Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Sunday musings on Jesus and the American right's Idol Messiah

M homeless ladyfriend Kari Dangler in Key West asked me this morning on the telephone how I was celebrating Easter Sunday? I said I didn't have any plans. 

Kari asked what Easter means to me? I said it is different than it once was. A man who experienced a near-death experience is worshiped as the Son of God, while tens of thousands of people over time, who experienced a near death experience, are not worshiped. The religion named after Jesus Christ claims only people who believe Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, born of a virgin, was crucified for our sins, died and was buried, and then was resurrected and ascended into Heaven, to sit on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, experience eternal life with God, and all others, regardless of how good or not, experience eternal damnation in Hell. 

Lost in that theory is that, in the Gospels, Jesus, the man, spent a great deal of time telling people how to live differently, if they wanted to be close to the Kingdom of God. Yet the religion that bears his name says works are not relevant to salvation, all relevant is to believe the theory. I don't buy that. Nor, I don't think does Jesus, or God, or the angels who trained and run me, one of whom goes by the name, Jesus.

When I told a friend yesterday that I had been homeless, she was was speechless. She attends a mega church. 

I told her, that back in 2001, I lived on the street in Key West. Every Sunday, a local church came to a city park and set up a serving table and served homeless people a meal. Before feeding us, they preached to us. One Sunday, a young couple were in charge of the service. The woman told us, if we accepted Jesus as Lord, we no longer would be homeless. Of the maybe 100 homeless people lined up to be served, one man was Jewish. The rest of us had been saved more than once, by Jesus. I said loudly, "What's wrong with being homeless? Jesus was homeless!" The woman said nothing further. We were served the meal. My mega church friend chuckled.

A young pastor from the church, named Mark, whom I was getting to know, walked over to where I was eating by myself and asked why I had said Jesus was homeless? I asked Mark if he read his Bible? Yes, he said. Well, I said, Jesus said in the Gospels that he was homeless. Where?, Mark asked. In the passage where a man said he wanted to follow Jesus, and Jesus told the man, the foxes have their dens and the birds have their nests, but the son of man has no place to lay down his head at night, I said. Mark said that passage did not mean Jesus was homeless. Of course that's what the passage meant, I said. Mark said, Jesus had a home. Where?, I asked. He could stay in his mother's home, Mark said. Where does it say that in the New Testament?, I asked. My mega church friend said Jesus was homeless, that is seen all through the Gospels.

On the radio this morning, I heard a Christian minister tell his congregation that we see in Acts where the author tells Christians they now are the Body of Christ and it is on them to carry Christ forward, and from that moment on, God stopped speaking to people in visions, dreams and through prophets, because now they had the The Word of God (Scriptures) to guide them. I bet if that minister lived in my skin, or in the skin of quite a few people I have known, he would never say such a thing.

The other night, I chatted with a man older than I, who had taught theology in college. He said, although he mostly taught Christianity, he taught courses in other religions. I said, all religions should be taught to students. He said he agreed. I said, one thing that puzzles me is, I was in lots of Christian churches and never heard any discussion of the Letter to the Hebrews in the New Testament, which is about Jesus and his relationship with Melchizedek. The former theology professor said, that is because Christianity today does not relate to that Letter, which was written to Jews. I said, Jews who were following Jesus, but were finding the going rough and were falling away. And the author scolded them for that, and told them to get back into the fold. The professor said, also, for them to give up their old Jewish practices, and go with Jesus's practices. Yes, I said. Jesus gave them a new covenant, Hebrews says. Then, we were interrupted by other people.

I told Christian friends in the past, that it looked to me that Christianity is today's Pharisees. My friends agreed. I think Christians today should take the Letter to the Hebrew's to heart: quit talking so much about the Old Testament and return to the fold. Jesus in the Gospels.

I played chess with several men in a local church's meeting hall yesterday morning. I told the men early on, that the reason I started playing chess, which had long terrified me, was because I was told in my sleep in early 2005, by a voice I'd heard a number of times before, "You need to learn how to play chess." I took the message as Biblical. Right away, I was playing a lot of chess with good players, and I was getting beat something awful, and my ego was getting lots of lessons in humility, and that's still happening.

One of the chess players asked me how I am adjusting to living in Alabama again? I said I am dealing with a number of things, and I dream about them and get ideas about how to go about it. He said dreams are dreams. Don't mean anything. I said, tell that to Daniel in the Old Testament. The man at chess said some dreams are so weird that they can't mean anything. I said, tell that to Daniel in the Old Testament. The man at chess said he didn't want to talk about dreams any more. I said, okay. 

I did not say, that right after I moved back to the Florida Keys in March 2006, I was told by the same voice in my sleep, "Remember Daniel." I knew that meant Daniel in the Old Testament. The Bible's famous dreamer and dream interpreter. Also, the guy a king put into a lion's den, and the lions left him alone. The voice was Archangel Michael.

Now we have tens of millions of American Christians claiming Donald Trump is Biblical, sent by God to save America. They could care less what Robert Mueller found during his investigation. They could care less that Trump tried very hard to obstruct that investigation, by ordering his underlings to obstruct it, but his underlings, perhaps fearing long prison sentences, or God's wrath, ignored their human master's orders. 

Now we apparently have concrete proof that Russian military agents massively interfered in the election that got Trump elected. Therefore, it would seem to me that Trump's Christian base should be praising that as a Divine Intervention, the Will of God. Russia was God's Agent in making Donald Trump president of America.

Even as Trump's Christian base has no clue what Trump's religious beliefs actually are. Or whether, by their theory, Trump will spend eternity in Heaven, or in Hell. 

Call me sarcastic, if you wish. But it looks to me, from what I have read online about the Mueller report, that Robert Mueller did a very good service to America, and that matters not one whit to Trump's legions, who apparently have made them their Idol Messiah.

If the Democrats don't come up with something new and compelling, I can imagine Trump will be reelected in 2020, regardless of what he says and does along the way.

Who knows? Along the way, maybe Trump will have his own Road to Damascus experience, and tweet about it, and how it changed him completely. 

Trump starts talking and behaving like Saul of Tarsus started talking and behaving in Acts, and in his letters. Trump's legions don't like that nearly as much, and they push to have him impeached.

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