I’ve spiraled back and forth for years. I don’t have many answers; still searching and bless me if what works for me will work for anyone else. Maybe that’s the way it’s meant to be.
I sincerely believe that somewhere along the line what we call Christianity got twisted. Maybe when believers decided that it was more important that Jesus died than that he lived (if he lived). But hey try and prove that ninety nine percent of the people alive two thousand years ago actually lived. Hey, it’s not like they were issuing birth certificates in first century occupied Judea.
Maybe it was when teachers and bishops like Irenaeus began telling their congregations that believing was the most important, no matter what. That questions should be neither encouraged or tolerated. That clergy who didn’t toe the line were to be marginalized or driven from the hierarchy. That an emperor called the first church council in Nicea and only a small minority of the bishops were present to make decisions that would be considered binding on all believers. That all believers are supposed to believe the same thing.
Even the Protestant reformation resulted in the same attitude. You must believe what we tell you to believe. Or else. That’s where the early Anabaptists and the Quakers ran into so much trouble. They claimed the right to listen for the promptings of the spirit speaking directly to the believer. Of course once you accept that, control goes out the window. And it’s all about control.
There are mega churches that preach more sermons on financial planning than they do on the Sermon on the Mount. Churches that drop anywhere from 50K to over 200K on holographic equipment so the preacher can appear at more than one “campus” at a time. Worship services that have more people present than lived in my home town and a Starbuck’s in the foyer. If the Pentecostals only knew where all the repetitive rock music, repetitive singing, laying on of hands and speaking in tongues really came from. Kind of looks like core shamanism to me.
I don’t know and to tell the truth, I’m tired. What did I find on AOHell this morning. Arizona had decided to require birth certificates for candidates. All based on materials that are so far out they’re on the moon. Geeze, God invented Google for a reason, use it to do your own research. Rush Limbaugh has pushed buttons again and everybody starts acting like Pavlov’s dogs.
In the meantime, Iowa and Florida are considering laws that would make it harder for undercover workers to obtain evidence of animal cruelty in the meat and poultry industries. In spite of the fact that most states have Common Farming Exemptions that already allow the industry to treat animals with what amounts to cruelty as long as they’re intended to be sold for food. WTF? Why in the name of all that’s holy do you think we quit eating beef months ago? Why would I want to have anything to do with any of those poor, miserable creatures?
For extra icing on the cake there’s a story from the AP in the paper and on the net giving details on some FDA studies of staph contamination of supermarket meat and poultry. Contamination rates range from twenty five to fifty percent depending on the study and include MRSA. Oh, joy. Statement from the head of the American Meat Institute? "Despite the claims of this small study, consumers can feel confident that meat and poultry is safe," said James H. Hodges, the organization's president.
The marshes in the BP spill area in the Gulf are still reeking of oil. Dolphins and sea turtles are washing up on the beaches. We had plenty of wild bees in the garden last year, but almost no bumbles or domestic bees. The weather east of the Rockies has been brutal this year. Perhaps it’s Gaia weeping bitter tears. Hope seems very far away this morning.