The result of evolution shows us that we are the chosen creatures of God, to be like Him, to grow as his children into sub-creators with Him. The process of our evolution shows that in this mortal realm, we are as animals: both to show compassion and protection for them, and to recognize that we are not purely divine. Only God is divine.

Everything we are that is higher than animals is for the purpose of creation beyond procreation. Everything except the knowledge of death, and that is meant to keep us humble in the knowledge that we are God’s children, not God itself.

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

What I Mean When I Say Gaia

The word Gaia, for me, is an appellation for the feminine manifestation of God as the earth. This is how I reconcile somewhat-misled pagan ideas with Christian truths, and how I reconcile the feminine with the masculine. If God were entirely masculine, then women would not also be in His image, nor would there be any reason for them to exist. Adam could have been an asexual reproducer.

Regarding Wicca, paganism, and heresy: I do not worship nature. I respect and love nature as a living manifestation of God, but in itself it is not a god.

I follow elements of New Age thought instead, although I acknowledge the two paths share elements. New Age practices are reasonable to apply to Christian faith, as are elements of Eastern spirituality, but Wicca and other polytheistic religions contradict Christianity. While I respect others’ faiths, I do not adopt them as my own. I could not call myself a Christian if I did, and I honestly do not believe in them (I believe in the One Triune God who came to us in our form to die for our salvation).

The elements of New Age I apply:

  • Angelology / Angel Healing
    • Requesting ministering from God’s angels for physical, mental, and emotional healing and guidance (in other words, asking God to send them to help)
    • Not praying to them for redemption, which is heresy
  • Crystal Healing
  • Aromatherapy
  • Holistic Medicine (Herbs)

Basically, using God’s provisions.

The elements of New Age I reject (among others):

  • Tarot
  • Past Life Regression
  • Fairies and Indigo Children
  • Divination
  • Psychic Readers / Healers
  • Palm Readers, tea leaf readings
  • Reincarnation

I want to reiterate that I believe in using Creation to become closer to God. Once magic and guesswork come into play, I want no part of it.

Further reading:

https://www.amazon.com/Gaia-God-Ecofeminist-Theology-Healing/dp/0060669675

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

Faith, Not Religion

Religion has become a mask for people to do evil things “in the name of [insert God].”

Perhaps it has always been this way. Look at the Crusades.

The Creator of all would never condone murder of His creation simply because some are nonbelievers, so-called heretics or infidels. Persuasive conversion to the right way of thinking is necessary in a world of free will and disbelief, but persuasion comes from words and positive, right actions. Violence commands fear and forced obedience, not belief. Yet somehow, all religious sects progress into violent decrees when words don’t work.

When words don’t work, we are supposed to back off and let our actions speak.

“Actions speak louder than words.”

Anger, hatred, judgment, and violence show who we really are: sinners who have turned from God, not missionaries speaking for Him/Her.* Creation is an act of art, pride, and love. There is no room for hate.

I hold stock in faith and philosophy, not any one label. Labels breed segregation, dissent, and distrust. Labels identify me versus you, us versus them.

This is not what the Creator wants of His/Her children.

My foundation is Christianity, not only because I was raised to believe it, but also because I have scrutinized it alongside other religious options. While the Bible seems to contradict itself in places (more on this later), I blame this on fallible human writers, not our Father who inspired them. How often are words lost in translation? From God to language to language to language, the message is bound to be misinterpreted at some point. This is why churches and pastors still exist: not only to be a community of believers, but because most individuals cannot read the Word and know exactly what God is communicating.

Christianity is the only religion I have found that adequately explains the presence and proliferation of evil and corruption, and gives us a solution in the form of Christ (love, goodness, purity) rather than magic, murder, reincarnation, or recurrent human/animal sacrifice.

However, I find issues with its tendency to put God in a box, to simplify His/Her majesty into God-in-Heaven, People-on-Earth.

Throughout this blog, I will discuss my philosophical theories on the nature of God, His ongoing relationship with earth, the reality behind Christ’s sacrifice and our salvation, and how pagan notions that celebrate the earth are not in direct opposition to Christianity (and they definitely do not worship Satan).

I hope you find it intriguing, even enlightening.

*From now on, I will refer to God in the masculine. I believe God is androgynous; He created all things male and female for more than one reason (more on this later as well), but making certain I include both/all pronouns every time I reference Him is too bulky and convoluted. I will go with tradition on this matter.

[I will delete comments that insinuate that I am a heretic or going to Hell. I will delete links to Christian websites (trust me, I have read most of them) and comments that any philosophical musing outside the Bible’s pages is somehow bad and evil. My purpose is not to denounce the Trinity, but to investigate the true nature and existence of it beyond, “Heaven is where God lives.” God is too great to be confined by a single book. I invite queries for clarification and suggestions for future discussions.]

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.