Faithology

In high school and college I studied ‘ologies’. There was sociology, psychology, geology, physiology you know. As I got older and started the journey of living there became churchologies, Scientologies, and I have forgotten what I am certain were others (like workology).
But one ‘ology’ stands out in my history that I did not study in school but that I have studied in living.

I call it faithology. It is the study of having faith.

I have faith in my own destinations. That the decisions I have made and continue to make carry with them an idea that faith connects to a real place. That what seems to be directionless one day, proves to be understandable the next. That one step forward and perhaps 2 steps backwards, eventually moves forward in the scheme of things.

This is faithology. One has to practice it to learn to believe in it. It does not always rely on a religion, but it does rely on belief. It is a practice that can accept challenge, and a determination to keep moving forward. For some it flies in the face of practicality, for others it seeks the end of the rainbow. For those who hang on to it the world contains many new treasures. The ocean without faith contains only water. Those with faith found new countries.

The perception of darkness, when challenged by faith, discovers the light.

It is not for everyone. It is the road less taken, and the impossible dream. It learns to swim by jumping in. It also becomes the never ending story. For the desperate and disenfranchised it becomes hope.

Faithology……Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.. dw

On The Job Training.. OJT

OJT  Keys

The journey has taught me a lot to this point of it. I wasn’t much of a school person after about year two in college. I didn’t go to law school, or doctor school. I was a history major with a minor in business. I started working young, full time. I’ve had a wide variety of job experiences over the years, but I did not study the hows at the community college. I had what we called OJT. On The Job Training.
For as diverse as the jobs have been, the training has been essentially the same.
On The Job Training.

Oh, every so often, someone rode with you in your car, or told you how to fill out this report, turn in this order, check payroll, schedule help, interview-hire- and terminate people, for about two hours. People that train people to do stuff first go to school to learn how to talk fast. Real fast. And in about two hours everything you need to know about everything is disseminated and they are gone and you couldn’t write fast enough to get it all down. “Here are your keys. Enjoy.” Now you are experiencing On The Job Training or OJT.

I learned about Jesus on Sundays. Sometimes. I got a Bible when I was ‘confirmed’. I asked once in Sunday School, “If GOD is a great creator, why doesn’t God just make good people?” I was asked not to ask any more questions.
So GOD took it upon itself to teach me another way.

On The Job Training.
Mom and relatives supplied more and more expanded Bible’s. I listened to sermons and drew out what I could. I meditated on what I had read. My Aunt, the Christian Scientist, encouraged me to learn more. I studied Jesus within the red print of concordance Bible’s and found a few who followed the things that I had read, and more who do not appear to have looked at the book at all but say they follow it word by word. More people who have called themselves Christians, have taught me what it isn’t. They have become examples of what not to be when throwing the Banner around. GOD through in a bunch of OJT. I was lucky in that most of the people I met in church were the stewards of caring in the little tiny churches that have crossed my path. They brought food for the funerals, the weddings and the births. They taught Sunday School and took kids on ‘retreats’. Many became Mentors by their example. The politicians stood out. They all seemed to have had signs made for their foreheads that said VOTE FOR ME.
On The Job Training has taught me more than anything. GOD has seemed to be much more of a great educator than book writers.

Jesus said once, “Be careful of those who come in my name.” He, also, spent a lot of time in On The Job Training. My guess is that you have also. And what has On The Job Training taught me?

I call it Unorthodox Christianity..
Thanks for stopping by.

Fake News

Much of recent history discusses ‘Fake News’.
As Bill Clinton might say, “I guess that depends on what ‘Fake News’ means”. That in and of itself depends on what ‘Fake’ means and what ‘News’ means.
Fake: Not the truth? Imagined? Artificially fabricated? Speculative?
News: Information on a recent event. According to witnesses. Substantiated.

It is interesting just how much “Fake News” is about THE NEWS lately. I can not recall a time in my lengthy past where the “Fake News” was so much of “THE NEWS”. When I was young it was also referred to as “yellow journalism”. News that had been manufactured by the creation of events that became news by themselves. It is tough enough to watch the news in general, be it local or national. Now I have to figure out what “Real’ news is.

Yet I do know something about people.
If you do not want to get a speeding ticket, drive the speed limit. Often I see the privileged fly by me down a side street only to see the brake lights come on suddenly and then, oddly, I see a police car drive by from in front of me. I have to guess that they really knew the speed limit, they just ignored it because they were, how would I put it, special, or perhaps they felt that they were exempt. I had friends who were never so dressed up as the day they went to court. Why, all of a sudden, did they appear with short hair and a suit? Who were they trying to impress and why? Couldn’t they get by being the who they were every day? Is that like “Fake News”? Is like “Fake News” only viable when you get caught breaking a law? No one has ever gotten a speeding ticket for actually driving over the speed limit, have they? They must all be victims of a cruel society that picks on them because of their cultural status, color or race? Is it “Fake News” when the reality is too harsh to become “REAL NEWS”?

I have read a lot about “FAKE NEWS” lately. I have also discovered that “FAKE NEWS” has also been called “LIES” in the past. It knows no political preference, no cultural preference, no financial status preference and is not exempt from its own natural results. No wonder America Being Great Again is such a challenge to our politicians. They are totally unaware of what “Great” means. I would even settle for “GOOD” news.

Oh, BTW, there has been “GOOD NEWS” in the past. I believe it’s purveyor’s name was Jesus…something. They would have us believe that his news was “Fake News” also…..

The Gepetto Syndrome

THE GEPETTO SYNDROME

I believe that it will be impossible for people to get beyond the Gepetto Syndrome; that is, GOD the puppeteer, controlling our lives as with strings, or as I often hear, GOD bringing good and bad things to us as individuals.

I hear the preacher talking in terms of GOD providing this and that, and testing this and that and I find myself praying for “preference” for my friends and relatives as though GOD would show some sort of preference for one entity over another. I feel we have created a GOD who chooses one sibling over the other, a cosmic “GOD ALWAYS LIKED YOU BEST”. GOD always gave you more, better, wealthier, better job, better status, more opportunity. GOD dealt out more talent, or perseverance or, gave more and better gifts on your birthday. GOD will personally attend to one more than another.

Jesus, when asked about the kingdom of GOD, always related to this ‘kingdom’ place as a place of LOVE. We pray out of love and compassion for our fellow friends, associates, relatives, countrymen. It is the power of unified LOVE, not a mystic sibling preference that drives this power of the universe. I pray out of compassion and love for a fellow spirit on the journey. I don’t realize it, but that is the kingdom, that attachment through the spiritual emotion that is the unifying life force.

This is why it is so difficult for people to grasp the kingdom and the teachings of Jesus, because we are seeking and expect to receive some sort of spiritual preference from a father who loves one of his children more than the other. We have created a spiritual warrior who will be on “our side” and “fight the good fight” against his very own children because we have prayed enough; or one who quickly abandons us because we have not prayed ‘enough’. This is not the GOD of Jesus. Jesus did not bring a warrior GOD, Jesus brought the KINGDOM of GOD. This kingdom is comprised of LOVE and COMPASSION. This GOD is a unifying force that treats all equally. The key to peace, and the key to bringing that kingdom upon the EARTH requires all to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. It is no wonder the kingdom may be a place one forever aspires to and never attains, and the utopia of literature rather than the reality of our existence.

Over and over again, the spirit is on a journey to establish, or to find this kingdom on EARTH, or wherever the journey takes us, in whatever form, in whatever place it finds itself in. No wonder the spirit seeks it so fervently in its wanderings in this place.
Enjoy the journey and make it your best journey yet.

The Last Revelation

The Last Revelation

Always remember as you read, this site is called Unorthodox Christianity.

As I have once again perused the Book of Revelation in my New Jerusalem Bible, I have many questions with The Christian Book of The Revelation of John. I believe it is not necessarily all about a meeting with the GOD to which Jesus ascribes himself. I believe some of the revelation is more about the meetings of the Anti – Christs who appear as who John interprets as GOD to John of 1,500+ years ago.

The Anti-Christs are not a solitary Human, the Anti-Christs are of an ideology that is adhered to by human beings and an original physical element that Darwin called ‘survival of the fittest’. It is an inherent instinct. In his letters to the seven Churches in Revelation the position of following SATAN (who I consider to be an anagram for Success AT AN..other’s – expense, and it’s adherents living within the chosen cities, is one to be avoided and that their behavior ‘adulterates’ the position of Jesus which is to love one another ‘On Earth As It Is in Heaven’. The Revelation goes on to present a vengeful GOD that is inconsistent with teachings of Jesus. I also recall a comment from the cross, “Forgive Them Father, they know not what they do.” I see Jesus as the lawyer on our behalf, not a purveyor of punishment.

I also follow a GOD, as referred to as “GOD is LOVE”, who, I do not believe requires Humans to bow down to GOD for GOD’s satisfaction. Free will and Grace seem foundational to Jesus. Why would a “GOD is LOVE” GOD take a creation of GOD’s own and destroy it as punishment for what GOD created in the first place. What I see here in Revelations is a Human being driven by a ‘survival of the fittest’ instinct as the human norm, interpreting a vision of a future event from a lifetime of examples of human instinct and education 1,500+ years ago. This human attitude at work is the way it has been since the beginning of time (survival of the fittest). To have this instinct being accepted by and manifested by GOD for GOD’s own ‘personal’ positioning just doesn’t fit. To me it seems against the teachings of a Jesus that I try and adhere to. The commentary ascribed to ‘GOD’ seems more to be directed by a Human being whose personal position in the room could be equated to GOD (in GOD’s own environment), and interpreted as  ‘GOD’ to someone unfamiliar with the life and times of future events. The vision I present below shares behavior and ideas, and actions,  with logical conclusions that are represented in the vision of John. The vision is so far beyond the realm of John’s human interpretation that I can see this great counsel meeting being interpreted as originating with GOD rather than the result of human activity centuries down the road done to humans by other humans. GOD forcing people to “LOVE” GOD is inconsistent with the meaning of “LOVE” and our small planet is but a spec in the creation of GOD for so much attention from GOD beyond the obvious warning that this Revelation provides.

Now Humans trying to force people to bow down and worship them, and respect them through threats and armies, kiss the ring on my finger and such, this I have seen through out history. Figuring that this would be GOD’s norm also is understandable as the old testament presents a GOD that humans can relate to for ‘Wait until your Father gets home” was never presented to me as a social positive. The tribal philosophy of engagement is not unique on Earth, it is what we call history.

The meeting that is represented to be in Heaven, and referred back to often in the narrative, appears to me to be a meeting of the HUMAN Adherents to the attitude of SUCCESS AT ALL COSTS being held in a room that John, with his background, could only image as having to be in Heaven because of it’s opulence. There is now and always has been such opulence in the hands of a small percentage of the world’s population. At this point in the time of mankind the opulence is well beyond the grasp of John. The plagues are not plagues of GOD, the figure represented as the GOD of all creation is actually ‘their (the humans) GOD, MONEY, the measurement of Power and Success on EARTH. A plague brought on by dumping chemical waste in what used to be clean water because it is cheaper does not have to come from GOD. Humans have been doing this for centuries. Very similar to Jesus’ attack on the Pharisees in the Temple, the setting I interpret as very representative of the Priests in the Temple at that time would be a similar event today. What is occurring in Revelations at our time in history, is being written by someone without our perspective and knowledge of the thousands of years of history since John’s Revelation.

Picture any Congress in the world, or a Parliament, the government meetings held in any nation. Picture a War Room Table surrounded by the keepers of the Power. OR…….

Better yet, Image a description of a company meeting to discuss how to maintain the profits of a war, without the war. A bullet, a missile, a fighter jet, an aircraft carrier, makes no money until used. An artillery device makes no money until the artillery, be it cannonballs, or bows and arrows, or swords and knives are replaced. Even in the times of the John of Revelations, these meetings were held in Kings Courts, Pharisees groups, Ceaser’s offices, even the manufacturing facilities of the Armor supplier for the Roman Army or the ship builders of the Vikings. Who traded what for arms and who made the money? Somewhere, someone, has to be discussing how to keep war flowing in abundance. Without it jobs are lost, profits do not exist, and the power is sacrificed. Add to that a religious philosophy of  “Love One Another”, and the preference of a terrorist opponent would be a better alternative to the balance sheet than a world of peace. (And so it was in Jesus’ day.)

The balance sheet of peace is considered to be very small to businesses and investors now used to the profits of war.

Looking at how our world has advanced technologically in 2,000 years, we no longer require GOD to have stars  (missiles) fall on the Earth. Hiroshima was a huge ball of smoke coming from the abyss. A submarine launched missile can easily be a fire breathing beast coming from the ocean and flying through a sky to someone who has never seen either. The conflict between two fighter jets in the sky can be angels attacking one another on the opposite side of their personal beliefs. None of this requires GOD’s wrath to produce. Mankind, following it’s own path, is headed there without the help of GOD. And we are doing that now.

And yet, 2,000 years ago, GOD sends a warning for us to pay attention to today. And we have paid no attention. It is too easy to blame all this on GOD and not accept the responsibilities ourselves. The evening news is a mix of GOD (miracle) and human events. We have to be careful not to confuse the two. We have an interesting, and perhaps short, future ahead of us if we fail to recognize what we have done and are doing.

Go ahead, pick your GOD, assign a name to your GOD. You will probably follow it with all your heart. Does your GOD move you toward peace with your GOD and fellow man? Or do you move toward assertion, power, and success at the expense of others? Which church was John writing to? Yours? Theirs?

The warnings have existed for years. They were given to you a thousand years ago and as recently as today. The price to be paid has also increased substantially. What price are you willing to pay?
Just some thoughts from a simple guy.  dw 6-21-17

Perspectives on Stress

Perspectives: 6-14-17

There are so many tidbits of psychology and sociology around that I collect some of them. You may be familiar with:
“Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it is all small stuff.”
“Life’s too short to worry about that.”

With all the discussions that go about how we approach our daily lives, “do this, don’t do that”, and the push me pull you of human behavior moves forward. But today is about perspective. I read a lot into the scriptures, in light of the present days unfoldings. The tidbits that have been developed about our societies, our religions, our perception of how “God” may or may not approach our futures, does one sure thing. It causes Stress. Lots of stress. Purported to be among if not thee most hazardous health condition in the world.

In the arguments of “why do you put up with this or that,”  whether at work or at home or at church or the club, is a beckoning for stress.

Political corruption, taxes, demands, the state of terrorism and international political and financial posturing causes stress. The response of GOD to your humanness causes stress. And then there is your perspective. Maybe you have noticed, as I have, perspectives change. My scripture reading interpretation changes as my path crosses a contradiction or a newer interpretation.

The news causes stress. Prejudice causes stress. At times it seems someone left the stove on too high and the melting pot that is the USA is boiling over. And that causes more stress.
A simple tidbit like “Life’s too short to worry about that,” meant one thing to me at 18, a different thing at 40, and a totally different thing at 65.
“It’s all small stuff” can become big stuff as your ability to respond ages.

Scripture has always been a home for debate. How will GOD (**Allah, Buddha, pick your personal choice) accept me, in all my weaknesses. Will GOD* forgive? Will GOD* punish. Will I venture to hell, will I be a Hero? The rhetoric causes stress. The results become and demand a personal perspective, because all stress is personal. How do I handle such stress?

At this stage of my journey I hold on to one tidbit. (My) “GOD is LOVE.”

As measured against a broad scope of condemnation in much of the scripture I see quoted, “GOD is LOVE” stands out as a ‘Columbo’ moment. “Something here doesn’t fit. There are some loose ends yet.”

My stressful moments are often measured by the human responses of a specific action, not LOVE’s response. In my case, An all knowing “GOD” has traveled the journey with me. That all knowing GOD has a measure of knowledge about me that NO ONE else will. My stress diminishes when I recognize that GOD so loved the world that GOD gave his only begotten Son (or SUN) so that whomever would believe in GOD would not perish but have eternal life.” That my ordinary-ness grows out of GOD’S spiritual and instinct driven creation, as well as being influenced by how I have been treated, accepted, or rebuked by others, both trusted or unknown. I have met saints, and yet they were all humans. I have met humans that haven’t matured much beyond animals. I have reacted as an instinctive human, and I have tried to react as a decent one of those. And I have been condemned, and threatened, and where I was going after death and what I was going to do there.

And through it all I have been promised within the scope of the GOOD NEWS (read the red print only) that one day I will have the answers from the source. To me, that is the purpose of religion and faith. Comfort.

War and hate is a distortion of the plan. And terrorism breeds terrorism. A bully is a bully. And that environment does not strike me as one of peace. Your daily living establishes the territory you reside in. Is it stressed to the max, is it peaceful? Are you hopeful?
Your reactions are measured by where you are at in life and how it is structured. More often than not by others. Put your FAITH in LOVE to find peace. Not the condemnation of those who wish to power over you, or prosper from you. “HOPE is the realm of LOVE.” “GOD is LOVE.” GOD will know from how we treat others, whether our journey has respected the teachings or how we may have turned our backs on it.

Love one Another” is a red print program. Let your perspective look beyond what you see and hear and journey to what you can not. The spirit inside of you connects to a place that is often beyond the scope of others. Find that place of comfort, and peace. Even if only in moments.

Here is another tidbit that seems lost in today’s cultures: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Would those who willingly do these things to us, appreciate having those same things done to them and not happen to us? In Congress they call these things “Congressional Exemptions”. To a terrorist or a bully they are called collateral damage.

To GOD I believe GOD has another perspective. (A writing for another day, check back)

Heaven and The Other Place

Heaven and The Other Place – 6-7-17

I have read and heard so many sermons over all the years. Many different church affiliations, as well as independent writers. Lately I have heard another set for discussion that has always sparked my interest. To simply paraphrase, “if you do not believe that Jesus is the son of God you are doomed to Hell for all eternity.”

That seems pretty straight forward. As someone who comments on occasion with my unique perspective, I extend some thoughts. My comments are usually blogishy short, bare with.

As I have read it, Jesus, long before He became the Christ of world renown found himself hanging from a tree with nails securing his hands and feet after a whirlwind trial which ended by committing him to death by crucifixion. On either side of him were two thieves. According to the Book of Luke, Chapter 23 verses 39-43 (The Jerusalem Bible) this discourse:

One of the criminals hanging there abused him.

Are you not the Christ?” he said. “Save yourself and us as well.”

But the other (thief) spoke up and rebuked him. “Have you no fear of God at all?” he said. “You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong. “Jesus,” he said, “remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Indeed, I promise you,” Jesus replied, “today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Third Day, the Resurrection, the Books that became the NEW Testament had yet to occur. The people who had convicted him and the priests who had mocked him questioned his authenticity from below the cross, “Come Down from the cross and prove to us who you are”

But that one rebel, without the benefit of the history of those next few days, and the writings of 30+ years later, or all of the interpretations of over 2000 years, recognized that he personally was getting what he deserved, but this other, this man who had done nothing wrong, but the legend of him helping people was known in the area, had been whipped and staggered through to this conclusion equally. He felt that Jesus did not deserve this, and asked Jesus to but pray for him once he had died and his spirit returned to his Kingdom, whatever that Kingdom he believed it to be. He sought no favors, and probably expected none. And Jesus not only accepted him, but had him accompany himself into paradise. What a shock to his system must that have been.

One, at the very least, recognized Jesus as innocent, the other merely felt that Jesus existed to save him from the punishment that even his companion felt they had coming.

One was taken to the Kingdom, and one probably ended in “Hell”. But where was “Hell”?

My Father led a challenged life. The challenges compounded by my Father’s own approach to it. The week before he died he offered this advice. “This (Earthly life) is Hell”.

My point is this, two thieves, by their choices, lived a life that may have reflected what we might consider to be hellish. One felt it should be free of charge and another recognized that what he had done was his own doing, not to be paid for by someone else. I hear the news, I read the papers, I side a lot with my father. On those days that I agree I look over the results of my actions over the years and have to be honest with myself that much of it is of my own doing.

And then I reflect on this passage “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

I believe in the Kingdom. I try to be a good friend, and I enjoy my conversations with Jesus and His Father. I remember Lyle, a close friend who thought the diet he was on was the best diet he had ever had. And then he discovered it was a liver cancer that produced the results and at 53 he was gone to the Kingdom within a few weeks. But during those last few weeks he made a comment that has been with me ever since, “You know, Dennis, the roses are redder this morning, the grass is greener. Don’t miss the gifts along the journey.”

The ensuing 30 years has brought me closer to Jesus’ ideas, and friendship by Lyle’s example. I have never questioned His capability to comfort. The hell that many choose to bring upon themselves is balanced by a creation to be marveled at if we do our part to take it in and even to make it better.

Many do not require a Hell for punishment. They choose to live it today. I do not require the condemnation of a third party for any reason that I may pass on to a place called Hell or purgatory or underworld. When I leave, MY OPINION, is this, and this is the worst thing that I believe anyone may hear.

God invites me to coffee after I have died. He asks “Dennis, I haven’t done Earth for awhile. Tell me, what do the roses smell like on a spring morning, or the cool air of evening feel like after a hot summers day in the mountains? Did you enjoy the friendship of the people I sent your way? Did you learn to love?…”

If I can not answer the questions this way:
“The roses are sweet, the cool air in the summer is refreshing, the mentors you sent became great friends, and I learned to love, by loving and being loved also.”
If I can not answer that way, the time was wasted.

And I see God shaking his head a bit and says “That is unfortunate. It was your only opportunity to enjoy it.”

If I can answer the questions positively, the time was special and I might even choose to visit it once again...

Even in the midst of the most difficult of days, or tragic events that cross my path along my journey, I know to take in the gifts that have been given to me and cherish that opportunity.
Will it be Heaven on Earth, or the other place?
My Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done
On Earth,
As it is in Heaven.

Make every day special…..