Archive for August 20th, 2006

From the Pulpit: Eternal Salvation Would be Nice, But Here’s the Important Point

I cannot get anybody to understand that the Declaration of Inddependence is a SILLY document beause it was written in the middle of a WAR.

There may have been a truly objective delaration of principles written inthe middle of a war by those in charge of fighting it, but I don’t know of any.

The Declaration began by declaring all men, euqal, which a French libeal might have taken seriously, but nobody else. It then went on to delcare “inalienable rights.” If they believed those rights were inalienable, there would have been no war.

Then they blamed everything onthe kind, not parliament. You would have to be a true ignoramus on British Government to bleieve THAT. TO have been a literate man who had lived his life under British Law, you would have had to be insane.

But nobody can understand ANY of this.

C.S. Lewis would get terribly upset when he woud hear what is spewed from every pulpit today: That Chrisitianity is good because it leads to a good society.

Lewish kept repeating, the ONLY question about Christianity is whether it is TRUE or not.

Preachers today talk about “Chrisitan” principles, by which they mean the Old Testament. Actually, Jesus repeated over and over and over that he came about NONE of that. When he criticized the rich, it was not for social revolution, it was because they were damning their own eternal souls. Compared to the loss of one soul, said Jesus, social justice is nothing.

The problem with this, of course, is htat it puts all your eggs in one basket. The preacher stops being a general social commentator and puts his entire life, his entire religion and, above all, his own livelihood on the bet that there is such a thing as eternal salvation.

In other words, those who do not believe him think he is a superstitious fool, and he can’t take it.

So they stake everything on one sentence Jesus uttered, that he came to fulfill the law, not to replace it.

Nobody pays the slightest bit of attnetion to the fact that the Declaration of Independence was written in the middle of a war. Nobody pays the slightest bit of attention to the fact that when Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s” he was avoiding a deadly trap set for him by hte peopl ehwo asked him the qiestion.

He didn’t even look them inthe eye. He was not procaliming truth. He wasnot defending Caesar’s rights. He kept drawing inthe sand for a reason.

But none of that matters. The fact that Jesus said he came to fulfill the law not to destroy it was the ONLY thing he could have said if he did want to be stoned on the spot. So every word of the Old Testament is as valid as every word Jesus spoke, and that’s good because the Old Testament is full of worldly wisdom rather than an obsession about salvation.

If you think Jesus always said exactly what he meant you have never lived in a totalitarian society.

Hell, you’ve never lived in THIS society!

So people keep prattling on to me about how salvation would be nice, but it’s all about Christian Principles leading to a Good World, THIS world.

That’s what ****I**** believe. Please stop twisting it.

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Pain

My observations are marked ******

NOT SPAM
NOT SPAM

(1) You need a good definition of wisdom; you are using your own definition, but you haven’t told us what it is;

***** If you will PLEASE note, I try hard to use Wisdom when i mean the opposite of wisdom, and Knowledge when I mean the opposite of knowledge, Turth when I mean the oppoiste of truth and Mercy when I mean the opposite of mercy.

****** As I cautioned Shari, hte quotes around “Christian” are there for a reason. Elizabeth doesn’t need reminding of that.

***** If you don’t assimiate THAT, you cannot understand anything I say about these things.

(2) You need a good definition of faith; it doesn’t mean blind obedience or belief; I think Shari or Elizabeth had a good definition;

******** The term faith means a belief in things unseen.

******* You have a particular faith in mind.

******* Our faith has less use for the faiths that comes out of funny mushrooms or anceint priesthoods than I do.

******* The founder of MY faith said everything he could against the priesthood that he could say without getting stoned onthe spot, and they killed him for it.

(3) Shamans performed empirical religious practices; they journeyed alone and with others to other realms that were at times more real than this one, the journeys were repeatable by others, and they did not have a complete monopoly on going on journeys. The journeys were like drug-trips. The problem was that bad spirits could waylay journeys or give visions and subjective reality could become mixed up with objective. The reminds me of a friend I have whose brother is schizophrenic. She says that most all his hallucinations and ideations are horrific projections of his own fears. However she says about 1% of his visions are true. A primitive shaman was like such a schizophrenic but with better accuracy and less horror.

********* WHAT accuracy? Do you really think Pharoah had to perform rituals to keep the Nile flood in check or the sun coming up each day?

Your statements about elites who do not deserve their position and about elites who use their position, knowledge, wisdom, and practical skills to control others is valid.

It seems you are talking about abuse of authority?

Your test of abuse is practical results. You seem to be saying that if a leader uses others’ belief in his knowledge and wisdom to keep power, but does not deliver results, he is a fraud.

***** You live in the first society in history where what you just said would be understood. You live inthe first society in history which made any disctintion between science and religion.

***** You live in the first society in history where experiment can destroy authority.

****** Historically the only way for truth to progress was for one people follosing the wrong authorities to be destroyed.

What you also seem to be saying is that those who are in power now are there because of connections, etc. They are not in power because of ability. However people think that anyone in power must have special knowledge, skills, or wisdom, so the powerful keep their positions.

******** But in earlier societies, the fact that a person was in authority WAS the final proof.

******** According to my CONJECTURE, ours is the first society where there was a disctinction between impressing people or having a royal blood line and accomplishment.

****** in earlier societies, as in the one Jesus lived in, any change in authority involved bloodshed, not accomplishment.

But if the powerful do not have any special knowledge, skills, or wisdom, then we are in a situation like that in 1776. Then, many of the best in the British army were bitter because jobs and promotions passed over them to those with connections. Some of those best men joined the Continentals who did promote based on results. The rag-tag Continentals won.

So what you are teaching here is for everyone to have more Faith.

****** I hope not, especially with the capital letter. You are using that capital letter as a proper noun. You do not mean faith, you mean a particular faith.

******* Tories had faith in the Blood Royal. The Ameican Rebels saw no reason to believe why that gave somebody in London the right to rule us.

Comment by Pain

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Conjecture I

The eye developed hundreds of millions of years ago, and soon we saw the stars when we

surfaced in the sea. But until a few hundred thousand years ago, we saw the stars more as

we came onto the land, but the stars were left alone. But then we began to talk and to

reason and to ask about how things happened.

Children learned to ask theit parents about why the deer ran away when we hunted htem, and

how to catch them. Children learned that grown-ups knew everything,a nd grown-ups began to

get used to the awe children had of htem that they could explain so many things.

So a child asked a parent how the stars got there. The wise father had to make up an

explanation of that, too. He didn’t know, but he did not want to disappoint the child, so

he made a story.

As men grew older, they found that their children began to rule. But they kept the respect

of hte younger people by the power of what they knew. The old, slow female elephant had

long since kept the rule of the herd by knowing where water and food were and when. Man

exptended that many times.

Soon the old men began to dominate the group, despite their failing physical strength as

alpha males. Alphas there still were, men of strength and charisma. Butthere also the

shamen,men who knew the stars and the future and how to deal with sickness and misfortune.

Many kings were fools and their power was based on their ability to fighten otehrs, not on

their strength. Many shamen knew little useful but that did not matter, because they

convinced others that they did kow,a nd that was all that mattered.

The king and the priest were born a hundred thosand years ago or more. The king based his

power onthe BELIEF that he was the most intimidating. The priest based his power on the

BELIEF that he had knowledge and wisdom.

IN early beings with minds and reason, the truth helped, but the truth was not the faith.

In a rasoning animal, it is Faith that matters, not truth. The truth helps faith, the

truth is useful, but ony when the faith is put to a solid test, but that is seldom the case.

The king or the shamen who was able to obtain FAITH ruled. To his survival, to his rule,

the truth was only one factor, and not the most important one.

But neither king nor shamen can survive if the GROUP dies out. Simple truth was the key to

survival of the GROUP. So GROUPS based on FAITH died out. It was a wise man who adhered to

the faith of hte group. It was a wise and practical INDIVIDUAL who RULED by imposing FAITH.
But over the millennia, GROUPS based on faith and not on truth disappeared.

Faith is the practical man’s means of survival. Faith in anything but simple truth is DEATH

to the GROUP.

So in the valley that was to become the Black Sea, a group of men broke an old faith.

Down through the ages, the shamen had had men muttering prayers that the plants they needed

to eat would grow. They did all the things the shamen had learned in their eating of

sacred plants that put them in another world, and in which they believed , to make the

animals abundant and their hunting successful.

But in the Black Sea Valley before the Flood, the old faith was violated. Men began to

notice that plants grew where SEEDS weere planted, not JUST where the the prayers were said.
They prayed over the seeds,but they planted seeds rather than waiting to see what nature

would do.

They began to have a thsouand plants to eat where but a few had grown before.

They began to find that they could herd the food animals rather than just making

incantations that the animals woud come.

Among these Black Sea people over the millennia, some stood by the old faith. But they were

fewer and fewer, and those groups were driven out. Finally that valley was filled iwth an

abundance of people, a people more prosperous than any before, people who numbered in the

thousands where but a few incanting hunter-fatherers had lived before.

These people did not feast and then starve according to the luck the gods sent them. They

learned to store food. to salt meat. To all who heard of them, they lived in a paradise

later called Atlantis.

Then came the Flood. In a single day the sea broke through the ever-shrinking call that is

now the gap between Asia and Africa. The Black Sea was born. The bottom half of it is

still the salt sea.

A very few survived the sudden, totally unexpected catastrophe. The nearest high place was

Mount Ararat, where one of the fortunate groups which had been been afolat when the disaster

hit landed. It is still on the coast of the Black Sea.

There may be more than one Ark up there or near.

It is almost incredible that ANYONE survived a two hundred food high wall of water that came

across the valley at two hundred miles per hour without the slightest warning.

The land of truth was dead. But their few survivors and those who had been in contact with

them carried their truth with them. But the world was once again a land of shamen. The

truth mixed in with the shamen, and once again the slow, agonizing process of faith-based

societies dying and truth-based societies surviving was under way.

In each land truth made progress, but soon the Practical Men, the shamen, learned that

practical surivival INSIDE a society was a matter, not of truth, but of teaching people to

accept their faith. Kings and priests joined togehter to rule. The truth died in

stagnation.

All the weak egos who WANTED to be shaman-kings ACT and ACT like shamen and kinds. They shout and they posture and they point out how Pracitcal Men get ahead in the real world, THEIR real world, by incanting whatever sounded wise like a shaman or tough like aking.

In the old days the Practical Men beat drums.

Now they beat their chests. At least drums are an artifact of human beings.

Practical Men are a reversion to the gorillas.

Gorillas are a step down from chimpanzees. There is only a handful of them left, protected from the hungry black men by some white people.

The SOCIETY ruled by Practical Men always stagnates and dies. In the longer term, beating your chest is no substitute for using your brain.

A society ruled by simple truth, a rigid adherence to the simple truth, multiplies and grows.

But there is much more to tell. Some genes were more adapted to truth than to faith. And a

race that adopted a god who died on the worrd tree for simple truth, not for faith or wisdom,

came to rule the world.

But that is the next chapter.

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