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

 

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.

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.