The Voice of Hope

I read a lot of the goings on in the religious and political world.  Sadly some of the loudest voices are the most intolerant.  Especially in this season of folks lining up for the Republican nomination.  Each one tries to best the others on their conservatism.

I see some of the same thing in the religious sphere.  While there are voices of tolerance, there are often louder and more controversial (thus more newsworthy to the media) voices that are intolerant, sarcastic and hateful.  Hateful to women, hateful to gay, lesbian, bisexual, questioning and transgender people, hateful to other religions, and hateful to the environment.

When I had my spiritual awakening, my rebirth experience as a teen, I learned the 4 spiritual laws...these are verses that someone picked and chose from creating a system and theology of conversion.  The first one is realize and admit you are a sinner.  In theological circles, this is called utter depravity.  I find this teaching absolutely sickening.  It teaches that that there is nothing good in us, that even for the smallest failing we deserve hell.. a place of eternal torture.

My question is, why would anyone worship a God whose system of salvation required a human sacrifice, would only save a very small amount of people and those it did not would be tortured forever.  I cannot buy it. Such a God is not worth my worship.  That kind of God is more like a demon...or better yet more like the Demiurge spoken of in several Gnostic writings.

The God portrayed in the Gospel of Thomas is different.  This God is loving. The metaphors of God being Father and Mother are consistent in the Gospel of Thomas, not the split personality God who loves yet tortures people for all eternity for not getting it exactly right and believing correctly.  See God in the Gospel of Thomas is Love.  Period.   God is seen as the Creator in the beginning.  We came from the light.  We came from Love. We are children of God.  This God did not give a list of religious regulations or rituals that must be followed.  This God is more akin to the God of Rumi, of the mystics, of the lovers.  This God is beyond any metaphors and yet can be seen in any metaphor as well.  Our commandment?  Protect your brother/sister like you would protect something coming at your eye.. protect, guard them like the pupil of your eye.  Keep your brother and sister safe.   Watch out for your little brother!  Watch out for your sister!

Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas is our big brother.  He watches out for us.  He points the way.  He is so God-Filled that we can see the fullness of God in him.  He calls us to be the same thing.  And throughout history there have been those who have let that light that is in ALL people (regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion)...those who have let God's light shine through them.  Folks like Gandhi, MLK jr., Mother Theresa, Rumi etc.  Religion does not matter.  Knowing who you are in God, and watching out for your brothers and sisters is what matters.

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