The Afterlife — Where Is Heaven?

This is where Panentheism and the Body Metaphor falls apart.

If God is the “mind” and the universe is His “body,” where (or what?) is Heaven?

The paradox that God is both within and without the universe has to play a part here.

If God is the “mind,” then wherever He exists as such would be Heaven.

The idea that we sentient beings are the red blood cells of the universal body doesn’t make sense if this is true -– blood cells don’t “die” and go to the brain when they do. The problem here is with my metaphor and not with God’s manifestation.

Moving beyond my imperfect metaphor, how then do we understand Heaven? Ancient cultures believed the sun was god and that the afterlife was out beyond the sky. They didn’t have the technology to know what we know about space.

Yet we continue to look up.

The only way to understand the concept of Heaven is to accept the idea of an alternate dimension.

I’m not talking about parallel universes or the multiverse, which is something I can barely wrap my head around. This is reality, this is my only life, this is my soul. There cannot be billions of versions of everyone’s souls in alternate universes based on every possible decision they could have made, side by side with all the possible decisions everyone else could have made. (Whew.) While an interesting concept to ruminate over, it doesn’t make logical sense. (However, I welcome comments explaining the multiverse theory. I might consider it if I understood it better.)

Although string theory certainly tries in earnest to make the concept of the multiverse real, the truth is we cannot, in our physical bodies, experience beyond our three dimensions (height, width, depth), possibly four if we include time.

An alternative phrase for what I want to describe is “higher plane.”

I read a work of science fiction once that explained a second dimension as existing “in the spaces between atoms.” While I have no evidence this is possible, I can see how it might be. Heaven is all around us, perhaps, but in our corporeal form we cannot access it. We must wait until our souls leave our bodies to “pass through” and find the True Reality of God’s Kingdom where we are surrounded by Him. There, everything is made of His Spirit, without corruption’s interference.

C. S. Lewis had a brilliant conceptualization of what Heaven is compared to earth, which explains the higher plane much more articulately than I can. Dr. Charlie W. Starr writes:

We think of spiritual creatures (saints in heaven or angels or even God) as airy beings with no solidity like us. Lewis says we should think the other way around. We are ghosts and shadows and our world but a cheap copy of the heavenly one to come, like a landscape painting compared to the real place. In The Last Battle, the friends of Narnia enter into heaven only to find that it’s a new Narnia, like the old one, only bigger, but not really bigger—better to say, fuller, more complete. As one of them puts it, it’s “More like the real thing” (210). And because it’s more real than our world, everything in it means so much more than things do here. If you’ve ever had an experience so wonderful that it made you think, “This is how things ought to be in real life,” maybe you’ve experienced a taste of heaven, a place compared to which, Lewis says, our own world is just “shadowlands.”

Perhaps we are the ones in the spaces between the atoms of Heaven, in a temporary dimensional plane that God will erase one day as the Heavenly world evolves into the only one, once Satan is defeated.

This brings us to the question:

Where is Hell?

Is Hell even real? Returning to the body metaphor, if Hell isn’t real and Satan is the body’s cancer, where did he come from? If Satan isn’t real, why does free will provide evil as a choice? Does this make God both good and evil to provide us these options?

I will explore this in depth next week.

More information on string theory:

http://www.superstringtheory.com/experm/exper5.html

http://www.space.com/32728-parallel-universes.html

Parallel universe vs. parallel dimension:

http://mysticinvestigations.com/paranormal/parallel-universe-vs-parallel-dimension/

C. S. Lewis’s Vision of Heaven, by Dr. Charlie W. Starr:

http://www.charliewstarr.com/c-s-lewis/charlies-lewis-essays/c-s-lewiss-vision-of-heaven.html

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

 

(Art: “Alternative Reality” by Josephine Wall)

 

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Conclusion to The Problem with Biblical Literalism

I should have realized last week that speaking out against Biblical literalism would earn me some backlash from the overtly literal Christian community. Honestly, I didn’t think anyone would really see it, and I definitely didn’t expect attacks to come from within my own family.

I’m going to spare her the embarrassment of repeating the argument here. She embarrassed herself enough by arguing with me publicly on Facebook. However, I found this rant I wrote a few years ago when I witnessed a stranger (on YouTube, I believe) similarly embarrassing themselves and the entire Christian community. Before I move on to other topics, I’m going to leave this here as a summary of  my “Problem with Biblical Literalism” series.

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I wish scientists and theologians would stop being so egotistical and ignorant. Both sides need to understand that science does not make religion null, nor is religion an “excuse” to not have to think about how the world works. Science explains how God works. That’s it. Science cannot explain why, nor can blind faith explain how. Science is a gift from God to allow us to understand certain processes so we can see the extent of His greatness. But we will never know everything, because then we will play like we are gods – which some have already started to do.

There is no need for theologians to disparage the scientific community, nor is there any reason to exclude religious people from that community. I’m sick of these banal and ridiculous arguments.

God created the universe, yes? Out of nothing? So He created language? Okay, so that means He created metaphors. Why would He not use these in a book He has written? Why can’t the Bible use similes, metaphors, exaggerations, and still be “infallible?” Why does the Great Flood have to literally cover the whole world? As I said before, that was probably a metaphor for Noah’s “whole world,” the part of the planet that at the time was inhabited by humans. All the animals in the area were saved along with Noah’s family. It would still take a huge rainfall and perhaps a tsunami to do this, but realistically that’s probably what happened. Story-telling allows for a bit of exaggeration to astound the audience, which is entirely logical as the Old Testament (at the very least the Pentateuch) was passed down via oral tradition before being written.

By discounting figures of speech and taking everything at face value, we Christians make ourselves look incredibly ignorant, and willfully so. It’s not fated martyrdom that causes us not to be taken seriously. It’s that we don’t even try to think anymore. God is outside space and time. Seven days is a metaphor for the earth’s time-frame. God is telling His people to take a day every week to relax for our own good. If God had to rest, obviously we do. The point is not, “The earth was created in seven days,” but, “God created everything, and even He rested on His seventh day, and so you should also rest from your work on your seventh day to preserve your energy and recoup.”

God created ex nihilo. He created language; ergo, He created figures of speech, including hyperbole and metaphors. So why is it so offensive to Christians to think maybe He used them in the Book He authored? Oh, I forgot, it’s “heresy” to question what in the Bible is literal and what isn’t. It can’t be infallible if it isn’t literal. What codswallop. Discernment is not heretical.

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

 

(Art: “A Swirl of Fog” by Eyvind Earle)

The Problem with Biblical Literalism, Part Three (Seven Day Creation)

This is going to be short and sweet, because the metaphor speaks for itself. It saddens me that so many take it literally, though, and therefore believe the Earth is so much younger than science has proven through actual evidence.

The “seven days” of Genesis are 1) not necessarily synonymous with our 24-hour day, and 2) a metaphor to encourage a day of rest and worship for the Hebrews (and later Gentiles).

God exists outside space and time. This is obvious. No one has ever “met” God (Christ’s time on Earth aside); atheists think He is our “imaginary friend.” He does not live in our physical dimension.* If we are to believe He created the world in six 24-hour days, who’s to say twenty-four hours in His realm is equivalent to ours?

I have no doubt that God’s “seven days” translated to billions of years in Earth time.

Also, consider – only the Earth has a 24-hour day (one full rotation). God created the universe. He did not create Earth first, and He was not sitting on Earth creating the universe around it. If you still believe that, you must be a pre-Enlightenment Catholic.

When I think about this, I also ruminate on how large the universe really is. My mind can comprehend our solar system, and stretch to incorporate the Milky Way galaxy, but realizing that we are one solar system in one galaxy among millions of galaxies in one universe among possibly many universes overwhelms me. How could I possibly think God created His entire creation based on one miniscule planet’s rotation?

I am not saying we are not important to Him. We are the only known planet to support life. This is no accident. Do I believe He created other sentient life elsewhere? It is entirely possible, and I would be foolish to discount it. The Bible does not tell us He did so, possibly because He didn’t, or possibly because it is none of our business. We are supposed to develop a spiritual relationship with Him, and discover His mysteries in the next life, not risk the lives we were given in pursuit of hearsay.

It is the very idea that the seven-day metaphor is not literally our twenty-four-hour, seven-day week that I believe evolution is not actually a threat to religion. What science is revealing is what God allows us to understand about how He orders the Earth to process. There will always be something we do not know, and that is to keep us looking to God so we do not become arrogant in our knowledge. Some still are not humbled by their ignorance, but knowing the how and the history does not mean we have the ability to imitate it. They may try (see animal cloning), but fail (clone dies within hours/days of “birth”). This is why I believe God exists.

Some perspective:

NS_MILKY_WAY_POSTER

Our solar system is located in a minor spiral arm of the Milky Way called the Orion Spur, between the Sagittarius and Perseus arms. (Link to full-size image: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/6b/a2/8b/6ba28b237250fb750e34981596321736.jpg)

 

cosmos15_13

The Virgo Supercluster contains the Milky Way, among about a million other galaxies. This image contains local superclusters. The universe is even larger than this.

 

*In re: The Body Metaphor – the “mind” is not tangible and can exist on its own; He can experience the physical universe without being in it, just as we can think and dream about places and people when we aren’t around them. As I have said, it is not a perfect metaphor. The enigma is that He is both in the universe and outside of it.

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.