Monday, 28 April 2014

Not Knowing

Silly picture - no reason!
As you all may, or may not know, I use this blog to publicly process my thoughts and passions, to present them in a way that, in one sense, provides me with some accountability, and a safeguard for my sanity (not that its worked that well).

I also hope that in presenting these things in a very vulnerable way, others may also be inspired to think and feel like they "have permission" to explore, question, embrace radical ideas and, just as quickly, move on.

I guess I want everyone to embrace the "journey" they are on and to recognise paradigms, assumptions and dogmas (in whatever form they may take), and experience the joy and pain of real growth.

I'm an idealist.

I imagine a world where everyone will be free to express their hearts, in the knowledge that they will be heard without condemnation. And at the same time I imagine everyone would be open enough to understand that they could be wrong, that we could all be wrong, or we could all be right. Or better still, we are probably sometimes right and sometimes wrong. Or perhaps even our understanding of right and wrong is wrong - or right.

I dream of people willing to think for themselves with personal integrity, respect, and most importantly, to recognise our intrinsic need for love, and let that be our motivation.

But I also hate the thing that I think upset Jesus the most:

Not "legalism", although that was certainly part of it.
Not "religion", although he certainly got pissed off with empty rituals.
Not "money", although he saw the damage it could do.
Not "sin", although its a foundational doctrine.

No, I see him absolutely livid with the Pharisees, not because of any of the above (which were symptoms), but because they thought they had it all sussed. They thought they had the monopoly on truth. They alone knew the heart of God and they alone had the right to dispense this knowledge.

They had created God in their own image.

This process isn't unique to the Judeo/christian system. Its present to some degree in all people as we struggle to control life around us. Jesus challenged everyone to think outside that box. He spoke in parables to make us think, to ask questions, never assume anything, hate blind religion and control, confront injustice and embrace love. He exposed the narrow bigotry of closed religious systems with explosive confrontation, he exposed the hearts of those who thought they had all the answers.

He kicked down the doors and showed us the incredible expanse of our union/unity/oneness with God that is the beginning of our journey. A journey that is totally unique for each of us. A journey that must only be defined by integrity and love, and all that entails.

Its absolutely OK to "not know". In fact, its the very thing that keeps us humble. So I will continue to sprout my rubbish, which sounds amazing to me! And I certainly love it when you all agree with me and click Like. But really, I just want people to use every faculty we have been created with to find their own journey and do everything they can to help others on their journey.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Loving Jesus is so gay!

So we all know Jesus said absolutely nothing about homosexuality (although there is the possibility he was endorsing it with the healing of the centurion's slave and his references to eunuchs - but that's another issue).

I'm wondering about Jesus being the object of our love, our passion. We are encouraged to fall in love with him and there are even sexual overtones to the relationship when we look at the metaphor of the Song of Solomon.

These are traditional christian doctrines, in fact doctrine isn't really the right word. Its a natural reaction to how we perceive his love for us. In fact its the emotion of love directed at God.

This is very real for most christians and extreme in many cases. And its sexless. Well, that's interesting, because I know many guys get a bit creeped out by the concept of falling in love with a another guy. I mean, Jesus is absolutely male, and yet christianity's central beliefs will have us falling in love with him, or at least professing that love. You only have to listen to most of the songs in church these days. There's no beating around the bush with them.

Its just so gay! Oh, well, maybe its sexless rather than gay, but Jesus is NEVER portrayed as anything other than male. So women tend to be more emotionally involved with Jesus, and some guys are just fine and don't think twice about it, and some just don't want to go there.

Sure, there's lots of theology you can throw at it, but we are talking about something pretty basic here. We are so conditioned to just accept this that to question it sounds like you are a pervert or something.

Its just interesting isn't it.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Crises of Faith

The last few years have seen a massive amount of change in my life, not the least of which has been what some might call a "crisis of faith".

If you've kept up with my blogs through this time you can understand some of this process.

When I look back at my entire life journey (which, of course, I'm covering in my absolutely fabulously, stunning and riveting autobiography - coming soon!) there have been many "crises of faith". They have all centred around either my sexual identity or the validity of my spiritual experience in relation to traditional christianity.

In the last 3 years I've finally had the freedom to give as much time and thought to these things as I've needed. This has led to allowing my heart to fully express it's doubts, conflicts, hypocrisy, assumptions and paradigms with no guilt or shame - an absolute freedom to use every faculty God has given me, to think, reason, discuss, and discard,  instead of going with the status quo.

I've always wrestled with the idea that I simply think too much and am not prepared to accept and walk in faith with all the beliefs and doctrines of traditional christianity. So most of the time I put stuff in the too hard basket and left it there, quietly smoldering - for over 40 years.

But now, every aspect of what I (mostly) believed has been unraveled, exposed, questioned, analysed and had the glaring light of integrity and honesty thrown on it.

Basically, christianity doesn't come up to the mark. Its so full of holes in logic, morality, common sense and history that to think its actually plausible is borderline insanity.


If we strip away the horrific absurdities of the Old Testament God: legalism, vengeance, hatred, genocide, misogyny, racism, slavery - you name it, we are left with the basics of what Jesus taught. The writings of Paul, a lot of the time, talk about Jesus providing a way for acceptance, peace, love and joy - for a way to experience love that doesn't depend on us but rather puts the whole onus on God to look after us. Psychologically this works amazingly well, when we consider how many of us desperately need to experience an internalised form of love that comes from an external source because we are incapable of finding that love within us.

So I see the incredible value of the basic tenets of christianity, and if it wasn't for my own belief in them, I would be dead by now - long gone, swallowed by suicidal depression.

But its only a cheap imitation of the vastness, the incredible peace and joy, the experience of love beyond expression, of what awaits us when we break out of that tiny box of religion. Its not just christianity, I talk about that because its the only religion that I've embraced. But all religions face the same dilemma - they have a dogmatic set of paradigms that define "truth", expressed in sacred writings, that severely limit us from experiencing our real identity, and God's real identity and character.

I've said a few times lately that I've had it with christian fundamentalism. But its more than that. I can no longer, in all integrity, embrace any religion as THE truth. To even think that any one religion could possible be the only way to God is the height of ignorance and arrogance.

I can relate and identify with the security people find in various religions, and don't have a problem as such, as long as the fruit of those beliefs are love, joy and peace (mostly love). But lack of integrity is something I really struggle with, and it almost physically hurts me to see people blinded by dogma, and simply refusing to open their hearts to see the bigger reality. I guess fear plays a big part, because the small world of christianity, or any religion, provides a depth of security that is really hard to ignore and let go. But it is only fear, produced by controlling and confining dogma, that stops us from being willing to take that step into the unknown.

I can no longer describe, with any certainty who or what God is, but I do know that I, and all of us are one with him/her, completely infused with God through every atom of our being. I am an expression of God as we all are, and the only road to growth is allowing that unity and expression to "change our minds", to open our eyes to who we really are, and that is mind blowingly awesome.

I've probably burnt my bridges with the last of my traditional christian friends by saying all this. But if their friendship and love is based on acceptance of religious beliefs, then that love is a shallow illusion anyway.