Saturday, November 25, 2006

Blue Sunshine Christians

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

-- 2 Corinthians 12:9 (New International Version)

Do you think Christians are always sunshiny beings that never feel discouraged or depressed? I'm not talking about feeling discouraged or depressed on account of their Christian struggle, though failing in that arena may well contribute to general discouragement or related depression. Do non-Christians get less depressed than Christians or is it about the same?

Non-Christians have easier access to instant gratification while the Christian with faults or temptations can't just find a quick and easy solution in the way that a non-Christian can. Sometimes this makes for frustration, stress and depression. Are Christians more frustrated than non-Christians?

Of course, the other side is also true. With almost no limits in mind, the non-Christian is able to access too many options and some of these lead to frustration, stress and depression as well. In some ways then, the Christian is safer from certain frustrations, stresses and depressions. A Christian doesn't have to feel the non-stop compulsion to keep up with the ever richer and more successful and more popular Joneses. He or she, may have, though, Christian Joneses to keep up with that measure success in different ways that have nothing to do with money, position and other types of worldly success.

Finally, some Christians, like some non-Christians have serious genetic dispositions to not being always happy, smiling people. Yes, they may, in fact, be more depressed than is normal for another person. Therapy and medication may help, but at times, the only solution is to look to Christ and ask him to mercifully draw nearer and heal and comfort them when they are not the Endless Sunshine Christians of all the mission stories one reads about, but rather, when they are very real, painfully real, Blue Sunshine Christians. There is hope in sight for even a Blue Sun eventually sets.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Other Solutions for the Unrepentant

The hosts of light are safely inside the Transparent City.
The confederacy of darkness surrounds the victorious city.
Beyond them, in an outer circle, an almost perfect circle, stand the mysterious people of the Fields of Colored Light.
They never imagined this could happen to them.
They wanted to be inside the City of Light. Instead, they stand far apart from those making war against the Rulers of Light and the victorious city.
Having made the wrong decision, they could not be allowed entrance into the City of Light.
However, neither do they find themselves capable of fighting against the brilliant city.

They are all gradually transported to an alternate universe of life.
As they traverse each of the known seven dimensions, they glow with the strange hues of the Fields of Colored Light.
With unfathomable and perplexing joy, they worship the all-understanding, all mysterious God of the central universe of light.
Again, they never imagined this could happen to them.
He waited till the end to let them know He had foreseen the second mysterious principle.
Not evil, but not immaculate righteousness either.
It was a nameless principle at the end of the Eighth Universe.
There they would wait for a new solution, a revelation, if there would ever be one.
Or there they would worship the eternal God within the Fields of Colored Light He had foreseen though had kept secret.

The children of the Eighth Universe would never be like those of light, nor of darkness.
Their ways would forever be a mystery, though not a threat.
Their culture would not equal that of Light; neither would it be greatly inferior.
They would exist on a plane a little lower than those of Light.

These Others, those of the Eighth Universe, would ever remember who they had been on Earth.
All the culture of Earth that was worth preserving they would perpetuate on Earth III.

Every eighth day they would come before God to worship the all encompassing being.

December 29, 1979, Saturday, 12:30 a.m.

Yes, I know much of this piece is unbiblical. It is a kind of partial universalism. If only for its idealism or conceptual beauty or wonder, I thought it curious to post here. I had totally forgotten that I had written this piece at age 24.

For related or more biblical versions of this Third Road or option, please see the following links:

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Enter the Dimension of the Spirit of God

When I was young none of what I'm about to talk about had any meaning. Or it had meaning, but I just didn't get it or was unable to appreciate it. Whenever I sang about being filled or blessed by the Holy Spirit it never dawned on me what I was really singing about. If people talked a lot about the Holy Spirit, which I know they did, the words were pleasant but they just did not register the way they do now.

For years I was afraid of offending the Holy Spirit and thus being at risk of committing the unpardonable sin. I thought it best not even to speak of the Holy Spirit, less I say something wrong or inappropriate. I had been told, thankfully, that it was hard to commit the unpardonable sin as it meant that you really could care less if you committed it or nor. That reassured me as I was deathly afraid of committing it so I felt sure that I was not close to that helpless state of being.

For years I claimed the promise found in Luke 11:13, "If you who are evil know how to give good things to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give you the Holy Spirit if you ask Him." I even claimed this promise when, as they say, I was very far from God, at least from what members of my immediate family would tell me. Although, I will admit I was into lots of strange "scenes" as they used to say in the 70s. I claimed this promise out of habit since I had probably been claiming it for over 15 or 20 years. Perhaps even 25 or 30 years. It's hard to say as the morning habit of claiming the promise of Luke 11:13 was built into my daily routine as brushing my teeth was every morning. If I didn't do it soon enough or correctly enough, I felt ill at ease.

Needless to say something unusual started happening in February of 2005, perhaps earlier. One day I went through my day & I realized that the promise had finally started to make sense and that something different was happening. Something beyond my control. Unfortunately, I can't be very objective about it all as I've always perceived reality, nature, music, books, experience, other people, in an eccentric fashion. I always assumed everyone else did so as well. It was when I read or heard a sermon that talked about truly believing the reality of spiritual states of being or awareness, that it occurred to me that how I perceived things, and yes, spiritual things, was slightly different from what most other people perceived. I'm happy to say that I've come across other people that have shared this otherworldly ability or perception, so I don't feel so alone.

For almost two years now, something, or better put, someone, has awakened me every morning at about the same time, 7:00 or 7:30 a.m. in the morning. Even if I'm still sleepy and try to fall asleep again, that force shakes me gently and encourages me to arise and spend at least 30 minutes or more with the bible and moments of prayer & meditation.

A few times during the last two years while still sleeping, I have heard a melodious voice that sounded faintly familiar address me by my boyhood name, Rauly. Perhaps it was my mother's voice calling out my name, though she is far away and living in another state. Or perhaps it was my own voice calling to me while I was still asleep. Or perhaps it was someone else's voice waking me up in as soothing a voice as I could accept while still in dreamland. At other times the voice was almost muffled or slightly groaning and seemed to say hello while I was halfway between the deepest sleep and the initial stages of wakefulness. One of the last times this voice-within-a-dream called to me, it wasn't even a speaking voice. It sang to me, or perhaps I sang to myself while still sleeping. The amazing thing was that the voice, or I myself as I slept, was singing a song that translated into English from the Spanish version I sang in church as a child was "The Shepherd loves his sheep, paternally and unlike no one else ... both the lost and those still in the sheepfold." ["Ama el pastor sus ovejas, con un amor paternal ... ama el pastor a las otras con un amor sin igual."] I had not sung this song in over 20 years. That I would sing it in my dream was so astonishing that it woke me up earlier than usual and got me to open my bible even more urgently than usual.

Having said all this, I still long and wait and study and pray for the full baptism of the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit. Does one ever know for sure that one is Spirit-filled or is that life-altering knowledge kept from one mercifully?

Friday, November 03, 2006

God's Self Punishment: the Crucifixion

"But isn't that why the Creator Himself had to come here and die a tortuous death? It's the blood of His cross that reconciles all things to himself, in heaven and on earth." --Cameron, Spectrum Magazine Website Forum 10/22/2006

As I read this the strangest of thoughts came to me for the first time ever. Since Jesus and God the Father are one, was God punishing Himself for having created sinful man, by dying on the cross in the person of his son, Jesus Christ? Was Christ's sacrifice the ultimate in making amends for not creating a perfect being, or for that being and his mate not turning out as perfect as he planned originally? Lucifer sinned even earlier than Adam & Eve, so was Christ's death on the cross also a form of self-punishment, and suffering for the pain that was to follow and that follows to this day, for having allowed Lucifer:Satan to be created and to make his fateful rebellious decision to "be like the most high" and to "know good and evil"?

This in no way infers my disbelief in God's love and mercy. In a way it casts, at least for me, Christ's sacrifice in a different light, as a form of saying "I'm sorry for all the pain and suffering my creating Lucifer and Adam and Eve have caused and is still causing." God has suffered too and continues to suffer. And someday, it will all have been worthwhile or beside the point when He "makes all things new."