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.

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.

#

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)