Discrimination based on assumptions connected to something written in scripture are nothing more than assumptions. In fact, the unspoken assumption seems to be some sort of rigid fixation on interpretations and assumed meanings of scriptural verses that go no further back than the rise of literal-mindedness that reached its zenith in America around the mid 19th-Century.
Ask a contemporary 19th-Century Christian to define his belief system. More than likely you’ll get some sort of descriptive formula that describes a supposed plan that was figured out from scripture. You might also hear that God has revealed such a plan to man for his eternal salvation … and that conformity to that plan is the hinge that connects eternal happiness in God to man’s highest aspirations.
Like trying to grasp and hold onto pudding, 19th-Century Christians do not seem to understand the impossibility of possessing God by mere obedience and conformity to the theories captured in a literally accepted inerrant Bible. For such believers, possessing God is not distinguished from any sense of God as the source of how we experience the mystery of life.
Through the mechanics of living by creeds, 19th-Century Christians are focused on fixed forms of thought rather than any state of mind. For these humans God is a concept made real only by somehow grasping God; or believing imaginatively that you can and are grasping a connection to God as a function of something called “faith.”
To both greater and lesser degrees, 19th-Century Christians tend to form and commit themselves to performance-based theologies. Such thinking then become the basis of congregations founded as a means of establishing communities in which
conformity is equated to spirituality.
Life, however, is neither formulaic and nor does it recognize and reward performance-based behavior. Life is spontaneous. God is spontaneous. Awareness of most specific aspects of life ebb and flow within our consciousness according to our
attention spans and attentiveness itself to the whimsical nature of promptings, hunches and impulses.
We have no established legitimate formulas for how to experience and respond to natural and innate promptings, hunches and impulses that express feelings from every direction – love, admiration, outrage, anger … understanding – and not just knee-jerk 19th-Century fundamentalist assumptions based on an inerrant bible.
Why then must religion and our relationship to the God of our religion proceed with the pretense that there is a master and commander God , that such God has a plan, that God has revealed a plan and only through such a plan with it’s imagined theological speculations?
In living “religiously” by formula, 19th-Century Christians demonstrate a kind of insecure pride … as well as a fear of living spontaneously with the ever-present mystery of God. The only way to cope with that insecure pride and fear is to become spiritually and intellectually rigid, trusting more in a dogma than in any real mystical awareness of the something-more-ness that surrounds our every breath.
It seems to me that 19th-Century Christians then imagine that they dwell within a spiritual but earthly congregational monarchy that is governed supernaturally by a king in heaven. The king is then essentially not much more than an immeasurable superior and glorified human-like being linked in some genetic (we are children of God) way to humanity.
A 19th-Century Christian mimic of what is imagined in reading the bible as literally the unchanging and eternal word of God is not the only choice as to how to be religious.The earliest historical mystic Christians sought out – despite fierce and dogmatic objections and rejections by Church Fathers – the experience of God without the predetermined and literal kindergarten notions espoused by religious formula.
Religious formula, complete with its “plan” and performance based “should’s,” tends to obliterate any sense of union with God that leads to a palpable awareness of being one with God and joint with God as part and parcel of the reality of God.
Is it not more attractive to be mystically connected with God through the Spirit than to live constantly concerned about performance?
Is it not more attractive to live by the Spirit of spontaneous consciousness of God that is punctuated by promptings, hunches and impulses; that has nothing to do with notions of commandments, obedience, participation and constant eligibility
reviews regarding personal worthiness and performance?
This greater attractiveness is more real than any imagined theological circumstance that can not be proven, validated nor justified. This is the weakness most dramatically demonstrated by the early Catholic notions of Original Sin and the subsequently massive mountain of theologies devoted to a concept of sin, atonement and forgiveness.
None of the concepts are now nor have they ever been literally real in a supernatural, let alone spiritual, sense.
Only in the mind’s eye’s of an early priesthood did such weeds sprout and grow to immaturity.
Only in the mind’s eyes of subsequent religious literalist Christians who resisted the mystics among them could greater weeds in larger fields be imaginatively planted.
Ultimately, religious Christianity is an imagined environment where a score-keeping God who is external to the humanity He created rules as a monarch with biases, with wrath and with judgmental thinking.
Ultimately, mystics – Christian or otherwise – know more powerfully and with deeper love, the reality of a non-judgmental source that exists without wrath or bias – and to whom the mystic spontaneously senses
And in that regard, any estimate of religious Christianity as a superior form of spiritual belief is a false notion.
Religious Christianity is nothing more – and in many ways is something less – than any other performance-based religion based on supernatural separation between God and humanity.