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Showing posts from February, 2011

Child of a Whore!

Jesus said, "Whoever knows the father and the mother will be called the child of a whore." Gospel of Thomas 105

This is one of the most blatant sayings in the Gospel of Thomas that reveals we are not talking about an orthodox gospel.  God here is revealed as both a father and a mother.  God could just as easily be called Goddess.  She is our Mother.  She birthed us and guides us.  God in a sense is akin to the Taoist Yin-Yang.  One whole yet masculine and feminine.  God is the composite of all opposites.  One need look no further than Thunder: Perfect Mind for more opposites.  God has made the male and female one in God's self.  To know that...to worship God as Mother or even Goddess is frowned upon in many faith traditions.  And yet we have the tradition of God as Shekinah, Sophia/Wisdom, the Sabbath Bride, and the Holy Spirit...all feminine images of God.  I believe Jesus is calling for a more holistic spirituality...where God is found everywhere and within everything.

True Spirituality

Some people said to Jesus, "Come, let us pray and fast today." Jesus replied, "What sin have I committed, or how have I been undone? Rather, when the bridegroom leaves the bridal chamber, then let people fast and pray." Gospel of Thomas 104

This brings to mind another couple of sayings in the Gospel of Thomas, Sayings 6 and  14:

His disciples asked him and said to him, "Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?"  Jesus said, "Don't lie, and don't do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed." Saying 6


"Jesus said to them, "If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray, you will be condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits." Saying 14

However I do not believe Jesus was against prayer, …

Knock the Rebels Out!

Jesus said, "Blessed are those who know where the rebels are going to attack. They head them off, collect their imperial resources, and be prepared before the rebels arrive." Gospel of Thomas 103

A central message of the Gospel of Thomas is to know yourself.  Part of this means to know your weaknesses, as well as your strengths.  Here Jesus challenges his students to be aware of ones weaknesses and head them off beforehand.  What is our weakness?  What trips us up from living a divine life?  It is here that a good soul friend can help serve as an accountability partner, challenging you to live better than you already are.  A wise person seeks to prepare some way that they may live a sacred life.

Religion is a Mixed Blessing

Jesus said, "Woe to the Pharisees! They are like a dog sleeping in the cattle manger: the dog neither eats nor lets the cattle eat." Gospel of Thomas 102

This is one of the sayings of Jesus that sounds very similar to Jesus condemnations of the Pharisees in the canonical gospels, and yet it is not in those gospels.  The Pharisees were a sect of Jews who sought to make every moment holy in their lives.  They sought to live the Torah and live as a holy people..making Judaism not just a religion of the temple but personal also.  This is a good thing.  So what is Jesus so bent out of shape about?  Within this movement there was also a scrupulosity that bordered on the absurd.  Where the commandment, "You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk" came more and more questions till we get that one cannot eat any meat and dairy together, and it must be several hours between eating them...even today a kosher kitchen has two refrigerators to keep the meat and dairy separ…

Why I am not Muslim

I feel a certain affinity for Islam as I do for Judaism, perhaps even more so than Judaism.  I believe in the Oneness of God.  I believe Jesus is a messenger of God.  I too believe that each person is responsible for reading and interpreting the scriptures for themselves.  Just as imams are respected and chosen as the most educated, spiritual, and wise from among the community, I support a similar role for those who are the most educated, spiritual, and wise from among he Thomasine community.  I call these people Hakhams... wise or learned ones.  Where traditional Islam and Thomainses part ways is in their views of woman, gltb folk, and the certain penalites found for certain sins in Islam.  I can relate to so much within Islam.  I enjoy middle eastern music.  My prayers look very similar to a Muslims, and I would feel comfortable praying with them.  I agree with Islam that Jesus is a messenger of God but not God himself.  And yet there is still a strong sexism and homophobia within m…

Comparing and Contrasting the Thomasine with Judaism/Islam/Christianity

Looking at the three major monotheistic religions, I cannot help but notice certain commone elements between them and Thomasine beliefs.  I also notice some stark differences as well.  The Thomasine faith is based on the teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas.  Jesus of course came from Jewish faith.  The belief of Jesus became belief in Jesus and Christianity developed along with doctrines such as the divinity of Jesus, the trinity, the sacrificial death and resurrection.   Islam came and sought to reform it and bring it back to its original monotheism.  In this post I hope to look at the three faiths and compare and contrast them in a personal way with my chosen path as a Thomasine.

There are many, many wonderful things about Judaism. One thing that Judaism and I have in common is that we are both strict monotheists.  The belief in one God not many gods and not a trinity of persons is a hallmark of Jewish (and Islamic) faith.  I actually enjoy attending Jewish services.  Currentl…

My Birth Mother

Jesus said, "Whoever doesn't hate father and his mother as I do can't become my disciple. And whoever does not love his father and his mother as I do can't become a disciple to me. For my mother physical birth, but my true mother gave me life."  Gospel of Thomas 101

Following the way of Jesus is not the easiest path.  Like so many choices we make, this path can alienate one from ones biological family.  But when one's biological family, when ones race, heritage, nationality, or even religion come before the path, then the person must learn to not cling.  Attachments are the greatest impediment to a deeply spiritual life.  I am attached to my spouse....but really I cling to tightly to my image of my idea of who my spouse should be  (one who cleans when I want them to, takes me out to eat when I want it) is not really my spouse but a delusion of my mind.  It is selfishness within me my clinging to an illusion of who I want them to be. The same can be said of fam…

Just Give It To Them!

Showing Jesus a gold coin, they said to him, "The emperor of Rome's people demand taxes from us."
Jesus said to them, "Give to the emperor what belongs to the emperor, give to God what belongs to God, and give to me what is mine."
Gospel of Thomas 100

There are things demanded by society.  I don't think Jesus totally advocated dropping out of society and becoming a hermit in the desert.  I think we have certain social obligations.  We give the empire what is expected.  But higher than that is what we offer God.  For many people we offer God our prayer, rituals, and actions.   Jesus too, as the messenger of God demands that those who become his students do what he says.  Jesus speaks like a rabbi who could declare things permitted and forbidden.  He also resembles a Zen master or Guru expecting respect from those who became his students.  To take a teacher and neglect his teachings is playing religious games. We have certain obligations to family and state, to…

Deed More Than Creed

Jesus' disciples said to him, "Your brothers and your mother are standing outside." Jesus said to them, "Those here who do what my Father wants are my brothers and my mother. It is those ones who are the ones who will enter the kingdom of my Father." Gospel of Thomas 99

What strikes me about this saying is that it is not those who believe the right things who are Jesus mother and brothers... it is those who do the will of God. The Gospel of Thomas does not not teach the doctrine embraced by many Protestant Christians... "faith alone" rather it is a religion of deed more than creed. We are children of God and should act like it. So the question, I challenge you to think about... is how are you to live it?

Jesus and the Art of War

Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a someone who wanted to kill someone powerful. While still at home he drew his sword and shoved it through the wall to see if his hand would go in. Then he killed the powerful one." Gospel of Thomas 98

This is one of the more shocking sayings of the Gospel of Thomas.  I actually think it is meant to be.  It is meant to jar the reader to really contemplate what is being talked about.  I believe that this is the perfect explanation of the spiritual life.  We must struggle and count the cost of what it means to live as a child of God.  The primary message of the Gospel of Thomas is to realize that we are sons and daughters of God.  But with the title comes the responsibility to live a holy life..in many ways a lonely life.  Our lives are given to the world but are called to be separate from it.  We must consider what this looks like.  What does it mean to protect your neighbor like the pupil of your eye.  What does it mean to escape …
I also went through the Gospel of Thomas to look at how Jesus saw himself and how he spoke about himself. This is what I found: I have cast fire on the world and am guarding it until it blazes. Saying 10(To Thomas) I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring that I have tended. Saying 13 Perhaps people think that I have come to cast peace upon the world. They do not know that I have come to cast conflicts upon the earth: fire, sword, war. Saying 16 I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart Saying 17 I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity, because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty. Saying 28 Where there are three t…

About Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas

Ialso went through the Gospel of Thomas to look at how Jesus saw himself and how he spoke about himself. This is what I found:
I have cast fire on the world and am guarding it until it blazes. Saying 10 (To Thomas) I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring that I have tended. Saying 13 Perhaps people think that I have come to cast peace upon the world. They do not know that I have come to cast conflicts upon the earth: fire, sword, war. Saying 16 I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart Saying 17 I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity, because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty. Saying 28 Where t…

About God in the Gospel of Thomas

I went through the Gospel of Thomas trying to find every time God was mentioned and described to see if a certain understanding of God may be present.  Here are the basic gists and where they are found. God's kingdom is within and without us. Saying 3a We are God's children. Saying 3b God's kingdom must be entered. Saying 22 God forgives (thus implying sin or error). Saying 44 God is light, and we all came from that light. Saying 50 a,b The Father can dwell in us. Saying 50c The Father invites all people. Saying 64 God sent Jesus who was full of the light. Saying 61, 64, 65 To be near Jesus is to be near the Father. Saying 82 Jesus while full of the Father's light is not the Father Saying 100 God is Father as well as Mother. Saying 101, 105 God is not a human (ie not born of woman) Saying 15 God is uncreated. God is light.  From this light we were made, as sparks from a flame.  This spark is God within us.  God is Spirit and yet relates to us as a Father and a Mot…

Prayer

Oh God, Allahu as Jesus called you!   I come to you now as your child.   I stand before you as your child.   I bow before you as your son. I kneel before you as only a spark before your infinite light! My Father! Forgive me my errors that I may know you. Your Spirit in me is my Mother. Help me know myself as your child. I love you my God. Guide me to Truth. Guide me to Truth. Guide me to You. I love you.

The Broken Jar

Jesus said, "The kingdom of our Father is like a woman who was carrying a clay jar full of meal. While she was walking along a long road, the handle broke off of the jar and the meal spilled behind her all along the road. She didn't know that the handle broke; she did not know there was a problem. When she arrived at home, she set down the jar and found out that it was empty."
Gospel of Thomas 97

It takes me about 20 minutes to get to work.  I have worked at the same wonderful job for several years.  My family lives in a very small town.  My mom thinks twenty minutes to get to work is a lifetime.  It does not seem very long to me.  Part of the reason is that more often than not I fall into a type of mindlessness while driving.  I think something similar has happened to the woman in this story.  She is walking home with this jar.  She was oblivious the handle broke off and the meal was spilling out.  The spark and the life of God is found in us.  We are able to live a life …

Blog Talk Radio

I have attempted to do a couple of online radio shows via Blog Talk Radio.  If you look to the right you can see my first two attempts to figure this out.   Enjoy. :)

Paddy Cake, Paddy Cake Baker's Man

Jesus said, "The Kingdom of the Father is like a woman who took a little leaven, hid it in dough, and made it into large loaves of bread. Anyone here with two ears, listen up!" Gospel of Thomas 96

The Kingdom of God is hidden in every one of us.  It is hidden in all creation.  This light that is in us is the light of the Father.  It is the Holy Spirit, the Shekinah our Mother.  Those who open to this living presence in us will be transformed.  Those who realize the life changing truth.. who know it with their whole being... that we ARE sons and daughters of God will find liberation.  We take after the nature of our Father/Mother.  This also means that all humanity is our brothers and sisters.  Our life is intimately connected with their life.  This oneness with God and each other challenges us to be our brother and sister's keeper.  What a blessing and a challenge!

Just Do It

Jesus said, "When you have money, don't lend it out with interest. Instead give it away to someone who cannot pay you back." Gospel of Thomas 95

Here Jesus gives a direction for moral living to those who follow him.  We are to give to someone who cannot pay us back.  When we loan money to someone, it gives us a sense of power over them.  Jesus is calling us to let go of that need for power over and rather give because it is right, and not out of any sense of power or even a sense of charity.  It is not about us.  We do it because it is the right thing.

Now Go Live It

Jesus said, "The one who searches will find, and the one who knocks at the door will have it opened for them." Gospel of Thomas 94

This Logion of Thomas brings to mind the second saying in the Gospel of Thomas:
"The one who seeks should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be troubled. When they are troubled, they will be in awe, and will reign over all. After reigning they will rest."


The realizations of the spiritual do not usually just fall in the lap of the unwary and even less in the unwilling.  Rather they are found through searching.  A longing... a desire to know God or to know who we are, where we came from and what is our purpose in this life leads to seeking.  Those who seek and do not lose heart will find. The Thomasine message is simple.  You are a child of God, now go and live it.  In that saying is contained the whole message of the Gospel of Thomas.  And yet it will take a lifetime to fully realize the power of being a son of God…

My Thomasine Beliefs

1.  There is one God beyond description.    In the Gospel of Thomas the Holy Spirit is seen as the feminine/motherly face of God who is also seen as a Father.  However I maintain a strict belief in the oneness of God.
2.  Jesus was a spiritual leader and Jewish reformer. He sought to teach of a time when we all lived as children of God, no longer divided as male and female, Jew and Gentile akin to the first creation story in Genesis.  I believe he was a man who experienced gnosis of God, and was sent to share this message calling us all to know ourselves as children of God.
3.  My scripture is the Gospel of Thomas.  Other scriptures -the Jewish Bible, the New Testament, and Nag Hammadi scriptures are secondary only seen through the lens of the GoT.
4.  The primary message of Jesus is to know God, know ourselves as children of God, and all the cosmos bearing the light of God.
5.  Religious acts if done without a loving heart or to be seen by others are a sin.
6.  Because all people are see…