free-bird

“THE TAME BIRD WAS IN A CAGE

THE tame bird was in a cage, the free bird was in the forest.
They met when the time came, it was a decree of fate.
The free bird cries, “O my love, let us fly to the wood.”
The cage bird whispers, “Come hither, let us both live in the cage.”
Says the free bird, “Among bars, where is there room to spread one’s wings?”
“Alas,” cries the caged bird, “I should not know where to sit perched in the sky.”

The free bird cries, “My darling, sing the songs of the woodlands.”
The cage bird sings, “Sit by my side, I’ll teach you the speech of the learned.”
The forest bird cries, “No, ah no! songs can never be taught.”
The cage bird says, “Alas for me, I know not the songs of the woodlands.”

Their love is intense with longing, but they never can fly wing to wing.
Through the bars of the cage they look, and vain is their wish to know each other.
They flutter their wings in yearning, and sing, “Come closer, my love!”
The free bird cries, “It cannot be, I fear the closed doors of the cage.”
The cage bird whispers, “Alas, my wings are powerless and dead.”

~ Rabindranath Tagore

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything here. I’ve run out of things to say about dogma, or religion. I detest it all. Be free and follow your heart, people.

An article by a fellow seeker

Stepping Outside the “Safe Zone” of Christianity

August 10, 2013 at 6:02am

A word of caution: This article will probably not go down well if you are a traditional Christian – proceed at your own risk.

The main reason why the majority of modern day Christians participate in the “Christian” lifestyle (go to church, attend cell groups, devote themselves to becoming more committed for God, regularly read the Bible, tithe, submit to the vision of their Pastor, etc) and believe the things that “Christians” do (Jesus died to save us from Hell, the Bible is totally 100% error free, “praise and worship” means to sing fast and slow songs for God, Christians need to commit to a local church, etc) is because they were either brought up that way or at some point were influenced by “Christians” who were brought up that way. Sure, many people have learned to fall in love with this way of “living for God” (or they have convinced themselves they enjoy this type of lifestyle), but think about it: Would you be “living the Christian life” the way you did if your parents or friends or somebody did not influence you or bring you up this way? How would you even have known that a modern day Christian gathering is supposed to contain a sermon, the singing of some fast and slow songs and dropping some money in an offering plate, if you didn’t learn about it at church?

There is only a handful who ever dare to step outside the“safe zone” of going to church, who read other religious books than the Bible,who speak to people from other religions to find out why they believe what they do (without trying to convert them) and who question the traditional understanding of the cross and the atonement (that Jesus died to quench the Father’s blood lust). The reason for this is two fold:

1) In Christian culture it’s frowned upon to ask too many unnerving questions that challenge the norm. This is also usually construed as being rebellious, so people prefer to rather walk around with doubts and suspicions in their minds for years (sometimes decades) because they are too afraid to ask. After a few years these questions usually have a way of sinking to the bottom of life’s worries, so it becomes easier and easier to suppress them.

2) There are usually no like minded people around to bounce our “weird” ideas off, since we are taught to surround ourselves with people who are “safe” and who will build us up, not mislead us. So we tend to “stick to what we know” rather than search out the truth that’s beckoning us from a distance.

There are even less of us who have gathered up the courage to venture so far into unknown territory (when it comes to our faith) that it almost starts feeling we are beginning to question everything the church has taught us about God, and even the existence of God Himself. Only the adventurous few who have taken the journey down the proverbial “rabbit hole”can describe the sensation of nearly beginning to lose sight of God, when suddenly they feel that mighty pluck of love jerking them back to reality, accompanied by an indescribable assurance of being unconditionally accepted. “It was never about how tightly I could hold on to Him – He had me firmly gripped all along!”

When this happens it is sometimes misunderstood by people to mean that it’s time to stop exploring and that God is somehow becoming insecure about all our “digging”. Those who still press on even further (now with a renewed sense of being utterly accepted by God, no matter what), continue their pursuit of truth with a bubbling sense of wonder and awe. The handful who reach this phase in their journey become fearless and nearly impossible to offend. They develop a deep appreciation for the world, for the wonders that God created outside the “Christian box” and most of all: a love for people of all religions, cultures and nations. They become totally “unplugged” from the system of man-made religion.

There is no doctrine, cult or power that can scare them anymore, because they carry within themselves the revelation of love, of having the DNA of God gushing through their veins; the knowledge of an inescapable unity with God. They have learned that they can never outrun Him and that even there, in their exploration of unfamiliar territory (even territory that was previously deemed as dangerous, anti-Christ and profane) He is still smiling on them, urging them on, encouraging them to seek out the“why’s” and the “how’s” and the “what if’s”.

Very often the rabbit hole leads them to the realization that God is not to blame for many things the Bible holds Him responsible for. Their conviction of God’s unchanging love for mankind is stronger than their belief in what the Bible accuses Him of. While the majority of Christianity are still trying to squeeze God into the Bible (because of the belief that everything written in the Bible is infallible), trying to continually make sense of all those countless verses that seem to contradict God’s nature and debating with others whose interpretation differs from their own, the unplugged ones are at ease with who they believe God is, trusting their in-built truth detector more than man’s interpretation of an ancient set of Jewish writings.

Those who choose to remain inside the “safe zone” never get to experience the thrills and also the perils of the wild personally; they prefer chewing on the succulent food that the zoo keepers keep throwing into their pen. Mostly, whenever those who are roaming in the wild beckon them to step outside of their zoo cage (the door has been standing open all along), they view it as an attempt to deceive them. They have grown in love with the zookeepers so much that they have forgotten they were never actually meant to spend their life inside a cage.

Sometimes people who never had an intimate relationship with God also embark on the journey of leaving the “safe zone”. Those who never knew the joy of standing blameless before their Creator, but always had their bliss robbed by insecurities and pressures to perform, often get lost when tumbling down the rabbit hole. There is no desire for them to return to the arms of the God who always demanded more from them. The rabbit hole, as unfamiliar as itmay be, is sometimes a preferred alternative to an angry God. The truth has always been there, since the beginning, but “Christianity” has discouraged and convinced its adherents not to look for it.

There’s a whole world of wonders out there to explore beyond the borders of “Christian Country”. There is nowhere we can go or nothing we can do to escape God’s love. That’s not to say to throw all caution and wisdom in the wind, but why not live a little? Why not ask yourself: “What if there’s more to God than what the church has taught me? What if God is much bigger than what has been recorded in the Bible? What if Jesus never came to save us from Hell, but to save us from the idea of Hell?” Start asking yourself why you hold so dearly onto your beliefs and why you get so angry when people challenge your beloved Bible and the practices and doctrines of the church. Ask yourself why you keep on going through the motions when God never required these “motions”from Adam and Eve – He only wanted THEM.

Happy exploring!

André van der Merwe

In short,  Jesus was executed by the Romans, in collusion with the Jewish leaders. He did fulfill the OT law and prophets, but that was to the Jews, from their own tradition. And very well done. Only God could make that come together, with the help of men writing it down, perhaps with embellishment……

To the Gentile of that day, Jesus’ resurrection was evidence of the one true God, who was living and not made of stone or wood or metal. We find this in Paul’s speech on Mars Hill, in the book of Acts.

To us, if we step outside the Hebrew narrative, He shows us what being one with God looks like. In fact, He alone shows us what God is like. God is so much bigger than one nation’s religious book.

When I began to understand this, I realized why all the talk of the shed blood of Jesus never really attracted me. Rather, I found it gory, morbid, and repulsive. I’m very happy not to think about it anymore. It was not meant for me. Not really.

Now I know I am one with God and was always loved and never needed to be forgiven for anything. What the churches taught me was Jewish reasoning. I’m so done with that.

This is where I am on my journey. It may not be where you are.  I didn’t change so much as I just woke up, rounded a bend, and there it was – a huge shift in my thinking and believing.

Religion says God is enough and He completes us. To me this is misunderstood and abused spirituality. It’s absurdity and I don’t believe it. We all seek human intimacy too. Some sublimate it, but it’s part of the normal human makeup.

I was never not complete anyway. I was merely unaware of who I am, one with the Spirit, who is love.

I enjoy who I am, one with that Spirit, and with all humanity. I also desire someone to share life with. I’ve lived 70 years and it’s true – we don’t thrive without human touch and intimacy.  That’s who we are, what it is, and who I AM.

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I reject any theology of God that has as its base the idea of punishment, wrath, chastisement, guilt, shame, torment, or inflicted suffering, or being indebted.  And I probably left something out.

You know, I look around. I make mental notes. I register spiritual ones.

And I have seen that those who talk about grace and love and oneness are happy, yet are constantly attacked by those who talk about scriptures and dogmas…. and they are not happy, not really. Happy people don’t act like that.

It’s beginning to be a no-brainer. Look to the thing that produces love and joy. Look to what God is speaking to your heart.

Grace is… beautiful…

 
 
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Love is all you need.

All else is like arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin…..

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Does this mean the previous blog entries are moot? Pretty much.

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As I step out of the system called religion, and into Abba, I am constantly left high on the pure air of his spirit. He whispers, “Love!”

Believing dogma over what the heart says is, well, unnatural. And I’ve been there. What kind of freak was I? It’s hard to remember, now that freedom and grace and love have won me.

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