Fear, Shame & Guilt

Arthur's Journal on God & Politics
What Does It Mean to be Christian in America?
A God of War
Apocalypse & End Times
Biblical Literalism
Christ Path
Conformity & Orthodoxy
Fear, Shame & Guilt
God & Politics
Goodness, Morality & Sin
Heresy & Heretics
History, Mystery & Doubt
Kindergarten Religion
Mental Spiritual Constructs
Mystical Christianity
Mythical Proportions
Passion of The Christ ...
Someone Else's Magic

we are outraged at what offends us without examining what we tolerate.
There is a wise aboriginal concept that declares that when one person commits a crime, the whole village bears guilt. I think that applies here.
One recent example is the SuperBowl half-time scandal over what was broadcast for a split second over national television. Before that split second event, during time-outs, 2-minute warnings and quarter breaks, a national television audience sat through network-approved commercial after commercial appealing in many cases to our grosser instincts albeit humorously.
Janet Jackson's foolish choice did not offend me nearly as much as an early scene where a horse passed gas directly at a woman's face. We kid ourselves when we are outraged at what offends us without examining what we tolerate.

More reflection on the Gibson film

I have since my review had my own questions answered several times over. I too think that Mel was faithful to the gospel writings.

I do disagree that Magdalene was a harlot and that the teaching that she was is not necessary to establish what you wrote so well: even the worst sinners, through repentance, are saved and the most welcome and loved by Christ.

I don't believe that my wife's view is that no bad thing will happen now that Christ has become a martyr. Rather, one of the most powerful feelings to come from the film is that of Christ martyred by people who did so out of deliberate intent.

My recommendation was that with his giftedness, an excellent follow up would be films about other martyrdoms that, at their core, are directly related to the whole theme of the Passion - God made mortal and murdered as an innocent man quilty of no crime worthy of death.

Cathars, the specific martyrs I mentioned, are but only one group of many who have been innocent yet killed by those who thought they were acting for their god. That is what ought never have happened again.

As for my children, I learned more about what it is to be god-like when they were youngest and most helplessly dependent upon me for their well-being. I later began to forget that as they grew older and the more I acted like Jehovah the more I became less and less god-like. However, my own feelings and understanding of fatherhood have also led me to seriously question the idea of a father god somehow requiring the mortal death of his son in order to set things aright and standing by silently watching it happen.

A God almighty and all-knowing is not consistent with a God who somehow has the need for an enactment of such an incredible cruelty as some sort of "this is how it must be." For me it really strains incredulity.

The absolute universal inflexible doctrinaire truth about Jesus, the Christ, the Gospel, a Judgemental and Punitive God remains to be fully discovered more than proven.

There are some who behave in a manner that says "if you do not accept Jesus in the context in which I believe then you are not a true Christian." An absolutely true doctrine and theology of Jesus the Christ - one that includes some sort of historical context of Jesus that emphasizes his mortality in a way that allows us to relate to Jesus as both God and Man has not been adequately offered from any source.

The ultimate quandry-resolving question has never been "What would Jesus do?"

What needs to be asked instead is "Why did Jesus do what He did and how can I relate that to choices I must make now?"

You broke my heart

Virtue in Aging & Childhood Remembered
Virtue lives with you though not always seen
within your mind's eye you ask "Have I been
of virtue, of loveliness, of good report?"
and conscience guilt-ridden spews out the retort.
"You tried once but failed in this part of your plan
to rise to the fullness and honor of man."

What is all this crying lamenting my age
as if life approaches my own final page
still lacking the virtue I once thought I knew
when younger and wiseless without any clue.
In chanting the praises of childhood all clean
I now without virtue seek what might have been.

"But wait," Wisdom whispers, her voice full of love,
"My son it's within you and thrives like the dove
of a peace so eternal, your eyes will not see
how others have judged something formless in Thee.
If you would have virtue, attain it yourself
it's there plain within and not up on a shelf

where you dare not reach out of fear of new pain
you placed it there -- bring it now out once again.
Wear it with honor and joy, Son of mine
it's beauty is timeless and adorns oh so fine
the body and soul of each one of my sons
and daughters within whom my influence runs.

Wisdom is virtue and not free of charge
yet given quite readily with no price too large.
To purchase my gift with your life's precious blood
is to nourish yourself with my life's loving flood
of a knowing and seeing just how things can be
when virtue calls forth all our love plain to see."

grounded in a truthful spirit

I think we should be grounded in a truthful spirit that is honest enough to desire instruction, correction and enlightenment from the Compassionate God. We than can "judge" ourselves by considering our ways. But we are not to judge anybody else. We can consider their ways and determine our own comportment toward them accordingly but without condemnation.

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