Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sunday---Oct. 5, 2008


So I made a hand-out for the class I visited the past 2 Sundays, which consisted of thoughts from this post, this one, this one and this one and a thought from an unfinished modern revision of Fosdick's Shall The Fundamentalists Win?:

To stand in the unconditional loving service of God and others, the church must first stop acting as if it or bible translations are the Holy Spirit---as if any human, human cultural biases or human institution can restrict and regulate, whom the Holy Spirit wills to call to ministry or in general---for a lot of people (mainly Fundamentalists and bible literalists) actually believe that they can usurp the authority of the Holy Spirit from willing, whom the Holy Spirit wills to call to the ministry or in general and/or that it is their task to determine whom can and can’t be called to the ministry or in general instead of the Holy Spirit alone---and in so telling the Holy Spirit what to do, they not only commit idolatry (ecclesiolatry [worship of the church] as well as bibliolatry [worship of the Bible/Bible Literalism or treating the Bible as a Golden Calf] and poimenolatry/clericalism [pastor worship]), but also worse than that it grieves the Holy Spirit (the only unforgivable sin). As Christ is the True pillar of the church for us and in giving the Great Commission, Christ excluded no one from ministering the Gospel, serving and being served including gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders and both women and men of every culture, climate, race, type and personality. Secondly, in the Bible, the unfolding of God’s will and self-disclosure of God’s self-revelation, in the Person and work of Christ---we find that God was most fully revealed as being Love itself---for Christ is Love---as Robinson (influenced by Paul Tillich) wrote: "For it is in making himself nothing, in his utter self-surrender to others in love, that [Jesus] discloses and lays bare the Ground of man's being as Love" (ibid., p. 75, italics added). He also wrote: "For assertions about God are in the last analysis assertions about Love" (ibid., p. 105)--- (Honest To God - When we divinely encounter Christ as Love for us, in the advent of the proclamation of scripture---we see all of Christian ethics is contingent upon the moral axioms of the Higher Law of Righteousness, Love, Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness---the Golden Rule and to love God completely and to love one’s neighbor as one’s self. If the sum and substance of Christian morality and ethics then is this---then why should we read Christian morality out of a vacuum with no insight, inquiry and reference to the Higher Law, on which the line of all Christian morality is drawn? For what profits one to have morality without love? For all of Christianity is rooted in loving service---just as Brennan Manning says*---quoting from Barbara Doherty: "Love is service. ‘There is no point in getting into an argument about this question of loving. It is what Christianity is all about---take it or leave it. Christianity is not about ritual or moral living except insofar as these two express the love that causes both of them. We must at least pray for the grace to become love.’" (*-pg. 29 of A Glimpse Of Jesus: The Stranger To Self-Hatred) (Yes, indeed, we must pray for the grace to become love for those who were created with homosexual proclivities and not that we (heterosexuals) were not born homosexuals nor had to face the issue of our own sexuality, in the face of bigotry and prejudice---for that is just as the Pharisees prayed. [Luke 18:9-14]). Or as the Catholic theologian, Hans Urs Von Balthasar said: "Love alone is credible."
---which I also used some of in my John Study. And the one whom mentioned Leviticus thanked me for my material, which is good---because most of that class wanted to study the subject, so being the resident theologian of a moderately progressive slant---I thought I'd share my thoughts.

Dr. Hawkins And The Communism Of The Early Church

My grandma said that Dr. Hawkins taught her class and talked about the Communism of the Early Church. The Early Church were indeed pre/proto-Marxists in a sense of communalism---a Christocentric community centered around Love and Truth and this is supported by verses such as these:

Early Christian Communism
Christian communists trace the origins of their practice to the New Testament book Acts of the Apostles at chapter 2 and verses 42, 44, and 45:

42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and in fellowship [...] 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things in common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. (King James Version)

The theme is reiterated in Acts 4:32-37:

32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. 36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, 37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet. (King James Version)

Also, Jesus radically taught the prophetic vision of Jubilee Economics. It wasn't till much later and afterward when the Roman Empire got baptized by the Constantinian shift of Christianity producing a dualistic statist epistemology---Caesaropapist Christendom and it's false dichotomy/tautology that states:

that to follow God and do God’s Will on earth one had to unquestioningly follow the pope and the state---and that those whom unquestioningly follow the pope and the church were following God and doing God’s Will on earth. This was/is such a potent concept that anyone who questioned the pope/state was considered not only guilty of heresy, but treason as well. (This is still true in today’s Christendom/statist churches, in which patriotism, citizenship and God are elevated as equal terms---which is nothing but sheer idolatry of the state and the culture of the state.)*---It can be summed up in an us vs. them mentality.
*- This false tautology has changed hands via the Reformation, so that for the pope one can substitute the Bible, whereas the state part remained the same. This false tautology is clung to by Fundamentalist Bible Literalists, who are ignorant of the origins of the Bible and have an aversion to Modern Biblical Scholarship (which is verifiable by facts)---which doesn’t support their blind assumptions and presuppositions (which are born out of arrogance). We’ve heard it said that to question one part of the Bible is to question all of the Bible and God---despite the fact that those saying this only read certain verses in manmade translations of the Bible uncontextually and try to harmonize what can’t be harmonized---whereas Biblical Scholars read the whole Bible in the original languages and acknowledge the errors and contradictions of the Bible. Modern Biblical Scholarship, also, shows more and more that the Bible is more fully of human origins rather than a divine origin (though the Scriptures are still somehow God inspired), which annoys Fundamentalists/Bible Literalists---because if God did not ordain their bigotry (which God in Jesus did not) then they have no right to divide humanity, in order to feel morally and spiritually more superior to the rest of humanity.
---that some form of proto-Capitalism was embraced.

One other view of the Church's shift in accepting and embracing things it once did not is that the Church expected Christ to return again soon but when that didn't happen after years and years the Church became more materialistic as the Roman Empire once was. More to explore: here.

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