Friday, December 22, 2006

Go Forth and Reduce Greenhouse Gases

God said to go forth and multiply. We have a responsibility as believers to fill heaven with souls who will worship God for eternity. Jesus said whatever we do to and for the poor, we do to and for him. This is one of his seminal teachings.

DDT is not environmentally neutral. It leaves a footprint and has a ripple effect. However, thousands and thousands of people have suffered and died from malaria because of the international ban on DDT. Christians who sided with the environmentalists after the benefits and risks of DDT were known, should carry a burden of shame. They should also pause before jumping back on the environmental bandwagon.

The poor throughout the world have benefited from inexpensive sources of fuel and food. We will derive a greater spiritual bang for our buck by continuing to reduce the cost of food and fuel throughout the world than by restricting the use of fossil fuel or restricting the ways food can be produced in order to curb greenhouse gases.

Environmentalism has a pattern of opposing the clear word of God. For decades we have heard from environmentalists about how the earth can not support an ever increasing population. They attempted to frighten us with the horrors of a population explosion. Environmentalists have now lost interest in the population explosion because they have a new boogie man called global warming. In thirty years it will be something else.

Some science is complex. So are many spiritual matters. The science of global warming is less complex than deciding whether or not to give money to a beggar. Global warming can be understood; understanding why we are supposed to give to anyone who asks when some of those who ask will use what we give them to purchase alcohol and illegal drugs is much less understandable.

I’m glad some Christians are concerned about the earth’s environment including the climate. I accept that some believers will be more passionate about environmentalism than others just as some believers are more passionate about worship music than others. However, I think care for the environment has to be sensible and has to be kept in its proper perspective regarding our obligations as believers.

As believers, we need to major in what God considers important and minor in what we consider important. Using God's creation to go forth and multiply and help the poor should be our major concern. Limiting greenhouse gasses should be pretty low on the list.

20 comments:

Dave Smith said...

Interesting post, David. As I've told you before, I've been thinking about this more in the last year or so. Here again, I'm speaking in large generalities, but I believe you'll get the drift of where I'm going with this.

On the one extreme, you have an element of the Secular Progressive (SP) movement (i.e. Radical Environmentalists) who, in their guiding philosophy which is godless and socialistic, virtually and ironically deify the physical world in many of their outrageous proposals.

On the other extreme, you find the stereotype of the all out capitalist, who greedily abuses and strains the earth's resources, without regard to morality or stewardship.

We in the church danged sure don't want to have anything to do with the SP nonsense that deifies the created order, so we tend to fall a great deal more into the latter camp. And, as evangelicals who likely tend to have eschatologies that teach (or so we think) "It's all gonna burn anyway!", what motivation is there to be good stewards? We like either/or thinking and shy away from both/and. I believe our thinking in this camp of the church is fuzzy at best and needs some refinement and better articulation.

I'm wondering if there's a latent Gnosticism at work here. Yeah, the early church rightly rejected the Gnostic heresy that taught the separation between sacred and secular, Matter = Evil, Spirit = Good, but I believe, aided by Enlightenment thinking, we're still dealing with some of the same matters to this day.

Again, I'm still processing all this, so this is unrefined and raw yet. An Orthodox chaplain buddy of mine said that in their tradition, they don't teach that "a new heaven and earth" as outlined in Revelation, for example, means total annihilation of the created order, but rather a refinement (albeit a fiery refinement!) of what already is. So what I'm wondering is, do I as a believer maintain this idea of "Don't get too attached to anything here on earth; it's all gonna burn anyway!" to mean, though it may be regrettable, to not worry about things like rampant over-development, pesticides, pollution (No, I don't give any credence to the Global Warming crowd!) of air and water, etc.?

I'm leaning far more toward the old Celtic and Orthodox Churches' view that matter is sacred. God uses "stuff" (e.g. bread, wine, rocks, mountains, bushes, etc.) for sacred purposes; therefore, although we don't deify stuff, we don't abuse it either, but rather seek to be good stewards of it.

I know, the devil's in the details! But I do believe we need to have a better-stated position on environmentalism than we now have. I fear in rightly rejecting the extremes of the radical environmental movement we have failed to respond with a God-honoring statement of our own, thinking this alone lets us off the hook. I don't think it does!

David M. Smith said...

Hi Dave,

I agree with you, Christians do need to be more clear about what we mean by “stewardship”, without adopting or rejecting all of the goals or methods of the environmental movement.

By stewardship, do we mean protecting God’s creation or do we mean optimizing God’s creation for good as defined in Scripture and our traditions?

I can understand how some people want to protect the environment in it’s original state, but I don’t see any Christian virtue in doing so. Mosquitoes, polio, and HIV are all part of God’s environment, but I wouldn’t consider any of the three to need protection.

Southern California was originally mostly desert. By altering God’s environment, Californians have created a very desirable living area.

I would not necessarily stake out a middle position either. I often hear the term “greedy capitalist” and understand it’s theoretical meaning, but I rarely hear of any real life examples. I see selfish and inconsiderate people dumping trash and producing smog, but most corporations are solidly in the environmental camp due to political correctness. If anything, most corporations need to be more concerned with lowering prices and less concerned with appearing to be good citizens.

Dave Smith said...

Hey again, David! Yeah, I'm sure that stereotype of the ruthless, abusive corporation is waaaaay overblown, and that it would be better if they didn't have to put so much energy into the PC nonsense and more into just remaining competitive. And the junk science regarding global warming - AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!

My sense is that some of the best environmentalists out there - with boots on the ground, literally - are, most likely, farmers. Think about it. How wise is it to mess up your land and the surrounding environment for the sake of short term profit? They've got to be rooted firmly in reality. There's a cycle of plowing, planting, cultivating, feeding, harvesting; birth, death, and re-birth out of seeming death on a regular basis. I doubt there are many farmers or ranchers who "Bambi-ize" their animals! That's a product of urban and suburban folk, separated from the realities of life and what it requires to maintain it.

In my own small way, I'm trying to at least maintain some connection to "the land", and help my son to understand and appreciate a little of God's reality, by raising some of our own vegetables in a modest way and even getting into beekeeping. The more I learn about all this stuff, the more I am in awe of the way in which He allows us to cooperate with the whole natural system He created in order to draw food and sustenance from it.

Not everyone can "go back to the land" - and we sure don't need a lot of hyper-romanticism regarding it, but I honestly fear the irresponsible level of urbanization and suburbanization taking place out there. I suspect all of this tends to produce a class of folks who have no clue about how food is produced and where it comes from - and again, Bambi-ization/PETA-ization. People have to have a place to live, BUT . . .

I strongly suspect that God's not particularly pleased with a lot of this either.

For example, can a small farmer, who may be dirt rich but cash poor, keep his land? Maybe the issue here is not just a matter of purely responsible environmentalism, but also a matter of a moral and truly just tax system. What about that "rent" government can levy (i.e. via re-zoning and tax assessments), potentially raising it to levels he may not be able to afford, simply so that same government can gain more revenue by redistributing that land to a company who'll build yet another mall or build exclusive homes so that some rich folks can have "their piece of the country" (No, I'm not anti-wealth, but I believe this is where our government's tax code, ironically, favors the rich over the poor). Maybe we could solve a good many of our environmental problems with a reformed tax code!

To go further with the whole stewardship idea, I'm beginning to wonder if what God wants is for us to take back from the god of this world the legitimate lordship, in Christ, over the earth that we forfieted in Eden. If we could distill the longings of the Earth-Firsters and New-Agers down to their elemental ingredients, I think we may find some legitimate, God-implanted desires; obviously, though, without the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, . . . and Jesus Himself, it's all ego centered, idolotrous, pathetic nonsense.

Once again, a great post!

David M. Smith said...

Hi Dave,

You are right about farmers. Their environment is their product, or at least what creates their product. Care for property and its surrounding environment is a concern of most everyone who owns private property. Perhaps not quite to the same degree as the farmer or rancher, but still to a very high degree.

Most environmentalists want to put restrictions on the ownership and use of land. They believe public ownership and use of land will result in what is best for the environment, but the opposite is most often true. Public owners just don’t care about the land as much as private owners.

Its not clear to me what you think we need to get back to unless you are just talking about a better understanding of the relationship between us and our food and air supply. There was a time in the United States about 30 or 40 years ago when pollution was a problem and there are probably still some communities where pollution is a problem, but for the most part America is very clean.

Some of our pollution has been exported to other countries, but as other countries modernize, pollution will also reduce. I would still maintain that for some of these countries, food and shelter has to be a higher priority than greenhouse gases.

Thanks for all of your great comments; makes me miss our conversations from years ago even more.

Buz said...

David,

I think you got it partly right when you said that the priority of environmentalism compared to salvation is probably pretty low.

Consider this ... a father builds a wonderful mansion for his children, and promises them when he returns from his extended business trip, he will build them a far greater one.

Some of the children deface the mansion because there is another one coming, others take great care of it because it was a gift from their father ... still others who have forgotten about their father take care of it because it is beautiful, "and it is the only home we will ever have". In the end, they children end up fighting bitterly over the upkeep.

(1) Yes, we should take care of what we have because it is ours TO MANAGE, not our possession.
(2) The entire earth and all its treasures are not worth the (eternal) life of one person.
(3) Those who revere the earth to the point of worship are worshiping the gift, not the giver, because they have rejected the giver.

If someone loans you his car, you should be responsible with it, but given the choice of hitting a tree and totalling the car -or- running over a child who ran into the street, hit the tree!

Buz

David M. Smith said...

Hi Buz,

Great points!

I don’t view the earth as a mansion that God gave us. The earth is more like a tool box and the necessary materials to build temporary lives, and temporary shelters, and conduct temporary activities until he returns or until we return to him. Lumber, and oil, and water, and livestock, and vegetables and fruits, are the materials for us to use while on earth. Most of Southern California is better for humans than the desert God created due to improvements by and for humans.

I believe our mansion is in heaven, but even in heaven, we may need to use and change resources for practical purposes. I hope I can still build houses and software in heaven; just without modern management practices. : - )

BTW, my wife really got a kick out of your “tear your shirt in two” comment. However, she also made it clear that if I even considered doing such a thing, it would be the last time.

KathyMary said...

I am a heretic so I approach the environment from a less biblical direction, Mr. Smith, being a Gnostic I believe that my soul returns from time to time to earth to evolve further towards the Divine ONE. If this is true, it is not my one true home, but it is one of my homes & it is my class room - for my mortal lives teach me what I need to know to become one with God and Jesus. Logically, I want it to be in decent shape for my next life and all the lives to follow. You don't destroy your classroom if you are intelligent student. It was created by God, so you love it as you love the creator of all. The earth is the mother 'matter' of flesh so I am grateful, respectful & loving towards her just as I was my human mother - I know my flesh is mortal and will return to the mother just as my soul is immortal and will return to the Father of Lights, so I am one with the earth just as I wish to be one with God. That all said (and these concepts are the core of my philosophy about the environment.)How do these beliefs effect my life? I have tried, over the years, to educate myself about what are the right set of actions towards the environment. I ignore the environmentalists because, like Al Gore, they one and all have lost their minds and way, becoming human-haters and self-haters. I read what science has to say. I use my own logical mind and senses.. I try to educate myself and act wisely. I walk more, recycle, live in a small house, don't use the truck much, don't water the grass or use fertilizer on it because one is unnecessary and the other harms the ground water -"leaving a small footprint' is a good expression for my way-of-life. Too many scream & scream and then get in their fine jets and cross the country any time the urge strikes them. If you truly believe that your consumption of fossil fuels is harming mother earth, should you not attempt to consume a bit less? That said, neither do I jump on the environmentalist's endless bandwagons of the next serious threat. They are like children, loving novelty above substance.

I do not know whether global warming can truly be traced back to mankind & even if it can, we cannot be the sole cause. I suspect that this warming era is just another spike on the immense graph of natural environmental history and it too will pass, after all, up to 1850 we were in a small ice age, were we not?

David M. Smith said...

Hi KathyMary,

You are absolutely right about how people act in accordance with their true beliefs, not their publicly stated beliefs. Of course anyone who is truly concerned about CO2 should travel less, buy less, and do less. There are a lot of humble and sincere environmentalists who are doing exactly as you are doing. Then there are the other blowhard’s who want to tell everyone else what to do.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a good comment. How did you find my site? I don’t get many visitors from outer space. : - ) Just kidding, your comments are welcome. A Gnostic point of view may liven things up around here.

KathyMary said...

Hi Dave,
Thank you for your kind welcome.
Actually, it was nearly from outer space - but I do not understand the entire sequence. I checked my history file but I think it is only in alphabetical order, therefore, can not reveal the exact path. I wander around a great deal & sometimes where I end up has nothing to do with what I started with: Thermopylae becomes red capes, becomes weaving in ancient times, weaving becomes...(you get the point)
A footnote on another blog, perhaps,was the bow that shot me towards your blog. I can tell you that environmental issues have interested me since the late'60s & I am equally attracted to the term 'contrarian views', which pretty much describes my mind, too.
I fear one of my faults is that I want to jump up and down screaming when people complain & worry but do nothing- personal responsibility starts at home,doesn't it? This smacks of self-righteousness when I am not in full control of my mouth or pen; Like I said, it is a fault.
God wants us to learn something from the flesh & from mortal life, so what are the lessons? What are the lessons of this age? I sometimes wonder if modern technological life is even possible in the long term, if the problems, dangers & ambiguities don't negate all the good that comes from longer lives,cleaner(yes,cleaner!)cities,more people & better communications. I see this era as a vast experiment to see if we like living in an advanced technological age.We may tire out or just fail to maintain it or be conquered by our generation's version of the Goths.The Muslims have already rejected it. They will use it, but, reluctantly, their hearts and minds are still in the Dark Ages. I personally think the Middle Ages and agrarian life are not nearly as much fun or as romantic as many people believe; Nasty, dirty, and then the little ice age comes along and you die of the plague in old age. Even today, living on a farm isn't easy.
We Gnostics are the lone rangers of Christianity. We have always been around but we do not make ourselves obvious unless we are unwise. It is not revelation or Church dogma that draws us on.. it is God, himself, who is the flame to our moth.

David M. Smith said...

Hi again KathyMary,

One of my filters as a contrarian is to ask myself if my view is consistent with orthodox beliefs. “Old” is not necessarily more correct than “new”, but “old” has stood the test of time and been considered by many more great thinkers than “new”.

I don’t ever make an effort to be intentionally different, but I do notice a lack of wisdom and a mob mentality in a lot of contemporary thinking.

The term Gnosticism has stood the test of time, but the Gnostic beliefs of some early assemblies were rejected by the formal early church and other Christian intellectuals since then.

Do you subscribe to the Gnosticism of the first century? Do you subscribe to a different Gnosticism? Why? What is your filter?

Have you read C.S. Lewis?

KathyMary said...

I have tried to answer your questions but neither post seemed to survive! Sad. really - I had put plenty of effort into both of them, perhaps far too much. The old metaphor that anything on the computer is written on sand within a foot of sea is again appropriate. I have many stories I could share about the prose that flowed and disappeared.
My gnosticism, Dave, is born of personal experience of God and Jesus Christ not any intellectual commitment to ancient communities or books. I can say it no plainer. I encountered Jesus in a very profound manner, He came to me and asked me to be his friend. He has earned my love and my loyalty. There is no short or simple way to tell you the story of my quest. My philosophy (which is an intellectual construction of my mind) is born of many years of study of the world's religions, it is very personal.. I do not have the orthodox gene and I do not seek the church's approval. The legend that would express to you what my life is the Quest to find the Holy Grail. My favorite books of the Bible are the Song of Songs and the Book of Wisdom.
I can not submit to authority or orthodoxy, Dave, I am entirely incapable of it. I would have to be destroyed as a person to do so.What happened to me, originally in my teens, was not rebellion but something far deeper and I have never recovered my original trust/faith in the Churches. My faith - my beliefs were completely destroyed, blasted, died - it was as if a nuclear bomb had gone off inside of me. What I have built in its place is a relationship with Christ based in mutual love and understanding. (My first experience occurred in 1983.) and a philosophy that comforts me and puts the universe into something like order for my mind. All I can say is I do my best to be HIS in all things.
Perhaps it is for the best that the other posts did not survive because I explained too clearly & comprehensively what I mean!
C.S. Lewis was an excellent writer and a brilliant man but his words never dug in and stayed. I read some of his none-fiction about 23 years ago and some of his fantasy more recently. My favorite Christian writer is J.R.R. Tolkien and his work has dug very deeply within and I return to it from time to time.

David M. Smith said...

Hi again KathyMary,

I’ve learned to write my pieces and comments using a word processor and then paste what I have written into internet sites. There’s nothing more frustrating than pouring my heart into a piece and then have it vaporize after hitting a web button. (I also need the spell checker from word processors.)

Thanks for your persistence.

Like you, I believe I have a personal relationship with God through Christ, but I have never heard the audible voice of God. I don’t depend on orthodoxy because I want to be a member of a group or because I want to carry on a tradition or because I need to submit to authority. I depend on orthodoxy because it is the only sure fire way for me to know the will of God.

Has God spoken to you in an audible voice? If not, how do you discern the will of God? I know Pentecostals and some other Christians are comfortable with the emotional experience of being led by the Spirit. Perhaps I am missing the gene necessary to be led emotionally, but I have witnessed too many mistakes made by emotional decision making that are not made by rational decision making. I don’t know how to discern my will from God’s will when I consult my emotions.

How do you communicate with God?

P.S. I also love Tolkien.

KathyMary said...

I don’t trust emotion either when it comes to a spiritual life & quest. There are very good reasons for this. My head and my heart have never been exactly on the same page when it came to the idea of dedicating my life to Jesus Christ. I am only a housewife but I have a very scientific mind – I fear I think like a man in most things, in truth. I like the rational path and if something needs to be done I think very logically about it and reason out the steps. I am good at finding things because of this rationality. My second choice in such things is a woman’s choice – intuition & emotion, which are very strong in me, also, such a mind does not like submitting to anyone and loves to reason things out on its own.
Also, understand that I was disillusioned, bitter and immensely upset. I had loved God from childhood. (Try to understand that I learned these things on my journey, I did not know them when I started out.) My first vision was when I was about 7 years old, so when I felt betrayed it was, as a lover feels betrayed. My emotions towards God were very ambivalent for many years. Half loving, half hating, half desiring, half fearing God I learned my emotions would destroy my spirituality if I allowed them to do so.
Also, I am a woman, during a lot of my spiritual quest I was going through menopause. Nothing like menopause to drive one into emotional swings and mine were more extreme than most! Trust my emotions? Never. It would be like trusting your torturers.

What you seem to be forgetting is the SOUL. It is neither of the mind or logic centers, nor of the neurotransmitters so has nothing to do with mood swings, and, therefore, is not emotional. There it is constantly, a quiet voice, a still knowing far below all the muck & logic of the mind, all the emotions of the neurotransmitters: something greater, an immortal soul – never dying, it has a long memory. It is my true self, the part of me that will go on and rejoin its Source when this body has rejoined mother earth. ‘What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his true self?’ I have always dreamt of the soul as a blazing fire at the center of my being. I go down a long flight of stairs and enter a room with many pictures on the walls, beyond is room full of light – my true self, my essential being is a being of light.
How do I communicate with God? – first, understand that the communication is two-way. I am the seeker, he is the one sought. He has a very distinct roll in my life. “Seek and you shall find, knock...” He is the Father at the gate waiting for all his children to return home, wiser and humbled by their experiences. ‘ I thought I was wise, but I know nothing, Father!’ For me, it is through visions (imagine here, waking dreams… something you don’t create in your imagination but suddenly start and then stop without your control.) Visions have always been our main line of communication. Also dreams, the sleeping kind, little pushes in the right direction occur in dreams if you pay attention. I also pray – a lot. I listen carefully, in the silence, his voice is never in my ear, instead, its always in my mind, the same voice of conscious observation that says “don’t you think you should wash the dishes and feed the cats? ” is the voice that says things I KNOW don’t come from me – I would never say them to myself in a million years. Sometimes prayer can be just a sigh, a “oh, papa, do take care of us!” It is a dialog between two consciousnesses. God is all around us. There is a subtle aspect to this communication. A flowing in of information, sometimes of love, of energy, that is so totally beyond the conscious surface mind that it just rises to the surface from no where, so I am responding to something that I did not hear with my conscious mind. This is the most frustrating kind of spiritual communication, you find yourself responding without knowing why. Please try to understand, the conscious mind is not of God, it can’t hear God – doesn’t it say somewhere the flesh is not of God, that a person must be reborn in the spirit to know God? The soul is of God, therefore, and all communication must go through it and anything from God is communicated the way the soul communicates. When I speak of this colorfully I speak of veils of awareness. This means that communications do not come in nice and clear all of the time and God’s nature, which is one of the greatest mysteries of life, makes things even more difficult at times. Most of the time things do get through sooner or later. If something were really important, God would make sure I got the message at the proper time and understood it. He has proven himself most trustworthy in these matters.

He calls me daughter; I call him father or Papa. I ask for guidance and help, understanding, spiritual aid & growth. I sometimes skip all that & just am silent. He is the quiet voice in the darkness, also the knowing that it is time for do to something or not to do something, my life is heroically uneventful, but I try to do His will in it. Sometimes people will say things I feel are messages, but only very rarely, trust of fellow human beings (in spiritual matters) does not come easy,I would never trust a church to tell me God’s will because I have seen too often that they do their own will and forget God’s will entirely. (Like noblemen who do not listen to their king!) I know this is a harsh thing to say but it is the truth,a church is only a room full of fellow mortal beings,they may not wiser nor more knowing than you and they can be foolish and mean-hearted or just mislead by their own expectations or desire for power.It is entirely impossible to know and even if they would be full of God’s spirit and love,I would rather be guided in my life, from within, therefore, if mistakes are made, it is my responsibility and I can face the consequences and not be a victim of others. You don’t gain wisdom by listening to others; you gain it by living your own life in your own way. It was wisdom I prayed for.

I do speak in tongues (which my husband has, after many years, just accepted as a normal part of life!) It sounds like an ancient form of Italian or Latin, though one time my husband claimed it sounded Gaelic. It flows up from the unconscious and it’s not the most reliable line of spiritual communication. I think it is mostly for me at a personal level. I sing in it when I am doing my housework. I do get messages or advice, or even comforting (reassurance?)from it at times – but it is mainly a proof for my conscious mind that cannot be denied. 'OK, conscious mind,explain THIS!'
A last thought. emotion will take you the first few steps in a spiritual Quest but what happens when its stops being a novelty or fun? Its the difference between the summer warrior & the warriors of Valley Forge.

Buz said...

KathyMary,

Forgive me if I am intruding here, but I was wondering ... in your explanations of your communications with God, I did not see anything about reading the bible. Was it "a given" that is where you started, or is it something which you do not consider a reliable presentation of God's communication with humanity?

Buz

KathyMary said...

Oh, my, so it begins, Buz! But no problem. First thing I must say is that I am not a biblically based Christian; it would be foolish of me to claim I was. I am a heretic and a Gnostic. Some of it is very good, some of it is the history of the Jewish people and does not concern me greatly, and some of it belongs to another time and place. Its creation myth, for instance, is very interesting but we know now that the universe is a lot older and grander than the ancients ever suspected. I find the flood myth fascinating because I have always believed that Atlantis existed. (myth is not a lie it is a mix of memory,interpretation and symbols.)I am not sure how reliable the bible is – some places I really hear the same dear Father I have experienced, in others He is more like a Zeus, a god of thunder and nature neither sublime or kind. In the Exodus he seems a little of both. I really question that the ‘spare no one’ orders in their original invasion of Judea, it was nothing but really wishful thinking, something we all do to some degree.
Was it hard for God to get through to the ancients? They had their own expectations and cultural limits, did it take time for his voice to come through clearly? I don’t quite believe in a literal Garden of Eden or such – but what about the savannahs of Africa? I think most of us started out worshiping the nature gods until we grew up and expect a more complex deity. I think it grew in the telling. The God of the past (or our view of God) will not be the view of God we have when we journey to the stars or understand relativity fully (a fully combined theory about how everything works is what I mean.) Sometimes we forget we are not fully mature souls and have a ways to go before we can even claim to be wise. The Hebrews were spiritual children when they started out, but as they matured their understanding of God also evolved. God may have had to hit them over the head a few times but slowly they seemed to get the messages he wanted to implant into their souls. There seems to be a lot of argument in the Bible, itself – two creation myths, for instance, but also concerning sin – are the sins of the fathers visited on the children? That was argued fully for what seems most of the Old Testament – (the books of the Hebrews). It’s the story of a people’s relationship with God. It evolved as they did – there is even the story of man sacrificing his daughter to appease God that is entirely like Agamemnon and Iphigeneia tale in the Iliad. Yet, we have the story of Issac's near sacrifice - God,again,trying to communicate the truth to his people . There is, again, that flood myth (something every culture has – do we all remember the flooding at the end of the last great ice age? It must have been a horrible event!). Even life after death, the greatest of all spiritual questions for mortal man seems very debated and questioned. Early on it seems that they believe only in the survival of the father in the flesh of the sons but later, when they experienced persecution by the Greek invaders they speak of rewards in eternity and even immortal life. There are hints – just hints that they believed in reincarnation to some degree in the New Testament, maybe even the Old, again ,to some degree. I understand that the Jews don’t have the same attitude about life after death and they don’t make dogmatic statements in the same way we do. (those who died in the German Camps are being reborn and there is a revival of the doctrine of reincarnation in some Jewish communities because they are asking to be heard and often helped.)Different schools believe different things - the way it should be.

Buz said...

KathyMary,

I see you had some expectations of what I would say or what I would think ("And so it begins ...").

I hope I don't disappoint you, but it was simply a question.

If you would like to continue, I would not object ... off-line. If you do not care to continue, consider the matter finished.

Buz

KathyMary said...

Disappoint me? no. Surprised, me,no.I would have massively surprised if no one noted I had not mentioned The Bible.
Buz, honestly,it was humor,something hard to impart online. I am accustomed to Christians becoming apprehensive when they realize what I believe & that is always the first question. (Wait until you realize I believe in reincarnation!) It is easier to deal with a Muslim or a Jewish person than it is a heretic. A heretic challenges you from within your own borders. A Muslim or Jew who lives in a different culture and mindset, perhaps even a different part of the world, I live in your universe, but my understanding is different - many of the same pieces but put together in contrary ways. I am the one who walked away. Scary stuff for the ones who stayed but at a gut level,if not intellectually. I don't really see any reason to talk off-line- what would be accomplished? I am 55 & completely committed to my world-view - my Path, my Way. We could debate for the shear pleasure of doing so - so few love debate for its own sake!But seriously,I have thought everything out:the puzzle that is My universe is no where near all solved, but I am satisfied I have the right puzzle.
It is also up to you. You would accomplish nothing if conversion was your intention. I find that kind of conflict sad. If sharing and understanding was your desire, I would do both. It would be hard work & my only hesitation is I don't want to do the 'homework' 'thinking?' (don't laugh, but I am knitting socks. )Anything to keep myself away from ink and pen!

Buz said...

KathyMary,

No, I would not try to convert you, nor would you have any chance of converting me. I haven't worked everything out in my own mind, but I am a good friend of one who has, and I trust him. For me, the bottom line is more about trust in an individual than it is in a bunch of facts or ideas.

I would be a little curious as to how you arrived at all the things you believe in, but it is little more than curiousity.

Also, if I understood your earlier post, you have had some visions or dreams which have come true. I have had a couple, and mine have always been of impending problems. The last one woke me up in a cold sweat, and I have often prayed since then that it would not come true.

But, I don't want to clutter Dave's Blog with non-blog related stuff (of course, I think the way blogs work, everything is blog related, but you know what I mean.)

Buz

KathyMary said...

I have been very concerned that I should leave when we left the main subject but the questions came & I enjoy communicating so it difficult to discipline myself and yes, cluttering is a good word for it but I could not resist the environmental issue. You sound like you may have some spiritual gifts. Not an easy thing,is it,to walk in both worlds? Really, visions are waking dreams so they come through the same faculties of the imagination. BUT the ones from God come with a certain light and power-a flow that our mere imaginations do not have. The two sources, ourselves and God do mix and sometimes you really have pray a long time to be certain where something comes from. I think God's energy moves through our unconscious to communicate in pictures that we will understand (but as with computers, garbage in, garbage out. Fill your imagination with GOOD things.) I would suggest several things: Check your biology, make sure you are not sick. Some nightmares come from illness, breathing problems and/or heart problems.
I hate waking up in cold sweat. The worse dreams are the ones that make you afraid to go back to sleep - night terrors. I would not only pray that it would not come true, I would pray that God explains the meaning of the dream or dreams. Ask for understanding and guidance, be silent a part of your day so you can listen for any hints from the Divine. When I iron or wash dishes (tedious things) I sometimes turn everything off and just be silent - I find that doing this gives my soul & God a chance to communicate.

Is it literal? symbolic? a metaphor? a warning? (a past life memory, for those who believe in reincarnation?) are you being attacked by the darkness because of your dedication to God? The darkness does use dreams to manipulate us. The darkness uses fear,in fact, it is his main tool and fear of death is his favorite fear. Is it something within your soul that you need to look at such as abuse when you were a child? - I would suggest therapy if it was, which has its limits but is very useful when you are dealing with personal issues. Or is just a nasty fear because you are tired,depressed or worried about something? We mortals naturally fear some things, it could just be a meaningless fear surfacing in a dream. Also, remember we are in a violent war that is leading to the third World War - the general unconscious of all of mankind is in turmoil because this challenge and we are each haunted,still, by what happened on 9/11.
I use a prayer when things get nasty: "Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!" I have said that prayer so many times that it is buried in my unconscious and I say it in dreams when I am afraid or terrorized by something. Always remember, Buz, fear is not of you or God, all fear belongs to the darkness,the evil one. God always says when he communicates "Be not afraid!" Fear nothing. Death, in all its forms, has no power and does not truly exist for what is your essential self. Dismiss fear as you dismiss an ugly enemy. Reassure yourself that God is with you and loves you when you feel a fear trying to control you. The darkness wants you on your knees,weeping, it wants you weak and immature, frozen with fear and doubt. Don't give in to it/him.
As for your curiosity, I understand, but really, stay with what works for you - I truly need to find some discipline at this time, I may try to set up a blog of my own,someday, though it will be a strange mixture of things. This was great fun, I must say, thanks!

Buz said...

KathyMary,

While much of what you said may be true, my dreams have not been of that nature ...

If you want to discuss more, send me an e-mail at RBuzdor at Yahoo dot com.

Buz