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…..

On Gay Lifestyles: Love is like a Diamond

It is Time : A Treatise on ‘Homosexuality’
Gay Lifestyles: Love Is Like A Diamond
from 2-05-2006

I was listening to the sermon the other Sunday at our local church. It wasn’t scathing, but it dealt with the issue of gay lifestyles. Of course, the various Bible passages that deal with ‘homosexuality’ were brought up. Paul’ s take, the passages on marriage, between a man and a woman, and others. Couched within the language of ‘care’ the passages non the less were all interpreted so as to equate ‘homosexuality’ as abnormal, inhuman, or somehow outside of GOD’S design.

Upfront, I disagree. And that is to be expected from my Unorthodox Christian viewpoint.

Somehow, in my viewing language and within my history, I deal in colloquialism. Is what the old languages called ‘eunuch’, a term interchangeable with what we today call homosexual? Is the term we refer to as ‘gay’ apply to many of those that the Bible writers were referring to in various passages, those who showed a preference for their own gender rather than the opposite?

I have asked many questions to myself regarding the gay lifestyle over my life, especially within the context of my own theories of spirit movement. As I have discussed previously, there can be no mistaking Jesus’ belief in spirit inhabitation. The stories of spirits cast out, returning, inhabiting bodies, etc. are many. The Legion story leads way to the woman who sweeps one spirit out only to have seven return. One might assume that only bad spirits travel about, but there must be ‘good’ spirits also that wander and seek homes in people. The ‘holy spirit’, as one is called, comes and visits by “GOD’S’ direction. If a ‘holy spirit’ can come and go, then there are no doubt others that come and go amongst people, some perhaps not so holy, and some just sojourners on a journey through the physical world on their way to wherever they go. For all we know, the journey of spirits from one human life to another to another could be the entire structure of life, its design, and function. It was a belief held prior to Jesus time, during Jesus time, and exists to this day in various world religions. Christianity, as a religion, is relatively new comparative to ‘time’. How long have spirits been journeying? In what forms have these spirits journeyed, as male, or female, or both? Once or twice as each, or a thousand, or a thousand thousand? Do they always return as the same gender, culture, race or time? I discuss this throughout my spirit writings.
I recall relationships that seem as though the spirit, or perhaps one of a few spirits that dwell in me, recognizes the spirit that indwells another, someone whom I recognize as familiar, yet whom I know I have not yet met physically. Yes, I said spirits, plural. Is Legion unique, or merely an extreme?

What causes a good person, child or adult, to commit a vicious crime that seemingly is totally opposed to his or her nature? What causes a sane person to “go off the deep end?” Is it a temporary possession, or merely the manifestation of a dormant spirit. Can the spirit of a memory inhabit a new friend, and then just as suddenly retreat or leave that same person? Is the exorcism of a spirit imagined or real?
In light of this, what is to say that after many lives within female bodies, the sudden manifestation of a female ‘gendered’ spirit into a male body causes extreme confusion in that male ‘host’. Is this some sort of evil manifestation, or merely the natural result of the dual nature that is caused by spirits inhabiting human bodies. Is this ‘gay’ lifestyle, merely reversion into a previous existence where two spirits recognized the relationship they lived before subconsciously and are attempting to duplicate it, whether in the same gendered bodies or not. Is it the manifestation of a previously female gendered spirit within a male body trying to duplicate its previous existence as a female human or a previously male gendered spirit within a female body trying to manifest a duplication of a previous male existence?

Would we call this, ‘the way I was born?” Or would it be, “I am more familiar with the way that this is.”

In Matthew chapter 19, beginning at verse 1 Jesus discourses on marriage. “Have you not read that the creator from the beginning made them male and female?” and then He said, “This is why a man must leave father and mother and cling to his wife.”

Is the male and female of which Jesus speaks merely referring to the physical body, or also a spirit gender that travels through lifetimes? Male often refers to the spiritual existence and female the earth (or physical) existence in ancient writing (i.e. Nag Hammadi).

In verse 12 Jesus discusses the issue of eunuchs. Again, is Jesus addressing an issue of whom we refer to ‘gay’ (both women and men). In our modern interpretation of language are we translating what is a reference to ancient homosexual tendencies as referred to in those times as ‘eunuch’?

Was there, in that age, female gendered ‘eunuchs’ or only ’emasculated’ males?

It is not a topic that received much attention in the colloquial writings of the day. Irregardless, Jesus states, “ there are eunuchs born that way from their mother’s wombs, there are eunuchs made so by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”

Is it unlikely that many are born ‘emasculated’ from their mother’s womb, or who choose to be ‘emasculated’ for the sake of the kingdom of heaven? A Catholic priest, choosing a celibate lifestyle, would by this definition of Jesus be considered what the translator refers to as a Eunuch, one who chooses to live outside of the traditional male/female relationship, in this case to further the kingdom of heaven.

For the sake of questioning let us say that two spirits, who perhaps were physically married to each other for many years in a previous existence as a male and female spousal unit, reestablish their relationship in a time where they inhabit bodies of the same gender. Is the ‘love’ less for the sake of being the same physical gender? Do we seek out a special person in our journey of this physical life, or are we truly trying to reconnect with a spirit in a host now in this physical journey irregardless of the physical gender in this life journey?

If the spirit of a previous female gendered host’s life or (previous) lives, all of a sudden inhabits a male body in this new life (or a male spirit in a female body), how would it react if the opposite gendered historical spirit was dominant over the instinctive host (as it may be after many journeys)?

Is this “made that way from their mother’s womb”?

Do we know enough of the kingdom of GOD to pass any judgements whatsoever on the structure of human existence? I believe not.

Is it possible, or even necessary, to ‘fix’ spirit genetics?

I go back to diamonds. A diamond in the rough is a rock. The diamond requires a master to cut facets into the rock to create a diamond that reflects light and creates the beauty we recognize as a diamond of great value. The human race is to the kingdom of heaven what facets are to the beauty of a diamond. It requires all of the various facets of the diamond to make the diamond brilliant, so it is with the great variety of human nature, cultures, teaching and languages. Each is a contributory facet.

I am not so naive as to ignore the fact that many spirits can be self centered and instinctive. History is filled with the evil, power driven spirit that wishes to succeed at all costs. The death, destruction and viciousness of people to one another is not news to anyone. Success AT AN-others expense, is not an external force. Jesus admonishes, “It is not what goes into a man from without that defiles a man, it is what comes out from within.”

What I am saying, is that we simply do not know enough about the structure of life, the movement of spirits, or the design of existence, to pass judgment on those who love in whatever manner that they do.

I have been privileged to have been an outside salesman for many years. In the course of these positions I have called on many hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, care facilities, etc. and have found that the sensitive and caring male nurse that would exhibit what we may consider gay traits, give unceasingly and tenderly to those who require their care, in many instances where no one else will.

When asked about discipleship, Jesus also replied, “Love one another, by this they will know that you are a disciple of mine.” No caveats. It does not read that the key lies in fish symbols, or cross necklaces, or Judaistic caps or Catholic robes, by espousing Love alone and by living the new commandment to Love One Another, you display your reverence for love and become a disciple of Christ’s teaching. Is it necessary to brand yourself with a cross to follow a discipline of love? I do not believe so.

Jesus did not come to destroy the law of GOD (LOVE), but merely to fulfill the law that had been adulterated by men.

Love One Another. No caveats. By this they will know that you are a disciple of His. Even without knowing His name, such disciples preceded Jesus, their names simply have not been recorded, and those who have their names recorded permeate our scripture and the scripture of other cultures.

As Jesus said, “Let anyone accept this who can.”

Amen. (Moderately edited from 2005)

PS: The discussions of spirit travels are contained in many of the other writings on this site, and I will be adding to them as the ‘spirit’ so moves. God Bless.

dennis: The original is from my original site unorthodoxchritianity

http://unorthodoxchristianity.com/GayLifestyles

 

On GrowingUp

From    2-14-2005

I was asking my sister when I would be grown up (I want to go to Peter Pan this week). She said it is when you accept responsibility.

So I asked GOD while I was on my walk and He left me with this thought:

You are grown up when you can place the past in its proper perspective; embrace the day for the future that it represents, and leave the mechanics of that future up to GOD.

 

Food For Thought

I was at the grocery store yesterday and was pushing a cart back to the store that someone had left in the parking lot where their car was. In my world of unorthodox christianity a thought came to mind. Would Jesus have pushed the cart back to the store? Would Jesus have left the cart in the middle of the parking lot in the first place under the assumption that it was someone else’s task to put it where it belonged?
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Is it loving one another to expect others to complete the task that we find inconvenient?

To this day I see on my wife’s car the sizeable dent made by the shopping cart that blew into my wife’s car in the parking lot of Sam’s Club on one average windy day in El Paso.
Do I file that under Love One Another, or Take Advantage Of One Another?

Religious History

The current movement afloat is educational requirements to expand our historical knowledge of the middle east. In the midst the calling is to require the study of A middle eastern religion in a country based on a constitutional requirement to leave religion in it’s place and the government of life in another. How does one teach history by only teaching one religion versus the relationship that all religions have in common (often not peaceful among each other). That is like teaching one viewpoint on events, or not hearing “The rest of the story”. If we maintain only one perspective we only learn one perspective. We either teach all religions or none. Our constitutional creators recognized that our foundation is based on the freedom to exercise your religion, in the context of the law of the land and not to establish one over another. My friend, and many others I have known, were brought up to study and compare a number of religions. The confusion caused by a sincere study of religious doctrine as presented by a number of sources purportedly given to you as  a message from a shared source (GOD, SUPREME BEING, MESSENGER or whatever) has resulted in most of these people refusing to be intimidated or swayed to join any of them as a result of the inconsistency of their doctrines within their own umbrella of faith let alone others. From my viewpoint of Unorthodox Christianity, Love One Another is a plenty sufficient message without any more doctrine attached. Doctrine is only a center for power, not a path to peace.

Politics of Religion

It seems wishful thinking to believe that Religion and Politics are somehow different. To me that is like saying my mother and I are not related. It is because of my mother that I am related to her at all. When I think of this question of Religion and Politics I think of an old adage, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”  Historically the question of Religion vs (or Because of) Politics is mute. They are of the same essence. I discuss this further on a new page I have created on my WordPress site The Politics Of Religion.
Let me know what you think.

Watching for a ‘Sign’

Over my years within Christianity I have learned to ‘watch for the sign’. The sign that says that God is talking to you, that God has a plan, that the end is coming, that the signs of the times is imminent. Often we Christians come to rely on a sign from God to share with us the direction that God wishes to lead us in. The older and more experienced I have become I have been led to this caveat:  Be careful. The truly wise man learns to discern the ‘sign’ from God from a temptation of Satan. I think once in awhile we justify our activities based on a sign from GOD which is truly merely a temptation of our human nature. The bottom line question becomes does this direction serve God or merely myself.
Remember, you are the reflection of what you truly believe. To follow Christ remember that his lampstand was a cross and his light shown from a mountaintop called Calvary. It is more than just merely a group of people, it is your personal commitment to walk that path not always theirs.