God Whispers

Yes, our Father whispers all around us through his creation, like the beautiful lilies in the field dressed in splendor, and the generous rain that falls on both the just and the unjust. But he patiently works especially in and through each and every child in his kingdom of the here and now.

This was made obvious to me while in the hospital last week.

During my stay, I met a true sister in the Father’s kingdom who said when thanked for her careful work, “I not only treat others as I would like to be treated, but also as they would like to be treated, no matter their color, culture, or belief.” Now, doesn’t that sound like something our loving Father would do and say? His patient and endless presence in and among us was made clear to me by my humble black nurse Renee’ doing what she loves to do.

I hardly need to also add that our Father promises to never leave us or forsake us, not even in death! The ethic above and this promise was also practiced and depended upon by the Galilean peasant who called himself son of man, or the human one whenever anyone called him Rabbi or Master. It is our primary purpose in life to be like our Father as much as we can in all that we do, because it makes such a huge difference among people. Things get better when we treat others like he treats us – with an unconditional love. Just that simple! Nothing religious or exclusive about it. No mediator required.

And the “afterlife?” (not the best word for it anyhow) Nothing dependable said about that. Only conjecture. Details would boggle the mind as near death experiences so indicate. Difficult enough to learn and practice our Father’s simple ways for loving others in the here and now. Just forget about the life to come and let it be his super surprise!

Again, I dare to say with the Galilean that all the other religious trappings, beliefs, confessions, and rituals are totally superfluous to that simple comforting declaration of a loving Father, his promise to never leave us, and the resulting ethic above! But then, that’s what really upset the Jewish religious leaders and ultimately got the Galilean unjustly murdered for blaspheming the Torah’s “eye for an eye” justice. They followed that by falsely accusing him of leading yet another rebellion against Rome. What nonsense both accusations were!

Twenty years later, Paul added even more nonsense with his desert “visions” by misrepresenting our loving Father and saying that this injustice toward Jesus was actually a redeeming bloody retaliation payment conceived by some vengeful sky-god for our salvation. Worse, Paul adds the fearful threat that there will be hell to pay for not believing this. And then to top it all off, he has the arrogance to say that his words are God-inspired, just like the Jewish OT Torah he was a Doctoral student of. BS!!!

Paul’s words about a “Christ” were totally opposite of the Galilean’s comforting words and resulting ethic. Pay attention to the Galilean’s words. Do not replace the words with his person and life. It is not the life and horrible death of this human one that can change our prodigal ways. But rather, the amazingly comforting words of a patient, loving, compassionate, endlessly forgiving and ever-present generous Father are what bring about changes among us. THIS is the true gospel – comforting words from our Father, NOT the words of writers/theologians one and two generations after Jerusalem’s destruction, writers who had bought into Paul’s Christology, and who used hearsay stories about the life of the Galilean for their narratives while also adding to them at will.

Fortunately, the writers did include a handful of Jesus’ original sayings and parables that teach us what our Father is really like (See Matt 5:38-48). Unfortunately, they are nearly lost among all the other words that the writers put into Jesus’ mouth. It’s like searching for gems among a huge weed patch. Just do not be afraid to throw out any words that threaten retaliation. Jesus did, such as “an eye for an eye.” Jesus spoke only of our Father’s comforting unconditional love for all his sons and daughters in this, the Father’s kingdom of the here and now. Any threatening words are not our Father’s words at all.

Paul’s words came from a well-studied apocalyptic background, both while growing up in Tarsus, the center of ancient Mithraism, and while studying the post-captivity OT Prophets and writings that indicate the priests brought home Persian Zoroastrianism with them. From about 600 BCE on, the Jewish religion became apocalyptic with a threatening fall and end time judgment of an angry sky-god with a hellish payback for unbelief in a savior messiah. (While in captivity, the High Priest Ezra did his share of rewriting the history of the Hebrews depicting one threatening punishment upon another. Reading it at the dedication of the rebuilt Jerusalem wall brought the people to tears. Fortunately, Nehemiah turned the disastrous occasion around with words of comfort.) Paul brought the fearful apocalyptic words into his Christology, and Christianity carried the concepts even further during the coming centuries.

The Galilean’s comforting words were covered up by writers who had swallowed Paul’s 50 CE theology, and their hearsay narratives, two and three generations later even put apocalyptic words into Jesus’ mouth. The creeds of Christianity over the following centuries say absolutely nothing of Jesus’ original teaching of our Father’s unconditional loving, accepting, and forgiving presence among us in the here and now and speak instead of his personhood and life, plus Paul’s Christology and a fearful return in an end time judgment.

It is also interesting to note that the OT pre-captivity Prophets knew nothing of an apocalyptic fall. Their starting point was a grand Exodus from tyranny into liberty and the promise of better times to come. (The dream of Moses and Joshua) Those OT Prophets also complained about priestly laws, rituals, and sacrifices that oppressed the people with fears of an angry sky-god. (The legacy of Aaron and his descendants) And they called out for compassion and mercy toward each other, not sacrifice and payback/retaliation. They, of course, were unjustly murdered for their heresy, just as Jesus would suffer the same fate for the same reason centuries later. Jewish religious leaders simply used Rome as their pawn to carry out their verdict by falsely accusing Jesus of leading another messianic rebellion. (There had been several by the Maccabees and each had made matters only worse for the people.)

One has to wonder if Jesus learned of those pre-captivity Prophet’s teachings from the Elders he would listen to and question while growing up. His cousin John chose the threatening apocalyptic path to preach about, but the historical Jesus, not Paul’s “Christ,” chose the path of living and sharing our Father’s unconditional love with all humanity, even with Publicans and “sinners” who avoided the priests and the Temple worship.

The choice before us is between practicing compassion, acceptance, endless forgiveness and loving like our Father’s justice (sadak) among us, or being vengeful, threatening payback and retaliation like the ancient “eye for an eye” justice of the shaman who saw the punishment of an angry vengeful sky-god in all the natural disasters they experienced around them – storms, floods, earthquakes, volcanic activity, etc.

This has been humanity’s choice from the beginning. Humans have always been given the freedom to choose and adapt to naturally changing environmental conditions and to learn from making the harmful choices along the road of life. In the meantime, our Loving Father patiently yearns and waits for us to learn his loving ways. No threats. Only patient love and caring surrounds us while we learn a better way which releases our creativity and productivity to benefit everyone around us.

This is our Father’s dream. It became the dream of Moses and Joshua and the OT pre-captivity Prophets and the Galilean and countless others over the centuries while hoping for something better, including the founders of our country, ML King, even my humble little black nurse in the hospital last week. It is God’s whisper to us – his unconditional love for us prodigals makes all the difference. It sets us free to enjoy being his children here and now!

Time to have a beer together and celebrate our status!

This long post comes from my very soul to you.

Henry (Hank) Hasse
Lakeland, Florida

Published in: on September 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Getting God Right

We need to trash the unjust payback mindset of history.

Many of the first humans got things all wrong.

They missed the whole point of life getting better.

They did not discover the creative gift within their minds to help them cope.

Their environment was beautiful, but it was also challenging.

Rather than recognize their own abilities to overcome the challenges of life, they did not respond to the stimulation and chose instead to see them as dangerous life-threatening things to be feared.

Instead of hearing the better ideas of some among them, most humans chose to learn from their animal neighbors who had no such ability to think things through and solve problems. Only the most fit among the animals survived.

Only a few humans seemed to think otherwise and saw the goodness of an unknown Creator who gave them life and the liberty to pursue their happiness through their creativity to produce products for themselves and for others. They made things better for everyone around them, just as their Creator had done for them. Whether these few actually understood all these concepts is not the point here. They just followed this successful way of life and enjoyed it. It worked for them, so they kept doing it and taught their children to do the same.

In time their success stories would reveal a loving Creator.

But many other humans did not get it!

Most used force-of-strength to get what they wanted. Instead of producing their own needs, they unjustly took those things from others, even if it involved murder.

Families rose up against families and tribes against tribes.

But there were always a few who escaped to live a peaceful life somewhere far away from the turmoil in the region.

Many tribes looked to the bravest and strongest among them for leadership and revenge. Tribal authority was also seized by the most religious shaman among them.

Worse, the shaman concluded and taught that an all-powerful diety was the cause of the surrounding natural disasters and attacks from other tribes. So now they had an entity to be feared as well, as if the entity was out to get them. And that conclusion led to finding ways to appease that angry god – rituals, offerings, and finally, bloody animal sacrifices and then human sacrifices.

Outcomes of wars between tribes and then nations were said to be determined by who had the most powerful and/or the most appeased god.

But again, there always seemed to be a few whose God was an unconditional loving God, the One who was compassionate, caring, accepting, merciful, and forgiving, no matter what.

Those who had such a loving God and taught his way of life challenged the payback mindset of a demanding sacrificial god, and they challenged the priestly mediators of such a god as well. Unfortunately, they were usually murdered for their “unbelief” and their “blasphemy.”

The OT pre-captivity Prophets, the Galilean Sage, and countless other nameless souls met such a fate during the two millennia since the Jewish Babylonian/Persian captivity.

Since that captivity, still another fear had been added to the religious mindset of ancient payback justice. It is the alarmist fear of an Apocryphal end-time judgment and a hellish payback punishment for unbelief in a salvation myth. It proclaims the return of their angry Savior-god who will get even with his enemies.

The ancient myth of an angry deity punishing disobedient humans, the ancient payback justice myth, the Mid-Eastern salvation myth of Zoroaster, the adapted salvation myth of Paul and Christianity and their myths of resurrection and a coming judgment day, are all conditional and myths based on fear of threats.

I am convinced that the “unconditional” gospel of the historical Jesus, the “son of man” or “human one,” just like the accepting-compassionate-forgiving “mercy” gospel of the OT pre-captivity Prophets, along with the Father’s promise to never leave us or forsake us, not even in death – all this is the real good news of our Father. Their discovery has become my comforting discovery as well.

We tend to be unheard amongst all the clamor of the payback alarmists so willing to clear the earth by force of the “unfair weakness” that we represent. The elder brother of the Prodigal Son thought the same.

The answer? Never give up! Never submit to the force of threats! Disregard their threats! Keep whispering the Father’s justice. No matter what, be like Abba would be. Do what Abba would do. Forgive evil injustices. Represent God. Be his sons and daughters. Be human. Be creative. Be productive. Make things better. Enjoy life.

Let’s get God right!

Henry Hasse – September 1, 2013

Published in: on September 1, 2013 at 9:01 am  Leave a Comment  

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