Let me open this Monday morning blog with a question. When you read the bible, you'll find that when Christ speaks he poses lots of questions. Why do you think he did that?
Before you answer please know that there are two reasons why people ask questions. 1) To get information and 2) To provoke thought. Jesus being the son of God [big G] had volumes of information (a direct link to God) so what could he possibly learn from our finite minds? I believe Jesus posed questions in order to provoke thought in us. 2000 years ago and today.
I just completed watching The View this morning where the show was all about psychic/tarot card readings and researching/discovering one's past life. I cast no dispersions on people seek soothsayers for their spiritual council. In fact I'm not one of those down your throat, in your face Christians who arrogantly belittles your spiritual walk. I may not believe what you believe or in the way that you believe but I honestly respect your chosen path. At least you're on a path.
I've been a practicing Christian since I was 12 years old. After attending, what was called back in the 70's, a *street meeting where my mother's singing group was featured, I was too afraid to not choose salvation because during this meeting there was a film that depicted visions of life in hell. I remember how vivid the images were: A dark and dirty cave with fire blazing from the ground and the screaming sounds of people mourning the fact that they did not choose to be saved by Jesus Christ. There were people with eyes gouged out, blood pouring from their faces and images of horrible creatures half human half animal. They are called centaurs. These centaurs approached the mourners tormenting them with words [kind of like how in Silence of the Lambs Hannibal Lecter tormented Miggs such that Miggs chewed off his own tongue.] An example of how strong manipulative minds prey on weak impressionable minds.
Note: *a street meeting was a musical way for Christians to be living witnesses for people about the love of Christ and the power of salvation from sin which leads one right to hell. The street meetings I grew up attending were always in the most ghetto areas of New York City: South Bronx, South Jamaica Queens, parts of Brooklyn and Times Square in Manhattan. We literally set up electronics on the streets around New York City, mics, drums, guitars, pianos, BIG speakers and all!! It was a christian block party. And don't misunderstand me, it was wonderful to have experienced but I digress. Back to the question at hand.
The purpose of today's blog is not to reveal any personal belief system of mine or slam on anyone's belief but to simply provoke thought. Really, a 12 year old child watching what today would have been considered a rated R film, visuals too mature for my developing mind. That evening was full of conjoined weeping and the aroma of vomit. Yes you read that correctly folks were actually vomiting [and weeping] from what they were watching. Eventually many of us scurried up to the front of the church for salvation. Could you blame us? The message of peace and love and life eternal was overshadowed by the sales pitch to avoid hell. After all people who are on the fast track to hell read tarot cards and communicate with evil spirits - that of the dead. Meanwhile folks who claim to be Christlike cause more pain than the folks they preach we should try to avoid. Pain like full blown sexual scandals and this absurd practice called silencing. I'll get into that some other time.
Back to The View. Sherrie Sheppard has never concealed her faith, which is great, but when it came to her participation in having a reading she came across closed and bellicose, haughty in fact. This soothsayer had to state how seriously he took his work and asked Sherrie to comply. Christians tend to be unmovable about their faith while belittling others. If anyone does that to a Christian they would be the first to yell, "Satan, get out of my way!" If hell is a physical place to which a soul is immediately quarantined for not becoming saved I certainly do not purpose to experience it. However the avoidance of hell would not be my concentration to gain people into the kingdom. All Sherrie's actions showed me was that she's not open to learning about what other people believe. There are many books and CD's on the world religions, etc. It wouldn't hurt to be prepared to have a conversation posing questions and offering facts. It just arms you with intelligence; a preparation for having conversations before meeting others.
The Christian kryptonite of anything referencing new age philosophy, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, or Judaism is off putting as [in my opinion] it does not reflect the spirit of Christ at all. I liken it to a recovering crack addict being invited to a crack den for a birthday party. Since the crack addict has a weakness for that synthetic drug, their will [mind] is not strong enough to resist it's known affect. I, for example, have never experienced crack so I am unfamiliar with it's affects. Therefore I can go into a crack den for a birthday party and be just fine. It has no affect/power over me in any way. I do however have experience with refined sugar, how it makes me feel and how it affects my physical constitution. Sugar has power over me which is why I've removed it from my diet completely. I'm in sugar rehab if you will. So the minute one of the crack heads hands me a slice of cake, I'm back to square one. Not good!! My cleanse would be shot to hell, the very place I'm trying to avoid. You see, I'll pass over the crack pipe for some tepid, soft butter cream icing in a minute. I can't venture into a place where I know I still have a weakness. That comes with knowing your limitations. Duh!
If the spirit of Christ resides in me that means that I can go into any place and speak with anyone at any time without fear of any kind. Go ahead, talk to me about the power of the tarot, bring in psychics to tell me about my "past lives." It's all fine. No need for me to sling insults. Because I know what I know what I know. And I believe what I believe what I believe.
So I ask you how can a stranger alter that? Just don't bring any desserts with refined/processed sugar... please!