Book signings. Meet the author. Book clubs. Bio’s. Interviews in magazines. Putting the person writing the best seller in front of their public. And their public flock to meet the person behind the pages. The person who has created and crafted the storytelling. The person who has become an intimate part of their own lives. Their living through the words.
I was reading about a deconvert who wrote of exiting an abusive relationship with Jesus. It echoes the current explosion of media frenzy for Hollywood excesses, political excesses, celeb excesses, religious excesses, power excesses. The abuse of “lesser than me” being a way of life – currently exposed as “sexual abuse” – but always about power – who has it and who has not – who cares for others and who does not..
For years I was a recovering religious victim. The length of my recovery extended by assuming the hurt and pain of anyone and everyone who wrote about their own hurt and pain. It took me years to recognise that I had left one club for another: the “good Jesus” club for the “bad Jesus” club. That I had not been abused but disappointed. That I had tried to go along with the rules of the good Jesus club and found them stifling and many to be false, and (because being a victim is more satisfying than being a dupe) I became a victim (and then the self-appointed protector of other victims).
And then found that all clubs have rules which are stifling and many are false. And only then could I take responsibility for me and what I wanted as my essence of good living and dying.
It is Loving Who-I-Am. And that is not a club with many rules. It is my acceptance of me – who I was – who I am – and who I will be (if I allow). And I love the freedom of being who I am because to be me requires great strength – and with that my freedom – my choice to choose – to use that strength as restraint or power.
Because everyone wants me to be something else. Even me. I am my worst critic and my fiercest enemy. I carry something that wants to be angry, that wants to hit out, that wants to cause pain, that enjoys being a victim, that enjoys power.
That is also part of me.
And it is easy to be drawn towards those who have that in common. Who make me feel better by understanding and not judging. Except for this.
When I have healed of the pain – I find myself obliged to remain – I become a curator of that pain and remain under its authority and those connected by that pain (or joy).
Because it is as true of “good Jesus” victims as it is of “bad Jesus” victims. Which brings me back to book signings and the bible.
Used by both good and bad Jesus victims. The bible says. And the bible is Jesus. The relationship is with the bible (Old and New). Because Jesus is the bible (old and New). And Jesus says no one comes to the Father but through Me. So Jesus is God and God is Jesus and the bible is both. And that is all you need to know.
And while the bible continues to be taught as that – then both will remain victims. Because we take what we each want from the pages and make it the truth. And what we take will change just as our truth changes. And the truth is that needing to be right is the first step to abusing others who are not.
I was asked by Ark what I need healing from. My answer is I want healing from being the victim I was and could easily be again. And all of you are that healing. Because connecting, without needing to join any club, allows me and you to stay healed and not be a victim.
Especially of and to ourselves.
(Are we back to “pick a premise” again, Paul?)
And how do you truly believe that any sort of Jesus – ”good” or otherwise – in this scenario will help with your healing?
Because it is me and you that decide on a good or bad Jesus – or any Jesus at all.
Ah … so are we talking objective/subjective morality?
use whatever label works for you. I think I am talking commonsense 🙂
If you are going to go ‘around the houses’ again then I won’t bother with dialogue.
If you are simply unwilling to offer straightforward answers, then say so and I’ll bow pout and not bother visiting your blog.
Your responses are cagey, evasive and you always shy away from genuine honesty.
Or just me being me, and you being you – and both of us having a language (and premise) gap. For me it is really straightforward, never cagey or evasive and always honest. I have been taught by you that you need me to agree with you, or to present evidence to you in a certain way that convinces you.
We both know that the “fact of God” and the “fact of no-god” is never fact and never as objective as you tell me it is. So that will never happen.
Your choice Ark. I write and you come along and comment. I love having you here. But you should love being here too.
Then please explain in a straightforward manner how having the biblical character Jesus the Nazarene as part of your life is healing?
Let’s agree one thing: I am not trying to convert you and you are not trying to deconvert you. Life is easy! And on the assumption you agree ..
I see a lot of good in the character you call “Jesus the Nazarene”. He is no longer that “formal” to me. He is no longer the biblical character for me. And whether the bible story, as written and taught in almost all western churches, is correct or not is becoming less relevant by the week. Which means I free to see the goodness and free to drop the “badness”. And just like you I am free to believe whatever I wish – and do. And unlike you (as far as I can see) I have no need to be convinced of the “fact of the matter” one way or the other.
I have a tendency to be bitchy. To snipe and pull others down. It is not something I hold as valuable. But it is firmly lodged as part of me. So, for me personally, the goodness I see in the figure you call J.o.N. is valuable. It counteracts the unkindness. It is stronger than the unkindness. And we can then create imagery of “light and darkness”, of “good and evil”, of “God and the devil”, of “hell or heaven”. Bit it all just imagery – and all pointing to something others find as goodness or badness – the bible isn’t bad. The bible is the bible. A collection of writings put together for a specific purpose. I don’t have to see just good or bad in that book. I know most seem to.
And then we reach religion.
Some – as I did – swallow the whole thing as “fact” simple by being brought up with it. Some – as you did – reject the whole thing for very different reasons. I have kept some and discarded some. It is how who I am – and I don’t think I am unique.
Those who call themselves “Christians” (as you would know them) have as much trouble talking to me like this as you do. We seemed trained to see one side or the other. So “picking bits” is thought of as being “wishy-washy” (usually). It isn’t.
None of this, by the way, means I do not see global warming as a global and urgent catastrophe. Nor that the damage done in the name of God and/or religion is anything other than inhumane. But is does not blind me to seeing the excesses of “people and power” – no God required. Nor does it blind me to seeing the good in “people and power” either – no God required.
Pick and mix. It is liberating.
(and I hope that is more “straight-forward”)
” … and you are not trying to deconvert me.” It should read
Great. But this doesn’t answer the question. So let’s try again:
Please explain in a straightforward manner how having the biblical character Jesus the Nazarene as part of your life is healing?
I just did, Ark. 🙂
No. You didn’t.
Let me pout it another way that might be easier for you to answer.
Do you consider the biblical character, Jesus the Nazarene to be divine?
The son of god , the creator of the universe?
OK, here’s the thing: I did.
Just not to your satisfaction (or comprehension or something else) so then you patronise me (” … that might be easier for you”). And this is “dialogue” (that you won’t partake in unless I do it your way)? Really … ?
Ark, all I can do is ROFLOL!
Thank you again! 🙂
You see, as I stated before, Your responses are cagey, evasive and you always shy away from genuine honesty.
So, do you think Jesus the Nazarene is divine?
Yes he is,
No he isn’t.
Dearest Ark. I would love to talk, it’s just that you won’t allow “dialogue”. I am not being evasive or cagey or dishonest. Being asked questions and allowed only a yes/no response is your need and might be thought manipulative.
When you have a point to make you write paragraphs. When you receive paragraphs you throw them back. Which means this is not a conversation. And that is your choice.
I am curious as always.
Why do you shy away from such a straightforward question.
You either beleive Jesus is divine or you don’t.
I am not aware of any option that might include:
The Lord is not divine on Bank Holidays, the Queen’s Birthday or when Manchester United are Playing at Old Trafford.
So do you believe Jesus the Nazarene to be divine or not?
Talk to me about two things: a) what divine means to you personally and why, and b) why getting a yes/no answer is so crucially important to you?
a) as portrayed in the bible and understood by the vast majority of Christians across the globe.
b) because it makes understanding your perspective on the things you post about easier to understand.
Consider how frustrating it might make you become if you were to ask a simple question such as : Ark, do you live in Johannesburg and I evaded offering a straightforward answer no matter how you phrased the question.
Thank you. So please consider how frustrating it is to be abused for simply holding a belief not much different to yours. That abuse is exactly what you accuse of religion. You have also stated on a number of occasions you have no interest in conversation – only facts and evidence and proving God to your satisfaction. You are frustrated? Join the queue!
So to your answer: “as portrayed in the bible and understood by the vast majority of Christians across the globe.” Is not answering the question about what divine means to you, so I have no idea what divine means to you – so there is little point in a conversation about the divine. Frustration is not exclusive 🙂
Is that a literal quote of are you merely paraphrasing?
You simply don’t get it, Paul. Jesus is the frakking problem!
And if you wish to continue to be a giant, disingenuous Nob then that is one of the freedoms we possess as humans.
And you are doing a sterling job of behaving like one.
Give that man a Bells!
Ark, it is a quote. I recall mentioning “Ark’s Rules” recently which you dismissed. You have a lot of rules.