Archive for the ‘Bible’ Category

Verse 24

If you stand on tiptoe, you cannot stand firmly.

If you take long steps, you cannot walk far.

Showing off does not reveal enlightenment.

Boasting will not produce accomplishment.

He who is self-righteous is not respected

He who brags will not endure.

All these ways of acting are loathsome, distasteful.

They are unnecessary excesses.

They are like a pain in the stomach,

a tumor in the body

when walking the path of the Tao,

this is the very stuff that must be

uprooted, thrown out, and left behind.

Lao-tzu

The 24th verse is about living without excess, Lao-tzu advises us to pull and discard our excess weeds. These weeds are ego-driven desires of self-importance. Our desire to feel important and our desires to brag and be boastful of our accomplishments are allowing our ego to drive us instead of the all giving Tao. It is this desire which keeps us away from walking the path of the Tao. The Tao teaches us that inner approval is healthy, but it is these mind frames of thinking you are better than anyone else which is destructive. These desires for self-importance are like a cancer on our souls. Our ego is our greatest enemy on our journey to discover the Way.

The verse starts with an analogy of standing on our tip toes. I believe this represents us trying to be greater than we are. If we try to fill ourselves with self-importance we will not be able to stand firmly. Lao-tzu’s advice is to stop trying to be what we are not, and instead live as we are. We should be humble in our daily affairs, and be content with who we are at all times. Everyday we should show gratitude for everything we have, and everything we are. Showing daily gratitude centers us and keeps us on the path of the Way. Practice focusing on what you have, and not what you want, then show gratitude for everything the Tao has given you. In the part about taking long steps; I think this advises us to live in the moment and not try so hard to get were going. Instead of focusing on our end goal we should be humble and enjoy the process.

The next part of this verse is advising us to not brag or be boastful. Showing off does not show enlightenment. Bragging about our accomplishments only make us look like fools. In the second verse of the Tao Te Ching it says “when the work is done, it is forgotten. That is why it lasts forever,” or in the ninth verse it says “retire when the work is done; this is the way to heaven.” These are all examples of working without bragging or taking credit for your hard work. It is nice to be acknowledged, but this should not be our primary goal. I see my faults in this part of the verse. I have written posts on my frustration with my writing career progress. I want to have five thousand visitors a day, and in my mind this would be an accomplishment worthy of bragging. In my mind I need to be successful immediately, or I am disappointed. I am standing on my tip toes and taking long steps. I need to just sit back and allow my writing career to happen.

I am most interested in the line “He who is self-righteous is not respected.” The definition of self-righteous is “a feeling of smug moral superiority derived from a sense that one’s beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person.” This is an interesting line in that the Tao condemns being holier than thou in our religious affairs. Unlike Christianity, Buddhism and Taoism do not send its followers out on missionary trips to spread the word. They do not pretend to be superior to others who believe differently. This is why you have never seen an inquisition in these faiths. The Tao does not judge you based on if you believe in the Way or not. It will still provide you with everything you need. I think this lesson is far different from some other religions out there, which is why I have found a spiritual home in this religion.

Instead of letting our ego drive us with the desire to boast, or only work for the accolades of a good job, we should instead be grateful for everything the Tao has given us. The Tao does not seek acknowledgement for all it does for us. The Tao does not come to us saying “look what I have done for you, now what will you do for me.” This is a lesson the Tao tries to teach us by example. We should not see ourselves as important or special for the gifts the Tao has given us. We should appreciate her, and her unselfish giving. The Tao teaches us to be a giver rather than a taker, we should be providing for others and ask nothing in return. The Tao always exists in a state of unlimited giving, and teaches us to do the same. If we are able to mimic this sense of gratitude and giving we will be closer to walking the path of the Way.

“By returning to radical humility and seeing the greatness within everyone you’ve than cleared your life of excessive self-importance…and this is the way of the Tao.”

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Black

Black

Black is not a color

By definition it is the absence of light

A dark void

Cold

A suffocating black hole

How come black is what I see

It is everywhere inside of me

Where is MY ray of light?

To guide me through this cold dark night

I wonder alone

In this bankrupt mind

Hoping to find, a light inside

Reaching towards the heavens

Praying someone will answer

The black is a cancer

Eating at my will to live

I need some relief

To make it through

Without it

I am certainly doomed

No answers to my prayers

Black is what I know

My mind is color blind

“When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.”

Psalms Chapter 109 Verse 7

“The missionaries go forth to Christianize the savages – as if the savages weren’t dangerous enough already.”
Edward Abbey

This quote always makes me chuckle, but then I realize the truth behind this statement. I think one of the greatest achievements of any empire, individual, or institution is the Christian movement. The Christians have successfully spread the Word to every inch of this world, and not always peacefully. It is truly amazing if you think about it, but is this necessarily a good thing? If you look back through history you will find many religions snuffed out by the Christian movement. Many of these religions were taken out during the various inquisitions. I remember reading this large encyclopedia on the world religions past and present. I kept on finding a common theme for why these religions are still not around today. Catholicism and Christianity converted them and like I said before not always peacefully.

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”
Edward Abbey

When I read this quote and ponder on it I think of the show Star Trek. In Star Trek one of their major rules is to not interfere with lesser civilizations. They would go through great pains to not make themselves known. They did this because as a civilization these primitive people were not ready for such knowledge. If you were flying through space and came across a world where they just invented fire well then these people are not ready to have the knowledge of knowing there are people with giant ships and death rays. They did this because they did not want to interfere with the natural progression of these people. I think the same can be said about tribes in the heart of Africa, or small civilizations in the rain forest. They are content with their own little niche in this world. I understand the Christians motives; part of their belief is they are responsible for spreading the Word of God. I think the Christians could have learned a few things from Star Trek. The “savages” have their beliefs and who are we to try and take that from them. Imagine for a second that the Taliban went out as the Christians did to the savages and preached their beliefs. Within a very short order you would have a tribes of people armed with the most deadly of tools… wayward religion. Instead of hunting and dancing by a fire they would have a new directive; they would go forth and kill the infidels.

 “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said “Let us pray.” We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”
Desmond Tutu

Like children I believe the “savages” need to discover “advanced” religion on their own time and their own terms. I do not agree with sending missionaries out to teach them of a “better” religion. How pompous are we to tell these people that our beliefs are better than theirs, and if they believe what we tell them to believe then we will bring them cool shit from America. The Muslim extremists are currently doing this, but are not just limiting themselves to savages they are trying to infiltrate as many places as they can to further their cause. I suppose I am appreciative that the Christians beat the Muslims in vastly spreading their faith. In the end I am 100% against any religion trying to manipulate their way into “converting” people. This is one of my biggest disputes when it comes to Christianity.

To end this I would like to add one final quote by Annie Dillard, which is humorous in a way yet very true. It is funny how the purpose of missionaries is to “save” the souls of those who not only don’t believe, but are not even aware of these beliefs. Gaining the knowledge of a higher power which can condemn your soul to an eternal damnation is scary shit for the “savages” to deal with. Yesterday these people where worshiping the Polar Bear God, and the Ice Princess. The missionaries awe these people with our advancements in life, and they just follow suit. Not because they are now magically saved, they are simply just gullible.   

Eskimo: “If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?” Priest: “No, not if you did not know.” Eskimo: “Then why did you tell me?”
Annie Dillard

Corey one of my readers did a Facebook post the other day on how she prefers to keep the Christ in x-mas. I read this post at first and giggled because religion is funny, but then I sat and contemplated how as a society we tend to refer to this time of year as x-mas, or just simply as happy holidays. I know in spoken form it is still Christmas, but it is in written form where we have shortened it. Now thinking like a Christian I may be forced to analyze this subtle change, and ponder if this is a minor or significant change. I wonder if this has anything to do with Satan’s plan to completely detach humanity from our Lord and Savior.

Lucifer/Satan was a prideful angle who refused to bow down to Gods greatest creation Adam. Lucifer knew he was by far a better creation than man, and gathered is other angles hommies and decided to take out God. Well obviously Lucifer was defeated and was exiled from heaven, and sent to earth, or was it hell? I have read that Satan is God of this earth, but I do not know if when he was defeated where he was actually sent, but I digress. So Lucifer/Satan was cast out of heaven along with his hommies. Satan’s new plan to get one over on God is by stealing souls away from Him. My theory is Satan does this not only to take away one of Gods children, but he also does this so he has an opportunity to torture those he refused to bow down to.

There is a saying that goes something like this “Satan’s greatest trick upon humanity is by getting them to believe he doesn’t exist.” This is true because if we do not believe in Satan, then really eternal wise we don’t need to be accountable for our actions. I also think Satan has done his trick by pushing Gods true meaning out of our lives. I believe Satan has done everything to taint this religion, and sadly he is doing a great job. I think he has infiltrated the very Word of God. He does this in many ways.

Although originally a pagan holiday; Christmas and Easter have a significant meaning in the Christian tradition. Easter used to be about Christ’s resurrection, but has been tainted by capitalism and has been turned into something so twisted from its original meaning. The same can be said for Christmas. This is supposed to be about the birth of our Lord and Savior, but has also been tainted by being turned into a time where we get presents. This is just one way Satan has tricked us into separating from God. We put more emphasis on gifts than we do the meaning. Yes this is a time of giving so naturally people will receive, but it ends up being about gifts, and less about his birth. In most cases we have to say “happy holidays” because we are so worried about offending people. Come to think about it, in order to be politically correct you should never talk about religion.

Another way Satan steals our souls is by changing the Word. One of the commandments is to honor the Sabbath. The Christian/Catholic religion has changed the Sabbath from the seventh day of the week to the first. Every time we enter a church for worship we are essentially sinning against God. He not only changed the Sabbath he also distorted the true meaning of God. I am not sure which book you all study out of but I can guarantee you it is not the real word. The bible continues to change with each new addition with minor changes to each one. With each new generation they are all learning something new and different pointing them into the direction of sin. Before Jesus was Jesus he was the Word, and Satan has changed the Word of God into the Word of man.

Matthew Chapter 15 verse 6

6 He shall be absolved from honouring his father’; and so you have abrogated God’s Word for the sake of your tradition.

Finally I believe Satan has thrown the commandments of God completely out of the book by teaching we are saved by grace not works. I know not all churches do this, but it is being done. He has turned the crucifixion of Christ against us, to believe we can do whatever we want because Jesus died for the sins I committed yesterday, and the ones I plan on committing today. Instead of being obedient to Gods laws, we step all over them because we think “hey all I have to do is ask for forgiveness and I am straight.” I see churches teach this type of salvation and this is wrong. In many of Jesus teaching he urges us to be obedient to the Father. I believe he put such an emphasis on this because he knew what was going to happen in the future.  

 Matthew Chapter 7 verse 21-23

21 “Not every one who says to me, `Master, Master,’ will enter the Kingdom of the Heavens, but only those who are obedient to my Father who is in Heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, “`Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name expelled demons, and in Thy name performed many mighty works?’ 23 “And then I will tell them plainly, “`I never knew you: begone from me, you doers of wickedness.’

I want to wish my readers a very Merry Christmas. I truly appreciate your loyal readership. Since this blog is an intimate window into my soul I feel as if I have shared much with my readers. This is a very intriguing relationship because I know nothing of you yet I bare my soul directly to you. It is those who comment I have grown a special relationship to. In many of the posts I write I have you in mind. I look forward to Ramblings response to my rare Christian mind frame, and I look forward to Johanna and Coreys response telling me where I misinterpret the Word.

Merry X-Mas

I don’t want any of my regular readers to freak out but I am going to think like a Christian for a moment. I have always pondered on when, why, and how our country started falling apart. I am pondering this question and some verses from Proverbs stuck into my head. This got me thinking about God, and the role he played in peoples lives many years ago. The people who founded this country were religious God fearing people. Although they believed there should be a wall of separation between religion and the government; most of them were still god fearing people. Our ancestors passed on this love and worship of God unto their children, and they passed it onto their children. Using God as the foundation for our nation and everything she stood for is what made us great. We lived by the commandments of God, and followed His teachings.

“The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out”

Proverbs chapter 13 verse 9

Years ago a population of our people were not happy that God was still in our government and in our schools. They believed this impeded on their 1st amendment rights to religious freedom. The people demanded the wall of separation between church and state be enforced. Many were unhappy prayers were still going on in schools, while others were unhappy religious principles and such were used in government. I have always thought this was one of the greatest things to happen, but in looking through the eyes of a Christian I can see how this decision has altered our country.

“If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.”

Joshua chapter 24 verse 20

We as a nation have turned our back on the Lord by throwing him out of our government and our schools. This got me thinking about two verses in Proverbs. In the book of Proverbs it gives many lessons on how to live a just and righteous life. I compare Proverbs to the Tao Te Ching because of the philosophical and moral guidelines it gives the reader on how to act and behave. I do not remember every single chapter and verse but there are two I remember which are pertinent to this post the first is Proverbs chapter 14 verse 34 “Righteousness exalts a nation If righteousness causes a nation to be powerful and right in the eyes of the Lord then surely unrighteousness will destroy it.

“But rebels and sinners will both be broken, and those who turn their backs on the LORD will perish.”

Isaiah chapter 1 verse 28

There are many out there who believe the origin of the downfall of this nation started when we turned our backs on God. We were once a God fearing nation, because of this we were the greatest nation in history. I am trying to view this conception through the eyes of a Christian and to be honest with you I can see some truth in this. In this mind frame I am apt to believe the separation between church and state is the work of Satan. Thinking this way I can see how Satan has infiltrated our country. I also he infiltrated our churches by changing the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day. In doing this we are breaking one of the commandments on a weekly basis. I think this is another way Satan has deceived us.

“If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you reject him, he will reject you forever.”

Chronicles 1 chapter 28 verse 9

Have we written our own death sentence by turning our back on the Lord? Have we led our children into a life of sin, by keeping God away from them? There was a time when America had the best schools; since we have restricted the worship of God they have gone downhill. If we continued to teach our children about God, would we have had school shootings? We were once the mightiest nation in history, but could our downfall have to do with throwing God out of our government? There are many countries that have a separation between the church and the government. I would like to point out one that does not; Norway. I ask you this; when was the last time you heard about the moral decline of Norway. Have we allowed our people to become not right with God? If they continued to teach the Bible when I was in school would I be the cynic I am today? Would I be consumed with mental illness if I had someone or something to turn to? Have we taken the hand of the deceiver and allowed him to lead us astray? In the Bible it has many lessons for the glory the righteous will receive, and for the torment and despair the unrighteous will experience.

“For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected  forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off;”

Psalms chapter 37 verse 28

Okay time to step back into my shoes. I am not a believer in the Bible, and I do not believe the words inside are the Word of God. I still have doubts if my beliefs are correct or not. I have seen shows on the Bible Code which makes me think. My father also tries to get me to read the prophecies to show me these things are coming true. I still find a sense of serenity when I read the word, but like I said before I feel the same way when I am studying the Tao or various other teachings. The seed of fear is still inside of me, that fear of eternal damnation. This was planted in me as a child, and still affects me till today. I wonder if I should be like millions of Christians out there who believe because they would rather be right and live in heaven then be wrong and spend an eternity in hell. I do not think this is the proper motive to worship God. I consider myself a Taoist who studies other religions for fun. In my life I have never felt better and whole then when I am studying the words in the Tao Te Ching. This is what fills that hole which is inside of all of us.  I must say though there are times I read the Bible and question myself on whether I have it all wrong. This doesn’t last for to long… or does it?

Tell me what you think of these songs:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise thee, we bless thee.” From Gloria Canon

“We are marching in the light of God” From An African Celebration

“Let us sing altogether to the Son of God. He is born as our saviour and redeemer. Come see the Christ child in the manger. The sweet little babe, Christ the King.” From Psallite

“Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of hosts. Holy, Holy, Holy God of power and might. Heaven and earth are filled with all your glorious works. Blest are they who worship in your Holy Name. Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of hosts. Holy, Holy, Holy God of power and might. Holy, Holy, Holy evermore the same.” From Sanctus

So what do you think of when you read these lyrics? Would you say these are religious songs? Would you come to the conclusion that perhaps these songs would be sung in a church? I come here to you today as a pissed off parent to find out these very same songs were performed by my daughters PUBLIC school choir. I was never informed and there was never a permission slip given to me asking if I thought this material was okay. I never received anything from her school. I did not find out about this until I was sitting in the stands and the program was passed out.

I was immediately outraged by this! I could not contain my emotions. I expressed my frustrations to my wife which started a separation of church and state debate in the stands of the auditorium. I am sure the parents sitting around us were either offended or amused by our banter. In my opinion this shit does not belong in our public schools. This is a clear violation of separation between church and state. You can clearly see these songs are religious based. The lyrics do not try and hide there purpose. It is just BAM in your face. I wanted to get up; grab my daughter and pull her from this performance. I will be contacting her school today. But wait it doesn’t stop there!

I was chatting with my daughter one day afterschool and she was telling me about how in social studies they are learning about Judaism. She recanted the story of Moses and the Pharaoh and the plagues that came to the Egyptian people. She went on to say Moses parted the Red Sea in order to get away. She then explained how Moses reached Mount Sinai and spoke to the burning bush, and about how on the top of the mountain God gave Moses the Ten Commandments written by Gods finger on two stone tablets. They were teaching her this as if it is a fact not a religious belief. I am all up in arms over this. I was irritated when she was telling me about this, and I had to immediately correct her and explain that these events are not real facts they are a man made fairy tale. She has been my daughter long enough to already know this to be true. I think these songs really pushed me off the ledge.

I really want to call her school and confront the principle on this subject. I will try to refrain because I am not sure how articulate I will come across. Now back to the debate with my wife. She was telling me I am an extremist in my views and that I am a hypocrite because I am making such a big deal about this. I am not sure if she really gets my point. Here is my stance. I do not think kids should be exposed to religion until they hit the age of reason. At this point I am all for them seeking out faith if they so choose. If my daughter is fifteen and chooses to go to church I will support her. If she chooses to become a Muslim I will support her. If she so chooses the Tao or to believe in nothing I will support her. Of course I would love to expose her to my belief system, but that goes against what I believe is right for my children. I do not think exposing children to religion is the right thing because their minds are not fully developed and frankly they are gullible and will believe just about anything.

My youngest son (6) has been recently talking a lot about God, Jesus and Heaven. I am not sure where these ideas are coming from but I am not okay with this. He has been told this by someone and now looks at it as a fact. I mean c’mon this kid still believes in Santa Claus so that about says it all. I made a mistake with my daughter. She used to go to this Christian daycare center and was exposed to religion. Every time we talked I had to reprogram her to set her straight. I told her these things are fairy tales and are false teachings. I succeeded in swaying her away from Christianity. She really enjoyed the movie “Religulous” which makes me think she is probably an atheist. This point is where I can see I am hypocritical. I didn’t want to do the same thing to my son so I just tell him that this is something people believe, and is not rooted in any logical form of thinking. I really doubt he understands what that means, because he still believes in Jesus just as much as he does Santa Claus. I would love nothing more than to start schooling him in Taoism, but like I said this goes against my belief system.

All I know is I am pissed about her social studies class. Something should have been sent home informing the parents what they will be teaching when it comes to religion. I am also pissed because her choir teacher should have sent something home asking the parents if they are okay with this material. I am a firm believer in the separation between church and state. God has no place in our government and sure as shit has no place in our public schools.

About a month ago I unexpectedly received an e-mail from a site called “God Thoughts Wired.” I am a member of www.Biblestudytools.com, this is where I go whenever I sit back and read the Bible. It’s a great resource because they have every version of the Bible, and have a nice tool where you can compare different versions side-by-side. The interesting thing about doing this is you can see the subtle changes made through time, which ends up tainting the original meaning, but I digress. When I signed up for this site I made sure I unchecked all those boxes to ensure I did not receive any un-wanted e-mails from them. Armed with this knowledge I was a bit confused why and how I started to receive these e-mails. I can never resist some good theological talk so I eagerly opened them and I have enjoyed what I have been reading since. I am not saying I enjoyed them as in I agreed with what this guy was saying; I enjoyed them because at times these e-mails would really get me going to the point where I am talking to myself in my office. I am sure passersby’s wondered what was going on when I blurted out “are you kidding me!”

With every e-mail received I was taken on a roller coaster ride from being inspired to being frustrated with anger. I really wanted to find a way to communicate with the mastermind behind all of this because his points and messages at times are completely insane, but there are some other times where he seems so right. This though is not my concern for this post; my concern lies in how these e-mails came to be. My guess would be one of my Christian readers signed me up for this mailing list in the hopes I could be converted, or perhaps one day I will read one of his messages and a light will go off in my head and all of a sudden I am saved. I must admit now that in reading these e-mails I have had some light bulb moments causing me to think I am on the wrong path, and in some his points are so… well Christian.

I am not going to go into detail on these e-mails because frankly I am constructing some posts based off said e-mails. I just want to thank whom ever out there signed me up for these wonderful e-mails. I thoroughly enjoy reading them when they come. I haven’t gotten a new one since the seventeenth so I am kind of disappointed. These e-mails are thought provoking, and yes I must admit at times are rousing. There have been a few I have gotten where I had to immediately go to my Bible or the Quran to follow up on some reading to ensure the message I was receiving was based on fact. I love the Bible and I love getting lost in scripture. I may not believe but I do feel a sense of something when I read the Word, but I also get this feeling from reading other religious doctrines.

I want to thank you Christian Ninja for turning my mind and thoughts onto this site. I hope to create some intriguing posts based off the information this pastor is spreading through the World Wide Web.

Every time I think I can no longer be surprised by my daughters’ mom Melissa Fleury, she proves to out due herself. This is the first time I have used her actual name in a post; as you know I have been lovingly referring to her as Satan. She was supposed to pick my daughter up for their four-hour visit two Sundays ago. It was my wife’s birthday weekend so we were not sure if the change would work or not. I told her I would let her know Sunday morning if we had a change in plans. I texted Satan in the morning letting her know she could take her. I never received a response back so I kept checking with my daughter to see if she had heard from her. It was getting close to the pick-up time so I decided to ask my daughter once again. She told me that her mom text her and can’t see her this week because she was up all night praying and is too tired to visit. Upon hearing this I was a bit shocked, but then started laughing over the absurdness of the excuse.

Melissa is a perfect example of religion gone wrong. She has always been in my opinion lacking normal intelligence. Because of this void of a brain it had been difficult dealing with her in the past, but once religion got a hold of her it totally twisted her up. Throughout the whole time she wasn’t seeing her daughter she often referred to how God was trying to “teach” my daughter a lesson by not allowing my daughter to see her and her sisters. She has referred to how she has been praying that our daughter would just admit that her husband was not mistreating her when in reality he had. It just amazes me how a semi-functional human being can be totally misguided by faith. She has gotten to the point of extremism.  

It is because of these things and others I had to stop them from talking on the phone without it being monitored. When she wrote her final letter to our daughter saying she was no longer going to see her anymore she stated how she had to pray really hard before the answer came (I am assuming from God) to her which was to no longer see her. I am not a Christian, but I am pretty sure God would not condone a mother abandoning her first-born daughter.

Either way this woman is insane. To say you cannot come and see your daughter because you are hung over from praying is just borderline psychotic. She still had to get up and take care of her other two daughters, but couldn’t take four hours out of her day to see her first-born child, which is much easier to care for then her younger daughters. The sad part is my daughter thought this was a normal acceptable excuse. I know she has come to grips with the fact that her mom is not a very good mom, but still. I think part of the reason she wasn’t coming was because there was a Green Bay Packer game on Sunday night. Her husband (Fuck Face) is from Wisconsin so he makes a big deal out of these games. I think he didn’t want to have to watch the girls so he made Melissa stay home. It has been one year and eight months since she has seen her sisters and this would have been a perfect time to allow her to see her them. I know my daughters’ youngest sister was just a baby the last time she saw her, and the other was only two. I am pretty sure they are unaware they even have a sister.

I am on the fence whether she was really up all night praying and was too tired to come and see her. The excuse just seems so out there and unbelievable… which is why I tend to believe it.

After Moses freed the people of Israel from Egypt; they sailed off into the sunset, embarking on a journey through the desert. They walked and walked and walked until they arrived at Mount Sinai. Moses took a trip up said mountain and was gone for forty days and forty nights. Upon his return he came down the mountain with the Ten Commandments carved into stone by Gods own finger. These Ten Commandments would become the list of religious and moral imperatives for those of the Jewish and Christian beliefs. The list is quaint yet eloquent. I have met people who believe the only laws God gave us were the Ten Commandments. This is not the case; God also gave us the “Book of the Covenant” which contains many more specific laws God gave us. I think the Ten Commandments became more popular among man because they were easier to remember and follow. The word “commandments” is mentioned numerous times in the Bible, and I do not feel they are just referring to the ten most popular ones. My father is the only person I have ever met who follows all of Gods laws; but I digress. My concern in relation to this post is how we consistently break the first Commandment. I am not talking about just those who believe differently, I am talking about those who follow the Christian and Catholic faiths.

The Ten Commandments are mentioned in Exodus 20:2-7 and in Deuteronomy 5:6-21. The first Commandment in Exodus 20:3-5 reads as follows:

3.Do not have any gods before me. 4. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5. You shall not bow down or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.”

First I would like to point out the verbiage in this passage. It says no other ‘gods” before me. I take this as there being the possibility of other Gods out there. Which would make sense since the Tao gave birth to God, which means she could have given birth to multiple Gods. I was a bit offended by the lower case “g”.

To me this Commandment is pretty cut and dry. We should only worship and pray to one God. We should not construct any idols to worship. This is how God wanted us to be; but do we actually follow this? The answer to that question is a huge NO. Catholic churches pray and bow down to the Mother Mary, and many different Saints; where those of the Christian and Catholic faiths worship and pray to Jesus Christ. In every church I have ever been to (I didn’t start on fire after walking through the door) there was always a huge cross with Jesus perched upon it somewhere in the building. I don’t know about you, but to me this is worshiping a false idol. Not that Jesus was false, but that we have created and turned him into an idol we pray and worship to.

Matthew 15:9 “But in vein they do worship me, (Jesus) teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

I think what Jesus is saying is we would eventually get to a point where Christianity becomes more about Jesus than it does about God himself. There is a story somewhere in the Bible; I think in Exodus about two men who constructed this golden calf so they could use it as an alter to make sacrifices to God. Moses became angry and told them to step off of the golden calf because that constitutes worshiping false idols. I ask you this; what is the difference between this golden calf and all those Jesus, Saints, crosses, and Mother Mary’s statues in our churches? To me this sounds like worshiping false idols.

I tend to get confused a bit when reading the New Testament. I get the feeling that Jesus puts himself on an equal playing field as God, and insinuates he is one and the same. One of the many examples is in John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”  This was taken from a conversation with a man where Jesus clearly says the commandments are his commandments. There are other examples throughout the New Testament that brings up this strange concept. I understand Jesus is the son of God, but is by no means a God himself. An opposite example is in Mark 12:29 “and Jesus answered him the first of all commandments is hear, O Israel the Lord our God is one Lord.”  Jesus is telling this man that there is only one Lord, yet throughout the Bible Jesus is referred to as the Lord. I think this confusing duality is put to bed nicely in Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the Commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” When it comes to this conundrum I have been speaking about this chapter and verse point out that God is supreme and his commandments should be followed, and we must also have the faith of Jesus in our hearts. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe before Jesus was Jesus he was the Word. If this is true and not a part of my imagination than these types of duality comments would make more sense.

For those of you out there who are of the Christian belief I ask you to sit down and meditate about this post. Ask yourself if we have gotten to the point where we have created false idols. If the answer is yes than you must reassess your beliefs a bit. If the answer is no; then at least you got fifteen minutes of quite time.

In life I am consumed with a lot of “why” questions. One of the biggest whys I think of is “why was religion created.” There are reasons and origins for everything in life, and our sacred texts are no different. Anthropologists and theologians have come up with many different theories for why people created religion. Two of the major reasons for the creation of religion are psychological and sociological. These two schools are different and tend to stand strong to their respective beliefs. I believe these two schools of thought are both correct, I just think psychological is the foundation of religion and sociological is build upon it. I will admit there are times I think sociological reasons come first, but I just can’t move past the powerful human psyche and our need to explain the unexplainable.

Sociological theories are rooted in the belief that religion was created not out of a psychological need, but for sociological purposes. This theory says that society creates beliefs to form the moral force of the human community. All sacred objects, beliefs, acts, and the intense emotions surrounding them, are outward expressions of inward social necessities. We can assume people would agree that murder is bad. Those in power will use whatever is necessary to explain why we should refrain from murder. The sociological theories state because the social necessity to keep everyone safe from murder; religion then creates laws against such actions. For example there are small villages in South America where they believe if you commit murder the soul of the murdered will haunt the murderer for eternity. For these tribes this is how they explain why murder is bad, and gives consequences if you break this community law. My argument is first there would have had to been the concept of the haunting soul before said soul could haunt. These types of ingrained beliefs do not just start overnight they take time to develop.

The psychological theory says that people created religion to fill a psychological need. One of the psychological schools of thought is the anxiety-reduction theories, which I believe is the root for why religion was created. There are two theories in particular I find interesting. The first is the awe theory. The awe theory says religious experience is in the nature of the case touched with intense feelings of the grandeur of the universe in relation to the self and of the vulnerability of the self in relation to the universe. This theory does very little to address the human morality concerns and instead try’s to make us seem significant in such a vast landscape. I think when people contemplate the vastness of the universe we are left with feeling very small and insignificant. Because of our massive egos we need to find justifications for why we are special. There are so many things we cannot begin to understand so we create a higher being that is responsible for such a mind boggling concept.

I do like the awe theory, but feel the confidence theory holds more weight. The confidence theory begins with a notion of mans inward sense of weakness, and especially of his fears of disease or death, of ill fortunes of all kinds and they see religious practices as designed to quiet such fears, either by explaining them away as doctrines of the afterlife, or by claiming to link the individual to external sources of strength as in prayer. I know from experience this theory holds the most weight. I have searched my entire life to find the answers to such fears. I have always said the fear of death and the unknown is at its very core the reason we create and adhere to such beliefs. I wonder how many people would seek salvation for their souls if they were not taught the alternative is to burn in eternal damnation. If we were raised in a society that taught once your journey in this body was complete then you just ceased to exist. If we were able to accept our morality would there be any need for God?  

In my opinion it is the chicken or the egg question. I do not think societal norms created religion, rather religion created the societal norms. Once the belief system is established the people fall in line with the doctrine from which they choose to follow. To prove this point one only needs to look at the Bible. First came God then came His laws.