PARADOXICAL TEACHINGS

 

In Webster’s online dictionary, paradox means “contradictory or opposed to common sense,” among other things.

Basically, paradoxical beliefs in religion are mysteries that cannot be explained and are accepted on faith.  I do wonder what is the point of arranging a religion around a bunch of inexplicable ‘mysteries,’ instead of facts.

Examples of paradoxical teachings

1 – Three equal differentiated persons in one consubstantial God

2 – Jesus, both fully divine and fully human

3 – Mary, both mother and virgin

4 – Consubstantial God as father of self

5 – People of God as both the Bride and the Body of Christ (Bridegroom)

6 – Jesus as human sacrifice to Yahweh who abhors human sacrifice

7 – All-knowing, all-powerful God who is absolute good, but allowing evil

8 – Looks like wine, tastes like wine, but really sacred Blood

9 – Looks like bread, tastes like bread, but really a risen Body

10 – “World without end. Amen.” vs. Judgement Day

11 – Celibate priests are holy; couples using ‘artificial’ birth control are in sin

12 – God said, “Do not kill,” then willed a crucifixion for his own Son

13 – Jesus saved us, but 2,000 years later, the world is still a mess

14 – God is “Father,” limited to maleness by convention, but God is limitless

15 – A ‘loving’ and ‘forgiving’ Father tests his children’s sinfulness, then throws them into a burning Hell, all the while knowing the outcome in advance

For sure, paradoxical teachings can be remembered and last for centuries, and as people puzzle over them and argue over them, the teachings are retained, and foster community and communication.

Rather scary to think there are millions out there, probably most of my neighbors, too, who hold similar paradoxical beliefs in their innermost thoughts. With this kind of thinking, how are they able to analyze who they should vote for? How are they able to make any decisions rationally?  Fortunately, it is considered impolite to discuss religion with casual acquaintances, so likely I will never know what they are thinking on this subject.

I guess most people internalize what they hear in church, then struggle to come up with some rational alternative explanation for what they have heard, so they can continue to ‘believe’ and to be part of a group and setting that is comfortable and familiar to them.

I am recalling that some people lie to their own children and say Santa will come down the chimney on Christmas Eve. The youngest children are not able to analyze this tale and determine:

(1) No one lives at the North Pole, least of all, Santa,

(2) Gifts for all the children of the world will not fit into a single Santa sleigh,

(3) Reindeer cannot fly through the air,

(4) A man of considerable girth such as Santa would not fit into a chimney that is at most, several inches wide,

(5) No reindeer has a brightly lit nose to guide the way,

(6) The gift to Santa of cookies was instead eaten by Mommy and Daddy, and

(7) There is no lump of coal for the children’s transgressions

So the little children are deceived. Interesting that the story seems to be designed with several propositions which are easily dismissed by older children, especially when prompted by their better informed peers.

I personally was not told reindeer could fly and so I did not have to overcome that; however, I was indoctrinated very thoroughly in religion in school.  I really have to wonder what the teachers were thinking as they pounded paradoxical “truths” and all manner of religious trivia into our young brains.  Surely, the teachers themselves did not believe all of it. Surely, they had begun to question. Yet they thought it was OK to mold children’s minds with it?

I just noticed an ad on Biblegateway, “God will wipe away every tear.” Are you really doing a child a favor by telling him/her that as if it were true? (And is this the same God who created the situation that caused the tears in the first place?) Logic, please.

One of my religion teachers, a priest, died at a young age, and I have always wondered if he killed himself in despair, having intelligently discovered something he could not bear to know, like . . . reindeer do not fly or some such thing.

Of what use are paradoxical beliefs? Is there some benefit to society from people having to overcome paradoxical beliefs? Do people gain more awareness by overcoming? Do they gain more ability to analyze?

Unfortunately, most people do not seem to progress quickly in their thinking and analyzing.

 

Advertisements
Posted in Disconnects | Leave a comment

WOMEN’S CHOICES

There is a lot more to women’s choosing beyond use of contraceptives and abortion.

Women ultimately decide who are the “alpha males” — those who will be allowed to have a genetic future.

Also, society is in the process of making a huge eugenics experiment.  Those men who are prone to making violent mistakes and who are now in prison have been removed from the gene pool.  Maybe this is what women were trying to accomplish in former times with the “sacrifice of the king.” Young males who were uncontrollable were told they were being singularly honored to be giving their blood for Her and of course for the welfare of the whole city . . . ??

Unfortunately, the genocide of women (killing of supposed witches) by the males in power in Christendom may have resulted in the female survivors tending to be docile and self-effacing women — another experiment in eugenics.

Eph 5:22-23 (NIV): “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands . . .   For the husband is the head of the wife . . .”

Do men tend to choose for mates, those women who are wimpy doormats, thus ensuring the continuance of this trait among women? Do men read in the Bible, “women be submissive to your husbands,” and assume that a submissive lass is what they are entitled to, per the word of God? They would rather have a submissive woman than an actual relationship with a woman?

The culture tells men they should not be wimpy – that would be ‘effeminate’ – so men generally strive to be something other than wimpy.

1 Co 14:34 (NIV): “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission

Fortunately, women’s liberation came along, so we see fewer and fewer women who are culturally conditioned to think they are obligated to maintain silence in public and gaze with a goofy, adoring look upon their husbands, while clinging to his arm as if unable to stand without his aid, and maybe such women cannot stand with ease if in the habit of wearing supposedly “sexy” spike heels.

1 Tim 2:12-13 (NIV): “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.”

Oh silly me (giggling and smiling sweetly – I’d be twirling my long tresses if I had any) — of course I have no idea if traits such as being wimpy or violent are the result of conditioning or can be passed along genetically, and I’ll just wait submissively for some expert – a man of course – to tell me if I am permitted to have any opinions.

After all, ‘Adam was formed first.’ Seems like a good argument to me.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

OF LIMITS AND LACK

What is this idiotic idea that everything must be divided up according to gender, that the female must be an accessory (complementary) to the male?

The term complementary reminds me of complementary angles in geometry.  The angles must sum to 90 degrees and each angle completes what the other ‘lacks” to make 90 degrees.  Each angle also limits the other.  Is this the way human relationships are?  Limiting?

Or are we supposed to love, support, empower, and to offer mutuality to each other.  Not limiting the other.  Recognizing wholeness (holiness), not finding lack.  Each made in God’s image.

My gender does not limit me.  Rather it empowers me.  It informs who I am becoming.

I don’t have a need to try to limit other people.  Yes, there is the key in lock.  Doesn’t mean you should extrapolate from that biology to place arbitrary cultural restrictions on all human interactions everywhere according to gender.  Yes, only women can breast feed. Doesn’t mean they can’t be astronauts. . . . or priests.

I’m not stuck in the 1950’s. I would leave it up to each couple to decide how to live their marriage. They can decide:

Who does the dishes

Who feeds the cat

Who burps the baby

Who chops the wood

Who lights the barbecue

Who brings home the bacon

It is sobering to realize that some will not allow a woman to speak or read.

  • In the Roman Catholic Church, a woman is not allowed to give a sermon or read aloud from the Gospel, as if women’s voices were profane, and as if women’s intellects were hampered by “feminine genius.”
  • The Taliban will not let girls or women learn how to read.

How do these chauvinist organizations get away with it?

Women allow it.

 

.

.

.

.

Posted in Pronouncements | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

STILL SERVING COMPLEMENTARIAN PIE

2016-10-12-0710-7-point-star-protractor-arcs-of-51-4-degrees-7x51-4360

With regard to Pope’s naming of new cardinals:  Still no female cardinal.

Wouldn’t it be so refreshing if even one of the men being honored by being elevated to cardinal refused the honor saying, “I will not accept such an honor until a woman is made cardinal.”

The Pope and his minions have cast their lot with the women who are satisfied to be treated like doormats and who are as yet not fully aware of the misogyny in the Church. Not a good bet because these women may wake up any day now and not ever be inclined to return to the Church once they have left in disgust.

Telling women they have to be self-limiting, self-undervaluing, unfulfilled, and satisfied with a small slice of the “complementarian” pie, is not an indoctrination that most women will find appealing over the long term, I’ll bet.

Jesus is dishonored by this religion that has degenerated into discrimination and exclusion, instead of being a “priesthood of all believers,” and “neither male nor female.”

Posted in Contrasts, Pronouncements | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE KEYS ARE ON THE FLAG

zz Vatican flag design

Have you ever noticed how the Papal flag with its triple crown, draped stole, and crossed keys, is the same basic design as the Jolly Roger flag with its skull, mandible, and crossed bones? Historically, which flag copied which flag? The Papal flag is a unique design among today’s national flags.

The keys are on the Vatican flag, but the idea that earth binds heaven may be a mistranslation.

In the ‘Our Father,’ it is ‘on earth as it is in heaven’ (the reverse).

The NIV footnote has for Matthew 16:19, “Whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven.” So heaven affects earth, not earth binding heaven. Similar footnote for Matthew 18:18.

So the Vatican may need to redesign its flag.

Possibly “heaven” meaning expanse, is inner consciousness, and that sets the stage for how we view “earth,” the material world we inhabit?? So the “key” is that your inner consciousness is very important.

Jesus obviously knew nothing of a pope or a Vatican flag.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Translations | Leave a comment

MOVING MOUNTAINS

2016 07 10 mountains

An online commenter has asked, are we not all “sons (children) of God,” and isn’t the point that we should all be “moving mountains” (Matthew 17:20).  I will add, why not move mountains, if that is what Jesus taught us to do?

For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

I rather doubt that Matthew 17:20 is a parable, that is, a “simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson,” rather, it is a teaching tacked onto a demonstration by Jesus of how to move mountains (Jesus removes a so-called “demon”).

Is Jesus a god and the only one to move mountains?  It does no honor to the historical Jesus, a Jew, to make him into a Pagan god as many do today, and the Gospel, which draws its supposed legitimacy from the antiquity of Hebrew religion, does not make Jesus into a Pagan god, not exactly; rather just makes allusions to Pagan imagery, such as, virgin birth, bride and bridegroom, sacrifice of the god, resurrection, etc.

However, it would seem the Gospel is, at least at some level, really serious about the concept of resurrection.  Probably it takes more than just dying to escape the misery of Samsara.

Jews know that their God is One and that is why they don’t subscribe to god-junior. Also, they know their Yahweh would never accept a human sacrifice.  This deliberate?? error in the Gospel — of Jesus as a human sacrifice — lets the Jews know the Gospel is not for them.  Rather the Gospel is crafted to impress the Pagans that are being lured into a supposed “monotheism” confected just for them and their tastes.

I think the following, from Daily Word April 28, 1997, while perhaps overly optimistic?? is a valid interpretation of Matthew 17:20-21: “ Spirit moves through me as the wisdom and strength to do what I need to do. In touch with the one Power in the universe, I realize unlimited potential. My goals are attainable, new ideas flood my mind, and I am guided to the right solutions. I welcome each day with joy and expectation, for I am lifted in spirit by my belief in the power of God to see me through. With faith, I believe that all things are possible.

Most Biblegateway versions of Matthew 17:20 have Jesus say that his disciples fail at removing demons because they have “little faith.”  However the Mounce interlinear says “poverty of . . . faith” instead.   So what is this poverty that is an impediment to moving mountains?  Perhaps it is a poverty of attitude that does not perceive the Love that is always for us, never opposed.  The Love that is Abundance.

I never did like the interpretation that made for straining to try to have more and more faith, when all that is needed is to ‘let go and let God’ move that mountain.

The next verse (21) is relegated to a footnote by the NRSV as being of possibly later origin. It does seem overstated. It advises the reader to make a greater effort to achieve results by fasting.  But Jesus’ formula for moving mountains is to have an attitude of gratitude.  Could fasting result in greater clarity of mind so as to focus better on having gratitude for abundant goodness?  I’ll tell you, when I fast, I have great clarity of mind visualizing the foods I crave.

Do I move mountains?  Sure, all day long.  Tons of them.  Just molehills, really.  But by the time I get through a day, I have moved so many molehills, the total volume approximates a mountain.  So same thing.  Besides most of these molehills seem like mountains.

 

 

 

.

Posted in Mysteries | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

WORD OF GOD IN SIRACH

2016 05 07 pray for peace gif

The author of John 1 seems to be saying that Jesus of Nazareth is the “Word” who is God.

The writers of the New Testament knew perhaps of the Book of Sirach, aka Ecclesiasticus, “The word of God on high is the fountain of wisdom, and her ways are everlasting commandments” (1:5 (DRA)).

But in the NRSV, Sirach 1:5 is omitted and is only a footnote to verse 1:4:

The footnote says, “Other ancient authorities add as verse 5, ‘The source of wisdom is God’s word in the highest heaven, and her ways are the eternal commandments.’”

The “word of God” becomes “God’s word.”

In the NABRE, the book is called “Ben Sira,” and verse 1:5 is also included only as a footnote:

“The wellspring of wisdom is the word of God in the heights, and its runlets are the ageless commandments.”

The feminine disappears.

These two translators take out verse 1:5 and put it into a footnote, but they do not renumber, so their text has a blank space.  So rip a verse out of a book and what do you get?  A big empty space where the verse used to be.  I can only imagine how offended these translators are to find the term “word of God” right there where they think it shouldn’t be.

The WYC is the only translation at Biblegateway besides the DRA??, that includes Sirach 1:5 and the WYC translates to wipe out the feminine and insert a “son” of God.  A son !!!

The well of wisdom is the son of God in high things; and the entering of that wisdom is (the) everlasting commandments. [The well of wisdom (is) the word of God in heights; and the in-going of it (is) everlasting commandments.]”

If the word “son” is not there, how can it possibly be justifiable to add it to a translation?

You examine the various translations and you just have to wonder if these are translations, or if the translators are just pushing their own agendas.

Another phrase from John 1:  In the beginning . . .

So similar to Sirach 24:14 (DRA): “From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be” — the context is Her (Wisdom).

Sirach 24:9 (NRSV)

“Before the ages, in the beginning, he created me, and for all the ages I shall not cease to be.”

A masculine creator is added.

Ben Sira (NABRE)

“Before all ages, from the beginning, he created me, and through all ages I shall not cease to be.”

It would be nice to know if “he” is a correct translation.

In a footnote for 24:9, the NABRE acknowledges a link to John 1:  “As in Proverbs 8, Wisdom is personified as coming from God, yet distinct from him. This description is reflected in the Johannine logos, or Word (Jn 1:1–14).”

Re: numbering of verses.  Not clear how DRA’s 24:14 ends up as 24:9 in the other translations.

Amazing how the NABRE moves verse 24:18 to a footnote (leaving a gap).  It says in part, “I am the mother of fair love, of reverence, of knowledge, and of holy hope.”  Well heaven forbid that we have any expression of the divine feminine.

Another verse banished to a footnote is verse 24:24, “The Lord Almighty alone is God, and apart from him there is no savior.”  Well, I can see why that verse might be banished.  No other savior?  Not even the second person of the Trinity?  Let’s just move that one out to a footnote, too.  What happens if people read the footnotes?  At least these translators allow us to have footnotes.

Does it matter if Jesus of Nazareth is derived from Wisdom, word of God in the beginning?  Yeah, it’s interesting.

_______

Posted May 17, 2016

.

 

Posted in Contrasts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment