Title: "Not in our name."
With the long break, I've had an opportunity to allow more of our conversation to digest. There are a few things I want to write before I actually read your reply so as not to be influenced or prejudiced by new writing not as well digested. The first is that I know you are no killer in the common parlance. I realize that you are capable of setting priorities. Any violent coercion coming from you, if any (and you don't strike me as a violent person relatively speaking), would be a truly last resort. I'm confident in saying that you don't hold with George W. Bush's trigger-happy methods. He never met a person on death row he didn't want to kill regardless of all the DNA exonerations that have come along. He has lost no sleep over those he allowed to die regardless of the high statistical probability that one or more were not guilty of the crime for which Bush's kind punished them to death.
The second bit is that PayPal has put me through the due-diligence and compliance hoops with the outcome being that the RLCC is an account in good standing. The Real Liberal Christian Church is a United States Internal Revenue Code §501(c)(3) Nonprofit, Public Charity, Religious Organization (ministry), as defined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the principal purpose of which ministry is the advancement of religion, namely Christianity. I'm waiting for some documentation to arrive via the U.S. Postal Service so I may supply GuideStar with sufficient proof to proceed with them as well.
Now to your message/reply, thank you for continuing the dialogue. I am growing by it.
I agree with John Locke concerning tabular rasa up to a point. I qualify the position by pointing to Jesus's view that he was born knowing God. I do not believe that Jesus was born an adult in a baby's body, however. He did not come out speaking Aramaic, etc. He came out speechless (unless you count baby sounds as speech — it does communicate of course) and unable to rollover or sit up, etc. He had to have his little rear end washed just as the rest of us. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's a great thing to know. It helps demonstrate that we too can approach God if we do it in the spirit Jesus shows.
The reason I bring up Locke is because DNA instinct is as much conditioning as it is what the scientists buy and paint. Them-versus-us is cultural. Of course, when a stranger comes in and starts harming those with whom one is bonded, protecting loved ones is the understandable automatic (instinctual) response if one has ever been informed (unenlightened) of violent reactions. The real issue is why the stranger and often those we know do harm. Is that instinctual? Is it nature or nurture or more so the lack thereof. Where does predilection and genetic predisposition enter in?
Jesus discusses the root and doing a makeover, a complete overhaul, a total transformation. It's more than reformation. It's revolutionary. He also discusses those who just don't and won't. They disappear though. How is that? Is it by way of those remaining having slaughtered all of them or by way of their having killed each other off? I say it is the latter in conjunction with God saving the anointed ones and resurrecting and perfecting them as well. The proverbial Second Coming to me is not a militant Jesus, even though the truth is that matter possessed of the evil spirit is (will be) annihilated from this plane.
So, when you speak of the biological urge to feed your immediate offspring first, I say this depends upon your learned priorities. Who were Jesus's brothers and sisters? He did put his fledgling Church first and rightly so. As for Stalin, he put what before the life of his son? It wasn't the truth he put first. The truth is that Stalin was wrong at the core, even though his enemies were also wrong at the core. I believe you are with me on that.
Jesus calls us to put the spiritual family first. Ultimately though, if we all do that and are all turned to the right spirit, all flesh family will be included. This is how Jesus fulfills. The truth judges. It judges that those who put biological family over seeing the light that Jesus is each poor person will go the way of the goats. Why do you say it is impossible to predict this? I agree with the assertion in Revelations that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Don't you agree with that, or have you not considered it before?
Contrary to what you've written, the local Church can conquer hunger everywhere, because God responds in the real Church. God has both the power and desire to increase bounty. God can remake the land. God can bring forth waters. Also, what is restricting migration are mostly arbitrary political boundaries rather than a lack of politically coerced migration, but that's an aside. In addition, food can be transported without causing environmental degradation. Humanity just isn't doing God's will. Humanity has been mesmerized by 30 and 60 second advertisements for the gain of the greedy.
There is no danger of Pharisaical self-righteousness if one sticks with Jesus. Was Jesus sanctimonious? I know he was not. To be Christlike is not to become sanctimonious. For fear of that trap, will you lie back and still fall? Rather, go forth and believe that you will not fall. That's not evil.
Without a plan, 'feeding the poor' is fully abstract. And I don't doubt that those who feel the freedom of the spirit to talk to the homeless or to the drug addicts, to do the terribly difficult work of redeeming society's outcasts, would be among the first to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This does not speak against the fact that rational plans to fight societal ills are highly organised and cannot wait for the radical conversion of millions to risk everything in order to devote themselves in a saintly manner.
What risk? There is no risk. There is no risk in behaving in a saintly manner. Also, the Christian Commons Project is a plan. However, I know you are referring to secular work. The Christian Commons doesn't cause all the other works of the world to come to a screeching halt. It's a beginning. It's a mustard seed. Raising up the Christian Commons in first one place and then another and another isn't diluting good works. It doesn't take away. It's a beacon, many beacons.
If any whole nation-state wants to turn to communism or socialism, the Christian Commons doesn't coerce them not to do that. Those nation-states currently though drag souls on the inside kicking and screaming about loss of freedom and liberty without their consent. That doesn't happen with the Commons, as we've discussed before. In fact, most libertarians have openly stated that communism is fine so long as it's voluntary. The Commons is voluntary.
The problem they have with me is that I'm insisting that the same apply to their system, which it does not currently. Capitalism is not voluntary. It is enforced by arms. It's evil on account of that and other reasons.
You seem to be of the opinion that unless we force each other, we will not enter Heaven. That's not Christian though. Surely you see that. Are you first and only a Christian or are you really more Marxist at heart?
In addition, you seem not to take being compelled by a working conscience as the only needed form of coercion. Why can't humanity consciously evolve to that? Why do you deny this?
Again, it seems you are waiting for the Church to conquer the world in a purely spiritual, non-coercive way, and for a mass conversion to radical, pure Christianity.
Of course, it will be spiritual. There will be no coerced conversion. There will only be coerced separation in accordance with truth. There will be no error. Not one shaft of wheat will be bundled with the tares. It will be at that point that Satan will no longer be doing the sifting.
I don't see how you don't see the connection with each heart converting with the prophecy that all hearts will turn or be separated away by forces beyond the material movement of humanity other than thinking truth that is just. Thinking is physical while it is also spiritual. I think justice. I don't lift my physical hand as people commonly think of my hand. I don't slaughter people. I speak the truth that those souls who don't turn away from such activities will go the way of the spirit of such activities. People receive their own standard in the end. They are put on the receiving end. If you feed the lambs and don't do iniquity, you are fed as one of the lambs. What's wrong with that? Nothing is wrong with that. It's pure justice. It's beautiful for those who can see it and do it.
You aren't going to create Heaven via coercion. You aren't going to force your way in. That's not how it happens.
The Commons is waiting for a mass conversion. I'm not a mass conversion alone. It's waiting for one, two, three ... others to join in the effort to raise the funds, to convert the mammon out of its evil system into arable land as a prototype Christian community (community property) where food sovereignty rest in the whole, where the people own the means all together, where they work to serve each other, and where surpluses go out to spread the pattern of behavior. The biggest enemies of this are the greediest capitalists (the socialist corporatists and bankers) who fund their Roman Catholic Church and other churches. Why are you setting up obstacles in your mind? Consider your own planned offspring. Would the Commons be an evil place for your children? If you think so, your thought process was terminated before you thought it through.
You are right that one of the problems with the Peace Churches of the Anabaptists has been in not shining the light out of fear of persecution. They are changing that, as I've mentioned. They need to remain vigilant however. Jesus went among the prostitutes and tax collectors, but he didn't cave in.
But any serious attempt they have made to form theocratic societies based on radically reformed doctrines ended in anarchy and corruption.
This is not true. This is propaganda you've been fed. The Hutterites number in the many tens of thousands right now, and they are certainly not chaotic or nearly as corrupt as the general society that surrounds them or the Roman Catholic Church. Check them out on the Internet. I don't hold with their male-centric Pauline notions, but that aside, they are living proof that primarily Christian living and communist living are one and the same and work even better than the selfish competitiveness that Adam Smith laid out with the qualification (morality) that most so-called capitalists ignore. Of course, you and I both know that capitalism and ultimate morality are mutually exclusive. What we don't seem to be able to walk together about is that morality and anti-peace (violent coercion) are also mutually exclusive.
You see, here you are saying that I'm right concerning greed and sexual depravity but wrong about violent coercion. But also come those who say I'm right on greed and violence but wrong about sexuality. Of course, there are many who say I'm wrong on all three.
You seem to think I'm not a pragmatist. I'm a complete pragmatist. I believe completely in cause and effect: Root, seed, and fruit. Jesus is the ultimate pragmatist. He doesn't call anyone to the traditions of the Roman church. Those traditions have retarded bringing forth. If it were not so, we would be living in the New Heaven and New Earth already. You are what is considered well read. You've studied history. You can't study languages in any well-rounded manner without studying history. Surely you're aware of the history of all the egregious errors of faith of the popes.
Pope Leo XIII (pope 1878-1903), Encyclical on Labor:
The Socialists, working on the poor man's envy of the rich [in general, they don't promote envy], endeavor to destroy private property, and maintain that personal property should become the common property of all. They are emphatically unjust, because they would rob the lawful possessor... [Hogwash. Christian communists want back (The Commons) what was stolen by force of arms.] If one man hires out to another his strength or his industry, he does this in order to receive in return the means of livelihood, with the intention of acquiring a real right, not merely to his wage, but also to the free disposal of it. Should he invest this wage in land it is only his wage in another form...
It is precisely in this power of disposal that ownership consists, whether it be a question of land or other property. Socialists ... strike at the liberty of every wage-earner, for they deprive him of the liberty of disposing of his wages [Who needs wages when the family doesn't charge for anything?]. Every man has, by the law of Nature, the right to possess property of his own....
So, from his own mouth, he condemns the landowners who built up their whole system on coercive, violent, threatening takings of the rightful inheritance of all others. He goes on to say:
It must be within his right to own things, not merely for the use of the moment, not merely things that perish in their use, but such things whose usefulness is permanent and stable.
It is his right to own them voluntarily collectively. He further states:
...Man is prior to the state, and he holds his natural rights prior to any right of the State... When man spends the keenness of his mind and the strength of his body in winning the fruits of Nature, he thereby makes his own that spot of Nature's field, which he tills, that spot on which he sets the seal of his own personality. It cannot but be just that that spot should be his own, free from outside intrusion....
So, he who gets there first and walls it off owns it even if he starves his innocent brother. Who was this pope? He was not Christian yet he was considered one of their better ones.
Pope Leo XIII also wrote:
Christian democracy, by the very fact that it is Christian, must be based upon the principles of Divine Faith in its endeavors for the betterment of the masses. Hence to Christian democracy justice is sacred. It must maintain that the right of acquiring and possessing property cannot be gainsaid [Jesus doesn't force conversion.], and it must safeguard the various distinctions and degrees which are indispensable in every well-ordered commonwealth. [He means here the caste system that Jesus destroyed.] It is clear, therefore, that there is nothing common between Social and Christian democracy. They differ from each other as much as the sect of Socialism differs from the Church of Christ.
Leave it to the Marxists to point this out, just as the libertarian capitalists point to the evils of the Federal Reserve.
Now, one could argue that Leo is arguing against taking land by force. One could also argue that part of his point includes that there really is sole ownership where there is no shared ownership. To the first point, I see nothing in the teachings and actions of Jesus that calls for the taking back of land by force. As to the second, there is real ownership in communal ownership. It is that which Leo ignores as he kisses up to the others wealthy in mammon.
Leo said taking isn't okay, but then he turned around and taxed as a so-called Christian democrat. Jesus is against taxes even though he paid them. Leo didn't bother with that though, because bothering with it would result in his undoing in this life. He waited until the next life to discover his undoing — not a good idea. I recommend against it. It is better to work it all out here and now.
Saint Clement I (pope):
The use of all things that are found in this world ought to be common to all men. Only the most manifest iniquity makes one say to the other, 'This belongs to me, that to you,' Hence, the origin of contention among men.
Well, this is attributed to Clement by Pseudo-Isidore. It makes this pope appear to be a communist, but alas, it is a fake — part of the False Decretals. Were it real, I would side with Clement here. The Marxists often still incorrectly quote this as proof of Clements communist affinity. It comes from James Connolly's, "The Workers' Republic."
Saint Basil the Great:
What thing do you call 'yours'? What thing are you able to say is yours? From whom have you received it? You speak and act like one who upon an occasion going early to the theatre and possessing himself without obstacle of the seats destined for the remainder of the public, pretends to oppose their entrance in due time, and to prohibit them seating themselves, arrogating to his own sole use the property that is really destined to common use. And it is in precisely in this manner act the rich.
This is the same point I made above about getting there first. I don't know whether this too comes from the False Decretals. I side with Basil here rather than Leo.
Therefore, if one wishes to make himself the master of every wealth, to possess it and exclude his brothers even to the third or fourth part (generation), such a wretch is no more a brother but an inhuman tyrant, a cruel barbarian, or rather, a ferocious beast of which the mouth is always open to devour for his personal use the food of the other companions.
Ah, spoken much the way Jesus might say it; however, the source is James Connolly again. I side with the spirit here, but can it be ultimately attributed to Gregory?
Nature furnishes its wealth to all men in common. God beneficently has created all things that their enjoyment be common to all living beings, and that the earth become the common possession of all. It is Nature itself that has given birth to the right of the community, whilst it is only unjust usurpation that has created the right of private poverty.
Again, James Connolly — Written very near to my own style not by contrivance but simply by reason of agreement in the spirit
Again, I obviously agree with what is attributed to Ambrose here and not with Leo.
Saint Gregory the Great:
The earth of which they are born is common to all, and therefore the fruit that the earth brings forth belongs without distinction to all.
That's succinct. I agree with what is attributed to Gregory and not with Leo. However, lip service is cheap from popes and all others. It is worse than ignorance.
Saint John Chrysostom:
The rich man is a thief.
from James Connolly
Saint John Chrysostom:
It is not possible for one to be wealthy and just at the same time.
Do you wish to honor the body of Christ? Do not ignore him when he is naked. Do not pay him homage in the temple clad in silk, only then to neglect him outside where he is cold and ill-clad. He who said, 'This is my body' is the same who said, 'You saw me hungry and you gave me no food,' and 'Whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did also to me.' ... What good is it if the Eucharistic table is overloaded with golden chalices when your brother is dying of hunger? Start by satisfying his hunger and then with what is left you may adorn the altar as well.
Consider how [Jesus] teaches us to be humble, by making us see that our virtue does not depend on our work alone but on grace from on high. He commands each of the faithful who prays to do so universally, for the whole world. For he did not say, 'thy will be done in me or in us,' but 'on earth,' the whole earth, so that error may be banished from it, truth take root in it, all vice be destroyed on it, virtue flourish on it, and earth no longer differ from heaven.
I agree with this completely. Jesus spoke of matters having various weights. Feeding the lambs is immensely weightier than things such as art objects. It is immensely weightier than rituals that are not ritual feedings of those said lambs in spirit and flesh. This is completely consistent with Jesus's words and deeds. Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, was liturgical, and he had the priorities properly ordered at least as far as the above quotes suggest.
Which was a pope who commanded the Church to be communistic? Why not? What spirit prevented it? It wasn't God's spirit.
Upton Sinclair wrote:
And here is the thing to be noted, that the factor which has given life to Christianity, which enables it to keep its hold on the hearts of men today, is precisely this new wine of faith and fervor which has been poured into it by generation after generation of poor men who live like Jesus as outcasts, and die like Jesus as criminals, and are revered like Jesus as founders and saints. The greatest of the early Church fathers were bitterly fought by the Church authorities of their own time. St. Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, was turned out of office, exiled and practically martyred; St. Basil, was persecuted by the Emperor Valens; St. Ambrose excommunicated the tyrannical Emperor Theodosius; St. Cyrian gave all his wealth to the poor, and was exiled and finally martyred. In the same way most of the heretics whom the Holy Inquisition tortured and burned were proletarian rebels; the saints whom the Church reveres, the founders of the orders which gave it life for century after century, were men who sought to return to the example of the carpenter's son.
You yourself mentioned that the church admits that communism is the right way but that it doesn't enforce it amongst its membership. I would rather say doesn't expect it, as force actually precludes the real and ultimate spirit underlining the communism envisioned by Jesus Christ.
Understand here that Leo before he was Pope was a militant and a usurer, both anathemas to Christ. He was for charity but not for giving over the means (returning the Commons) to the congregation. Do you see how that was wrong? Do see how he walked the tightrope, much as Franklin Roosevelt walked it. He gave just enough to placate and preserve the mammon elites. It was basic dishonesty.
People differ in capacity, skill, health, strength; and unequal fortune is a necessary result of unequal condition. Such inequality is far from being disadvantageous either to individuals or to the community.
However, this runs contrary to the Acts of the Apostles where they shared all as needed thereby nullifying Leo's observation concerning unequal fortune. The work of Christ raises all boats with the tide. He turns the current order on its head and levels it by virtue of all serving each and all. All wash feet not in ritual observance but in everyday life. Are you with him?
How can you possibly believe in Apostolic Succession in light of Leo's clear and plain errors? The chain broke with Constantine I. He broke it by force of arms and psychological tricks, claiming he saw the word of God written in the sky that Jesus would lead Constantine's warriors to victory. What a huge, evil, selfish lie that was and remains.
Furthermore, the Marxists fail to appreciate the Acts. They believe that the Apostles failed for lack of sustainable means. However, the Apostles knew the Romans were coming. They also knew they would be martyred. Jesus said both things. The logical extension of the communism of the Apostles though is community property of the means. That cannot be doubted. Even with the Romans still coming in the form of the worldly empire spirit and even with persecution still to come, the time is such that community property of the means has to begin in a visible way, hence, the Christian Commons Project.
You reverence falsehood that is tradition. Throwing out falsehood will never result in corruption but in its opposite. It is the maintenance of falsehood that is the corruption. You are failing to call corruption, corruption. The church you reverence is not what Jesus calls for. The popes have minced their words to continue their primacy at the direct and negative expense of the whole people. How can you not see this?
While almost anyone would admit the Reformation had legitimate points, find the centres of the Reformation, Calvinist, Radical, or Lutheran, and we see the places with the most liberal sexual morality and family policies, a relative lack of spirituality and respect for the Church, and pioneers in the development of capitalism, both industrial and financial. Mennonites are just a drop in the ocean.
I'm not defending the Reformation. I'm not though defending the Roman Catholic popes. They are both wrong. Lax sexual morality has been in evidence in the priesthood of the Roman Catholics. That's not to say that all RC priests have been sexually immoral. It is to say that you can't condemn the Protestants about this without turning the same spotlight back upon the buggers in the Roman Catholic Church.
I certainly have written clearly against the so-called Protestant Work Ethic that came out from the evil predestination teachings of John Calvin. Calvin's notion that the poor are such due to their own laziness is sheer evil. There are lazy poor, but there are hard working and willing poor as well who are stepped on by big business.
As for "a drop in the ocean," so what? Jesus said the few find it (Heaven). He also made clear that that is to change. You may be a part of that change, or you may stick with the status quo of broken and false-hearted Apostolic Succession. The real apostolic succession is the teaching and doing of truth. Are you going to be a disciple or not?
I don't claim to be a communist because I am (a) absolutely opposed to anarchism and (b) do not buy into the Marxist dialectic. I am not a Marxist, but Marxism is useful, not evil. It is useful when limited to its analysis of capitalism, class struggle, and imperialism (the latter developed considerably by Lenin under different geopolitical conditions). Pacifists who do not understand these things often end up supporting war 'for human rights', using their same basic arguments. But even if you don't believe a fairly 'right' State can exist before Christ comes does not mean the State is an evil institution that no Christian can have anything to do with, implying anarchy is the correct solution.
I am speaking passed you, because you are not grasping my terminology. First of all, always keep in mind that Jesus's teaching show us that there are half-truths. He told them to do what the Pharisees teach, but don't do what they do. There are many examples. Of course, understanding where to draw the lines is to understand the Christ-mind.
As to anarchism, you said you don't believe in the separation of Church and state. I said I don't either. The current state is not the Church nor has the real state ever been the Roman Catholic Church. The real state is Heaven — the New Heaven. If you won't grant me that for purposes of continuing to open up the scripture, we will get nowhere.
I am defining terms here so we won't be speaking passed each other, although I know the language you are speaking. I'm saying that you don't know my language, yet. You're good at language, so....
The current (false) state is quite lawless. This does not mean that the free-love crowd (free sex) has it right. They don't. It also doesn't mean that lawlessness or libertinism is the state of the New Heaven. It isn't. I'm not some ultra-antinomian. I don't hold that the Church began when Paul killed the law in the minds of many. Jesus is the law. The law was fulfilled. He cleaned up the hypocritical aspects. Jesus is the lawgiver, the law-bringer. You agree with that, correct?
As for Marxism being evil or not, view it in light of half-truths or partial-truths. The dialectic of Marxism is materialism. Marxism stands against the Holy Spirit. How can you say it is not evil? Only that part which overlaps with the teachings and deeds of Jesus is not evil. However, the whole root of Marx is antichrist from start to finish. The sharing of Marx is violently created. This is why he never knew Heaven and isn't there now and never will be without repenting of his horribly misdirecting teachings. Sharing is right, but real sharing is based upon all the other aspects of the Christ spirit. Sharing as a Marxist is riddled with hypocrisy to the extent that real sharing is absent. If a Marxist ever shares with another in the spirit of Jesus, that Marxist isn't being a Marxist at that moment but is having a Christian moment.
Also, a pacifist never supports war for human rights. Anyone who supports war is not a pacifist. That notion is a distortion. That kind of thinking is what Isaiah said would eventually be put right. We aren't to call bitter, sweet or sweet, bitter.
Christians never need Marx or Lenin to develop the understanding that capitalism is evil. Christians were speaking against capitalism starting with Jesus himself. Anti-capitalism is inherent in Christianity. The only use Marxism-Leninism has is in reaching out to Marxists and Leninists to show them that violent coercion is its own worst enemy — completely hypocritical. You don't get to communism via Hellish behavior and means.
You're fighting the concept of perfectibility and the conflation of the New Earth and New Heaven. You don't believe. Why do you doubt?
Read your own words to see how you preclude what Jesus came to bring:
There is great blessing for living one's life with a utopian morality, there is no blessing for unrealistic visions of society. You are missing too many intermediary points. I suppose it is harmless unlike the specific Anabaptist escapades that went wrong, as you believe in zero coercion. If you want to promote Christian communism as a sort of church community that does not actually supplant the existing churches (this is what I believe you have just said), that is wonderful.
Only that part of the existing that is good will survive. If you think the existing churches survive, you're not reading the same scripture I'm reading. The existing churches are still the old wineskin. They cannot hold the new wine. They do not hold it. If they were holding it, they'd have brought forth. They are not bringing forth.
If your idea of making life materially and spiritually better is simply that the church will expand and people will convert and put the world behind them, then you are unrealistic and utopian. If you think religion can be about feeding the poor, clothing the poor, etc., only........and not so much about repentance, you are wrong. It will fall apart.
I am not a utopian. Utopia is nowhere. Heaven is. Heaven is coming. If you don't believe, you won't partake. You'll go with the other. You will have been misled, because you will not have changed into that which is not turnable from God. I don't say how far down you'll go. That's not for me to say. I don't know the depths of your heart to the extent God alone knows. God lets me see what I will. If and when I am worthy enough, I'll see all. Right now, I see what I've related to you. You are holding back for the reasons of wanting what you want, which is a wife and children and to provide for them first and foremost. The flesh is weak? However, I don't preclude your having a wife and children and still working to bring forth. You exclude yourself simply by being against the hugely powerful all-able movement of the Holy Spirit that you just don't give advance credit for bringing about the second coming and the literal salvation of the world. Of course the Church will expand. Of course people will convert. Of course they will put the worldly world as defined by Jesus behind them. How can you believe and not believe that? It's what Jesus teaches.
I have patiently asked a few times about your beliefs on sin and repentance and you only seem to talk of social questions and the evils of coercion.
Repentance is turning to or turning back to God. I didn't realize you didn't know this is my position. I write on this over and over. If you do a search on the website on the term "repent," you'll be given hundreds of posts. "Bringing forth fruits worthy of repentance" is a great line from John the Baptist. I agree with him wholeheartedly. If you are truly repentant, you bring forth or go to the next life trying. I say that, because the darkness in the hearts of those in this here and now can and does cause God to withhold. Who's worthy? Jesus himself marvelled at the lack of belief and could not do many miracles in the places of the people with the spirit of darkness. It's a darker time now than then. Look at your own naysaying. You just don't believe that belief will bring forth. It's your self-fulfilling prophecy that my vision can not come to pass, because you don't have it within you to help wholeheartedly. I'm putting doing the commandments of Jesus before doing the commandments of popes, so I'm a spoiler; however, the popes spoiled. I'm for cleansing the temple. Remember, the temple is a voluntary place to be. Claiming to be of it has its requirements — consistent requirements. That's why Jesus could clean it without harming anyone but rather healing and leading correctly — setting the right example in the right place at the right time for the right reason.
Now, to be absolutely clear, you haven't repented if you aren't about the business of feeding the lambs and sheep, working on it. If you aren't about that, you don't love Jesus. Those are emphatic statements. There is no doubt in them. I am completely sure. It doesn't matter at all how many times you go to mass. It doesn't matter how many times you've taken Holy Communion. It doesn't matter how much art you look at or how much liturgy you experience if you don't do what marks you for the separation with the sheep and wheat verses the goats and tares.
I don't worship the Roman Catholic liturgy. I need no incense pots or sprinkled water. I've never been through the Roman Catholic liturgy. I take none of my understanding of the Good News from any pope, quite the contrary. Their liturgy is not responsible for my repentance. In my case, liturgy was a hindrance. It was time spent without cross-referencing. The Gospels cross-referenced to the rest of scripture shed light on the deviations of the popes. Much of their forms are as the whole burnt offerings while what I want is mercy. Those forms change, but nevertheless. I need no church that brought forth so many pedophile priests that it did not purge but rather shuffled around and then even hid in the Vatican itself. Of course, the Protestant Calvinist and many other churches in the U.S. are loaded with deviant clergy. I've written about it on the website.
I want no greed, no violence, and no sexual depravity. Jesus says, Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48. You and I have read it. We've been told. There is no place to hide. There is no fallback position. You either do it, or you fall further. You do it not for self apart from God and those are in God. You do it for righteousness' sake. You don't do it for recompense. However, God's way is such that righteousness brings forth a righteous environment and why not.
I believe the liturgy we worship is about emitting repentant feelings from the congregant.
Just say it. John the Baptist was without any trappings. He was yelling, "Repent." He did symbolically dunked people in the waters out in the wilderness — his cathedral. Jesus though came to bring the real baptism in fire. Have you been burned yet?
And the State must punish those who hit their neighbour.
You are preaching hitting? Are you justifying the physical violence you've received and have meted out or plan to? How can the collective of Christians do to others what Christians cannot do individually? Who is other when Christ is the poor lamb we feed? Each Christian is a part of the whole. Christianity is one. God is one. You are attempting to treat individuals and others as coming under different laws. When they crucified Jesus, they crucified me. When they crucified the criminal next to Jesus, they crucified me. I am my neighbor. You are drawing lines that Jesus doesn't want. He wants his own to be one with him, with God, in God, and God in each and all together. Why did the state not have the right in Jesus's eyes to stone the adulteress? She did harm. She sinned. She sinned against whom? She sinned against her husband. She also sinned against God and Jesus and you (if you will see it) and me. I forgive her. I don't stone her. The false-hearted state said to stone her. Moses said to stone her. Jesus rebuked the state and Moses and rightly so.
Now, Jesus laid out a progressive discipline [Matthew 18:16-18]. He said to go in person to explain to your brother or sister in Christ how he or she is erring, straying, offending. If that doesn't do it, take some witnesses so it may be established. If that doesn't work, take the issue to the whole congregation. If that doesn't work, he or she is out — a heathen. Nowhere does Jesus say punish. Even as a heathen, Jesus says do good. Do unto that one as you ought to want that one to do to you and to all others actually.
You are rationalizing. Your position is self-satisfying but incorrect. It won't remain satisfactory to you if you ask directly in earnest. You are becoming tangled in your talk.
...the State must punish those who hit their neighbour.
Then the police officer is not wrong in punishing the rapist hitting the rape victim. Who sets the rules for when to punish, you? Are you going to throw the first stone? If you do, you're rejecting Jesus's reason against doing so as clearly and plainly stated in the Gospel.
To come to agree with you here is to go backwards. I came from where you are to where I am now. Why didn't the Christians fight back against the Romans who came to take them to the arenas for slaughter? Why didn't all the men take up arms to protect their children? Were they all wrong? Would you have stood amongst them striving to convince them to make war? That's the error from the beginning. Jesus did not set that example.
You say you don't know what Jesus would do to a rapist he caught in the act. Jesus was surrounded by injustices. He calls on no one to fight to protect any other. Each apostle to be martyred could have been fought for by the others. When Peter starts fighting for Jesus, Jesus stops him. You are drawing arbitrary lines that are not supportable by Jesus's words or deeds. What I am saying though is fully supported.
I believe *human nature* can be ameliorated, but not perfected.
Then according to you, Jesus asked the impossible. Well, with men it is impossible. With God, it is not. You don't believe. You need to think. You've been claiming Christianity, but you aren't convicted. I say this not to dishearten you but to help you see and choose the whole of which you've been told but are spinning to avoid the full implications for your soul and actions.
I do not think that Christ, while telling and showing us what perfection is, sincerely expects us all to be absolutely perfect.
This is right. I've said nothing to the contrary. There are those who do and will reject. The young, rich ruler asked what more, what he lacked. Jesus told him to give all to the cause of the poor (feeding the lambs) and to follow him, Jesus. He turned away. Jesus says a camel will find it less difficult to go through the eye of a needle than that rich one will find entering Heaven. (By the way, regardless of whether or not one is referring to a needle gate, the camel must be divested of worldly riches and therefore be of a softened and believing heart.) Apply it to yourself. It's the only way.
I think, Tom, you can do great things and make great strides towards your spiritual perfection, but you will almost certainly not attain it.
You're denying me. You're saying that almost certainly I can't eat and go in. This is not good.
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Matthew 23:13.
Of course there is life and then there is the highest. Do you mean life? However, much has been given me. How then can I live up to only doing that which is less? In addition, I cannot deny that I am to continue asking.
Now, even if you, well, let's not make it person, if one were to be just about perfect, don't you think it is still possible for him or her to slide backwards? We better and worsen every day, maybe every hour. I often need coercion. I hope I could become someone who never does, but the spiritually sick get healed and the spiritually strong occasionally lose perspective. Crime will always happen, that is far more certain than poverty. And yet, there shall be no State, no coercion? If you are going to propose societal solutions, they must be self-sustaining!
Isn't your Heaven self-sustaining? Mine is. Mine is coming here. It will save the world.
Crime will always happen, that is far more certain than poverty.
Poverty is a crime, and poverty will not be banished while there is still crime.
You have not untangled the worldly state as it is from the real state to come that we are to bring forth. The prince of this world (Caesar, Herod, the high priest of the Sanhedrin, the Pope, and the President of the United States) has no part in me, and I have no part in him.
I admire that we can have such frank discussions. I do hope you see my words as an attempt to express most clearly what I am trying to say and ask and nothing more. And I wish you the best with your Christian Commons project. Could you maybe explain briefly how it should build a true church on the internet, when the model is local house churches? That I haven't understood.
The Internet is how I connected with you. If you agree and start where you are (in your house, your heart), that's it. That's a beginning. The true Church is wherever the spirit is including as shown on the Internet. Jesus came here to this fallen place afterall. Is this too esoteric? I'm not hiding it from anyone. People are just refusing to see it.
But anyway, you are genuinely moved by the spirit and I really hope you make it to Paradise, which would be the cerain fulfillment of all your visions.
You hope I will but say in all likelihood I won't. Why don't I just give up now?
If you believe this, then why are you hedging? That's rhetorical, since you've said why you're hedging. I suggest to you, I offer to you, that you can choose to be real if you will just do it.
If we never come together as Christian communists (redundant terms), we'll never bring forth. The Christian Communists need it. We need to bring forth the Christian Commons Project™.
The global economic situation is pointing to the need. The timing is right. This is about food, and food is a huge issue right now with those who never thought they'd have to be concerned.
If you don't want to help to do that, if you don't want to get your hands dirty, so be it.
You aren't going to convince the world to bring in Christianity or communism by force. It will never happen. It's impossible.
Peace, love, and truth: one,