1. "For an earliest generation of Christians, Jesus was not the Savior but the Life-giver. In the original Aramaic of Jesus and his followers, there was no word for salvation. Salvation was understood as bestowal of life, and to be saved was “to be made alive.” This gift of life, moreover, was received in a clear rite of initiation, following the pattern of Jesus’ own initiation. According to the ancient, Aramaic-derived traditions, Jesus’ divine sonship began not in his sacrificial death on the cross, but in his spirit-filled baptism in the Jordan River. Entering the waters at the hand of John the Baptist, he emerged as the Life-giver (in Syriac, “Mahyana”), upon whom the Spirit “rested.” He came forth also as “Ihidaya,” “the only one,” or “the Unified One,” and in this pattern his initiates became known also as “ihidaye,” “those who are one.” This early Aramaic Christianity—scholars call it “Spirit Christology” —knew nothing of dying and rising with Christ, but only of a larger, more vivified and unified life made possible through the indwelling of the Spirit.” –Cynthia Bourgeault, “The Gift of Life,” on the unified vision of the desert fathers, Parabola Magazine, Summer 1989 

    "For an earliest generation of Christians, Jesus was not the Savior but the Life-giver. In the original Aramaic of Jesus and his followers, there was no word for salvation. Salvation was understood as bestowal of life, and to be saved was “to be made alive.”

    This gift of life, moreover, was received in a clear rite of initiation, following the pattern of Jesus’ own initiation. According to the ancient, Aramaic-derived traditions, Jesus’ divine sonship began not in his sacrificial death on the cross, but in his spirit-filled baptism in the Jordan River. Entering the waters at the hand of John the Baptist, he emerged as the Life-giver (in Syriac, “Mahyana”), upon whom the Spirit “rested.” He came forth also as “Ihidaya,” “the only one,” or “the Unified One,” and in this pattern his initiates became known also as “ihidaye,” “those who are one.” This early Aramaic Christianity—scholars call it “Spirit Christology” —knew nothing of dying and rising with Christ, but only of a larger, more vivified and unified life made possible through the indwelling of the Spirit.”

    –Cynthia Bourgeault, “The Gift of Life,” on the unified vision of the desert fathers, Parabola Magazine, Summer 1989 

     
  2. My primary concern is that a sexual asceticism has become a repressive legalism. We’ve taken something made to enhance our lives [a sexual ethic], and turned into something that robs us of our lives. Evangelicals are widely known to say that sex is “a gift,” but their doctrine is saying otherwise…In Christian conservative bubbles guilt and shame have become more deadly than any sexually transmitted disease.’ - Andy Gill

     
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  4. "The worship of power is precisely what Judaism came into being to challenge. We were the slaves, the powerless, and though the Torah talks of God using a strong arm to redeem the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, it simultaneously insists, over and over again, that when Jews go into their promised land in Canaan (now Palestine) they must “love the stranger/the other,” have only one law for the stranger and for the native born, and warns “do not oppress the stranger/the other.” Remember, Torah reminds us, “that you were strangers/the other in the land of Egypt” and “you know the heart of the stranger.” Later sources in Judaism even insist that a person without compassion who claims to be Jewish cannot be considered Jewish. A spirit of generosity is so integral to Torah consciousness that when Jews are told to let the land lie fallow once every seven years (the societal-wide Sabbatical Year), they must allow that which grows spontaneously from past plantings to be shared with the other/the stranger.

    The Jews are not unique in this. The basic reality is that most of humanity has always heard a voice inside themselves telling them that the best path to security and safety is to love others and show generosity, and a counter voice that tells us that the only path to security is domination and control over others. This struggle between the voice of fear and the voice of love, the voice of domination/power-over and the voice of compassion, and empathy and generosity, have played out throughout history and shape contemporary political debates around the world.” - Rabbi Michael Lerner

     
  5. When Christians idolize certainty, the concept of “the mystery of God” is a direct threat to their ideologies. Therefore, almost every situation and question has an answer and explanation. Everything is black and white—nothing is gray. And while society shifts and creates moral questions that are harder and harder to answer, instead of humble reflection, some Christians simply rework and evolve their answers to remain true to their original beliefs—no matter how complicated, confusing or ridiculous the answers are. To them, any answer is better than not having an answer at all, which they view as a sign of extreme weakness and stupidity.
    — (via sjmattson)
     
  6. quakerradical:

    “The idea of the Gospel was a totally different logic of emancipation, of justice, of freedom. Within a pagan world, injustice meant a disturbance of natural order. In pagan traditions, justice was defined in what today we would call fascistic terms, each in his or her place in the hierarchy….

     
  7. You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - over and over announcing your place in the family of things.  Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

    You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
    Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on.
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
    are moving across the landscapes,
    over the prairies and the deep trees,
    the mountains and the rivers.
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
    are heading home again.
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things.

    Wild Geese
    by Mary Oliver

     
  8. image: Download

    Words to Iraq. We’re all Sushi.

CounterCurrentNews

    Words to Iraq. We’re all Sushi.

    CounterCurrentNews

     
  9. Are The Jews God’s Chosen People?

    "The Jews are God’s Chosen People the way Jesus is the Son of God, Krishna is God, Thomas A. Anderson (aka Neo) is the One, and Superman (aka Kal–El, aka Clark Kent) is the son of Krypton’s greatest scientist, Jor-El. Each of these statements is true within the narrative that affirms them, and that is the only realm of truth we humans have.

    Regardless of specific content we all live within the narrative frames of race, ethnicity, religion, philosophy, nationality, class, gender, etc. We are all characters in stories that are greater than ourselves: verbal creations to which we often cling in a desperate effort to avoid having to face our own individuality. But without the story, the narrative frame, none of this matters. Without the narrative supporting the idea of a god who chooses one people over all others, the notion of Jewish chosenness is absurd.”

    - Rabbi Rami Shapiro


    Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rabbiramishapiro/2014/06/are-the-jews-gods-chosen-people/#ixzz34xxY5rnu
     
  10. image: Download

    “Faith is not the clinging to a shrine but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.” ― Abraham Joshua Heschel

Thanks to Prayer of the Heart

    “Faith is not the clinging to a shrine but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.”

    ― Abraham Joshua Heschel

    Thanks to Prayer of the Heart