Life in the Spirit, Part 8
Picture of God #89, Wed 2/21/1
I realize I have been waiting and preparing my entire life to write this series.
If you have read most of the documents on this site, you are certainly more prepared than if this is your very first introduction to The Church of Yahweh.
Nevertheless, this is one of the most "Radical" ideas you will find here, or anywhere else (in my opinion.) Little men in space ships are hardly worthy of note, by comparison, at least in the life of a genuine religious seeker.
No, no, NO........A thousand times NO.
I am writing to a different creature: the Genuine Religious Seeker.
You see, Sunday was the first day in 2 months that I returned to play the organ at the Lutheran Church I've had such a love/hate relationship with over the 3 1/2 years......And you know how it is, after you step away for a while, how you can see with such a renewed perspective....Half the choir showed-up late; the other half never showed at all...7 people told me how good I looked (I have, to date, lost 37 pounds, and that is really important in this society and frankly the reason I'm doing it because I'm convinced I'm being prepared for more of a public ministry) and 3 said they actually like the music too....yet the prelude was NOT listened to, since its purpose is to provide "live musak" for the "Hello! How are you, Mable?" conversations....And the postlude, forget it....I got a couple of glances hinting via their expression that I was playing WAY too loud.
And hymns? Oh, so sad, what a joke, really.....tunes written 400 years ago, sung by people who acted like they were there for the inaugural performance......
Oh, I could go on & on, but the truth is that people go where they get something that touches them......And the Lutherans (Catholics, Baptists, etc) are certainly giving the people much more of what they want than TCOY is. Each time I return to a retail church I'm just so overwhelmingly impressed with how much like a Country Club it is, except the center of the social life is the Sunday Morning oh-so-safe entertainment.
THAT, you see, is the fundamental problem with "retail religion." When the Church owned everything there were certainly other abuses, but at least they were free to (in theory) teach the Gospel truth, regardless of whether the people liked it or not.
Not so with today's retail religions...If the people are offended, or don't like the music, or the preacher hints that there might be a life beyond getting forgiven, and the people don't return, don't pay for the message, then there's financial trouble.
Case in point......Back in December, just before I left the Lutheran Church, I gave one of the members (with whom I'd had an ongoing series of mini-discussions) a copy of the Bible Study in God Consciousness. Sunday I asked her if she had any comments or thoughts. No comment. I asked if she had even read it. No comment.
Most people seek a position (house, politics, religion, mate, clothes) that make them comfortable. Comfort is utmost. Everything else can be damned. And I am not saying that is "wrong"...It has however been my experience that such a life cheats you, because there's soooooooo much "out there", "in here", so many horizons of adventure. And I am NOT talking about (in my value system) taking cruises; moving around physically to different parts of the physical plane does NOT constitute being an adventurer, at least not for this Pastor / Rabbi's value system.
IDEAS. CONSCIOUSNESS. THAT is the great unexplored frontier; the rest is entertainment, nothing wrong with it, but ultimately very limited. Physical travel pales compared to Voyages of the Mind and Spirit.
So consider that your warning.
So stop now, forget about the whole thing, and go back to one of your favorite restaurants. You've been warned.
Jesus' Religious Prescription
Let's deal with this right away. Jesus taught:
WOW!!!!!!!!!!! If such "commune" existed, in reality, I'd go tomorrow. Thru the power of the Spirit, they HAD NO NEED. And the joy & singing of songs and the whole thing...As close to Eden Restored as we've yet had. The U.S. Federal Government spends a trillion dollars a year supporting the socialist-welfare system, and we can't do 2% of what a SPIRIT-FILLED LIFE HAS TO OFFER!!!!!!!! (Of course sin & greed crept in, and Paradise Lost once again.) That excites me....Inspires me......Fills me with hope.......that's why I'm sitting here typing instead of watching the latest stupid TV sitcom, because I know intellectually, Scripturally, and experientially that if we can get just the tiniest percentage of the population to catch the idea of Genuine Life in the Spirit, our society and world will change, and all for the better.
So just deal with this; don't try to rationalize it away. Jesus taught, and expected his followers, to live a life void of material possessions.
We didn't follow His prescription; we do not live that way, and that does not anger God, for there are, indeed, MANY pathways toward self-transcendence. More than one way to get well. But don't let any of the silly preachers lie to you and tell you "Jesus was just showing what we would have to do if we were not going be to be saved by grace through faith in him." That's a lie, a rationalization, and (in my book) worse than child abuse.
So....OK. We do not follow the prescribed pathway of radical asceticism as a means toward God-Consciousness.
So, the silly people discount the whole book, and throw it away, at least psychologically.
Not wise, and not needed.
Let's move on to another of Jesus' saying, connected, yet transcendent in its power:
Jesus The Christ, Luke 12:15
Then he said to them, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.
Here again we see the (constantly) echoed theme of asceticism.
But there is more here....MUCH more.
He's pointing us to a secret so powerful I consider it one of the "Spiritual Nuclear Bombs" in the Bible.
Should you be interested, I will explain that tomorrow.
Love & virtual kisses,
The Church of Yahweh. All rights reserved. May be freely distributed, but never