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Your wise comment about my encounter with "George"
Sam444, thanks for your astute comment.  You are right.  I lived near a couple of very old villages in Germany in the 1980s.  Tales were still circulating about their disagreements dating back to the 1500's

During the Reformation, Luther's idea was that people should read the Bible in a prayerful spirit and let the Spirit enlighten them as to its meaning.  That sounds great, but remember, few people in his time were actually literate enough to read anything at all,  and printing was just getting started, books were a big luxury, so there were actually few Bibles or any other materials to read, even if you were lucky and knew how to read.

One village was Catholic, and of course the Roman church is big on authority, which is good, and at the same time bad.  Well, "free interpretation" was frowned on by the Papacy.

A few hundred yards (meters) away, people who had sided with Luther saw things Luther's way, and thought the folks in the Catholic village were wrong about Bible truths.  Bad feelings ran very deep between the hard liners in both villages.  

I can't remember which village attacked first, but one day, while the men in the other village were busy in the fields, men from the attacking village came over armed with their tools and ravaged the homes, livestork and families of the men in the firld.  I don't recall whether the "free interpreters" attacked the Catholics, or the strictly controling Catholic faction attacked the Pretestants.  The result was a death fued, and a counter attack against the orginal attackers.  Both villages lost heavily.  isn't it odd that in the USA today, many better educated Catholics feel a lot more free to study the Bible and make up their own minds about what God wants, while the fundamentalist Protestants are much more dogmatic about what is saying in this or that passage, and people like George warn you that unless you take things their way, God will smite you with eternal Hellfire, etc.  

Life seems to be a see-saw between the Ins and the Outs. The gang running things is the "Ins," and they are pretty fierce about everyone agreeing with their agends.  The there's a shift in the way people feel, and the "Outs" take over and kick the Ins out.  The Outs are now In, and soon begun acting just like their rivals did before the change of positions.   

O heck.  It's after ten thirty PM, and I can't take another all nighter.

Goodbye to you, sam444.  This is your friend,

posted by Twainman on August 7, 2009 at 8:46 PM | link to this | reply

Relating to the Creator. . . .
Hi, TAPS.  The Creator is the sustainer that allows what we call "time" and "space" to exist, and everything we encounter in this time-space matrix is from God.  It would not occur to me to leave the sustaining and enlightening Power because some seemingly misguided person irritates me.  That's unthinkable.  "George" and I are like two of the blind men at the bazaar encountering an elephant.  One swears elephants are like trees, while the other guy says "Oh, no!  The elephant is just like a snake."  Neither of the blind men were really "wrong," but their encounters with the leg and the trunk gave them "proof" of what they experienced about elephants.

My friend "George" from Dallas evidently has encounter some really severe training in what happens when one disobeys a father figure, and then simply transfers that experience to God "The Father," in true bronze-age, Middle Eastern tradition, and figures that the Creator, Jesus's Father, must have really been peeved with the behavior of his critters, and figures they should rot in blazing hell for offending Him.  I'd say George's mental model of "God" is rather cruel, egotistical, and horribly irascible.  What kind of relationships George had with authorities may cause him to make the mistake the blind men at the bazaar made, generalizing from a single clue to a whole full-blown image of this big, powerful and not very likeable "God."  

Funny, I thought the "Gospel" came from the idea of Good News.  The way George sees it, God is horrible - he's a tyrant acting like a little boy I knew who spend money and time building a pretty nice model airplane years ago.  When he couldn't get it to fly, he shoved a big firecracker into it, lit it on fire, and threw it into the air.  It arched like a flaming brick across his back yard, crashed and then blew up.  This false "God" figure makes all these little humans men, women and children, turns them loose, and since most of them pay him little or no attention, he sprays them with kerosene and throws a match at them, and burns them to a crisp.  What a mean spirited little "God" that would be.

I wonder how much travel George has done, other than venture to Boston OMG! What a harrowing assignment! Isn't Boston the corrupt largely Catholic democratic capital of a corrupt blue state, with a whole bunch of wacko Harvard idots running around teaching young Al Gores and Barrak Obamas about distributing everyone's wealth to the least productive members of the population?  

I wonder if George has ever done the numbers that say that Americans, numbering maybe 350 million people (counting the illegals) represents less than 1/2 of one percent of the world's population, currently roughly 8,500,000,000 people.  Of these there are lots of Catholics, main line Protestants (generally liberals), and a whole lot of atheists, apostates, heritics, agnostics, Quakers, Mormons that have their own Book, even witches and viccas, and, God forbid, Jews (!), so that he represents maybe 1/20 of a percent of the people of the world, and according to his beliefs, the remaining 99 19/20th of humanity will surely burn forever in Hell because God is a peevish and unforgiving SOB who demands that everyone do George's bidding for be damned.  

As you can tell, I'm still upset with George, and still having a hard time beling nice.  I hope anyone reading these lines understands I am not blaspheming or being irreverent to our Creator, by any name you feel comfortable with.  Rather, I'm upset to someone I was face to face with would have the gaul to condemn me, my loved ones who would never agree to be his ind of "Christian," and everyone else on earth, the majority of whom are living lives of reather blissful ignorance, and singing and dancing and practicing their nice calming rituals and giving to their "heathen" monks and nuns in places like Nepal, Tibet, and Burma (Myanmar), and getting from day to day without worring about the words George believes will dame them or save them.  Those in terrible troubled places like several sub-Saharan African countries, where ethnic hatred, massacres, droughts, HIV epidemics, and starvation are played out against a backgroud of tyranny, lawlessness, cynical inhumanity and cruelty
seldom seen in the history of human affairs.

With all these real problems crying for attention, George and his friends 
sit in the shade outside Le Bon Pain munching on their lunch and planning how they will throw their pearls of Gospel wisdom once again to the swine, bemoaning the fact that of the 230,000 pedestrians passing along Washington Street at Summer Street, only a very few will bow their heads, admit they deserve everlasting Hell, and then accept the "savior" efficy George offers as their "Way, truth, and light."  Wow.

posted by Twainman on August 7, 2009 at 8:10 PM | link to this | reply

Don't let irritating fundamentalists drive you away from a relationship with God, or a search for Him. 

posted by TAPS. on August 7, 2009 at 7:39 AM | link to this | reply

The Holy Bible is so open to interpretation that a man cannot claim one way or another! It is most important to develop a relationship with the Lord and He will direct the path one is to take! Just my humble thoughts! sam

posted by sam444 on August 7, 2009 at 7:18 AM | link to this | reply

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