Checking our reflection in the bible


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We had a cruise down the Nile a couple of decades back.  It was brilliant fun from the comfort of a cruise-boat-bubble complete with guides-and-tours.  No tv-screen or photo can do justice to the scale of these massive stone-leftovers.  What it must have taken to imagine, design, and construct these massive stone-jigsaws – how we were walking footprints walked thousands of years ago – the similarity with biblical temples – the same inner and outer – the same hallowed and sanctified spaces – the same divisions accepted as necessary by the permanence of these great big stone statements.  But there was no spirituality. 

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I think the bible bears many of these ancient similarities.  Just that we are taught to self-apply the necessary spirituality to bring it alive – to make it a living word.   Yet at the same time taught the permanence of those great big ancient stone belief statements.  Taught to arrange our beliefs in a correct certain way.  And then to visit this construction from the safe bubble of church – to take guided tours of correct belief – to become the same feet that walked those beliefs stones thousands of years ago.  

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Much like the temple tours, neither the Chosen People or us New Testament not-Chosen People (who really are the correct Chosen People) seem unwilling to move past the static edifices of the bible (Chosen or additional).  We all choose to hold onto God being offended (original sin) – and some choose to hold onto the Great Sacrifice putting right the Great Offence – and ALL expect a Messiah to return either for the first (or second) time … And I think that in the process of this tradition we ALL miss something fantastic!  We ALL prefer the glue of (Original) Offence Sin rather that the solvent of (Unconditional) Freedom Love.  We ALL erect massive stone walls of belief and dogma and then admire these structures and congratulate ourselves for our correctness.  We ALL stick with the institution of preaching-teaching control and power.  We ALL shrink back when the (self-imposed) shackles of burden and sacrifice go “POOF” in a cloud of Love.

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I think the problem of Love (without condition) is that Love (without condition) cannot be controlled.   WE cannot control Love.  WE either are – or WE are not.  And when we keep checking our reflection in the bible – WE are not.  And yet that is all the (new) bible is about: Love!  That is all we (new) believers are about (allegedly).  

It seems THAT demands laying down the institution of bible archaeology and living in the moment right now.  Demands we pay less heed to reciting the correct verses and just live and love without discrimination.  Demands we stop taking “Guided Biblical Temple Tours” and feast on all this moment offers.

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Yet each week the “Call To Church” rings out just as the (incorrect) “call to prayers” sings out.  The expectation of ALL believers in gathering for confession and forgiveness.  The expectation that we ALL comply to be rewarded.  That we ALL carry sin in order to have God take it away (on a regular basis).  Yet WE regard ourselves as way better than those damned Pharisees (and believers of incorrect calls to prayer).  We regard ourselves as saved and enlightened.  And The Greatest of These is taught week after week to little effect.  Sin, sacrifice and burden are still the preferred chains and shackles because …

“God never changes”.

And we remain in fear and awe – dwelling amongst the stone runes we won’t let go.

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