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Quote 114 Chad Sep 24 at 09:35

I like the idea of a cosmic perspective. Christianity is only one of many ways of considering the inner and outer cosmos and defining our perimeter of ignorance.

Quote 113 Chad Sep 23 at 14:54

I think you are right Lou. I think we can all agree that the church for the most part has the personal and corporate rituals nailed down. These rituals are important milestones and psychologically center and regulate us in the natural flow of the seasons. Of course, all of the above-mentioned activities are directly related to the stories we have been told and that we tell ourselves. It all loses traction and relevance in the growing secular world quite quickly. We are telling ourselves new stories but they don't have the same 4000-year backdrop. I think we should adopt more of the aboriginal stories and philosophy to augment those new stories to give them additional credence and ritual. 

Quote 112 Lou Sep 23 at 08:06

In that quote, Barry Lopez describes what attending Church services is supposed to do for us. 

Quote 111 Chad Sep 19 at 00:45

In all human societies, there is a desire to love and be loved, to experience the full fierceness of human emotion, and to make a measure of the sacred part of one’s life… The most dependable way to preserve these possibilities is to be reminded of them in stories. Stories do not give instruction, they do not explain how to love a companion or how to find God. They offer, instead, patterns of sound and association, of event and image. Suspended as listeners and readers in these patterns, we might reimagine our lives. It is through stories that we embrace the great breadth of memory, that we can distinguish what is true, and that we may glimpse, at least occasionally, how to live without despair in the midst of the horror that dogs and unhinges us.

Barry Lopez

Quote 110 Chad Sep 18 at 09:58

At the moment nothing, in particular, comes to mind. The Lord of the Dance is a nice little ditty.

Quote 19 Gary Sep 17 at 19:17


Only place it would let me post this. Maybe you two have a favorute song or hymn.

Quote 18 Chad Sep 15 at 15:31

At any given moment we have two options: To step forward into growth or to step back into safety.

Abraham Maslow


Quote 15 Lou Sep 02 at 08:02

Quote 14 Lou Sep 02 at 08:03

Quote images, links, or text and replies only to the latest post
Quote 2427 Chad Sep 18 at 23:31

I'm speculating. We will have to see what happens.

Quote 2426 Lou Sep 18 at 13:29

I agree with you but disagree with the previous quote. 

Charles has a different set a qualifications much needed at this time. He must do all he can to show them. 

Quote 2425 Chad Sep 18 at 12:22

This is a very interesting time. The Queen's death will force a change. Those that have formed a long-standing emotional allegiance to a long-lived elegant monarch will now be expected to switch that allegiance to the newcomer Charles III. The Queen set a very high bar. Charles is of a different generation and is not nearly as qualified to carry on the Queen's legacy. He has lived in a totally different and protected environment. Is he up to it? He must think so he didn't abdicate the crown as some expected he would. So he must live under his mother's shadow until his reign ends.

Quote 2424 Chad Sep 18 at 10:40


Quote 2422 Chad Sep 06 at 11:03

Is this talk on memory related to how we interpret the Bible?

A big longish, but I found it fascinating. 

Quote 2416 Lou Aug 11 at 14:41

Good stuff. I like the shoe salesmen fable. Some of us fight obstacles others welcome opportunities.

Quote 2415 Chad Aug 11 at 14:21

If we believe that God is omnipresent then God is in our corner and in everyone else's corner. How we deal with others is important. Jesus was very clear about that. You are right Lou, our preconceived beliefs and perceptions set the tone for how we perceive new experiences. 2 shoe salesmen go to a country to assess whether their company should invest money in that market. The first salesman sends his company a report. It reads, The situation is hopeless no one in this country wears shoes. The second salesman's report reads This is a glorious opportunity no one in this country wears shoes. It's our choice. We can look for opportunities to shed light and goodwill toward others. Conversely, we can stay secluded in our own shadow of darkness and negativity.  Jesus has made some suggestions about this.

Quote 2414 Lou Aug 11 at 10:53

God is always in our corner. Faith is knowing that. Our ignorance prevents us from knowing that.

50% doesn't mean anything. The question is whether your glass is half full(optimists see what's good about a situation) or half empty(pessimists see problems and wrongdoings). 

Quote 2413 Chad Aug 11 at 10:43

I would prefer to think that you feel you are part of God's creation and not separate from it. Your concerns are based on your perceptions which are eternal and uniquely yours. You barely know yourself. You can't possibly know how others perceive things. Are you really prepared to or even interested in the concerns of others? That takes time, effort, and sincere dialogue to understand someone else. Are you ready and willing to change your false impressions and perceptions? Why should anyone be interested in your concerns? You are just one of a multitude that has their own ideas and worldview. We should challenge our assumptions and perceptions, especially those that involve others that are made quickly with very little substance. Otherwise, we will be living in a fantasy world based on mostly false and baseless assumptions. Find out don't guess.

Lambeth is a 10-year get-together of the clergy of the highest order. They may address bothersome issues for the people with a positive action plan for going forward. Let's hope so.

At any rate, I hope you and Gail are in good health are having a great summer.

Quote 2412 gary Aug 10 at 19:10

Re 2409 I don't think frightened is the right word especially if God is in your corner.  Concern for others may be a better interpretation. I'm glad Lambeth has taken a stand. There will always be a unified church of true believer's, it's the separation of the wheat and the chaff. My glass is somewhere in the middle of you guys, 50%, I could swing a little either way.  Your right Chad I have taken Peter's message to heart on evil. You just have to watch the news to see that. Boy I feel good now!

Quote 2411 Chad Aug 10 at 10:06

Lou, I hope I am wrong. At any rate, it is the people in the parishes at ground level that are the most important. That was part of the Archbishop's message. There are 5 components of ministry he has emphasized (tell, teach, tend, transform, tressure). What I think is missing is to listen, learn, and be open to change. 

Quote 2410 Lou Aug 09 at 15:28

I like to hold on to a more positive view. Your glass seems to be 3/4 empty mine 69% full.

Quote 2409 Chad Aug 09 at 14:56

Are we the lion? = Are we the problem or at least part of the problem humanity is facing? What do we expect from the clergy with all these lions roaming about? Did I hear a call to action or was I just imagining it? The problems today can not be solved or even addressed by the church with its current thinking and leadership. The church has withdrawn to navel-gazing and internal strife. The Christian message is as valid as it ever was, however, the church dropped the ball eons ago. If he is lucky Rev. Welby will still have a unified church in name if not in spirit after Lambeth. The Anglican church as a global institution has become irrelevant for a number of reasons. We now celebrate our apologies as a positive outcome and a feather in their cap. These are my thoughts very loosely based on Archbishop Welby's presentation. . Thanks for bringing Lambeth to my attention.

I remember Andy being very frightened of Satan He felt his presence around and behind each corner. Gary has taken Peter's message to heart. He sees evil everywhere.


Quote 2408 Lou Aug 09 at 13:47

I listened to Keynote Address 1 to make sure I had not missed anything and made the following notes:

  • he wants to make his audience filled with love for God and hungry for God
  • Jesus came to save the whole world
  • he mentioned several ways that Peter's lion stalk the people of God, culture being the worse
  • the church needs to switch from being inward-looking to engaging with the world
  • the church must inject ethics into science, technology, and economics
  • the need for a Global Communion Network on Science and Technology


Quote 2407 Lou Aug 09 at 13:29

If your post is a response to Quote 2406, as it should be, this applies: 1Pe 5: Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour.
I wonder what you mean by "Are we the lion?".  The rest of your post doesn't appear to have to do with archbishop Welby's talk either.

Quote 2406 Chad Aug 09 at 09:19

Are we the lion? Can we, in all honesty, see ourselves as objective observers? Isn't our perceptions at least part of the problem? There is only one reality. We can't change it. We can only change ourselves and our perceptions of it. We can not expect things to change for the better if we are unable, because of the artificial restraints and excuses that we use to inhibit us, to make the necessary changes to truly understand and address the problems. If you firmly believe the problem is too difficult to solve then you shouldn't be surprised that the problem still exists.

Quote 2405 Lou Aug 08 at 14:50

Keynote Address 1: The Archbishop of Canterbury


Quote 2404 Lou Aug 08 at 11:27

Keynote Address 3: The Archbishop of Canterbury


Quote 2403 Lou Aug 06 at 09:02

Keynote Address 2: The Archbishop of Canterbury

Quote 2401 Lou Aug 04 at 08:16



Quote 2400 Lou Jul 25 at 16:07

If you mean "The Green Earth" it is airing on PBS.

Even if we are past the point of no return the more reasons to stop making it worse.

Quote 2399 Gary Jul 25 at 14:14

Re: 2393 ahd 2398. According to Chad we are no more superior or important than the animals so how could we ever subdue the earth. The earth was perfect and orderly until sin entered in, according to the Bible.  Should your last sentence read, "if we had not ignored."  I agree anyway.

John and I have been discussing this topic and we both think we are probably past the poin of no return. I think David Attenborugh's show is on this week?

Quote 2398 Lou Jul 22 at 10:24

The environmental crisis is forcing us to acknowledge that we must recognize that we are part of nature and that we need to be its servant instead of its abuser.
If we had ignored the biblical command to subdue the Earth we would not be in the mess we're in.

Quote 2396 Gary Jul 21 at 14:16

You can have the last word.;-)

Quote 2395 Chad Jul 21 at 10:11

:-) I think you got what you expected. I didn't want to disappoint you. Seriously, as a dear friend, I suggest that you would benefit intellectually if you improve your science literacy. We could have a decent discussion on these matters if nothing else. You could express yourself more eloquently. One primitive inarticulate grunt to respond doesn't tell me much. Your fear and ignorance of science are not helping you or anyone else spiritually. Science is not what you think it is evolution is not what you think it is. On the other hand, the article you presented shows that you are trying. I appreciate that. I find it encouraging.

At any rate, I'm off to the cottage. Give it some thought and if you are up to it we can talk about it when I get back. Send my regards to Gail. ;-)

Quote 2394 Gary Jul 21 at 09:25


Quote 2393 Chad Jul 20 at 23:43

That isn't how things work, Gary. Who told you we are superior and much more important than the animals. We are a mammal. We are a hominid. You may have heard the term, Homo Sapien. That's what we are called in scientific terms. Who told you differently? Our superior attitude is just human bravado based on our self-centered focus. There is no justification for it. There is no hierarchy. We are not as independent and detached as you think we are. We are totally reliant on other species for our survival. Religion has nothing to do with it.

Quote 2392 Chad Jul 20 at 20:46

Lou, I interpreted the lefthand side of the diagram as everything is God. We agree on that.

Quote 2391 Gary Jul 20 at 17:11

re 2387 We are superior and much more important than the animals. Although some of the people I know are very thick skulled and don't see the difference.  Thanks for letting me have the last word on this one..

Quote 2387 Chad Jul 20 at 09:14

re 3282 That information supports what scientists have suspected for some time. One day they may find the common ancestor of all the Great Apes. That includes us, Gary. Scientists suspect it could be a type of lemur and certainly not a monkey. America has nothing to with it. That is the center of the Universe for the author of the piece. We are only a small link in a very long evolutionary process. Some of us have an illusion of being important, detached, and superior to it all. In actual fact, we are just one species in the earth's biomass and nothing more. ;-)

Quote 2386 Chad Jul 18 at 21:51

Gary, you have some notions of evolution that are very wrong. I wonder if you have similar false notions about Christianity? You have been fed a banquet of BS somewhere along the line. None of that is important. You are a kind and caring gentleman, that is what is important.   

Quote 2385 Lou Jul 18 at 09:19

Thank you for the info. Have you sent for a DNA test to know for sure? 

The fact that humans have migrated from Asia to the Americas has absolutely nothing to do with evolution and the fact that you bring monkeys into this means that you misunderstand evolution. Why do you keep bringing up evolution? 
No scientist "gets around to linking us humans to apes" only Christians who want to discredit evolution would say such a thing.
Humans are linked to everything else but not in the way that is implied by that statement.

Grammarly is an extension to browsers to help check and correct spelling and grammar. 

Quote 2384 Gary Jul 17 at 16:16

The Abenaki (Abenaki: Wαpánahki) are an Indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands of Canada and the United States. They are an Algonquian-speaking people and part of the Wabanaki Confederacy. The Eastern Abenaki language was predominantly spoken in Maine, while the Western Abenaki language was spoken in Quebec, Vermont, and New Hampshire.    I probably have very little Indian blood in me but my dad said he had ancester's from this tribe.   As for monkey's these scientist's usually get around to linking us humans to apes.   Whats a Grammaly?

Quote 2383 Lou Jul 15 at 13:50

It is interesting but what is more interesting is the suggestion that you have American Indian ancestry, do you? Another point of interest is why you mention monkeys.

Is there any reason you don't use Grammaly?

Quote 2382 Gary Jul 15 at 12:30

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/technology/a-strange-fossil-in-south-china-reveals-an-intriguing-link-with-the-first-americans/ar-AAZB0zH?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=b423eda38f804a5fc6ecb2f500364718   I found this very interesting and no mention of monkey's. Maybe I am related.

Quote 2381 Lou Jul 13 at 13:49

You are right, nobody's listening. Cutting down the Amazonian rainforest to feed the world with beef products is still a source of income for Brazil. We still want the price of gas to be lowered and the oil industry to be subsidized. We are quick to blame governments and companies but as individuals, what are we prepared to do without for the environment? 

Quote 2380 Gary Jul 13 at 10:01

I would like to be more positive but look at the rain forests, nobody's listening?

Quote 2379 Lou Jul 12 at 11:06

I go for a more positive view. We managed to slow down population growth avert the disastrous overpopulation that was predicted to happen long before the year 2000. We also managed to fix the hole in the ozone layer. We caused this environmental problem so we can fix it if we can find the political will. But before that can happen we must curb our consumerism tendencies. We must learn to consume only what we need, to live in harmony with nature instead of trying to subdue it. 

Californians are still watering their lawns!

Quote 2378 Gary Jul 12 at 09:32

Trailer looks interesting although I think it is too late to fix the earth.  Eight billion people by November.  Maybe he is going to suggest a virus much worse than Covid could wipe out 1/3 of the population, how else can we control the population?  I think I have seen something like this in the Bible.  Anyway I will probably watch it. ps: check out the latest on Lake Mead.

Quote 2377 Lou Jul 11 at 17:27

Sir David Attenborough warns that humans ‘have overrun the world’ in new trailer

Quote 2376 Gary Jul 11 at 11:38

Hers, lets move on.

Quote 2375 Lou Jul 11 at 08:04

Gary, I do not understand how you can interpret my statement in 2370 as blaming other people for their own problems! 
I am asking is the problem hers or yours and why is it brought to our attention?

Quote 2374 Gary Jul 10 at 21:22

Lou in 2370

Quote 2373 Lou Jul 10 at 19:28

Gary, where did I write anything that gave you the impression that I am " too quick to blame other people for their own problems.  "?

Quote 2372 Gary Jul 10 at 11:08

Now re: 2370 My daughter's problem started with depression and moved onto laziness and obesity. Granddaughter following her mom's example. If she doesn't think she has a problem,  that is a problem. Lou you are too quick to blame other people for their own probems. People have to learn you want to eat, you work?  2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule; "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat..."  

Quote 2371 Gary Jul 10 at 10:51

First going back to 2368-2369. The powerful picture of Jesus knocking at the door reminds me of two occasions where Jesus went to to eat with sinners at their house and they became new disciples. Can't become a disciple unless you open the door, so many people are deaf and can't hear the knock.

Quote 2370 Lou Jul 10 at 08:04

Gary, you mentioned your daughter, so tell us the nature of the rut that she's in. I suspect that she doesn't think she has a problem instead it's you who has a problem with her lifestyle.

Quote 2369 Gary Jul 09 at 21:21

Chad you do know it was Lou who pasted the picture of Jesus knocking?  I have a different understanding than you about what it mean to not open the door when Jesus calls.  Just look around at the world today . Just gave my daughter a tract today entitled. More Than a Carpenter,(Josh McDowell).  I think accepting Jesus would be a good start in getting her out of a serious rut from lifestyle choices. I think I would call it complete surrender.  I know the picture is not reallistic but it gets the point accross that He is here to help.

Quote 2368 Chad Jul 09 at 10:57

re 2366 My guess is that Christ knocked at your door and you answered the door. What about those other people who didn't answer the door. I don't think Christ would have shunned them, do you? Christ said that not everyone hears the word.  Some of the people who open the door will not hear or heed his teaching or understand his ministry. Christ will forgive them and will always love them.

I think the picture and quote you gave us are revealing. We allow in our own preconceived version of who we think Christ is, what his message is, and even what he should look like.  I think what you are saying is to receive Christ as you can. We will likely see a different picture. It can be the start of a long-term relationship. If we are open to his guidance we could live in a more loving and uplifting manner. It is what the world needs now. It is a nice sentiment. Thanks, Gary.

Quote 2366 Gary Jul 03 at 16:10

Unlock the door so that I can come in.  So few people unlock the door.

Quote 2365 Lou Jul 03 at 09:44

Quote 2364 Chad Jul 01 at 13:17


One wonders how anyone can be certain of anything. Question absolutely everything especially those things that you feel you shouldn't or can't. Nothing is sacred it's all up for grabs. After thorough scrutiny, some things will; make more sense than others. Tentatively use those ideas as your base. That is a lot of work but very worthwhile. That is the only way we can critique our false worldviews. Even then we will come up short. It is extremely hard to unlearn misconceptions we have learned and beliefs we have developed. It is wise to remember that we only have enough wherewithal to recreate our genes. Does this sound wrong? Why? Convince me I am wrong.

Quote 2363 Chad Jul 01 at 00:50

I follow a blog dedicated mostly to Allen Ginsberg but all the Beats and all the periphery players get some mention including Merton. Most are poets and writers. What I find fascinating is that they predicted today's predicaments. They were writing in the 1950s and 60s. They were proclaiming the fall of America. Huxley, Orwell, Watts, and others also had a fairly clear perception of things to come. Yeah, the status of Christianity is difficult to define. The Christians of today seem to be all over the map. I don't know who or what they follow in a lot of cases. I agree if we are up to the task of following Christ's teaching and example, we will better people for it.

Quote 2362 Gary Jun 30 at 17:06

Re:2360 There was a certain % that followed Christ in His day, there will be a certain % follow Christ today.  I don't get too concerned. The message is clear, either follow Him, or follow the prince of this world. Today in Merton's reading from 1963 he says, "Our society is gravely ill."  Wonder what he would think of the world today?

Happy Canada Day

Quote 2361 Chad Jun 30 at 14:58

Gary is right we can talk about love all we want but do we really practice what we preach. We can post pictures and bumper sticker slogans, But as Gary suggests, isn't that just decorating the walls. With a computer it is effortless. I believe Gary wants to see concrete action demonstrated. What he is saying is that we are all talk and no action. I think that is a fair criticism, don't you? I think his bluntness can seem shallow and a turn-off at times. His criticism might not be completely true but maybe true enough. Don't get me wrong bumper sticker love is meant to be positive and is a reminder to do the right thing in a loving way when given the opportunity. I think it helps in keeping a positive attitude and a willingness to assist our fellow humans and the planet. It helps counter the negativity that is so prevalent around us.

Quote 2360 Chad Jun 30 at 12:10

Do you ever wonder why so many are disenchanted with Christianity and religion in general? It doesn't matter, does it? Nietzsche was right. I now get what he was saying. 

Quote 2359 Chad Jun 30 at 10:14

What I am saying is there are unlimited ways to contemplate spirituality in a post-Christian society. 

Quote 2358 Gary Jun 30 at 06:34

Busy day today but will check in later.

Quote 2357 Chad Jun 29 at 23:30

I'm going to take a risk. I feel we live in a post-Christian world. We must leave the church doctrine and dogma. We must state the truth about those things that destroyed most of the Biblical myth. God is the verb to create, to live to the fullest, and love with abandonment. God is not a noun to be defined and controlled. No other details or rules are necessary. Follow Christ's example, it is as simple as that.

Quote 2356 Chad Jun 29 at 18:31

What I had in mind was to take one of the quotes and see how it pertains to the situation in the NT. There certainly are enough quotes to choose from. Lou wants to make sure I'm not pressuring you, Gary.  Maybe Lou could choose a quote to consider. We can just drop it as a bad idea. 

Quote 2355 Gary Jun 29 at 15:55

Most think it is an allegory, thanks for the last word, although proabably in the wrong spot?

Quote 2354 Gary Jun 29 at 15:52

re:  2353, just got that from Google

Quote 2353 Gary Jun 29 at 15:51

He quoted the Old Testament 78 times, the Pentateuch alone 26 times. He quoted from Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Amos, Jonah, Micah, and Malachi. He referred to the Old Testament as “The Scriptures,” “the word of God,” and “the wisdom of God.”

Too many to list but interesting, I remember He talked about Jonah as if it was historical, not a metaphor?

Quote 2352 Chad Jun 29 at 10:58

Thank you for your comment, Lou. You are right Gary does not have to supply an example. There is no need for it. It was just a suggestion. 

Quote 2351 Lou Jun 29 at 09:51

I think that Gary means that Jesus often makes reference to the OT in support of what he is saying and doing. Why would there be a need to point to any one example! 

Quote 2350 Chad Jun 29 at 08:52

I guess we could look at what he was quoting and see appreciate the connection. Gary, can you give us an example of what you are referring to?

Quote 2349 Chad Jun 29 at 08:41

Yep, now what?

Quote 2348 Lou Jun 29 at 07:34

Gary has it right.

Quote 2347 Chad Jun 29 at 00:01

That makes sense Gary. After all, Jesus was a Jew, and the only scripture available to him was the OT. The Gospel and NT writers often referenced the OT. The OT prophesized Christ. The NT was the fulfillment of the OT. There are other connections as well. The good healthy Christian walk may need some explanation. I don't think I have heard that terminology before. I think the word healthy is throwing me a bit. I would be tempted to edit that out.  

Quote 2346 Gary Jun 28 at 15:16

Jesus often quoted Bible verses from the OT as he fed and healed people  I think both are important in a good healthy Christian walk.

Quote 2345 Lou Jun 30 at 14:13

Quote 2344 Chad Jun 24 at 12:55

Quote 2343 Chad Jun 24 at 11:56

Quote 2342 Lou Jun 23 at 08:16

Quote 2341 Chad Jun 20 at 22:30

Chris Kratzer

rdoeSsnopt1g  5ifMfa80mfte6a48h10ttsd08yll :mYA1r4ea3  · 

Here’s a message you probably won’t hear at church this morning--I’m sorry, I just can’t reach you.

Trust me, I so wish that I could.

I get it. I truly do. You’re an Evangelical. White, conversative, and perhaps still a Trump supporter. I’ve been who you are, I was a conservative Evangelical pastor for 22 years. So, I understand completely. I’ve seen, heard, and lived it all.

But now that I’ve walked away from it, every bit of it, I guess I wonder why you haven’t too.

When I was entrenched in that system of faith, no one could pull me away. Not reason, not tragedy. Not family, friends, or even truth. I was a captive, totally submitted to the conservative Evangelical Borg. Yet, all by choice, if I’m honest.

You think I’ve lost my mind. That I’ve fallen away. To you, I’m now an enemy of sorts, a project to turn back to your beliefs and ways.

You ask, “what happened to you?” You quote the Bible at me. You hold the flames of eternal torture over my head. Silent treatments here, silent treatments there. You condemn to hell nearly everything about me, perhaps even praying for my demise. Apart from a complete return to your acceptance and approval, it seems that in your mind, there is nearly nothing worthy about me. I’m lost. A heretic. A child of the devil. A “woke,” “baby killing” reprobate.

No matter what I say, no matter how I feel. No matter the Bible verses I point to, no matter the changes in my heart that have set me free. No matter the hurt you cause, the people you isolate. No matter the suffering you create, the destruction you rationalize. No matter the science, history, or facts. No matter my patience, no matter my pleading. No matter the tears in my eyes, nor the pain in my face. Nothing seems to get through. I'm not searching for perfection, I'm just searching for some humanity.

Yet, like the orange that can't be pulled from the tree, no matter the force, because it isn’t ripe, I can’t reach you, and to keep on trying only breaks me and emboldens you. Lord knows, I'd do anything.

So, I’m standing with the ones you reject. I’m extending the love you refuse to give. I’m embracing the God that frustrates and offends you. I’m giving voice to the ones you oppress. I’m chasing the evils of your beliefs out of the shadows.

I’m finally breathing for the first time. I’m hearing the Jesus within me for the first time. I’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is thoroughly good: non-violent, inclusive, affirming, equality bringing, and unconditionally loving. I’m proclaiming good news to the poor, freedom for the imprisoned, and Light in the midst of darkness. For me, God is All and in all, inseparably and irrevocably. The Gospel in purest form. The earth is my sanctuary, humanity is my community, and love is my worship. And, that’s all I need to see, live, and believe. Finally, I’m alive and being me.

So, if I seem distant, it’s because I’m stewarding the Light within me. If I offend you, it’s because I am finally speaking. If I don’t participate in your attempts to change me, it’s because I’m at peace with who I am, and I’m finally realizing Jesus is too, and always has been.

I’m sorry, I just can’t reach you. Only an honesty from within yourself, ever can. And that is what I pray.


Grace is brave. Be brave.


Quote 2336 Chad Jun 16 at 14:22

Re 2334. Lou, I feel the video is informative beyond just a succinct way of describing science. There is far more to offer than a possible way to reach Mike. In a lot of ways, it reflects the way I see things as well. On the other hand, I understand that you don't want to waste your time. I'm sorry for the inconvenience. 

Re 2335 I think the poster is right on. We must lower our guard to be able to share. It is far better to understand than to be understood. What we have to offer is less important than what we receive. It is a matter of hearing and trying to understand others that are seriously attempting to communicate with us. It is a matter of finding ways of sharing contemplating and discussing our varied perspectives. There is no reason to take a stand. We just need to find ways to love the other.

Quote 2334 Lou Jun 15 at 19:10

It's not needed so there's no sense wasting the hour or so in my case and it's not too likely that anything can correct Mike's misunderstanding of how science works and how it doesn't work.

Quote 2333 Chad Jun 15 at 12:23

Marcelo Gleiser is a particle physicist and philosopher. He has written a book about human limitations and the limitations of science and knowledge. He clearly explains how science works and how it doesn't work. I'm wondering if Gary or Michael has enough basic knowledge to understand what Marcelo is saying. I'm 100% in agreement with how he perceives things based on his layman's explanations.

As an aside Perennial Philosophy belongs to the Philosophical and Religious realm. Science, on the other hand, is limited to the scientific method involving speculation about how things work, experiments, detection, and measurement.  Therefore is not a useful tool for investigating Religious matters except when religious spokespeople make claims that contradict scientific knowledge.


Quote 2329 Chad Jun 09 at 13:53

The Sunday sermon is interesting. It is an odd take on psalm 8. Below are my comments in response to the sermon.


Rev Thomas looks at the expanding Universe through the lens of Hubble both the man and the space telescope and through the lens of Psalm 8. The Psalmist has no idea of the extent of the universe he is contemplating. Even so, he sees a grandeur that is mostly lost on us earthlings. Because the universe is not contained on a human scale it is essentially nonexistent. Unfortunately, most people don't engage or fully appreciate the wonders of creation. It can be overwhelming. More people are content with the Psalm 8 version which is more comprehensible and human-centered. They are much happier with a human-centered universe. Not uncommonly they see a self-centered universe.  The universe is God-centered of course which the Palmist implies. He doesn't see himself as quite the infinitesimal speck in the scheme of things he really is.  He is saying how great thou art. Not really knowing the extent of how great thou art. In his defense, no one knows. 

Quote 2328 Lou Jun 08 at 18:38

‘The reality is one, sages designate it variously’
indicates that whatever religion people profess, they are worshipping the supreme being
in their own way, with faith. God, being omnipresent, responds to the devotee’s prayers,
meditation or worship in his own way. Having this attitude, the devotee regards
whatever he receives in his life as the gift of God, and he is forever happy and

Quote 2327 Chad Jun 03 at 20:39

The Ukrainian spirit is still high despite the fact that 25% of their country is occupied. National pride goes a long way even if in the long run their efforts are futile. They will always be remembered as great examples of national pride and sacrifice. I'm sure we will always have a warm spot in our hearts no matter how badly they may be defeated. 

Quote 2326 Chad Jun 01 at 00:11

It is a beautiful song.

Quote 2324 Chad May 27 at 11:43

I made a mistake. I deleted the posts but didn't copy them so I couldn't re-post them. I apologize. 

Quote 2323 Lou May 27 at 10:34

What happened to quote 2320 I was planning to respond to it.

Quote 2322 Lou May 26 at 19:10

Aren't Quotes 2318 and 2319 about truth? So shouldn't it be in the panel where truth is being discussed? This is like trying to have a conversation in two different rooms at the same time.

I read quote 2320 as being about a different subject, am I correct?

Quote 2316 Chad May 26 at 00:21

What I found funny about the quote is when he says, that's not how God sees things. Is he telling us he knows how God sees things, how would he know? How ridiculous.  

Quote 2315 Gary May 25 at 20:35

Or is it Marcus J. or J. Borg?

Quote 2314 Gary May 25 at 20:34

Marcus and Borg quote Chad. Thought you had moved on from them. Give me some quotes I can sink my teeth into.

Quote 2312 Chad May 24 at 16:11

Let's see how I feel about it when I get through the book.

Quote 2311 Lou May 24 at 08:06

I agree with what you are saying except for the metaphor label.

"This is at least part of what I am looking for in the Perennial Philosophy. You do mean in The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley, I hope.

Quote 2310 Chad May 23 at 12:09

I agree. There is a common underlying essence that the religious thinkers and mystics sensed. They expressed that essence, as they were able to, in the language that their various societies and cultures would understand. I agree. The Bible through Christ alludes to a deep and profound essence. Christ used Father and Heaven as metaphors to give ordinary humans something to grasp and identify with. Although the Gospels suggest and attempt to express a much deeper meaning, we largely restrict ourselves to the narrative level. 

This has been obvious to me for some time now. The language of the Bible has been taken at a very basic pedestrian level. This explains things simply and tells us basically what we are like. We tend to ignore or misinterpret the ideas that suggest what we should be like. This common understanding has led us to wars, conflict, and inequality in all sorts of ways. On the other hand, I believe Scripture and other sacred texts are attempting to reveal a much deeper essence and a better way to exist. 

This is at least part of what I am looking for in the Perennial Philosophy.

Quote 2309 Lou May 23 at 09:28

The main message of the book The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley is that in all religions there are thinkers and mystics who have come to the same realization with different ways of describing it depending on their cultures. We need to see it in the Bible instead of being stuck at the narrative level. Parables, sermons, and events are to be read as means of describing reality, not as historical facts.

Do you agree with that and do you listen with that in mind?

Quote 2308 Chad May 21 at 16:41

I agree although the Eastern philosophies are intriguing they are still too foreign to be of much use. That is not to say that they don't deserve attention. I must get back to the Perennial Philosophy from Huxley's perspective. I am reading it online and listening to his voice from an online video. When I got a bit tangled I returned to the Introduction and started taking notes. More will come when I get some time. 

Quote 2307 Lou May 20 at 10:05

This would work a lot better if we were to respond to the latest post and only to the latest post. In the case of your Quote 2606, your Re 2305 deserves a thread of its own, on the top left panel. I suggest we leave that for a later date.

 We should always use "Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy" when we are referring to the book and really that is all we are qualified to talk about so far because "The Eastern philosophies are a bit tricky.". 

Now, following my recommendation: In this last post do you mean the Perennial Philosophy or the book Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy? Letting me know where you are at in listening to Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy would be very helpful in understanding what you are saying. He is saying very interesting things so are the people he quotes. 

Quote 2306 Chad May 19 at 20:55

To tell you the truth. I'm not there yet as far as Perennial Philosophy is concerned I am still going over the video and text So when I make a comment about Perennial Philosophy I'll be sure to tell you that upfront. At present, I'm trying to put things together. It is difficult to suspend my ideas that are similar and overlap with Huxley's Ideas on the subject. The Eastern philosophies are a bit tricky. Some of the terms I haven't come across before. Others I have heard but don't really understand in any workable sense.

Re 2305 Tell me how you see John's statement. How does it differ from how I see it?

Quote 2305 Lou May 19 at 19:05

That is a valid way of looking at it but not the way I look at it.

"There was some intangible that they were trying to bring into the light." sounds very good. And words were inadequate.

I suggest you forget the Perennial Philosophy it's not your way of looking at things but let's keep this thread going exploring things your way. 


Quote 2304 Chad May 19 at 13:10

"In the beginning", I'm sure refers to John's understanding of the beginning based on the Hebrew understanding in Genesis as he uses the same wording. In other words, the world was created in 6 days. It is interesting that language is equated with the holies of holies also equal to Christ and also equal to Love. As Genesis created the Hebrew world. John has created the Christian world. There is no better starting point to anchor both. There was a backdrop known to us that didn't exist to them. At any rate, It wasn't necessary for their purpose. The genius of these creation myths is that they include only what is necessary to speak the truth for their time and for their people. They are convenient metaphorical beginnings. Not to say that they were written just to tell a story. There was some intangible that they were trying to bring into the light. All they had were words to express this.  

Quote 2303 Chad May 19 at 11:39

You know I am much happier with questions than answers. Our best questions give us something to consider and explain at a certain level of understanding which leads to more questions at that level and I suppose that might speak to your idea of analysis. On the other hand, it is an open-ended ongoing analysis. I'm wary of certainty and final absolute answers. They spoil the fun of chasing the cat's tail. They certainly destroy inquiry debate and the progess of study and learning. I'm interested in the progression of ideas. Learning progresses in some areas faster than others. What I'm finding is that my ignorance is what drives me. To be clear I am not talking about perennial philosophy here. I'm trying to explain how I look at things in general. People want to take shortcuts so that they can stand and feel secure on some certain ground. I appreciate the need to be grounded in certain areas of one's life. We need some limitations, restraints, and constants even if they are artificially created. Was it Carl Sagon that said we should question everything? No one wants to be duped. In academic learning, I need to restrict that to questioning the things I find worth pursuing.  I want to be open to all possibilities until they are not probable in my estimation. I expect to be wrong and I expect that I will rethink what I have just written because it is brief and not conclusive.

Quote 2302 Lou May 19 at 10:52

John 1:1, In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. That verse has the same meaning. Happier intellectually is a good start. 

Quote 2301 Chad May 19 at 08:45

I would be happier with the idea and wording that Divine Truth is one, timeless, and universal. 

Quote 2300 Lou May 19 at 08:40

Thank you. 
I agree with you. It has to be a belief until by introspection and meditation it becomes as beyond question as our own existence. That is the core of the Perennial Philosophy and all the scriptures and all the religions are attempts to describe how we fit in there from the point of view of the culture we were born in. 

Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy says that a few mystics in all religions have discovered that. The Samadhi movies are guides toward that realization. The approach you take depends on what you are after analysis and critique of scripture or ethics and enlightenment. Your posts give me the impression that analysis is what you're after.

Quote 2299 Chad May 19 at 00:14

I don't think it is dogma. It could be a belief, though.

Quote 2298 Lou May 18 at 18:03

It is very important for our understanding of each other's views to clarify whether you consider a statement like '"God is the only reality." as dogma. A definite yes/no answer is needed. Please.

Quote 2297 Chad May 18 at 16:20

I'm newer to this than you are. I have parallel views regarding creation, religion, philosophy, and the energies that flow from and through. I must be very clear about what track I'm taking and the context otherwise I'll have trouble being understood. Looking back, I see I haven't been clear. I'll try to do better.

Quote 2296 Lou May 18 at 09:14

I cannot see any benefit to that approach. Assuming scripture is read for inspiration one has to leave preconceived ideas behind and read with an open mind asking childlike( for lack of a better word ) questions, not confrontational questions - which is the type of question you usually go for. 
It is very important for our understanding of each other's views to clarify whether you consider a statement like '"God is the only reality." as dogma. A definite yes/no answer is needed. 

"Meditation seems a constant across the perennial philosophy. The words dissolve into sounds then silence and breath. Leaving only the original energy of the imagination and emotion of the creator. We are aware of the writer's duty and sincere devotion. The words are a gift to others inspired and imperfectly human." that statement is what started this.

Quote 2295 Chad May 17 at 22:17

You are right I was differentiating between Shruti and Smriti as I understood the terms.


Quote 2294 Lou May 17 at 19:01

I don't know where you are heading with this topic.
Love/agape/charity(as the book translates agape) is the moving force so I agree with your second sentence.
I don't understand what your first sentence means. 

The Perennial Philosophy( not the book) is a deep-rooted knowledge the same as the knowledge of our own existence, of our own consciousness.
It is not a belief, it is not faith, it is not dogma( if you think it is dogma then seriously you should forget it and move on to something else ). Gary doesn't need it, it probably would be bad for him. 

The book shows that the thinkers of all religions agree on the nature of reality.


Quote 2293 Chad May 17 at 18:50

We need to decide what principles are truly universal and timeless and which are only applicable for a particular time and place.

Quote 2292 Chad May 17 at 16:39

Where the arguments being is in those areas that are not affirming or based on love. That affirmation and love have been present since the beginning. 

Quote 2291 Lou May 17 at 16:19

I don't know what billions of years have to do with anything. Perennial Philosophy is a book about how all religions, for a very few, agree about reality which the Perennial Philosophy attempts to describe.

Maybe, the Samadhi series of films offered under Awaken The World listened to meditatively would benefit you.

That website has a lot to offer. “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." is the way to approach these things: leave everything you know at the door as you enter and be prepared to question with an open mind until you really grok.

Quote 2290 Chad May 17 at 13:38

I guess you are right. We had to wait 14 billion years for it to be uttered. I like Perennial Philosophy but I am still working through it. I doubt what I said is the opposite of Perennial Philosophy. It was not meant as a criticism or to be in opposition. It was meant to add a backdrop.

Quote 2289 Lou May 17 at 11:57

I think you have the cart before the horse and the opposite of what the Perennial Philosophy says.

Quote 2288 Chad May 16 at 18:48

The source of our spirituality goes way beyond our first words. Creation began about 14 billion years ago. Word to describe it came to be 14 billion years later. Man's explanation is a human perspective which is a self-centred and limited point of view. Forget about the Universe, we should just concentrate on repairing and creating a better world for all. Why can't we do that?

Quote 2287 Lou May 16 at 14:16

I don't know what to do with your latest post. It's all over the place. Some I get and can agree with. Almost every sentence deserves to be a paragraph. One sentence makes no sense at all. 

I would be interested to deal with them separately or at least understand how they fit together.

Quote 2286 Chad May 15 at 14:35

The source of our spirituality goes way beyond our first words. Way beyond the Sun and solar system. Way beyond the first star. Language to explain it wasn't invented until 13,000,000,000 years later. Religion is for men to debate and fight about. Humans are a minor occurrence. Our perspective and perception are very self-centered and limited.  

Quote 2285 Chad May 14 at 14:54

The body and mind turn to ash except for the genes and DNA that are contained in our offspring. The soul has always existed hence, its permanency, indestructibility, and connectedness to the universe.

Quote 2284 Chad May 14 at 14:25

I'm not sure, what you said Lou sounds right. I wonder if it is more basic than that. Could it just be a sensed connection? I have this vision of two entities separated by a glazed window It is there to protect our free will and imagination. We must be allowed to fail and sin. Our job is to clean the window as best we can so we can free ourselves from ego and desire. Our guide is the true prophet. Who gave us the example that the death of our ego is not important. Our souls carry on without us.

Quote 2283 Lou May 14 at 12:08

"We are not our body-mind and our purpose in life is to shed that mistaken identity and realize that our soul is what we really are(that is the message from the Perennial Philoso[hy). Our souls do not carry on without us they are us dropping our carriage( body-mind 0 to before returning home." vs " Our souls carry on without us."  

What you wrote in that post sounds pretty good, but needs clarification, until the last sentence which runs contrary to what comes before. Let's develop the idea.

Quote 2282 Chad May 13 at 23:51

I consider them universal truths conveyed within sacred writing. These statements have a practical and spiritual dimension. They are timeless. They are as valid today as they were in more ancient times.

Quote 2281 Lou May 13 at 19:13

We are not our body-mind and our purpose in life is to shed that mistaken identity and realize that our soul is what we really are(that is the message from the Perennial Philoso[hy). Our souls do not carry on without us they are us dropping our carriage( body-mind 0 to before returning home.

What I meant by "That spiritual mode is meant to apply to the whole of our life: not to tell us how nature works but to guide us in how to approach it. " is that our body-mind is supposed to apply/live the Sermon on the Mount and the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path.

BTW a question that keeps popping into my mind is dying to be asked so here we go: I think that you consider Jesus' miracles and even the Resurrection to be dogma but do you also consider the Sermon on the Mount, the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path, and the Ten Commandments to also be dogmas?

Quote 2280 Chad May 13 at 17:49

I'm not sure, what you said Lou sounds right. I wonder if it is more basic than that. Could it just be a sensed connection? I have this vision of two entities separated by a glazed window It is there to protect our free will and imagination. We must be allowed to fail and sin. Our job is to clean the window as best we can so we can free ourselves from ego and desire. Our guide is the true prophet. Who gave us the example that the death of our ego is not important. Our souls carry on without us.

Quote 2279 Lou May 13 at 08:26

That spiritual mode is meant to apply to the whole of our life: not to tell us how nature works but to guide us in how to approach it. 

Quote 2278 Chad May 12 at 12:54

That is why I included the Lectio Divina link. I knew you meant it in a spiritual mode. I suppose it doesn't matter what interpretation or understanding we have of a passage. That understanding will vary on an individual basis. Being in the spirit is what is important. 

Quote 2277 Lou May 12 at 09:04

That is indeed what I have been saying.

Way back when I was asking for comments on the daily Gospel reading I was hoping to get that sort of response instead of historical or literary analysis.
The three steps I mentioned even apply to any kind of study. If the student had used it throughout the course no cramming would be needed before the exam.
In the spiritual realm, it means accepting Christ more than just intellectually or emotionally but with our whole being.


Quote 2276 Chad May 11 at 18:39

Meditation seems a constant across the perennial philosophy. The words dissolve into sounds then silence and breath. Leaving only the original energy of the imagination and emotion of the creator. We are aware of the writer's duty and sincere devotion. The words are a gift to others inspired and imperfectly human.

Quote 2274 Lou May 11 at 08:57

I mentioned something like that before, for example: 

  • Read scripture then
  • Question with an open mind to make sure to understand correctly
  • Internalize what was learned

I didn't put it quite that way then but the same thing was meant.


Quote 2273 Chad May 11 at 08:45

Understanding is not conceptual, and therefore cannot be passed on. It is an immediate experience, and immediate experience can only be talked about (very inadequately), never shared. Nobody can actually feel another’s pain or grief, another’s love or joy or hunger. And similarly, nobody can experience another’s understanding of a given event or situation… We must always remember that knowledge of understanding is not the same thing as understanding, which is the raw material of that knowledge. It is as different from understanding as the doctor’s prescription for penicillin is different from penicillin.

Understanding is not inherited, nor can it be laboriously acquired. It is something which, when circumstances are favorable, comes to us, so to say, of its own accord. All of us are knowers, all the time; it is only occasionally and in spite of ourselves that we understand the mystery of a given reality.

Aldous Huxley

Roger Penrose argues that understanding is not computational. He says there can't be an algorithm designed that could duplicate human understanding of concepts. 

Quote 2272 Chad May 09 at 23:11

What went wrong?

This was total arrogance, disrespect, and abuse of our children. This is genocide against children sanctioned by the church. Archbishop Welby will have to accept the responsibility for the church and the Crown. Such shameful sinful behavior can never be justified. We must never let anything like this happen again. His apology is certain. Let's hope it makes a difference in some way.

Quote 2271 Chad May 08 at 13:29

I am enough of the artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.' -Albert Einstein

I think the last 2 quotes can be put together. With imagination and love, we can envision an inclusive and cohesive world. Once we see it in our mind's eye we can make it happen. As Gandhi said, our greatest gift is the ability to remake ourselves.

Quote 2270 Lou May 07 at 07:47

Quote 2269 Chad May 03 at 10:55

Yeah, I agree, Gary. Jesus died on the cross but that all happened over 2000 years ago. People, that's all ancient history, move on with your lives. 

Quote 2268 Gary May 02 at 17:40

https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/  Looks interesting since he is in the news, haven't had time to really check it out yet.  First impressions on his visits, more apologies.  People move on with your lives.

Quote 2265 Chad Apr 30 at 12:52

In my opinion, very little should be banned or censored. What should never happen is the case Gary brought to our attention. Books being banned for political expediency and or ignorance. 

Quote 2264 Gary Apr 29 at 20:49

Disagree because they are not all inappropriate, example. Dr. Suess, come on.

Quote 2263 Lou Apr 29 at 15:15

Gary is that what you meant and did you post that because you disagree with the banning of inappropriate books or because you agree with it?

Quote 2262 Chad Apr 29 at 12:23

This is how I see it. Even Ray Bradbury could see the trend toward totalitarianism. Fahrenheit 451 is one of his works. Similarly, George Orwell wrote 1984. Aldous Huxley was also on the mark with his novel Brave New World. The Beats were all aware of this. Recently, Margaret Attwood made a killing with her latest novels and TV productions. Their superpower was their ability to discern tendencies and recognize the indicators and mindsets required for totalitarianism to take hold. We have innate tendencies that enable totalitarianism, whether we want to admit it or not. Among them is not being aware of the indicators and consequences of our ignorance. Great writers and artists have warned us. However, we thought they were entertaining us. We failed to appreciate their message and did not take the necessary action.

It is plain and simple denial to deny what can happen to others and not to us. As painful as it may be, we should be aware that we have to fight for our rights and freedoms as well as those of others. 

Quote 2261 Lou Apr 29 at 07:58

Despite the opposition from the American Library Association (ALA), books continue to be banned by school and public libraries across the United States. (In Canada too.)  This is usually the result of complaints from parents, who find particular books not appropriate for their children (e.g., books about sexual orientation such as And Tango Makes Three .

Fahrenheit 451-Ray Bradbury

Sound familiar?  Not Science fiction any longer. Could he see the future? 

Gary, is that what you meant? 

We should quote text using the " black double quote icon " to indicate that we're quoting someone else.

Quote 2259 Chad Apr 28 at 10:51

I think you are right about evangelism. It is mostly motivated by good intentions. Unfortunately, so is the road to Hell.  

Quote 2258 Gary Apr 27 at 18:08

I get you Chad, evangelism is for Christians who want to reach the lost ;-)

Quote 2257 Chad Apr 27 at 15:59

There is nothing wrong with this petition. However, evangelism is not an issue I'm concerned about. 

Quote 2256 Chad Apr 27 at 15:42

Quote 2255 Gary Apr 27 at 17:27

   Too Big, whoops

Quote 2254 Gary Apr 27 at 12:56

I also like the Holy Ground quote, not too sure about the source.  Second quote, nothing wrong with a pep talk.

Quote 2253 Gary Apr 27 at 12:56

I also like the Holy Ground quote, not too sure about the source.  Second quote, nothing wrong with a pep talk.

Quote 2252 Chad Apr 27 at 10:04

I like the quote about the Holy Ground. I try to see the Sacred Ground in the same light as the First Nations do.

I'm not as impressed with the second. The second quote from Queen Elizabeth is not spontaneous. It is considered and comes from a position of the highest privileges. This is a pep talk for her subjects of the lower class. 

Quote 2251 Lou Apr 27 at 07:39
1- “When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.” ~ Queen Elizabeth II


Quote 2250 Lou Apr 24 at 07:39


Quote 2246 Chad Apr 14 at 19:25

Archbishop goes political

Quote 2245 Chad Apr 13 at 09:24

Rowan Williams In Ukraine with other faith leaders

Quote 2244 Chad Apr 12 at 19:11

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

Marie Curie

Quote 2243 Chad Apr 12 at 17:40

Quote 2242 Chad Apr 12 at 12:48

You're right Lou Christ through the Gospels gave us some ideas about how to improve ourselves and help us expand our imagined possibilities. So that we might easier envision and therefore create a better World. The Ukraine conflict gives us a chance to apply what we have learned.

Quote 2241 Chad Apr 11 at 20:53

Christ missed direct involvement with war but not with violence. He did cure the Roman soldier's wounded ear. He stopped further violence in the garden. The rest is just speculation. We know he would have been against the violence in Ukraine. He can't take any action to stop it. He has already said what he needed to say and done what he needed to do.

Quote 2240 Lou Apr 11 at 19:42

Nothing said in that article has anything to do with what Christ would have to say about the Ukrainian situation. It's the same kind of reading that has Christian believe that the Gita is about war.

Quote 2239 Chad Apr 11 at 15:25

In the forum's comments, I was talking about Christ's stance on war. I found this. It is taken from the view of a pacifist. A hawkish personality may interpret things differently.

 Christ on War a Pacifists Interpretation

Quote 2238 Chad Apr 08 at 20:21

When we were participating in the Season for Non-Violence, we had all sorts of strategies for avoiding violence. We did not see many suggestions for interventions when we witnessed violence occurring.

Quote 2237 Chad Apr 08 at 12:22

I said I was not condoning the Russian church's actions. I said I thought I understood it. The West is not a single entity. Ukraine is not under NATO's jurisdiction. A lot of European countries are highly dependent on Russia's oil and natural gas. There are a lot of valid reasons to keep the physical war within the confines of Ukraine. I think there are two areas we should focus on. We should continue to support Ukraine in any way we can to hold Russia at bay. On the other hand, we don't want an escalation of the war. We cannot defeat Russia on the battlefield. We can just try to dissuade them on all fronts from continuing their military aggression. Also, we need to think hard about what Europe will look like after the hostilities have ended. What does a peaceful resolution look like?

Quote 2236 Lou Apr 08 at 08:40

The way I see it is that the World failed in its duty to prevent Russia from attacking and then failed to redeem itself by deploying overwhelming force to prevent the destruction of Ukraine. 

The reason you give for the Russian Church not speaking up as well as the reason for the West not doing more I consider unacceptable. 

Quote 2235 Chad Apr 07 at 17:30

I wonder if Rowan Williams is right. We should keep the doors open for reconciliation. We should support the rebuilding of Ukraine and the establishment of a working relationship with Russia. We don't need another Cold War.

Quote 2234 Chad Apr 07 at 13:14

I'm not condoning what the church is doing in Russia, far from it. I do understand it, though. They have spent many years being prosecuted. They made a pact with the devil. Putin gets their soul they finally get some comfort and support from the state. They also know that if they cross Putin he will not only withdraw his politically-motivated support they will face dire consequences. I'm not surprised that some Christians fail to pick up their cross. It can quite easily turn into a suicide mission by standing up for their Christian principles. It is a tough choice.

Quote 2233 Lou Apr 07 at 08:33

At the risk of repeating myself, why did that( speaking up and providing support ) take so long to come out; civilians have been dying for over a month!

Quote 2231 Lou Apr 06 at 08:00

Expel Russian Orthodox from WCC says Rowan Williams

Quote 2230 Chad Apr 04 at 10:29

Wise words from the President of Ukraine

Quote 2229 Chad Apr 02 at 12:35

This article comes from Comment.org. This is an interesting dialogue. I don't think that the church plays the important role that they describe. On the other hand, freedom of religion is as important as all the other freedoms and human rights that are at stake. They take some aim at the US for its policy blunders. I think they were gentler than they could have been in their critique. Both superpowers have caused a lot of grief in the world. Admittedly a bad democracy is better than a dictatorship. Putin has lost the moral war. He doesn't seem all that concerned. I wonder, do you think they are reflecting Merton's views on war and non-violence.


Quote 2228 Lou Apr 02 at 08:05

Quote 2227 Chad Mar 29 at 17:36

Quote 2226 Lou Mar 26 at 09:12


Quote 2225 Lou Mar 25 at 18:40

Quote 2223 Lou Mar 20 at 18:41

We sure do need to pray!

Quote 2222 Chad Mar 20 at 12:47

Quote 2221 Chad Mar 20 at 12:12

I think Ukraine will need to take the initiative in the truth and reconciliation process when the conflict ceases. The Ukrainian and Russian people have much in common. Nothing is fixed. It is change and uncertainty that are constant.

We have to learn how to be peaceful. Unfortunately, we teach ourselves to believe in the status quo. This has to change. 

Quote 2220 Gary Mar 20 at 11:08

How can Ukraine and Russia ever settle their differences, never be the same.

Quote 2219 Gary Mar 19 at 21:26

Ukraine not a member of NATO.  Rules are rules.  I don't see any winner in this war, if you can call it a war.  There will never be peace in this world. 

You guys keep hinting the US appears weak, I imagine in Russia's current state they could take out Russia in a heart beat. China I am not so sure. This conflict will continue on whether I watch it or not, I chose not.   We could discuss this over coffee without our masks next week.. Can't wait to go maskless.

Quote 2218 Lou Mar 19 at 16:40

I think Nato should go all out defending Ukraine even to the risk of starting ww3.
If we don't stop Putin He will feel free to continue his conquest and China will feel free to invade Taiwan. 

Quote 2217 Chad Mar 19 at 13:15

Lou, the PBS conversation gives an idea of the division in US Politics.  The internal strife makes the US appears weak and divided. Its adversaries are taking advantage of their inner turmoil.  Europe will need to be strongly united.  Ukraine may not be the main goal. It seems Putin wants to expand the war. He will advance using any excuse real or falsified. The Western democracies need to contain the Russian invasion at whatever cost. Democracy is at risk. Political games are not helpful at the moment.

Quote 2216 Lou Mar 19 at 09:12

Brooks and Capehart on U.S. aid for Ukraine

Quote 2215 Lou Mar 17 at 17:31

Quote 2214 Chad Mar 17 at 16:59

Gary, The war goes on 24/7. I don't dwell on it. That would be detrimental to my health. I spend most of my time doing other things. You can post something not war-related.

Quote 2213 Chad Mar 17 at 13:02

Putin may overrun the country, but he will not defeat the people of Ukraine. He will not. Spirit will always win over, flesh.

Archbishop Michael Curry 

Quote 2211 Gary Mar 17 at 05:41

Of course I know what's going on in Ukraine, it's terrible, I just don't dwell on it 24/7.  We watched Frontline this week on how Putin rose to power, very corrupt but crafty.  "Wars and rumours of war."

Quote 2210 Lou Mar 16 at 13:42

Gary, how can you ask who that couple belongs to?
Everyone knows that they belong to Ukraine.
I can't believe that you are not aware of what's happening in Ukraine.

Quote 2209 Gary Mar 16 at 13:29

Whose that couple in the picture?

Quote 2208 Lou Mar 16 at 10:56

Ukraine's President just brought the U.S. Congress TO TEARS with this POWERFUL video


Quote 2205 Lou Mar 15 at 10:34

The images that I posted on Mar 10 at 10:16 have disappeared.
Posting images that will last until overwritten is one of the reasons I implemented the Save image as, Start Upload, Upload File functionality. Images can still be posted the old way but only as a comment on the 'pinned' image.
A new topic should be uploaded to overwrite Quote 2 or Quote 3 that shows the oldest comment.

Quote 2204 Lou Mar 14 at 15:32

For my birthday this year, I call for donations to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation. I have chosen this association because I love their mission and I hope you can give it a little like. Any donation, no matter how small, will help me reach my goal.

Facebook takes care of the donations at no cost.

Alexandre Dub March 14, 2022

Quote 2200 Chad Mar 03 at 23:16

Quote 2199 Lou Mar 02 at 19:03

Peace starts in the heart of individuals, in the heart of every one of us.

Quote 2197 Chad Mar 02 at 09:56

I found this site. Would this be a useful guide for training purposes? Would you add or subtract anything?  These are words and definitions. I think there is an essence of peace. A sincere willingness for peace to occur.

Could this be taught if we don't believe this approach to be true?


Quote 2196 Chad Mar 02 at 09:33

I'm wondering how I would teach a ten-year-old about the notion of or state of peace.

Quote 2195 Chad Mar 02 at 08:55

I wonder is peace the space between our emotions?

Quote 2194 Chad Mar 02 at 08:12

That is a good question, Gary. He may know it now. I suppose your question is rhetorical. Do any of us know peace? Maybe that's a better question. 

Quote 2193 Gary Mar 01 at 10:36

But did Jimi know peace, that's the question?

Quote 2190 Chad Feb 28 at 00:28

Thomas Merton was a friend of Ginsberg and the beats. He was one cool monk. Enjoy.

Quote 2189 Gary Feb 27 at 21:35

A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals         Just ordered this book Chad, you would probably appreciate it.

As far as Ukraine goes, if you believe God is in charge, let Him handle the situation.  For me I think most people have become Godless, satan is the prince of this world and his evil reigns.  You are right about prayer, what other tools do we mortals have?

Quote 2187 Chad Feb 27 at 11:55


Wise words from Kenya. 

Quote 2185 Chad Feb 26 at 13:54

Yes, Amen to that. Ukraine holds some of my heritage. It is very sad to see this unfounded act of aggression. 

Quote 2182 Lou Feb 22 at 08:16

Angel, a Jew, owner of the most famous bakery in Germany, often said: "Do you know why I'm alive today? I was still a teenager when Nazis in Germany killed Jews mercilessly. Nazis took us to Auschwitz by train. Last night in the ward was deadly cold. We were left for many days in cars without food, without beds, which means without the possibility to warm up somehow. It was snowing everywhere. The cold wind froze our cheeks every second. There were hundreds of us on those cold, horrible nights. No food, no water, no hiding. The blood is frozen in the veins. Next to me was an elderly Jew who was very loved in my city. He was all shaking and looking terrible. I wrapped him with my hands to warm him up. Hugged him tight to give some warmth. Rub his hands, legs, face, neck. I begged him to stay alive. I cheered him up. This is how I kept this man warm all night. I myself was tired and frozen. Fingers crossed, but I kept massaging this man's body to warm him up.

So many hours have passed. Finally, the morning has come, the sun has started to shine. I looked around myself to see other people. To my horror, all I could see were frozen corpses. All I could hear was the silence of death. Frosty night killed everyone. They died of cold. Only two people survived: the old man and me. The old man survived because I didn't let him freeze, and I survived because I made him warm.

Allow me to tell you the secret of survival in this world? When you warm the heart of others, then you will warm yourself. "When you support, strengthen and encourage others, then you receive support, strengthening, and encouragement in your life.

Quote 2181 Lou Feb 20 at 10:23

This sermon answers a statement that was made on this website quite some time ago


Quote 2180 Chad Feb 18 at 18:33

Before I make a critique. It might be best if I wait to see what the magazine has to offer. My post made some suggestions about how I thought they should proceed. There soft release of information is still a bit vague. I'm sure their mandate will be firmed up over time. How do you see it?

Quote 2179 Lou Feb 17 at 20:02

You last post sounds like you don't approve of the new Centre for Cultural Witness thinking that they are not out to make the church message relevant to the contemporary world but out to recruit new converts.

Quote 2178 Chad Feb 17 at 12:43

Let's speak in honest terms in plain English. Let's act according to universal values and principles contained in the Gospels. Let's apply them to the problems we face. Let's listen to others openly and in good faith who are aligned with us in uplifting humanity. The problems we face are not because we don't have enough Christians.

Quote 2177 Lou Feb 17 at 08:19

We live in a world that urgently need healing


Quote 2176 Chad Feb 16 at 13:50

They are both gentle and fair critiques of our society's values. Some of us are finally realizing that our society can not sustain its exploitive processes for meaningless excess, thoughtless materialism, and wasteful consumerism. The wisdom comes from non-white males that have suffered grief from exploitive imperialism. They know about what they speak.  

Quote 2175 Lou Feb 16 at 08:22

It's well worth meditating on the connection between the two quotes.

Quote 2173 Chad Feb 15 at 15:19

English is a living language evolving over time by organic creativity and different cultural influences. I agree, this organic process of cultural osmosis makes a language-rich. A person that intentionally exposes and immerses himself in different cultures is also enriched. Framing difference as an opportunity rather than a threat leads to a deeper understanding of humanity. It enriches everyone.

This is somewhat related. Last night I watched several Olympic events. What struck me was the comradery and love expressed by the participants. That mutual respect and genuine friendship of people from different countries and cultures came from being together over time and having common interests. It would be nice if we could all take a leaf from their book.

Quote image or text and replies only to the latest post
Quote 3302 Chad Sep 21 at 13:48

Christians have the freedom to choose from a myriad of options available regarding all aspects of their faith. Christianity is very flexible and will fit almost any belief system. Christianity is whatever it needs to be in the eyes of the beholder. Each Christian feels his idea and version of Christianity are correct. My conclusion is that it doesn't matter what a Christian believes. 

Quote 3300 Lou Sep 21 at 13:30

I suspect that the white space is caused by hitting Enter before hitting Post. I tried it with 3298 and got only about only 1/3 as much white space.

It's too bad Christians can't stay out of other people's business but they do worse than inquiring about people's prayer habits. 

Quote 3296 Chad Sep 21 at 10:51

I did wonder the same thing myself. The white space was not intentionally created. I Googled Gary's question. Believe it or not, there have been some surveys done. I would take the results with a grain of salt. People will pray and have wishful thinking about and for all sorts of things. None of it matters of course. Creation will continue and carry us along at its own pace as we whirl through the cosmos. I don't think Christ made it mandatory to pray, get baptized, or take communion. We don't need to be obligated to these rituals. 

Quote 3295 Lou Sep 20 at 11:29

I like the positive statement that a rhetorical question is indicated by the use of the exclamation mark (!).

Why all the white space in your post?

Quote 3294 Chad Sep 20 at 11:24

That is true Lou, a rhetorical question does not have a question mark. on the other hand, the question or statement can only be understood from Gary's perspective. Was he talking to us or talking to himself? I wonder what his comment or statement has to do with the quoted material from Spurgeon. What is inspiring or informing about Spurgeon's words? It feels psalm-like in intent to me. Gary get us on track with your thinking.




Quote 3293 Lou Sep 20 at 10:33

Rhetorical questions are indicated by using the exclamation mark (!) instead of the question mark (?).
My guess is that Gary is making a value judgment about others. 

Quote 3291 Chad Sep 20 at 08:55

Gary, after thinking about it for a while, I wonder if I misinterpreted your question. Wonder how much time the average Christian spends in prayer? You may have been speaking rhetorically. It is possible you are making a value judgment about others. I suspect you have already answered your own question, possibly in a negative way. I may be assuming too much. I hope that's not the case. At any rate, let's pray for Joseph.

Quote 3290 Lou Sep 19 at 14:54

Sincere prayer is of benefit to the one who prays, probably not to anyone else.

Quote 3288 Chad Sep 19 at 12:45

Most journalists either are disinterested in or detest science. They hated it in school. On the other hand, they loved to read and write. It is difficult for them to report on those things that most affect our lives. Most of them secretly want to write a novel or have done so. They live in a world of fiction and imagination and they are concerned only with the human condition. A man-made or natural calamity is the best news to report. They don't spend much or anytime on those things that are having the most impact on our everyday lives. It is because they don't understand it and/or because of their disinterest they don't want to understand it. 

Gary, there is no such thing as an average Christian. There is no real guide to how much time should be devoted to prayer. That is something we must decide for ourselves. I'm sure however you decide to consider prayer will be just fine with God. It is your spiritual life no one else shares it. 

Quote 3286 Gary Sep 09 at 11:38

O lift me higher, nearer Thee,
And as I rise more pure and fit,
O let my soul's humility
Make me lie lower at Thy feet;
Less trusting self, the more I prove
The blessed comfort of Thy love.

Surgeon-  Wonder how much time the average Christian spends in prayer? g.

Quote 3285 Lou Aug 30 at 14:57

then I can reply with: 

 “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” 


Quote 3284 Lou Aug 30 at 14:48

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
― Ernest Hemingway

Who are we to trust?  I don't know if I agree with Ernest.  Sounds like a recipe for disaster. 

Gary, this is the best way to post a quote and your comment about it using the Block Quote icon above. It set makes it obvious that you are quoting someone else and what is our own comment.
Please post things this way. The Forum is where we air our own thoughts, not someone else's.


Quote 3283 Lou Aug 20 at 09:20

I suggest Mark 11:12-26 Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple Courts for Bible study.


Quote 3281 Chad Aug 18 at 22:55

The beauty of it all comes from the unique paths the stories followed and the unique personality and perspective of the Gospel writer. A Gospel is more than the sum of its parts. John's Gospel is the most creative of the bunch partly because the society had evolved as the social environment evolved. The people were open to a slightly different approach. John's Gospel probably would have been rejected if it was written at the same time Mark wrote his. That's speculation, of course.


Quote 3280 Lou Aug 18 at 15:21

That's an excellent article. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. I must quote from it:

Each of the four gospels depicts Jesus in a different way. These characterizations reflect the past experiences and the particular circumstances of their authors' communities. The historical evidence suggests that Mark wrote for a community deeply affected by the failure of the First Jewish Revolt against Rome. Matthew wrote for a Jewish community in conflict with the Pharisaic Judaism that dominated Jewish life in the postwar period. Luke wrote for a predominately Gentile audience eager to demonstrate that Christian beliefs in no way conflicted with their ability to serve as a good citizen of the Empire.

The oral tradition tends to remember things that impressed them, especially things that are relevant to their present situation even with some editing to help their purpose - Enphasising Pilate's efforts to free Jesus to get on the good side of the Romans as an example.



Quote 3279 Chad Aug 18 at 13:38

Below is a link to a short PBS article giving an overview of the NT. The writing of the NT came much later than early oral stories told about Jesus. One wonders what the original story might have been. Far removed from the scribes. I wonder how close the Gospel writers were to the original story. It wouldn't matter if they were totally fabricated fiction, would it? We know that John took a very different slant from the others. Time gives more license as it passes. Technically we could write a Gospel that incorporates all the subsequent stories and the related politics since John's Gospel. We might give the task to NT Wright. If it hits a chord with current readers it could be added to a new revised Bible. A consensus would be impossible to achieve. That's a given. Some people might even think of the very idea as blasphemous no matter how altruistic the motives are for such a project. Religious people are generally very conservative and resistant to change. However, It might create a new religion if it seems reasonable to enough people. It could be called the Post-Christian Gospel. Is there anything wrong with this idea? I expect Gary to just say yes. It will be difficult to wrap his head around such a concept even if it is just for the sake of discussion.


Quote 3278 Chad Aug 13 at 14:50

I enjoyed our discussions. I'm off to the cottage now. I'll get in touch when I return.

Quote 3277 Chad Aug 12 at 22:07

Scientists will be the first to admit that they don't definitively understand much of anything. But they can sometimes understand a subject enough to accurately predict things to very close variances.  Quite often they find that the more they know about something the more questions they can generate about it. Scientists also admit that they have not been good communicators of what they do and how they do it to the general public. Admittedly not all scientists work in science for the sake of science and expanding knowledge. Some work for for-profit organizations. They work with engineers and other specialists to create all sorts of products. They are usually motivated by money and not necessarily for the common good or common knowledge.

I can understand some of your frustration. If I try to read a scientific paper on a topic it usually doesn't take long for me to be lost in the jargon and acronyms. They are trying to do better. Alan Alda is helping them towards that end. Gary, If you have some questions about science. let me know. I'll try to get answers for you or I'll try to point you in the right direction to find it for yourself. 

Economic decisions for example. laying off 1,000,000 people is hardly ever if ever made by scientists.

Investigating unknown territory is what scientists do best. The James Webb Telescope is admittedly a huge undertaking requiring a relatively major investment. I say relatively when you compare it to the money spent by the US military in the last 3 questionable wars they have initiated. At any rate, If nothing else we will get some stunning pictures to look at. Like Hubble, it will literally expand our horizons and probably quadruple our knowledge of the Cosmos. I have a positive attitude about it all and I anticipate that I will have my socks blown off by the venture. Then again I have been interested in astronomy and cosmology since I was a little kid. Maybe you will change your mind after it brings back more pictures and information.  

Quote 3276 Chad Aug 12 at 20:53

Yeah, there is no doubt that he was a polymath but at the same time, a devout Catholic monk. I don't consider myself a Darwinian. Darwin and Einstein have their esteemed place in history based on their profound insights, however, we have progressed to more advanced forms of biology and physics based on their efforts. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin helped in pushing that advance.

Getting back to Lou, one of the problems with what we call progress is that the wealth that is generated from it does not consider all the real costs of the surplus and profit. The rich industrial countries behave as if they are in a perpetual motion machine. We believe we can keep taking without giving back or at least paying the proper price that considers all the real costs. Costs to humanity especially the poor and disinfrachised, to the environment by degregation, depletion and polution.  A two thousand year old Redwood can reduced to certain amount of board feet a lumber but it can never be replaced, for example. As consumers we are implicit in driving this unsustable model.

Quote 3275 gary Aug 12 at 17:53

Re: 3272 And why do you think mankind dosen't listen to the scientist's, maybe it is because they don't have all the answers.  I wonder where robotics will take us, Amazon cutting 1,000,000 jobs, very few tellers and cashiers.  Were doomed, I have to water my flowers and grass daily, can't go out in the sun, the world's water sources are drying up.  Okay I am exaggerating but you get my point. One more thing sending the worlds biggest and largest telescope into space to send back pretty pictures, this is science?

Quote 3274 gary Aug 12 at 17:43

Probably because he was also all these other things, a French Jesuit priest, scientist, paleontologist, theologian, philosopher and teacher. He was Darwinian in outlook and the author of several influential theological and philosophical books. He took part in the discovery of Peking Man.   A Darwin man like you and Lou. 

Quote 3273 Chad Aug 12 at 15:54

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin  was a brilliant Jesuit schollar. Gary, how do you see him fitting in?

Quote 3272 Lou Aug 12 at 15:34

What you are saying is true of course but gas guzzlers and drilling for oil are still promoted instead of using science and technology to try and fix the mess they got us into.
I wonder what the world would be like if the industrial revolution had not happened especially the assembly line.

Quote 3271 Chad Aug 12 at 14:13

The idea Bob was getting at is that we need to be updating our thinking and beliefs when it is necessary to do so. When the evidence warrants it. Knowledge is neutral. It is how knowledge is applied that is important. Turning our back on knowledge and learning is not the answer to exploitation, injustice, and abuse by the powerful, Jesus probably knew the Law better than those who administered it. I have to remember that science and technology are allowing me to send you this post. Just before last Christmas, s&t saved my life. Science and technology are not everything but to leave them out of the equation may be foolhardy.

Quote 3270 Lou Aug 12 at 12:13

Listening to the news should bring home to you what looking at the world the scientific and technological way has done for us including how sound, scientifically and technologically sound monoculture has done to Madagascar and countless other ecologies.
Gary, you should quote something that Pierre Teilhard de Chardin has that would fit in with these discussions.

Quote 3269 gary Aug 12 at 09:55

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin--Another guy who might fit in with these discussions.

Quote 3268 Lou Aug 12 at 09:38

While it is true that we don't see things as they really are seeing things in the scientific and technological way doesn't help our survival on the contrary it led us to the environmental crisis we are in.
The farmer sees the sun rise in the east and the seasons unfold and they do and that is all he needs to know. 
His preparation for his future party is trying to fix things we wouldn't need to fix if it weren't for Science, Technology, and Consumerism( all capitalization intentional and meaningful ).

Quote 3267 Chad Aug 11 at 19:19

I agree with the Dalai Lama. The past is spilled milk we can only take action today to try to make a better world. Bob McDonald of CBC's Quirks and Quarks has an interesting perspective on this subject. Below is his Tedx presentation from Victoria BC.



Quote 3266 Lou Aug 09 at 08:07

Quote 3259 Chad Jul 19 at 14:05

re 3527 Re Rev. Curry's remarks: Nobody in that conference will say different. I doubt anyone in that room will drop their politics. They don't realize they are at war. Wishful thinking and prayer will not reverse the course that has been plotted against them, and us BTW. He was too kind and reserved, He wanted to be more forceful but he realizes that the intellectual elite has thin skin and is self-centered. They don't get it. They want to hide. They don't want to make waves or put their life on the line. They didn't go to a seminary school for the purpose of starting a resistance movement for non-partisan reasoning following Christ's non-violent style. Rev. Curry, being a visible minority, sees it plainly. He understands what the unfriendly forces at hand are capable of. The powers behind this want to cause derision and confusion. They want to keep everyone at odds with each other. They want total power and they will do anything to get it. We have seen this before. We want to pretend that it is different. God Bless Rev. Curry.

Quote 3257 Lou Jul 11 at 15:50

The Episcopal Church House of Bishops addressed many threats to democracy

Quote 3254 Chad Jun 29 at 06:28

Rolf Jacobson's sermon from last Sunday explains the use of language in the Bible and why it often differs from ordinary prose. He critiques Psalm 30 with this in mind. Here is an excerpt that was taken from the introduction. This sermon may help us to understand the use of miracles in the Bible.

To communicate God’s character and God’s agency, divine salvation, and spiritual healing, at times the Bible needs to speak in parables or prophetic visions, or poetry. Because where prose describes, poetry evokes.” Listen as Jacobson explains how Psalm 30 “offers just such evocative proclamations of divine salvation.”



Quote 3253 Chad Jun 29 at 00:32

As I see it, the miracles are there for a purpose beyond being supernatural events. The miracle is meant to capture the attention of the reader/listener to some important lesson or observance. They can cause the opposite effect of distracting the reader/listener to unimportant details that become contentious issues that spawn endless debates.

Quote 3252 Chad Jun 28 at 21:50

The wedding Cana is a good example. People end up arguing about the alcohol content of the wine. That is very important to some. 

Quote 3251 Chad Jun 28 at 19:26

Yeah, you are right, Lou. We read the Bible as we are not as it is. No one wants their perceptions changed or challenged. We will only grasp what reinforces our own point of view. However, what I just said is tentative. There are others that would say it better.

Quote 3250 Lou Jun 28 at 15:06

I was not aware that we were talking about having a discussion. What the quote and the sermon are about is how we receive what we read and, assuming it is for edification the way we read it makes a difference. 

That is what I have prepared from the NIV and suggest reading only the headers to get refreshed on the drift of the Gospel. Nobody calls for either acceptance or discussion.

What the posts were about is getting bogged down in the details of The Wedding at Cana, for example, and failing to get what it is supposed to mean to us by neglecting to keep in mind how it related to what the Gospels are trying to tell us which we will never get if we are having historical or analytical bible studies.

Quote 3249 Chad Jun 28 at 14:07

I idea which I have given up. Was to demonstrate how difficult it might be to get under the skin of the Biblical writer. Forget that it is too difficult. Your method is doable. What Gospel or writing are you suggesting. That method has been decided and prepared for us. Follow the icons on the front page. A list of major events is spelled out. No thinking is required. Acceptance of what is written is a requirement, not an option. When you get down to it there is nothing to discuss.

Quote 3248 Lou Jun 28 at 08:02

That idea is exactly the opposite of what was proposed earlier. It is a suggestion to concentrate on the tree at the expanse of the forest.
I suggest reading the whole gospel but only the headings as provided on the front page of the website to get a holistic view and then, perhaps, select perhaps and read a passage that stood out.


Quote 3247 Chad Jun 28 at 01:26

Gary might not be with us. I starting to have doubts about this. Seasoned Biblical scholars debate wording and meaning all the time. It is way too difficult an undertaking. Forget my dumb idea.

Quote 3246 Chad Jun 27 at 18:57

I thought of this crazy idea so pick a verse or passage and I'll try my luck. Before you criticize you have to submit your version of the same passage. In that way, we will have 3 different versions to compare. Gary what verse or passage would you like us to try?

Quote 3245 Chad Jun 27 at 18:02

It is a modern wonder that the Bible can be read on a screen. Not only that with multiple versions to view almost instantly. Also added commentary and concordance. However, most of us were not trained in how to read and compose at a similar level that the Biblical writers enjoyed. So we get bogged down because don't have the technical skills or the ability to express ourselves in a similar manner. Most of us are not writers in that sense. Take a passage, any passage, and try to express it in your own words to capture exactly what was intended by the Biblical writer. This is a good exercise in humility if nothing else. If you try this tell us how you found this simple exercise. What if any were the problems you encountered. Better still share the passage and your attempt at capturing the exact essence of the verse. We should all do this so we can compare our results.

Quote 3244 Lou Jun 27 at 10:25

Gary, responding to a post by telling us what it should read intending to convey an uncalled-for hint is not constructive.

An answer to Quote 2341 should have been whether you believe that to ignore it or to tell us whether you believe that we should or should not keep in mind the holistic message of the Bible when reading it, in other words, should we or should we not keep in mind the context, what the whole of the Bible is about.

Quote 3243 Lou Jun 24 at 07:42

It's honest for you to admit that you get bogged down when you read the Bible and even our posts in this forum. It would help if you tried to do better and actually read what is written.

Quote 3242 Gary Jun 23 at 16:25

Lou, it should read, when reading the Bible I get bogged down with the stories and fail to get what I am suppused to learn.

Quote 3241 Lou Jun 22 at 14:04

When reading the Bible we get bogged down with the stories and fail to get what we are supposed to learn.

Quote 3240 Lou Jun 22 at 09:45

Sometimes the light is blocked by the trees so we can't see the forest for the trees. Rev. Dr. Joy J. Moore brought that up for me in her sermon for Sunday. We get bogged down with the stories and fail to get what we are supposed to learn.

Quote 3237 Lou Jun 21 at 09:12

 It is only when there is lack of light that we see things in the wrong way. How like a little cloud is worldly grandeur blown away. We can never be self-sufficing. But when we learn a higher dependence there is no more anguish of mind, no more rebellion. To be able to see our connection with every condition of life is to see with a new eye — the spiritual eye. Patience, endurance, courage — these come when that eye opens. Then we can turn all our forces Godward. For one who sees with the spiritual eye, there are no evil forces; it is we who create evil by the misdirection of our energies.

That quote is very much in sync with the Perennial Philosophy. Our ignorance is what keeps us from seeing God in everyone and everything.
All scriptures, including the sciences, are attempts at the Truth that are unfortunately more hindrances than help.

Quote 3236 Chad Jun 20 at 14:04

Good points Lou.

Quote 3235 Lou Jun 20 at 09:26

 Never do anything that will destroy another’s faith. Even the simplest faith leads Godward.

Everyone has to be allowed and even encouraged to read scripture and worship the way they grew into.

Quote 3234 Chad Jun 18 at 10:53

He said he would include the OT writings when they were relevant to a particular passage.  Yeah, you are right Lou, there are so many ways of approaching it. I won't make any commentary as it can offend others. You are good to go. I might add, that it is not my intention to offend anyone. Thanks for putting me straight, Lou. 


Quote 3233 Lou Jun 18 at 08:14

We should determine for ourselves and share with others our reason for reading the Bible. I wonder if Gary is aware of his reasons for his decision to read the complete Bible and then trim it down to only the New Testament. Would he share it with us? The same applies to us, of course.

Quote 3232 Chad Jun 17 at 19:28

I guess what I should have said before I started was let's share some perspectives on this passage. 

Quote 3231 Chad Jun 17 at 17:18

It is just one way of looking at it. It is admittedly an incomplete picture.  I expected you and Gary to offer different perceptions and likely better ways of looking at it. Don't worry about what I have written especially if you feel it is inadequate. Write a better commentary so we can learn something.

Quote 3230 Lou Jun 17 at 16:28

Chad, That kind of Bible analysis is sure to have Gary stay away and I don't blame him. 

Quote 3229 Chad Jun 17 at 15:34

Looking at Acts 3 we can quite quickly realize that the Passage is focused on very specific people in a very different time and place. Yet we can understand the intention of the writer and what he was trying to accomplish. It is interesting the specific detail that is included and what remains vague. Does the man have a name? There are political overtones. Peter John and the cured man, also the addition of OT references are used in giving authenticity to his rhetoric. We know this story was repeated for its political purposes and not for its veracity. Just my take. How do you see it? 

Quote 3228 Lou Jun 17 at 09:07

NT in a year is available on the front page of the website. The daily installment takes a few minutes to read. 

Quote 3227 Gary Jun 17 at 08:51

re 3222 I think I have to go at my own pace, haven't even got started yet. Could be more of a fall project.

Quote 3226 Chad Jun 16 at 15:01

re: post 3224 The Bible Gateway, Bible in a Year site has passages every day that are chewable bits. Today's passage from Acts draws heavily on the OT writings. It also has some commentary and additional resources to study the passage in more detail. The only potential problem I see with this approach is that it might get one lost in trees when looking for the forest. That is to say, getting entangled in detail and missing the message.

Quote 3225 Chad Jun 16 at 14:44

Re 3222 I think you are wise to change course. The new approach is still difficult but doable in a more realistic time frame. What do you think of Lou's idea?

Quote 3223 Gary Jun 16 at 11:57

re: 3220  Can't save the world if you don't preach on sin and salvation. Many preachers acquaint hell as an eternal separation from God.  Although Jesus does mention hell in Matthew and other places as a warnig not to disobey the Father.

Quote 3222 Gary Jun 16 at 11:50

re:3195 Changed my approach, will read through the NT and will only go back to the OT if it is quoted or if there are links to OT Bible verses uinderneath some NT verses. This doesn't mean the OT is not important, in many cases it leads us directly into the NT.

Quote 3221 Lou Jun 15 at 08:49

The Abrahamic religions are big on sex, as evidenced by circumcision, sin, and hell.
Their idea of salvation is getting to the promised land, heaven after death for Christians and Muslims instead of enlightenment,(union with God).

Quote 3220 Chad Jun 14 at 23:31

Matt 28:16-20The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Some of the popular preachers are big on Hell and Salvation and sin. They downplay or conveniently forget that Jesus was a great teacher. Adherence to his teachings can save the world.

Quote 3219 Lou Jun 14 at 08:12

Quote 3218 Chad Jun 13 at 15:37

What makes a good minister/preacher? Maybe I should say what are the characteristics of a good minister preacher? It might be something to ponder. I imagine we come up with a different set of traits but I also imagine there would be some overlap. Number one on my list would be, an effective communicator. 

Quote 3217 Chad Jun 13 at 13:23

Richard Baxter and the like come from an era of preaching a strict, vengeful, and frightening God. What Frye liked to call the Old Sinker in the Sky God.  Some find that sort of almighty power appealing. Baxter and other fire and brimstone preachers could manage a crowd's emotions and bring their audiences to dizzying heights of excitement. Some people get off on those other sinners being throne to fiery hell forever. Some of us feel that wasn't the way Christ operated and taught. It's a different picture.

Most people are resistant to change. Some are very solid on their footing. If you are like that you will know it would be impossible to change your beliefs no matter what anyone said. That is where you might bring in torture and abuse on those that have different ideas. After all, it would be for their own good, wouldn't it? Kick away, my friend.

Quote 3216 Lou Jun 13 at 11:31

 if they don't listen smack them, I meant to kick the dust off your feet and move on. I did not read anything about smacking from  'kick the dust off your feet ' only to leave them alone and move on. Jesus was not into smacking people around but into helping them instead if they wanted to be helped.

One should only preach what one believes in and should believe what the congregation believes in.

Quote 3215 Chad Jun 13 at 10:44

Gary, I think you should just be who you are. You understand the Bible and Christianity from your unique perspective. There will be some that like how you understand these things. I agree with most of what say.

Quote 3214 Chad Jun 12 at 18:13

I agree with you and Richard Baxter. That is if you are going to preach the Gospels you should know the Gospels. You should also know Christ and his intentions. You need to be like Christ if you are going to represent him. You should also be clear about what you want to accomplish and how you are going to go about doing it. I know of some people that will figuratively kick the dust from their sandals if they meet opposition. They are just playing out a dogmatic cliche in a dramatic fashion. Their drama will be lost on most. Preaching was and is a difficult task. Christ and his apostles all ran into severe opposition. It cost most of them their lives. If you think people will listen to you and buy what you are selling, by all means, have some fun with it. I don't think you will be killed. However, they may not be as appreciative of your particular pitch as you think they should be. You don't have much to lose though, all the heavy lifting has been done by countless others that came before you. On the other hand, you could hand out pamphlets on the street counters. 

Pretend you know nothing of the Bible or Christianity. Would you be able to grasp the Puriton version of redemption, sanctification, and salvation? Just because someone doesn't get the message doesn't necessarily mean they reject it. Christ knew this and he taught that concept in a parable.


Quote 3213 Gary Jun 12 at 14:15

Baxter writes about the responsibilities of being gospel men, of wearing gospel shoes. It clearly extends beyond the pulpit, but it definitely involves the pulpit. “Multitudes,” he writes,

will [actually] not be brought to understand what we say; … when we talk of redemption, sanctification, and salvation, they hear us as if we spoke Greek or Hebrew to them, and under [our] teaching, [they] grow old in … ignorance. …Richard Baxter

I like that "they grow old in ignorance." there is always a large percentage of people lost and just don't want to hear the word.  Probably the same percentage as in Jesus's time.  He still told his disciples to go out and share the good news, if they don't listen smack them, I meant kick the dust off your feet and move on. The lost multitudes.

Quote 3212 Chad Jun 10 at 13:46

One of the reasons I retired from the active pastoral ministry is because for my own integrity I could no longer proclaim things to others I did not believe AND I had no desire to do damage to the faith that was a strength and support to those in my congregation who still held to orthodox faith.

They were and are on a journey just as I have been on a journey and while I did share out of my journey I always sought to respect others and where they were as well.

Bill Haggart retired minister

That is good advice from a thoughtful man

Quote 3209 Lou Jun 08 at 08:24

We need to keep in mind what Howard Zinn said when listening to the news.

Quote 3207 Chad Jun 06 at 09:39
Quote 3206 Gary Jun 06 at 08:29

Forget that Steve Brown Water into Grape Juice, wasn't great. 

Quote 3205 Chad Jun 05 at 01:21

Steve Brown has one of the deepest baritones I have ever heard. That combined with his slow deliberate delivery may make him appealing. He sounds like the Marlborough man would sound like if he ever said something if that makes sense. In other words, he sounds very manly and authoritative.

I'll let Gary give us the site he found interesting. Water to wine is an interesting passage for a number of reasons.

Quote 3204 Chad Jun 04 at 22:38

Peterson's answer to whether he believes in God is interesting. As usual, he manages to bash the Leftists and Marxists which is very typical of his approach. I don't want to get into how bad the extreme left may be. I feel the extreme right is as bad if not worse. Hitler was no sweetheart. Putting that aside, Some points he makes in his talk bring up some interesting ideas that may be worth pursuing or at least considering. I have other criticisms but it might be best if you watch the video and make your own observations.

Does Peterson believe in God?

Quote 3203 Lou Jun 04 at 08:44

Gary, your post "The panel to the right of Peterson's you tube video has a preacher Steve Brown titled "Turning water into wine." He is one of my favorites to listen too." means nothing to us since what you see on the right of the video you are viewing is not the tailored to you. 

Copy the URL and post it if you want us to see it.

Quote 3202 Chad Jun 04 at 00:19

To me, Peterson is a strange duck. He thinks of himself as a scientist and academic. He is also popular with strong social media support and following. He has a strong right-wing leaning. Having said that he is a bright individual that poses good questions and plausible answers to some of our existential and religious questions. I believe he is a believer. On the other hand, he needs to be seen as a legitimate intelligent scientist.

Quote 3200 Gary Jun 03 at 17:55

Listening to Jordan Peterson now., I find him interesting. I thought at one point he said "us believers"  He and his wife went through some tough health issues a few years ago, at that point he seemed to talk about Christianity more than before.It almost goes over my head.

Quote 3199 Chad Jun 03 at 12:31

Well, there you are. I thought we had lost you.  I came across this video of Jordan Peterson giving his take on the Bible. I do have problems with Peterson. Mostly because either he doesn't realize his own bias or if he does he doesn't declare it. That affects his conclusions. Having said that he does make some interesting observations. They are worthwhile pondering. He talks about the Bible and its place in society and possibly how it grounds Western society. Gary, I'm sure you would find this interesting. 


I will read your email regarding: Andy. Hopefully, it is good news.   

Quote 3198 Gary Jun 03 at 10:38

RE:3195 Haven't started yet. (Going to send out an email shortly about Andy?  This Sunday church goes back to full communion and goes maskless, of course those who wish can still wear them.

Quote 3197 Chad Jun 03 at 10:29

The Anglican Church as a whole could learn a new tradition

The aboriginal church could be the church of the future. We need to break the ties that bind us to colonialism and exploitive empires. That history belongs in books and educational material. It has no place in a sanctuary of spiritual expression and worship.

Quote 3196 Chad Jun 01 at 14:28

Yeah, no pressure though, it is a daunting task. I have read it in chronological order, I do not recommend this approach. Too much consecutive ancient Hebrew writing becomes tiresome and non-inspiring. It is definitely aimed at a very different homogeneous audience. That's my opinion. I must add that it has been decades since I tried such a task. I might see it differently now. Good Luck. I might also suggest that you give yourself the freedom of prolonged breaks to keep yourself fresh. Fighting through the writing just to meet artificial benchmarks will cause your brain to rebel and wander.



Quote 3195 Lou Jun 01 at 08:24

Gary, how's your Bible reading project coming?

Quote 3191 Chad May 24 at 16:15

I'm curious that's all. There are many reasons to read the Bible. I like your approach.

Quote 3190 Chad May 24 at 16:12

Gary, you said you want to read through the Bible one more time before you croak. Can I ask what would be your purpose in doing this? I am not being critical just curious. I would also like to know what way you choose to do this.



Quote 3189 Gary May 24 at 11:38

RE: 3186 Everytime I open the Bible I see something I didn't notice before. It keeps me closer to God in my walk.  You don't get that with any other book. It's like an inaudible prompting from the Holy Spirit.

  (Short answer, it keeps me grounded and focused.) Why do I have to explain??

Quote 3188 Chad May 24 at 11:30

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Paul from Romans.

I think this is good advice that comes from a Roman Jew of the Pharisee sect.

I wonder did the Christian God exist before Christ came along?

Quote 3186 Chad May 24 at 09:27

Gary, you said you want to read through the Bible one more time before you croak. Can I ask what would be your purpose in doing this? I am not being critical just curious. I would also like to know what way you choose to do this.



Quote 3185 Lou May 24 at 07:37

Gary, Bible Gateway, there's a link to it on the front page, offers many Bible reading plans.
Since there is only one God you must mean the Christian view of God. 

Chad, There's no need to apologize, reading carefully before responding would be a good idea. We are all guilty of that especially when we read scripture.

Quote 3184 Chad May 23 at 16:20

I thought you might clarify what I said Lou. I just wanted to give a simple response to Gary's simple questions. They were not meant to be definitive. I apologize for getting your explanation wrong, Lou. My idea was to get the conversation back on track. It seems I didn't do a very good job of it.  I didn't know Gary was taking his quote from Merton I wouldn't have guessed it if he hadn't told us.

Merton was interested in how others considered the same issues he was concerned with. He consulted thousands of sources he wrote and received a lot of letters. His interest was deeper than our banter. He was on a trip to the Orient for additional research when he died. I wonder did he get any closer to his goal? He was an outstanding Christian for sure. One can only assume that his correspondence and research strengthened his faith. Maybe that's as good as it gets. Thanks for sharing Gary.

Quote 3183 Gary May 23 at 16:14

As long as we are talking about a Christian God, I'm in.  By Merton quoting Krishna he may be streching my limits. I know you want a detailed discussion but I can only jump in and out when I see something that interests me. I want to read the Bible through once more before I croak, just thinking about the best way to go about it. I have a couple of links, one suggested by Peter where the daily reading is read to me as I follow along with the transscrpit. Another link for reading through the Bible is put out there by Nicky Gumbel.  Rambling, so I will go watch General Hospital. Sonny is getting another divorce.

Quote 3182 Lou May 23 at 09:16

Gary Quote 3167

Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: "By devotion in work He knows me, knows what in truth I am and who I am. then, having known me in truth, He enters into me."  Something for me to ponder, what is work, who is He, what truth and who's entering?  Chad has probably already figured out I am still reading Merton.

Gary, I assume that is something that Merton quoted. What did he say about it that made you want to do some pondering? You did ask questions and I did answer so are those answers satisfactory? Do they change what you understood from the quote in any way?
You don't have to believe what is said but only that is what is being said.

Quote 3180 Lou May 22 at 19:46

Gary Quote 3167

Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: "By devotion in work He knows me, knows what in truth I am and who I am. then, having known me in truth, He enters into me."  Something for me to ponder, what is work, who is He, what truth and who's entering?  Chad has probably already figured out I am still reading Merton.

The problem with so much space/posts between the post and the response to it shows up in Chad's post where he states that "Who is he? Lou, says, God". I did not, what I said is that 'he' refers to each individual and that every time Krishna says 'me' he is speaking as God. 
The point is that 'devotion in work' has Paul vs. James overtones while  "loving devotion to Me(God)" doesn't

Gary, are those answers satisfactory? Do they change what you understood from the quote in any way? You don't have to believe what is said but only that is what is being said.


Quote 3179 Chad May 22 at 14:13

With the risk of going off into my own world, I'm sure I see a definite connection between the Merton Quote that quotes Easter philosophy and, Saint Francis de Sales' quote.  in a nutshell, the more we learn to focus on God in our Earthly activity the closer to God we become. Love is the key ingredient. Any thoughts?

Quote 3178 Chad May 22 at 13:31

Gary, the forum is for the discussion of ideas and different points of perspective. Many quotes go by without comment. I'm paying attention to what you are writing and quoting. You have joined in on a more regular basis. I would like to keep it that way. We all think differently and therefore we perceive things differently. On the other hand, we have many things in common. Let's talk like friends even though this medium can create another layer of confusion and distraction that you wouldn't necessarily get with face-to-face meetings. The medium is instantaneous the way we are using it isn't.

I like that you have brought in Merton and Saint Francis de Sales as you can see by my previous posts they helped me go off on a tangent. I couldn't link them very well with this conversation, as Lou has pointed out. I have to work out my ideas better before I bring them in again. I apologize for my interruption. It was well-intended but poorly executed and not that coherent or relevant to the topic.

Quote 3177 Lou May 22 at 09:05

Gary, You read what I wrote the way you read the Bible: to make it say what you want it to say not what it says. Christian writers do the same they read with their preconceived notions and pick the word they need to make it say what they want it to say. Mentioning what I thought of Cristian writers was an unnecessary distraction.

In Quote 3167 you asked questions, what do you think of the answers?

Quote 3176 Gary May 21 at 20:26

Lou said in 3169, "I would ignore quotes from Indian Scriptures by Christian writers."  I think he meant to say he would ignore Christian writers.  Chad the quote in 3170, Gail wrote in my birthday card today, you guys are big on love and it was about love so I just shared.  Every quote doesn't have to be a conversation starter.  Some times I just read them and file them away for a rainy day.

Quote 3175 Chad May 21 at 16:07

Gary, I like your quote from Saint Francis de Sales.  It makes so much sense. It works in a practical sense for all serious endeavors. The progression toward spiritual perfection is by actively loving and then loving even better.

Quote 3174 Chad May 21 at 15:54

Questions Gary asked? What is work? Who is he? What Truth? Who Is entering?

What is work?  Lou, says it is everything we do.

Who is he? Lou, says, God

What truth? Lou, says Knowing who God is.

Who is entering? My thoughts, entering is awareness of the oneness with God. God is always present only by actively engaging in work with devotion to God are we aware of this.

Simple answers to your questions Gary from our perspectives.

The other ideas and posts stem from this.

Quote 3173 Lou May 21 at 15:05

Are we having a conversation here? If so I lost the thread.

Quote 3172 Chad May 21 at 14:43

I would say that an honest questions to find the other's perspective or to begin an open dialogue are the best for progessing an idea and better understanding That might mean that leads to better more informed questions. This idea requires total openness and the williness of an eager apprentice. The grounding to keep things on track would be love. I be wary of those that want to steer, control, or monoplize the conversation. The should however ba able to contribute their thoughts.

Having said that, what was Merton trying to communicate, from his Christian Monk's perspective? What was his purpose in quoting ancient Indian spiritual philosophy (wisdom)? Answering these 2 questions may get us closer to what Gary is looking for.

Quote 3171 Chad May 21 at 12:51

I just watched a video from the World Science Festival. It was an interview with host Brian Green a famous physicist/ mathematician and Nobel Laureate for physics Frank Wilczek. The technical stuff I found interesting. However the philosophical discussions I found most inspiring.

One of the philosophical ideas regarding advancing awareness is the need for collaboration and the serious consideration from many points of view. We can see from our discussions on this topic that we can increase our own perspective. In other words, more will be revealed as we engage with a topic, as an advancing apprentice. Expanded further the more we include the perspectives of others that have or are considering the same areas of interest. Seeking the truth about concepts can be explored and expressed in many ways. Understanding the truth about it may take more than words that we have and understand. What I think we want is to be as close to the truth of it as we can be. We should listen to and discuss what others know and freely reveal about it. The process can be one rendering and or expanding at the same time. The process can be rewarding and enjoyable. I believe universal truths are like that. I also believe that they bleed into other areas not obviously attached to a current consideration.

I realize what I have written is of a general nature and somewhat spontaneous. I wanted to get it out in the rough form. Feel free to edit it or critique it in any way. 

I think that is what Merton was trying to do at least in part.

I have included the video. Not for science but for philosophy.


Quote 3170 Gary May 21 at 11:36

"There are many who want me to tell them of secret ways of becoming perfect and I can only tell them that the sole secret is a hearty love of God, and the only way of attaining that love is by loving.  You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working, and just so you learn to love God and man by loving.  Begin as a mere apprentice and the very power of love will lead you on to become a master of the art.   Saint Francis de Sales

Quote 3169 Lou May 21 at 09:03

Gary quoting from the Bhagavad Gita! Now I've seen everything. 

The way that quote was translated is misleading and leads to misinterpretation. 
BG 18.55: Only by loving devotion to Me(God) does one( He, you, me, anyone) come to know who I am in Truth. Then, having come to know Me(God), My devotee enters into full consciousness of Me(God). 

What Krishna is saying here is that everything one does should be to the glory of God and not for personal gratification, not for selfish reasons but for the service of others. The Astavakra Gita reaffirms the same idea. Jesus told us the same thing in parables and through examples.

Work is everything that we do even eating. Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if everyone were to serve/love God and neighbors (everybody and everything ) instead of one's own selfish desires!

I would ignore quotes from Indian Scriptures by Christian writers.


Quote 3168 Chad May 20 at 16:59

The Astavakra Gita says: "Do not let the fruit of action be your motive and do not be attached to nonaction." Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, "By devotion in work He knows me, knows what in truth I am and who I am. Then having known me in truth, He enters into me."

Above, I added to your quote to give a little more context.

The Thomas Merton Centre website suggests (In other words, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Work to please God alone.) 

In my words; Let our work be a devotion to God, Take no credit or benefit for ourselves. God will see our truth and conviction. He will be with us. In that way, we will truly be doing God's will. 

Lou, could you take a wack at this?  

Quote 3167 Gary May 20 at 12:04

Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: "By devotion in work He knows me, knows what in truth I am and who I am. then, having known me in truth, He enters into me."  Something for me to ponder, what is work, who is He, what truth and who's entering?  Chad has probably already figured out I am still reading Merton.

Quote 3165 Lou May 17 at 15:58

Chad, the idea is that if you want to quote something you do it on the oldest panel. We should not spread a topic over all three panels as it is being done now.

Quote 3164 Chad May 17 at 00:29

Quote 3163 Chad May 16 at 13:40

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Wouldn’t it be a completely different world if only the nations of the world could remember the human ideals they agreed to in 1948? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was a historic memorandum agreed by the General Assembly of the United Nations following the devastating events of the Second World War, which had killed over 75 million human beings. 

If only today’s leaders and governments could revive that spirit of humanity, with a commitment to uphold and support the rights that were laid down 73 years ago, the Peace Train would truly have arrived. I may be naive, but I’d prefer to stay that way than lose that precious light of hope which lives within me.

Yusuf  AKA Cat Stevens

Quote 3161 Chad May 13 at 18:30

There can be no peace without justice. God’s peace cannot be separated from God’s righteousness, justice and steadfast love. Peacemaking and the establishment of conditions for just relationships are indispensable to our common faith. Working for peace is about establishing justice among persons and societies and in all areas of our public life… Creating a Just Peace involves freeing human beings from fear and want, and overcoming enmity, discrimination, and oppression. It requires establishing conditions for just relationships that respect the experience of the most vulnerable and value the integrity of creation.

Excerpts from Principles of Peace, The Canadian Council of Churches (May 2018)

Quote 3160 Chad May 12 at 23:35

Some Jews converted to Christianity. I am not surprised that Jews didn't jump on the Christian bandwagon. I know some Christians that are very resistant to change. It would be impossible for them to switch faiths. I'm sure the Jews would have had the same mindset. Actually, they still do. That's OK. The Jews I know are good people of faith doing good things.

Quote 3159 Gary May 12 at 14:40

Chad your quote by Billy reminds me of the book I am reading, This Year in Jerusalem by Mordecai Richler.  Jewish people also would not open the door to Jesus as the Messiah.

(haven't heard from Lou yet so maybe I have it in the right spot) 

Quote 3158 Chad May 12 at 13:34

Quote 3157 Chad May 12 at 13:29

Yeah, I liked it better without the context. I guess it shows things that are taken out of context can shift the intent.

Quote 3156 Gary May 12 at 12:12

The quote on the calender didn't say it was from Dorian Gray, that fictional quote changes things, although I could see Oacar saying that.

Quote 3154 Chad May 12 at 11:44

Gary your quote is thought-provoking. I think it is better stated out of context and left open for alternative interpretations. 

What comes to mind is a person like Trump who seems to become more popular with the Christian Right the more his transgressions and sins are revealed. I have other thoughts but I would really like to see your take on it, especially after your comment,  Something to be proud of, eh??

Here is the passage that the quote is taken from. http://www.authorama.com/the-picture-of-dorian-gray-4.html


Quote 3153 Gary May 12 at 10:42

"You will always be fond of me.  I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."   --Oscar Wilde--   Sometning to be proud of, eh??

Quote 3152 Lou May 12 at 08:30

Quote 3151 Lou May 11 at 09:19
The human race has considered itself superior to and not part of the animal kingdom and to be entitled to overpopulate, subdue, and abuse the planet for much too long. It is high time that we get it in our thick skulls that we are an integral part of nature and that nature would be better off without us. Visit Chernobyl for proof.


Quote 3142 Lou May 03 at 17:48

Chad, I think that listening to the Perennial Philosophy will make things clear for you. It doesn't advocate any religions but simply points out how all scriptures point to who we are and what is our purpose in life. They all fall short but they have kernels of truth.

Listen to it carefully and slowly maybe half an hour at a time. Discuss it here if you wish; I am willing to reread it so we could make it a joint project. It is not a religion, it's a philosophy that applies to all religions. I would suggest that Gary should stay away from it except for the introduction.

Quote 3141 Chad May 03 at 12:03

Lou, I agree with you, Lou. Although I question your belief in salvation not because it is wrong in any sense. I don't understand the concept or why it is required. I don't refuse to be saved. I don't know what I'm being saved from. Christ taught us how we should live and treat one another. Salvation may be part of that, but that part is out of my control. The Gospels contain quite a bit of the OT. That is what the Gospel writers were familiar with. The OT formed their sensibilities and beliefs. To them, Jesus was the final prophet, the ointed one, the Messiah. John's gospel was written to prove Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus's followers are following a Jew. I find it wonderful that Christianity is full of paradoxes and confusing rhetoric and metaphors. Christ wanted us to think for ourselves as he did. The damning rhetoric comes into the NT from the OT. Christ wanted us to see through the rhetoric and dogma to the underlying truth. God is love.

Quote 3140 Lou May 03 at 08:18

Assuming that the Bible and the Church are supposed to lead us to salvation I wonder what the belief in eternal damnation, the Second Coming, and miracles is supposed to help! Instead, I claim that accepting Jesus as Savior and doing what He told us to do in the Sermon on the Mount especially but also throughout the whole of the Gospels are the only things we need. 

Quote 3139 Chad May 03 at 00:41

Quite a few do, Lou. While at the Ministry of Training and Colleges of Ontario, I worked with a fellow. His wife and he belonged to a conservative Lutheran church in South Oshawa. Almost immediately after his granddaughter was born, he had to have her baptized. She would go to Hell if she died before being baptized. I told him that I couldn't believe God would be so simple-minded and mean-spirited. Some people need a mean-spirited God. They are comfortable with the OT vengeful God. They were probably taught from an early age that God was that mean old man in the sky by their parents.

In that regard, we create the God we can believe in.

Quote 3137 Lou May 02 at 14:35
I don't understand how someone who says that God is Love can also say that anyone who doesn't acknowledge Jesus as Lord will get sent to eternal damnation.


Quote 3135 Chad May 02 at 00:12

Gary, we know the story. Now that we are redeemed through God's love we are free from sin. What do we make of it? or maybe the better question is, What can we make of it? It is something to contemplate. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

He does have a lovely Scottish accent and a good delivery.

Quote 3134 Lou Apr 30 at 18:01

That's what I have been telling you. If you don't agree with that let's find out why.

"While we were still sinners" doesn't that imply that if we really totally accept Christ's invitation to surrender ourselves to God we're no longer sinners even though we sin occasionally.

BTW when you post a link you can use " Display Text " to give it a title or make a comment about it. Actually, I wish you would always make an entry into "Display Text" it prevents some display problems.

Quote 3132 Chad Apr 29 at 00:21

I'm not questioning your meaning I was a little confused by the wording. I wanted to confirm that I was on the right track. I would say Eves's motivation came from the mind of the man that wrote that passage in Genesis.;-) All historical institutions will not survive much longer. History is no longer a controlled sacred trust. For instance, Ryerson University has severed its ties with the past. Voices that were muffled in the past are now questioning and demanding changes to the status quo. Feminists aren't buying into the Eve guilt trip. ;-) The Monarchy and the Commonwealth are one generation away from total dissolution. We are in the instantaneous electronic universe.

Quote 3131 Lou Apr 28 at 19:32

I meant exactly what I wrote. Every entity from rocks to mammals behaves within the parameters set by its nature. Animals with brains continually test the boundaries mostly in order to survive in a changing world but often from curiosity or even rebellion against authority( which one was Eve's motivation is a good guess!). Why are some Christians content with the status quo while others are not? Are they looking for reform or for laxity?

Quote 3129 Chad Apr 28 at 00:30

Everything in the Universe is constantly changing. All factors and forces acting on an object determine the rate of change. Trudeau sr said, after winning an election, that the Universe is unfolding as it should. This clever witticism is profoundly true. Some things may seem static. That is an illusion.

Quote 3128 Chad Apr 27 at 23:51

Lou did you mean to say, everything in nature is designed (not ) to keep the status quo. That would make more sense to me. 

Quote 3122 Lou Apr 27 at 14:44

everything in nature is designed to keep the status quo but to constantly test the boundaries otherwise, there would be no evolution either in biology, philosophy, religion, or science. Very few are willing to test the boundaries and any good comes from a very few of those.

Quote 3121 Chad Apr 26 at 14:48

We have a natural bias toward keeping the status quo. Our natural preference is a propensity for certainty. We like to define, evaluate, and categorize things quickly and permanently. We don't want to feel stupid or inferior. The idea of following our ignorance and the willingness to step into unknown territory would definitely give some Christians anxiety.  I have to keep this in mind when we are talking to others about personal beliefs and ideas about religion. I don't have the same anxiety level about such things. 

Quote 3120 Lou Apr 22 at 09:44

It sounds like he is describing the opposite of Christianity and Islam where there's no ignorance because all the answers are to be found in scripture and cannot be questioned instead of accepting that all we have in scripture are tentative answers that are intended to lead to more questions. If we were to focus on how the ancients sages, as well as the modern scientists, arrived at these answers and reinvestigate instead of accepting and propagating tentative, at best, answers.

Quote 3119 Chad Apr 22 at 08:02

The cartoon you posted is very true and to the point. In somewhat the same vein the Ted Talk in the link below suggests we are not thinking clearly as a society about a number of things. All those that don't understand science should watch this. Questions are a good way to increase our ignorance. Have a look. I think you will find it entertaining. 


Quote 3118 Lou Apr 21 at 19:45

Quote 3116 Chad Apr 18 at 15:38

Maria Popova made a similar comment. She didn't mention Christianity. But I think her commentary captures the point of having a wider perspective.

I don’t think it is possible to contribute to the present moment in any meaningful way while being wholly engulfed by it. It is only by stepping out of it, by taking a telescopic perspective, that we can then dip back in and do the work which our time asks of us.



Quote 3114 Gary Apr 18 at 11:43

'The world, in the sense of collective myths and aspirations of contemporary society, is not to be unconditionally accepted or rejected, because whether we like it or not, we are all part of it and there is a sense in which it has to be accepted."   Merton-1958

It goes on but I agree we have no choice but to be drawn in to a wicked society not by choice.  He wrote this in 1958, I wonder what he would think of society today? I would think this quote stands the test of time, especially for Christians. 


Quote 3113 Gary Apr 17 at 09:06


If you listen to the end of this short video you may find the freedom we so desire as we age, for some anyway. g.

Quote 3112 Chad Apr 15 at 14:16

And if we don't find a cure, we will join the fossils of the past.

Quote 3111 Lou Apr 14 at 20:58

Quote 3110 Chad Apr 14 at 19:22

“To see ourselves as others see us is a most salutary gift. Hardly less important is the capacity to see others as they see themselves.”

Aldous Huxley

Quote 3109 Chad Apr 14 at 13:07

“To see ourselves as others see us is a most salutary gift. Hardly less important is the capacity to see others as they see themselves.”

Aldous Huxley

Quote 3108 Chad Apr 13 at 18:06

Throughout history, there have been poets, visionaries, and prophets that see what we miss and they are able to articulate what they see. Huxley is one of them. We should have been paying closer attention.

Quote 3107 Lou Apr 13 at 09:49

Man, the species, is now living as a parasite upon earth which acculturated man is in the process of conquering to the limit—and the limit is total destruction. Intelligent parasites take care not to kill their hosts; unintelligent parasites push their greed to the point of murder and, destroying their own food supply, commit suicide. Boasting all the while of his prowess as a conqueror, but behaving, while he boasts, less intelligently than the flea or even the hookworm, man, the acculturated parasite, is now busily engaged in murdering his host.

Next, Man the parasite, moves on to infect other planets. I hope I'm proven correct in believing it impossible to colonize other planets, not even Mars our nearest neighbor.

Quote 3106 Chad Apr 12 at 11:24

This is another take on human nature at the time when the first satellites and manned missions were just being successfully launched. Aldous Huxley waxes philosophically about man's real and presumed stature regarding the social climate at the time the essay was written. Some of his speculation about future events has been realized. The essay is long and covers a lot of ground. I will read it again to unpack some of his references and to see if I am truly understanding his point of view. I think it is worth the read. Let me know your thoughts.


Quote 3105 Chad Apr 11 at 16:16

The excerpt below was taken from Maria Popov's blog The Marginalien.  https://www.themarginalian.org/  Commenting on W.H. Auden's poem, September 1, 1939.  https://poets.org/poem/september-1-1939

In what may be the single most poignant one-word alteration in the history of our species, he changed the final line of the penultimate stanza to reflect his war-annealed recognition that entropy dominates all. The original version read: “We must love one another or die” — an impassioned plea for compassion as a moral imperative, the withholding of which assures the destruction of life. But the plea had gone unanswered and eighty million lives had gone unsaved. Auden came to feel that his reach for poetic truth had been rendered “a damned lie,” later lamenting that however our ideals and idealisms may play out, “we must die anyway.”

A decade of disquiet after the end of the war, he changed the line to read: “We must love one another and die.”

Quote 3104 Chad Apr 08 at 20:03

I agree. She was not recognized for her efforts, and now she's retired. Hopefully, others may see this as an opportunity.

Quote 3102 Lou Apr 08 at 08:55

That should be implemented in schools everywhere.

Quote 3101 Chad Apr 07 at 17:04

A smart teacher that put her students first and the process second.



Quote 3100 Lou Apr 07 at 08:22

We need people to plow the fields we own and we need people to find new fields.

Quote 396 Chad Apr 06 at 14:14

 I think I am. I shouldn’t like to take my oath on the whole story, but one thing I am ready to fight for as long as I can, in word and act—that is, that we shall be better, braver, and more active men if we believe it right to look for what we don’t know than if we believe there is no point in looking because what we don’t know we can never discover.



Quote 395 Lou Apr 05 at 19:36

Most people don't like 'salt'; they prefer 'sugar'. Erwin belongs to the 'salt' loving crown while my son-in-law, for one, belongs to the 'sugar' loving crowd; to each his own.

Quote 394 Chad Apr 05 at 17:48

“If I know what I shall find, I do not want to find it. Uncertainty is the salt of life.”

Erwin Chargaff.

The journey is always better than the destination. It is best to have a life journey full of uncertainty and surprises. We should not be content with mediocrity and certain dullness.

Quote 392 Chad Apr 05 at 17:27

 Nature as a Form of Prayer

I find myself walking softly on the rich undergrowth beneath the trees, not wanting to crack a twig, to crush or disturb anything in the least — for there is such a sense of stillness and peace that the wrong sort of movement, even one’s very presence, might be felt like an intrusion… The beauty of the forest is extraordinary — but “beauty” is too simple a word, for being here is not just an esthetic experience, but one steeped with mystery and awe.

Oliver Sacks

Quote 391 Chad Apr 05 at 14:31

And I realize that no matter where I am, whether in a little room full of thought or in this endless universe of stars and mountains, it’s all in my mind.

Jack Kerouac

The above quote by Kerouac is related to the post I just made in the forum. Frye might refer to it as educating the imagination.

Quote 390 Chad Apr 02 at 19:57

Quote 389 Chad Apr 02 at 14:39

Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.

Gary Snyder

Quote 388 Chad Apr 02 at 14:04

Today's non-violent attribute is release. We must learn from past errors and address grievances responsibly in the most positive way for all those involved especially those injured. Then all parties can be released from the tension of unfinished business.

Quote 387 Chad Apr 02 at 11:26

Gary, you have been annoyed by people that are apologetic for the crimes committed by the government and the church. These people were grievously harmed and still bear scars and open wounds caused by these atrocities. These wrongs are not stuck in the past. They are still occurring. I think you know this. When you make flippant comments like that just to get our goat I feel annoyed and a bit disappointed.

Quote 386 Gary Apr 02 at 09:27

How many apologies do do people have to make, move on!  There is such a thing as being stuck in the past.

Quote 385 Lou Apr 02 at 08:04

Chad, you're quoting yourself!

Quote 384 Chad Apr 01 at 18:31

Pope Francis made his apology to a delegation from the Truth and Reconciliation representatives. These words make a big difference for those that suffered and are still alive. The people present felt that the Pope had sincerely and passionately listened to their presentation. This is a wonderful gesture. They now want him to come to Canada and speak directly to the residential school survivors. That truly would be remarkable.

Quote 383 Chad Mar 30 at 09:39

Re: The Sacred Circle, indigenous church documents revealed; It appears, at first glance, that the Anglican church is unharmed. That is unfortunate. There was a significant opportunity for the church to make much-needed changes. I have to read it more thoroughly to make sure I'm not missing something. Do you have any thoughts?

Quote 382 Chad Mar 29 at 08:20

Ginter Park Baptist Church’s history is one of responding to a call we believe to be from God. We ask each person who wishes to identify with this community of faith to commit to this Rule of Life as we seek together to live as the body of Christ in this time and place.

Rule of Life

As disciples of Jesus, we seek to live in such a way that our individual lives and our shared life together reflect the life of Christ in the world.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, each of us thus commits to:

  • Practice radical acceptance and welcome of all persons, affirming them as created in the image of God and as beloved of God
  • Build relationships among ourselves and throughout our community in a commitment to a shared mission and a common life
  • Serve our Richmond neighbors and the wider world, working towards the dismantling of oppressive systems and serving with those whose lives seek transformation
  • Engage in learning as a lifelong pursuit, acknowledging the complexity and embracing mystery while seeking, giving, and receiving truths in humility
  • Operate with a culture of generosity, trusting in the abundance of God and refusing to operate with a scarcity mentality
  • Be accountable to one another, speak out when necessary, and ask awkward questions that may upset the status quo
  • Live our lives as a conversation with God in a commitment to personal spiritual practices
  • Extend grace to ourselves, to one another, and to all those whose paths we cross whenever we fall short of our pursuit to love God with our whole selves and our neighbor as ourselves.
Quote 381 Chad Mar 28 at 17:51

Testing to see if I can post.

Quote 379 Lou Mar 27 at 08:10


Quote 378 Chad Mar 26 at 12:44

I agree, however, trust and acceptance are needed to create a formal and unified alliance for any purpose. We were focusing on different aspects of the event.

Quote 377 Lou Mar 24 at 08:27

It's hard to imagine!

Quote 376 Lou Mar 23 at 13:39

The exclamation mark indicates a rhetorical question that doesn't call for an answer; it's the equivalent of " They should have done that a long time ago ". 
Trust shouldn't be needed for archbishops and patriarchs to tell Putin that what he is doing is terribly wrong.

Quote image or text and replies only to the latest post
Quote 420 Lou Sep 26 at 08:17

Our separation from each other is an optical illusion. Albert Einstein


Quote 419 Chad Sep 16 at 17:01

I agree there is no call for extra sentiments or actions unless the situation calls for extraordinary actions or sentiments. I believe that Jesus was moved by the plight and suffering of the people he encountered. Jesus cried on a least one occasion. If dying on the cross and then being resurrected isn't extraordinary, I wouldn't know what might be. On the other hand, I don't think he ever lost his primary focus, all his actions were based on it. Buddhism tells us a different story with a different approach to pain, suffering, and desire. Both mythologies can be helpful in informing our spiritual perspective. There are universal truths in both which should come as no surprise. I'm enjoying this conversation. I wonder if Gary is following it. I never know.

Quote 418 Lou Sep 16 at 16:00

I must make it clear that what I am saying is that there is no call for extraordinary sentiments or actions. 

Quote 417 Lou Sep 16 at 15:56

What you are saying there just about covers it, all I would add is that we are called upon to follow their examples. Selfishness is the only thing that stands in the way not the call for extraordinary sentiments or actions. Looking at this in a holistic way would help understand the concept and in getting over the use of the word hate.

Quote 416 Chad Sep 16 at 13:52

It was the use of hatred that I thought unusual and used for emphasis by Luke to show how serious Christ was about the requirement and commitment required to be a disciple. Combining the Eightfold Path and the Sermon on the Mount guides to living a healthy and holy spiritual life is admirable and intelligent. The way I understand it which may not be in sync with your thoughts is that the idea is to lose ourselves, our desires, and our appetite for control and self-justification. It has been pointed out time and again that we are not the center of the Universe. We are not as important as we think we are as individuals and as a society. It is love and intelligence that make us unique. Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Queen Elizabeth II were special because of their personal sacrifice, going beyond the call of duty for their nation, and their genuine concern for all humanity. Absolutely everything exists from our human perspective and comprehension. We can not escape our humanness, and humanity as long as we are alive. 

Quote 415 Lou Sep 16 at 10:43

 "I won't be renouncing my family members anytime soon. " this confirms for me that you don't understand what renunciation means the way Hindus, Buddhists, and Christ(or so I claim understood it. ). I think that the same thing applies to Quote 41 Dated: 2022-09-12 13 which I maintain is to be applied to how we live here and now

In Quote-412 I quoted myself and signed the quote. You quoted yourself in quote-414 but neglected to sign.

Quote 414 Chad Sep 16 at 09:57

          I would say his primary focus was on his love for God. His love for humanity and the world would a close second. look at what he says about the first 2 commandments. He is bound to them as we should be. 

Quote 413 Lou Sep 15 at 16:20

Jesus walked the talk and lived a life of renunciation, yet he brought his friend Lazarus back to life after crying, provided wine when needed, and ensured his mother would be taken care of after his death. 

Quote 412 Lou Sep 15 at 16:05

Renouncing our family enables us to truly love God, Self, neighbors, and enemies and to really follow the Eightfold Path and the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Lou

You misunderstand what renunciation is all about. The public lives of Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Queen Elizabeth II are good examples. Living the Eightfold path and the Sermon on the Mount is what we should strive for.

Renouncing even works when trying to find the solution to a problem: stepping back from it, looking at it with a detached attitude, and forgetting yourself gives you more power to find a solution.

Quote 411 Chad Sep 14 at 22:54

I won't be renouncing my family members anytime soon. In my books, you show your love for God by passing on the message of love, and acts of goodwill wherever and whenever you can. By renouncing everything we lose the context for doing good works. Jesus needed that context to carry out his ministry. We don't do his bidding for a reward or for selfish reasons or because we were told to do it. We are the ones who need to lose our ego and self-importance. 

Quote 410 Lou Sep 14 at 14:37

If we remember that a disciple is one who follows a master then everyone is called to be a disciple and will obtain enlightenment eventually. A monk or a nun can be more attached to their ego or to their environment than let's say a rich man in the marketplace. Letting go of is not the same as giving up everything but an attitude of detachment, of being ready to be without.

Renunciation is not a wish to abandon our family, friends, home, job, and so forth and become like a beggar; rather, it is a mind that functions to stop attachment to worldly pleasures and that seeks [ salvation or enlightenment ]

We must learn to stop our attachment through the practice of renunciation, or it will be a serious obstacle to our pure spiritual practice. Just as a bird cannot fly if it has stones tied to its legs, so we cannot make progress on the spiritual path if we are tightly tied down by the chains of attachment.

That quote is from a Buddhist text with the indicated rewording- same meaning different words.

Renouncing our family enables us to truly love God, Self, neighbors, and enemies and to really follow the Eightfold Path and the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

Quote 49 Chad Sep 14 at 11:48

Ideally, everyone obtains Enlightenment. Christ is saying through Luke that not everyone can be a disciple. My idea of it is that a disciple is the same as a follower except for the criteria which are much more stringent for a true disciple, holy man, and or monk/nun. Most of us wouldn't seriously consider it, nor should we. Christ says don't do if you can't give up everything and focus only on God's work and mission. Not only will you fail but everyone you encounter as an incompetent disciple will fail. Look at what Christ expected of his disciples and look at their inevitable fate.

Quote 48 Lou Sep 14 at 08:56

I view the Sermon on the Mount, the Eightfold Path, Luke 14:26, and the message of the Gospel as telling us that enlightenment/salvation, call it what you want, is achieved by giving up attachment to people and things and submitting our whole being to God who will then give it back a hundredfold. 

Quote 47 Chad Sep 13 at 15:14

Luke must have thought Jesus was serious because he documented it that way. I have said before there is a spectrum of Christian Believers. There are those that would deliberately put themselves in harm's way and even die for their beliefs and their Christian principles. On the other end, we have Christmas/Easter Christians that reluctantly attend family and friends' baptisms, weddings, and funerals. They would rather pursue other hobbies and recreational activities, or they may work. Some want to take parts of the Bible literally others only want some particular passages taken literally. I don't hear this one quoted literally so much as others. They probably assume Jesus is referring to someone else or that the passage only refers to zealots. 

I personally think Jesus was serious and used strong dramatic language to show the extent of commitment needed to be a true disciple. Weekend Christians need not apply. Surely he was aware that not everyone would have the wherewithal to closely follow in his footsteps. I think the parable of the Sower of Seeds shows that he was very aware of our differences to hear and engage with his words. What I think he is saying is that if you desire to be a Messiah or disciple of the one you should be deadly serious and totally committed. 

Quote 46 Lou Sep 13 at 07:56

~"Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and is not willing to let go of father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.~" 

I would like all three of us to share how we understand what Jesus is saying here and how seriously he means it. The word hate was used for emphasis, for shock, but was the complete sentence also used for emphasis, or was he deadly serious? Are we willing and able to take up the challenge?

Quote 45 Chad Sep 12 at 23:55

I meant the 13th. I agree. The Gospels demonstrate his intent. 

Quote 44 Lou Sep 12 at 13:43

Chad, you are saying that you will be back on Tuesday the 20th while I think that you meant this Tuesday, the 13th, or simply Tuesday.

I agree with you that Jesus had to shout since slight exaggerations were so common at the time nothing else would do. He really meant that the only way we can hear God calling is by letting go of everything and opening ourselves to God, being poor in spirit and meek is opening the door. Even in the material world approaching a task of understanding, producing, or repairing with openness(poor in spirit) and meekness is more effective. 
Reflecting on what Luke 14:24 means to us, accepting that the word hate is used for emphasis, would help us realize that Jesus's life as recorded in the Gospels was a demonstration of its meaning. 

Quote 43 Chad Sep 12 at 13:42

Christ's intent is to change our focus. He wants us to see what he sees. He has to shout and disturb our sensibilities to get our attention. He was aware of how difficult it is to change someone's worldview. His disciples and those closest to him took some time to understand and to come around to his goal and follow his example. Today, even those that are seriously seeking and trying to comprehend his ministry spend only a small fraction of their time doing so. Christ knows we are easily distracted by trivial and domestic matters. Many, without much effort, think they understand him. They go off wildly in all directions except the right one. That may be the main reason the Desert Fathers sought seclusion. However, Christ made his reluctant disciples go down into the valley after the Transfiguration. He sent them out to carry what they could of his message. What Jesus was saying was that his message is serious, on the other hand, it is good news. However, understanding it fully and communicating properly is difficult. It takes all of one's attention.

off to the cottage, I'll be back next Tuesday.

Quote 42 Lou Sep 12 at 13:41

The Sermon on the Mount

This would be a good place to start our studies. 

Quote 41 Lou Sep 12 at 13:36