What is the difference between one's child and the half-dead man by the side of the road the Good Samaritan aided? Who is our neighbor? Well, who is our family? Is the neighbor aided by the Good Samaritan not also the Samaritan's brother?
What I'm saying is not for everybody even while it is for everybody. That's not because I'm withholding. It's because they don't grasp it. Look at all that you grasp that others don't. I'm not referring to your grasping what I'm proposing to you. I'm speaking about what you grasped before we began our correspondence. Who sees everything exactly the same is the very same being, one and the same soul. What we're talking about here is closeness to God in relative and absolute terms.
I'm not satisfied with people claiming they don't see points that I know they see but just rather are unwilling to admit. I'm not referring to you here. All things being equal, you've been quite open. I'm referring to how souls must be confronted by stark reality. They must be called for doing mental gymnastics to avoid the implications of their behavior. It's the only way. I want to know the truth. Others want to avoid it. They say as much.
Alberto Gonzales said to the Senate that they (collectively) didn't have to answer the "tough questions." They could just not ask. That's legal mumbo jumbo to slide by being incriminated. No one took him to task for that anywhere that I saw or heard. I wrote about it at the time.
He is wrong. They all know it. They don't call him on it specifically. They fear that the same rebuke is applicable to their own skirting around the issues.
We're talking about the difference between right and wrong here: Basic, fundamental.
I'm not sure what you want from me concerning art. The Creation is art, depending upon how much one wants to credit art. I say it is art. Jesus appreciates the beauty. He says things that one would be wrong to interpret otherwise. I have no problem with art, per se.
If you take the attitude you do, what do reply to Jesus when he puts you in the position of Peter telling him three times that if he, Peter, now you, love me, Jesus, then feed my lambs and sheep? Listen, the state can pick up the half-dead guy by the road. I have other things to do. I pay my taxes. Let the state do it all from the top-down. (That's Ebenezer Scrooge before his revelation.) Only that's not what has happened for nearly two thousand years.
The Church's energies are to be inexhaustible. When have you heard of love running out? God is love. If love runs out, God dies.
The local Church can't conquer hunger where? If the local Church is everywhere, as it ought to be and one day will be if you believe in Jesus (his message), then all will be fed by that Church. The Church doesn't die upon the return of the spirit of Christ as Jesus describes that return.
The Church gets all of its real energy from God, from love.
There is no such thing as the right state before Christ returns. Christ is here now in my heart. The state within me is to be consistent with that. I'm to speak what is in my heart. I'm to speak the good things from the treasure in my heart that is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Where is Jesus? Is he not in you to do the things he said?
I'm having a time here wondering why you're fighting against these things rather than being glad. I don't say that to test you or tempt you. When I look for Christians who say they are communists, I don't look for Marxists. I look for Christians (already found or not). I look for those who realize that the real community is the Christian state of being.
If you aren't moved by this, so be it. Don't ask me to understand it though. I don't find it reasonable. I find it hardhearted. It isn't something with which I'm going to agree. It doesn't mean I wish you ill. I certainly don't want ill to befall you.
I want to have people come together not to simply discuss Christian communism but to do it. Will it start out small? Jesus started with how many? The Christian Commons is just adding to the Church. I'm not building some new foundation. I'm completely happy with the one Jesus laid out that is still very much right there and here in me now because I believe it.
All of what I term coercion, the context in which I'm using it, the particular connotation, the same one Jesus means when he says turn the other cheek and don't resist evil (don't anyone, anywhere, at anytime resist in that way: Lifting a hand to another, getting blood on one's hands, and the like), is evil. It is evil, a sin, not to follow Jesus's admonition to turn the other cheek once you've been given to understand what it means. If one is ignorant about it, living in the Amazon jungle having never heard the word, he will receive few stripes, as Jesus says.
"3. Even the right State (on this Earth, before Christ returns) will err. One failure to do what it should as the mere sum of individuals, just as for any single individual, makes it fall short of divinity. Any injust coercion as well. That perfection will not come by our efforts, but we can make the world much better, a more holy place. What confuses me is that you seem quite adamant that all coercion and non-pacifism is evil, so the right State is the one that never coerces. But it seems this hypothetical non-coercive State-Church entity survives because everyone has been filled with the spirit and is close to perfect, needing no coercion. That is what I don't understand."
You're right. This is going over your head for some reason. I don't have the power to instill it in you. The old adage that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink applies here. Well, at least you truly don't get it rather than getting it on a certain level and rejecting it so you can pretend to yourself. You're not being a Pharisee here. I trust you aren't misrepresenting your true thoughts as best you are aware of them.
I don't know what to say more. I'm truly looking forward to the day when someone says, "I get it," truly means it, and wants to roll up his or her sleeves about it. The Christian Commons isn't a monastery. It's not for men only. It's for genetic families that have the peace of which Jesus speaks where the disciples didn't leave and take their peace with them.
You don't care for the Anabaptists, but you have to admit that if more people simply decided to, they could live communally, as shown by many Anabaptists who are married and do have children. One doesn't have to be an Anabaptist to decide to live communistically with husbands and wives and children just as with any village or city. The issue is of ownership, sharing, and money. The ownership would be shared. Money wouldn't be required to come to the table. It's family. The whole human race is that family. It's just that a whole bunch of them are lost. A whole bunch of them too will refuse ever to be found in this life. That's just how it is, but that is definitely not supposed to stop us from bringing forth in peace.
I haven't been doing much quoting of scripture with you because I know you've contemplated much of this in light of your readings. Jesus though quotes scripture at times appropriate. So, dwell on the following until you get it.
I posted these two sections in the same post yesterday. It's perfect timing to lead you. Remember, I'm not leading you. Ultimately, it's always God if your direction is being properly oriented.
The forces of militant coercion take the wheat with the tares.
The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. Matthew 13:24-30.
The militant capitalists and the militant social democrats, socialists, and communists do not separate them. Even as they kill people, they can never be sure whether or not they are killing (murdering) people who may be iniquitous but who would turn and repent if given the opportunity, the knowledge, the love.
And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. Luke 9:51-56.
Do you understand? If you don't, ask, seek, and knock directly. I've done my best. The rest is up to your heart. That doesn't mean I want to cut off dialogue. Don't take it that way if you're tempted. I can't though hold the door open to you that you don't see. I trust that make sense to you.
"Again, if there is any disagreement on what is perfect behaviour, it is minute, but if you think we are perfectible enough to form a non-coercive State and that any system of coercion or hierarchical elitism is evil and anti-Christian, then we have a very serious divergence of praxis. The State must work to promote Christian socialist values which glorify labour and simplicity and limit the material rewards the elites can grant themselves while facilitating an environment in which people have little barrier to good moral environments for starting families, in which they enjoy freedom from crime and all debilitating forms of economic and other insecurity, and which encourages socially-conscious moral choices. All the while, those individuals who heed as best as they can the true revolutionary calling of Christ should fill leadership roles in the Church and serve as examples. Even as Church and State have the same goals, they have different roles."
What are you prepared to do to people to force them? Are you willing to kill people? Is your coercion violent? Will you throw the first stone? Where are you? Whose voice are you heeding? It's not my Lord's. You describe the right function of the state or State, but if you use the means of torture or drawing blood, shooting people in violent revolution, your state is not the one Jesus went ahead to build.
"4. If I tell you not to do something I am rebuking you. If I disrupt your business by overturning the table on which you are working, I am being violent and coercive. I will have been so offended that I will have ceased to seek to persuade you of your error (like a pure pacifist would) and will have attempted to stop the error by force. If your business is protected by the law or by the opinion of those who enforce it, I will be punished for the action even if you were not physically touched in the ordeal."
The personality you are describing is not the same one who said to turn the other cheek and who moved them to consider their consciences before stoning someone. You've not reconciled the differences. You haven't made them work together. You've turned Jesus into the wrath he rebuked his disciples for confusing with him.
Rebuking me is not coercing me. You can rebuke without forcing me to do anything. I can ignore you if you are right am I'm being wicked. If you come home and find people in your house who claim to be heart and soul with you in spirit worshipping God who are rather engaging in things that are forbidden in your house and you turn over the tables in your house and tell them to get out, you have still not resisted their violence with violence.
You seem to think that if one gets in Jesus's face and refuses that Jesus will fight him physically. It didn't happen. They fled thinking what? How many of them were convicted by their consciences? You're judging that time by now. However, it is darker now. You must see that. People turned then more easily than now. Because of their unbelief, we can do little now. That will change though.
The mundane law then punished him. They didn't know the law, so they punished him to death.
Will the state of which you speak limit itself to what Jesus did in the temple? Will it refuse to hit back as Jesus commands us not to hit back? Will it refuse to stone anyone (judge, sentence, and execute anyone) also as Jesus commands us not to judge, sentence, punish, or execute?
How will you avoid violating anyone of his commandments?
It is on account of the very things you've said that I am decidedly not a disciple of Paul. I have never found him enlightening but rather the opposite. I don't judge him however. I don't know what he truly thought he was doing. That's not my station. God hasn't set me up to do that. I'm not given to it. I speak the truth though when I say that I have never found Paul enlightening. I have never learned anything from him. Everything I know is from the Gospels and some of the letters but not Paul's. If that offends you, there is nothing I can do about that.
If you aren't real, you're dead. Living on this plane with the overlords as they are doesn't mean one is necessarily succumbing to evil, falling to temptation, partaking of it.
Also, what is the public respect of which you write? I know of no one who is keeping it real who has the respect of the public, at least not yet. It is better to be real and have them crucify you than it is to cave in.
I work under capitalists in a capitalist society that demands mammon from me or it will either starve me or lock me in an insane asylum. It shouldn't be that way and I'm working on the outside to change it. I'm working on it on the outside, because as I've written before, the state of the prince of this world of which Jesus speaks is the old wineskin that cannot hold the new wine.
You must ask yourself about yourself in that regard. What you've written isn't reconcilable with all the words and deeds of Christ. Do you disagree? Search your soul is what I'm moved to recommend.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
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Political Campaign Intervention
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Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)