What if you were God

Let us play a game.

A game of pretend.

Only at the end of the game if you win you’ll realize that it wasn’t a game.

That really what you thought wasn’t a game was a game.

So to begin I want you to close your eyes. Well I don’t because you won’t be able to read what I write if you do.

But anyway pretend to close your eyes.

Now I want you to imagine what it would be like to be God with a big G.

You can do whatever you want, you know everything and you are everywhere.

Question: what are you going to do?

Well come on. What would you do if you won the lottery so to speak?

Imagine the questions that would bug you in this state.

What is the point? What am I to do?

It’s all well and good being poor you know. These questions don’t really come up.

What is the point? To get rich of course; or at least make it so I don’t have to worry about food and shelter anymore.

What am I to do? Another easy one: try to get rich, build a hut or whatever.

It’s all very well being in a state of need. The need sorts those questions out for you.

But now I’m asking you what do you do when there is no need? After you’ve got that house and you’re rich and you have slaves to do everything for you. What do you do?

In a sense owning slaves is a lot like the power we ascribe to god. I speak “give me steak!” And voila my employee brings me steak.

God speaks “Let there be light” and voila there is light.

The only difference is that the universe in this way of thinking is God’s slave.

Well what would you do if you were God?

I’m not really looking for an answer to the question. It would be different for everybody anyway.

But that this question seems the most appropriate question one would ask oneself if one were God is interesting.

Why? Because it’s what we ask ourselves all the time.

That is to say that the most fundamental question man can ask “What am I to do?” Is the only question it makes any sense for God to ask also.

“Well I am. I want to be. Obviously I want to be otherwise I wouldn’t be. I’m god after all I can not be if I didn’t want to be. What on earth am I supposed to do?” Says god.

“Well here I am. I’m alive. Obviously I want to be alive because it’s easy to not be alive. I just chuck myself under a bus. But what the hell am I do with myself” says man.

Everyone reaches this state. Once you’ve put the time in at work to feed and clothe yourself you get home. You can do stuff but all the stuff you need to do has been done.

What are you to do?

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Eschatological maturity

“The throngs were astonished at His teaching for he was teaching them as one having authority” Matt 7:29

 

 

“Who is the image of the invisible God… Firstborn from among the dead” Col 1:15 – 18

 

 

“To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of the heavens, yet to those it has not been given” Matt 13:11

 

 

“According as Moses exalts the serpent in the wilderness, thus must the son of mankind be exalted” John 3:14

 

 

 

There is an inner and an outer teaching in scripture.

 

 

The outer is governed by law. According to the outer teaching the function of the law is to be obeyed.

 

 

The inner teaching is one of Man being brought to maturity. That is to Godhood. A place where he like God stands on his own two feet and assesses the situation. Where he speaks with his own authority.

 

 

So with Eve once the serpent had spoken to her it says “Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it brought a yearning to the eyes and that the tree was desirable for gaining insight” Gen 3:6. This wasn’t a false seeing for God confirms it “Behold man has become as one of us in knowing good and evil” Gen 3:22. That indeed the fruit had brought insight and indeed – as the serpent had said – the fruit had made them more like God.

 

 

Adam and Eve didn’t fall when they ate of the tree.

 

 

Oh no!

 

 

They fell when instead of saying “Oi God why did you tell us not to eat of the tree? Why did you want to keep us in ignorance?” they cowered and said “It wasn’t my fault she/the snake made me do it.”

 

 

An Adult, a mature person is unconcerned with obedience or disobedience. Of course they don’t want to get hurt which is why an adult says “All things are lawful to me but not all things are expedient” 1 cor 10:23. You can trap your dick in the door if you want but it will hurt.

 

 

Adam and Eve were not functioning on that level. They were not thinking for themselves. They were not mature.

 

To be continued…

 

 

 

The verses that finish the christian scriptures

There are 2 verses in the new testament that I believe finish scripture. Beyond the truth contained in these 23 words there isn’t really much more to be said.

“For in him we live and move and have our being” Acts 17:28

“For from him, and through him and to him are all things” Romans 11:36

To understand what it means to have your being in something I believe we can use the analogy of shapes.

Firstly, “being” is a verb that designates existence. That something is. It is in fact the most universal thing that can be said of anything. Every single thing has this quality of existence.

Now the question of existence is a dense and complicated question that has had many many texts dedicated to it. Many of the hardest, most dense and complicated texts have been written on this subject “Being and time”, “Being and nothingness” and pretty much all the existentialist texts deal with this question.

The problem isn’t so much in that we don’t know what it is. It’s like consciousness; we all know what is meant by this term but it’s difficult to pin down. So the difficulty is in how to enunciate or define this quality.

Now I’m not going to tackle that. I’m going to use an analogy inspired by another part of the first quote. Namely “In him we… move”.

So imagine a triangle. What is it within which the triangle moves and has its being? It’s space isn’t it. You could say that space – here 2-dimensional space – is the prerequisite for shapes. Before a shape can move there has to be an area that isn’t the shape for the shape to move into. This is self-evident.

We cannot imagine a shape without an outside. Try it.

A funny thing results from this. What is different about the inside as compared to the outside? Nothing except it’s location in respects to 3 lines. That is to say that the space on the inside of a shape is indistinguishable qualitatively from the space outside of it; the difference lies entirely within the context.

Also what are the lines? We shade them a different colour in our imagination but that’s a highlighting. That is to say that the shape of the shape is entirely arbitrary. That is the lines are merely highlighted space which could be highlighted any other way.

Where am I going with this? I am saying that the ultimate truth that all scripture was leading to and that finished scripture once it was uttered is the truth that all is God and God is all. Once this is known fully then there is no need for knowledge or prophecy. This is also the truth of the vedantic philosophy of Advaita.

Who or What is the devil the father of lies?

I believe the devil is the law because it is the law that makes men lie.

How?

Because it is impossible for man to keep the law and because everyone believes that a man who keeps the law is good and because all men want to appear good so what men do is lie about not being able to keep the law in order to maintain a good image.

The law is the father of lies and satan is an allegory for the law.

Remember satan is the accuser that which is against man.

And the law is the ministration of condemnation that is the law is the accuser.

The law is also against man because if man by his very nature kept the law then there would never be any reason for the law. You don’t make a law against stealing if nobody ever steals.

The AD 70 destruction of the temple (thus making it evidently impossible to keep the law) was God saying the law has done it’s job and was now only fit for the rubbish bin. It had been fulfilled.

He gave the law to the hebrews and they became the most wicked, degenerate and evil race of people through the law.

The bible is full of how bad hebrews are.

The law finally fulfilled it’s purpose in making the hebrews so wicked that they killed Jesus that was the intent and result of the law. This is what Jesus meant when he said he hadn’t come to destroy the law but to fulfill the law.

The fulfillment of the seed is the plant but once the seed has become the plant does it become a seed again?

For the law came to make sin abound to make sin increase.

See this brother. It is a glorious gospel that liberates man to be himself. And man isn’t all that bad; murderers, peadophiles etc are in the minority.

If people were honestly themselves without hiding their true intentions to fit into some law the world would be a better place.

The law makes men liars and hidden sin is worse then honestly open sin.

Love, Power and the Gospel Part 3/3

 

What does Jesus do? This is key because here it would be so easy for him to remedy his situation.

To fix it.

But no.

Instead Jesus takes active steps to ensure his own destruction.

He actively participates in the conspiracy erected against him.

Essentially Jesus is saying to the so called powers of the world “Do what you can, come on throw it all at me, do your worst” and when the world refrains, when it draws back Jesus is there again to say to it:

You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” John 19:11

That is he says the exact thing necessary to not only make Pilate crucify him but to make him feel OK about doing it!

How is this powerful?

This is powerful because it doesn’t come from a lack. The bare narrative is this:

False-power exerts itself against real power.

Real power fully accepts and acquiesces in every action taken against it.

It simply sits there silent in the face of the noise or acts to increase the adversarial adversity of the adversary.

After false-power has exhausted itself, that is emptied itself into the silence, real-power forgives it and then shows it that there is nothing to be forgiven.

Real power cannot be hurt, there is nothing you can give it or take from it.

False-power finally sees that what had really been happening was it had been expressing itself to love and being accepted and included and shown that it is loved.

That this relationship of expression and appreciation, of love was behind the mouldy facade of the power relation.

So Jesus portrayed power most explicitly when he was dying on the cross and he still loved his adversaries in the statement “Forgive them father for they not what they do”.

Love, Power and the Gospel Part 2/3

The single event in history that displayed true power in all its raw, loving beauty was the crucifixion of Jesus and the character of Jesus displayed especially near his death.

From the common understanding of power this seems absurd.

They would have it that Jesus be some superhuman who dominates the situation, who safe-guards his life, who removes obstacles etc.

They would say that a man who was silent in the face of rebuke, who did nothing when spat at, who didn’t defend himself when fictional accusations and deceitful mis-interpretations were brought against himself…

They would say such a man was not powerful.

At most they may applaud him with resignation.

But Jesus’ pacificity was potent.

A beautiful example of how radical Christ’s pacificity was is in his exchange with Pilate.

Pilate’s wife had had a dream and begged him not to do anything to Jesus.

Pilate wanted an out, some means to save face in his struggle between the emperor and the jews, and not crucify Christ. This is the situation expressed in:

“So Pilate said to Him, “Do You refuse to speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You and authority to crucify You?”” John 19:10

He’s saying, “Look, I’m the wielder of power here. I can let you go. I want to let you go. I wouldn’t be saying all this if I wanted to crucify you I would just do it!”

Love, Power and the Gospel Part 1/3

The function of sin is so that God can express an aspect of his character that can only be expressed through forgiving.

It’s not even that there is anything to forgive because it is God Himself that in the biblical narrative establishes man and supports man, even incites man to become His own adversary (David incited by God to number israel, the law’s function being to make sin increase etc).

For a long time I wondered about this. I could see that the biblical narrative had God doing this but I couldn’t see what for.

It’s so that love could express itself as power and as true power.

Most people think that power is what is portrayed as power. That is as front.

They think that power is attempting to make the world conform to their will, being able to remove discomfort etc… All that they think of as power is really the absence of power in that they wouldn’t do what they did if they didn’t already have a lack, a vulnerability.

Even the act of giving commands hides the truth that he who issues the command is not the sole wielder of power. The commandee has to acquiesce.

Then people call power the acts of coercion employed to bend the victim’s will but this act is itself the evidence, the effect, the symptom of the fact that the person they are being used on is actually not under their control, is not under their power.

Seeing this is the key to understanding the Gospels. It is the key to understanding Jesus and by proxy God.

The power of God

Most people think that God is in charge in the same impotent way as kings or governments.

That is to say that they believe God has the power to issue a command (believe in my son) and we have the power to not choose it.

This makes a mockery of God.

God is in absolute control. Not in the sense of a king’s control – who can ask and be denied. He is the cause and author of our choices and the consequences of our choices.

A drop of rain doesn’t land somewhere that God didn’t ordain.

This is the power of God – this is true power that is silent.

A command is only issued to hide the fact that he who issues the command has no power. That he to whom the command is issued can deny the command.

What most people believe to be power is really just a front. A mask to hide the fact of impotence and because it’s a mask it has to be loud to scare you away from pulling it off.

God is silent, He doesn’t issue commands because He is truly mighty. Because He controls everything – every thought you have, every desire you have is a direct action of God.

Eventually everyone will see this – but not soon – God is patient He holds all the cards and knows all our hands, he made the game, he made the rules of the game, He made the players of the game and he made the moves of the game.

This is the truth Jesus brought that is opposed to the law. The law states we need to do stuff for God… the Gospel says “Don’t be thick! He’s God what can you possibly do for him.. it’s you that is having stuff done for them… you are the passive recipient… and that is the only appropriate relationship to God”

Most christians won’t like this because they want to be the star of the show; really they want to usurp God’s position. It’s silly and God laughs.

What verse in scripture has the highest interpretive authority?

In scripture there are many seeming inconsistencies and using certain reading strategies these are insuperable.

One of these strategies is the one in which we take everything literally.

For instance we have this verse from Numbers:

“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent:” Numbers 23:19

But we also have verses like this:

“for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.” Jonah 4:2

Here Jonah is explaining to God why he went to tarshish instead of Nineveh. God had said He would destroy Nineveh and Jonah wanted Nineveh to be destroyed. That destruction was the evil that here – according to Jonah – God would and did repent of.

So the question is did God actually change His mind or was His intention fully carried out with no deviation? Which one glorifies God?

To settle the matter I will bring in the verse I believe to be of the highest authority in all of scripture. A verse that is as literal as it gets:

 

“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things” Romans 11:36

For god to change – truly change – His mind (to repent) there would have to be an agency outside of Him that could throw curve-balls his way.

 

God would have to be such a being that certain events surprise him and force Him to change His plan to accommodate a  fluid situation.

 

For a human this way of acting, this way of being fluid is laudable. No plan survives contact with the enemy after all.

 

But all things are not from, through and to us.

 

We exist in a state where there is a reality outside and – in some senses – against us to which we have to accommodate our wishes and plans.

But God is not a man.

So why the apparent change in His plan?

Because His real plan, His unchanging will was here to use Jonah and Nineveh as a means to express His divine character. He expressed His love through an apparent change of mind.

Nothing expresses Love like leniency!

 

 

How I read the bible

The way I study scripture is actually really simple.

I just read it.

I’ve divided it up into 9 sections which are:

The Torah (first 5 books)

History (from Joshua to Esther)

Wisdom (Job, Proverbs, Eccl, and Songs of solomon)

Psalms

Major prophets

Minor prophets

Gospels (including acts)

Pauline epistles (excluding Hebrews)

Other epistles (Hebrews to revelations)

 

Every day I read 2 chapters from each section. Sometimes I can’t be arsed so I don’t. It’s not a bind.

The reason I do this is because I enjoy reading the scriptures and I like watching my understanding grow as I make more connections between the various parts.

I don’t use a commentary. I don’t use a study bible. I just read the bare text.

Most people will use a guide they get from their church but I believe this is a sure-fire way to remain stunted. Not just spiritually but intellectually as well. Essentially their reading strategy is one in which they read a passage of scripture and then read whatever their denomination of choice says it means and this they call understanding.

This is the reason why “christians” are amongst the dumbest and most bigoted people you can come across. They lack their own understanding which means they fear alternative understandings to the one they accepted.

I think the version you use is important to. Though it is possible to get to the truth with a KJV, a Strong’s or Young’s concordance and a healthy capacity to spot inconsistencies it’s arduous.

Why go the long way when you can go the easy way.

So the version I use is the concordant version. (You can read about it here: www.concordant.org)

The reason I use this version (and Young’s literal translation) is because most translations use many english words for one hebrew/greek word and one english word for many greek/hebrew words. It’s a mess to be frank.

There is one instance in the KJV where 49 hebrew words are translated using 1 english word!

“The english verb destroy is, in the Common Version, the representative of not less than 49 different Hebrew words” Robert Young “Introduction to the Young’s literal Translation”

Hell is a word used to translate Sheol, Hades and Gehenna.

Kosmos and aion are both translated as either age or world.

The concordant version though uses this strategy:

“With the exception of occasional idiomatic usages in this version each english word does exclusive duty for a single greek word. By this means the significance and application of a single word can be determined from the inspired contexts” Introduction to the Concordant Literal New Testament