-“… When the Sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.”-
-When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from my, Lord; I am a sinful man!
For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”
So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.-
These stories I remember from when I was a child. Even the song, Fishers of Men.
But belief is all I have this far out.
This morning, as in a dream, I saw that Believing in God is madness, even from the point of view of the Bible.
The Old Testament is a slaughter-house. God and Israel wreak genocide on whole peoples – women and children included.
These peoples are God’s own people – descendants of Abraham; the Canaanites are descendant from Noah himself – they’re cousins.
And God is not the only one waging these wars and Israelites are not the only ones experiencing good civilisations.
The Gods of Eygpt are at times ascendent – of Assyria at other times, of Rome of Greece of India.
Yes, all fall but then so does Israel.
Yes Israel is forgiven and rises again but they are not the only ones.
So starting with Matthew, the miracles are extraordinary. And the only way to believe is to believe that they happened. They were seen. They were experienced.
Nevermind that; ‘How blessed are those who believe and have not seen….’ stuff.
If I believe today then I must be willing to accept the accusation that I am believing the fantastic. I must accept that these things don’t really happen, that Science is in fact correct, that I am behaving in exact contravention of the Laws of Life.
I have to.
Because if I don’t, I am overwhelmed by the loneliness I feel in believing something so obviously un-natural, that I must be mad and I am in danger of justifying the madness and violence this belief has wrought on Human History.
If, however, I was there, and the fish were threatening to sink the boats, then I must believe.
Is EVERYTHING in the Bible true? As written? Infallible? Exact?
“-Then he went up and touched the coffin and those carrying it stood still. He said, Young man, I say to you, get up!”-
How can I know? I can only have faith. And I must rely on the Spirit – which sometimes appears fickle.
Hitler used it. He was full of Spirit. So is Putin. So is Trump. There are pastors whose anointing is so full of Spirit they receive millions and millions of dollars preaching.
What do I do?
I have been meditating and praying for years. And I may do so until I die.
I am afraid I must now, not because it’s true but because it’s the only way I have to justify my life and the choices I have already made.
I am acutely aware of how ridiculous believers sounds to non-believers….and how silly I sound to myself.
Conviction alone cannot be the basis of belief…can it?
The only redemption I find is that these are spiritual matters.
I don’t think Jesus claimed to be the ONLY way.
He only says that he IS the way. Are there others? There certainly are stories. In fact. Every religion.
And so Christians think that they can go across and say, no, ours is the only way?
Not seeing that every other religion sits in exactly the same boat?
Do I know the way? Can I know the way?
Am I called to read between the lines? Or am I then, a heretic?
And when all is said and done, I turn, I turn and face God.
-“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”-