Friday, January 23, 2015

I Had a Dream

We received an email yesterday that Marcus Borg died.  The story with that information was heartwarming, but then most people are better dead than alive.  He apparently was a wonderful person far beyond his writings and lectures.  I've only read a little about and by him.  I will focus on more reading involving him.

From another angle, I had a dream last night, actually it was this morning after my first awakening around 5:00.  It wasn't as profound as the dreams of Josephs, the pharaoh, Joseph's jail mates or Jacob with his latter, but it seemed memorable.  I was preparing a sermon.  It was a good sermon.  It didn't give an guidelines for a better life; it just asked a lot of questions about what we take for granted in religion.  I hope I can write it some day and perhaps even share with a congregation.

Recent incidents around the world in the name of religion have shocked everyone and perhaps leaves many of us wondering if we want to be connected with any religion.  The killing by Muslims in Paris, the killings of Jewish, the killings in the Congo by Christians are a few of the news stories.  The scriptures of most religion include contradicting guidelines for using and opposing violence.  I've been rereading Genesis and it's terrifying what our good model forefathers, and mothers, did.  Of course, I would question the historian who was there to report all these events.

Regardless of how we believe the Bible was written, by God, inspired by God, as reported by folklore, as envisioned to answer probing questions, somehow humankind with all its fallacies was involved and influenced the outcome.  We see that even today with the rewriting of the scriptures, the new interpretations of the writings and the modifications of policies and by-laws.  So how do we understand the Bible or in a greater sense, the nature of humankind and it purpose?

Perhaps those are some of the questions that Marcus started with.  It seems like he peeled aside some of the unnecessary contradictions and irrelevant stories and found a Jesus that shocks the Christian world but defines his relevant teachings.

Regardless of what you believe about God or Jesus or Mohammed or Abraham or Buddha, it shouldn't be a great leap to believe that the violence that people do to each other is not right; and that doesn't only apply to killings but also to our negligent of others' needs.  What we do to the least of these, we do …

Wouldn't if be cool if Marcus would come back with a full report about God?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Questions Continue

Stephen Hawkins in an interview spoke of his life goal to find the ultimate single equation that tied everything together.  Einstein got close with his E=mc2. Certainly Hawkins was thinking about the relationship between Black Holes and stars and even atoms, molecules and cells but he may not have been completely ignoring metaphysics as well as physics. The recent movie about Hawkins seems to focus on his love of life and his relationship with his girl friend/wife. Maybe the singular formula was under his nose, maybe he was living it.

God is love.

If you think about it with the depth that Hawkins would, you would probably come to the conclusion that every commandment, every rule, every proverb of every religion or philosophy is a subset of that simple equation: God equals love and love equals God. Hence God loves us far more than any of us have ever loved our dearest one, and in turn we will love God. Since God loves us so dearly, each one of us, we are best to love each other also with all we have, getting us very close to the practice rule that says we should do to others as we would want them to do to us. This, commonly called the Golden Rule exists is all religions.

Golden Rule
  In everything do to others as you would have them do to you for this is the law and the prophets.
Gospel of Matthew

  What is hateful to you, do not do to others. This is the entire; all the rest is commentary.
The Talmud

  Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.

  This is thge sum of duty; do nothing to others which if done to you would cause you pain.
The Mahabharata

  No one of you is abeliever until they desire for their brother or sister that which they desire for themselves.