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  1. #1
    RGA
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    How Loving God Becomes Hating Others

    What quality of any given religion can easily render it the most dangerous thing in the world?” is exclusivity.

    Exclusivity.

    Let’s explore, shall we?

    The conviction that one religion is infinitely more correct than any other tends to rather inevitably—and certainly over history—play out about like this:

    I know God. You, having a different God, clearly do not.

    My God is the true God. Your God, therefore, cannot be.

    My God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and sustains the world through a mere exercise of his or her will. Your God is a sorry delusion that only someone raised in your completely foreign culture could even begin to consider credible.

    My God is the God. Your God is an imposter.

    My God offers eternal salvation. Your God is a one-way ticket to a place no person would ever want to go.

    My God is good.

    Anything that exists in opposition to my God is bad.

    You clearly have a choice: my God, or deceptive evil.

    If you choose evil, then, as you surely understand, you limit my options.

    For verily has my God called upon me to resist evil, in all of its manifestations.

    And if you choose to align yourself with the evil that I am sworn to resist, then surely you understand that in my response I have no choice.

    I will draw your blood, and the blood of your children.

    I will be deaf to your screams.

    What can I do? My God, being infinitely good, will stand for nothing less.

    My hands are tied, you see? I am a servant of the most high God.

    Of the only good, real, and true God.

    We will be victorious.

    We will take your land. We will take your children. We will take your women.

    We will take all that is yours.

    And when we have done that, and you are vanquished, our God will be pleased.

    See? So most reasonable people would believe that’s a problem. Wouldn’t you agree that it is? How Loving God Becomes Hating Others | JohnShore.com

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    And man created the gods in which they want to believe. I see it so clearly that people give their gods the same hates and prejudice they themselves have. My god has a wicked sense of humor, a forgiving nature and loves all his creatures regardless of flaws.
    JohnMichael

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    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    All religions were created to control masses of people. To say one is any better than the other is bull as they are all just different pathways to the same end. Not many religions actually acknowledge that fact but one I know of, Swedenborg, does.

    Since nobody has yet to prove any of it it real, it is all just faith in a concept that one will never know the answer to while alive, and most likely after they are dead also.

    And how can Christianity be the only true and right one? It was created thousands of years after other ones were and it brought with it one of the worst messages ever presented to humans. This is the only real one and if you don't believe, you're going to hell. What a crock of horse pucky!

    I really got a kick out of the video posted online of all the clergy rioting with each other in Bethlehem on Xmas Eve. Here we have those allegedly promoting good will and harmony and whatever and they are beating each other with sticks because one disagrees with the other. Really makes me want to re-join the hypocrisy.
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  4. #4
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    How did this whacker get thru the posting restrictions?
    Last edited by JohnMichael; 12-29-2011 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Remove quoted spam
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  5. #5
    RGA
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    Posting restrictions? This was sent to me through Facebook - made me chuckle so I figured I'd post it here. Are we not allowed to post things on religious topics?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    Posting restrictions? This was sent to me through Facebook - made me chuckle so I figured I'd post it here. Are we not allowed to post things on religious topics?


    Hyfi was responding to the spammer I deleted and not to you. He had quoted the spammer and I deleted the spammer original post and the copy in his post. Had you seen all this earlier it would make sense.
    JohnMichael

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  7. #7
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    I think Hyfi was referring to the spam that was deleted, not you RGA.

  8. #8
    RGA
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    ah - didn't see that. Thanks.

  9. #9
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    RGA, you should really see the film 'Of Gods and Men'. You will see that two very different cutlures/religions can live in perfect harmony.
    Of Gods and Men (2010) - IMDb

  10. #10
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    ah - didn't see that. Thanks.
    LOL

    I would never say that about you
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  11. #11
    3LB
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    If one looks closely at the four gospels in the New Testament, Jesus teaches autonomy and individualism. He clearly states that Old Testament law was no longer the rule and that man has a direct hotline to God and there was no need for an intermediary, much less a governing body that meted out punishment, reward and pecking order. Its what got him killed by the Sanhedrin. And if you read the New Testament, those main points are dismissed halfway through the first century. You can read it towards the end of the New Testament. The Book of James is used as an admonishment for those reluctant to pledge indenturment to the church.

    Hyfi, you refer to Swedenborg as a religion. I didn't know it had reached such lofty status and I can't say I like the notion. Heaven & Hell is a great book from a philosophical standpoint, but wasn't a call to assembly. It railed against the establishment of the day, as do most fresh ideas.
    Last edited by 3LB; 12-30-2011 at 05:53 AM.
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  12. #12
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LB View Post

    Hyfi, you refer to Swedenborg as a religion. I didn't know it had reached such lofty status and I can't say I like the notion. Heaven & Hell is a great book from a philosophical standpoint, but wasn't a call to assembly. It railed against the establishment of the day, as do most fresh ideas.
    Swedenborg is a branch of christianity, not quite separate. Also known as the New Church. They celebrate the life of jesus, not the morbid death. # miles down the road is their main full blown gothic style cathedral.

    The religion was started well after Swedenborg died and he never really intended that but it works. They are a tight knit community who actually practice what they preach.

    Heaven and Hell is one book of many. Read his early work Arcana Celestia, which is a line by line interpretation of the first several books of the bible and things make more sense.
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    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    The gods were created in the image of man -- all of them. They are our device.

    Religion is the paramount example of how mankind deceives itself; the reality is the mankind is fully responsible (along with blind luck) for everything good or bad that has or will happen. It is ineffectual to shift credit or blame on to God, (or the gods), and equally unrewarding to hope for blessing, forgiveness, or redemption.

  14. #14
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    The gods were created in the image of man -- all of them. They are our device.

    It is ineffectual to shift credit or blame on to God, (or the gods), and equally unrewarding to hope for blessing, forgiveness, or redemption.
    Seems like lots of people do just that so they don't have to take full responsibility of their life, choices, and failures. Real easy to chalk it up to Gods Will and skate away with no responsibility.
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  15. #15
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LB View Post
    Hyfi, you refer to Swedenborg as a religion. I didn't know it had reached such lofty status and I can't say I like the notion.
    Swedenborg is as valid a religion as Rasta or Santeria.

  16. #16
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw View Post
    Swedenborg is as valid a religion as Rasta or Santeria.
    And I'm sure you have read his writings, been to the Cathedral for a Service (or any of the many New Churches around the world) and met the people who live in Bryn Athyns.

    On a personal note, I grew up with a family who's Grandfather was the first Swedenborg Minister to come to America from Germany to start a New Church here. He landed in Philly and after the Pit Cairn family got wealthy from Pittsburgh Glass, they built a real Gothic Cathedral right down the road from me. So Swedenborg is not just something I heard about, I have been living with it in my life (although I am not Religious, his writings just make sense) for 40 years when this family's son who was about to turn 21 died in a car accident we were in coming home from the 1st Flyers Parade in the 70s.

    So Mark, are you gonna tell me your Religion is the only right one?
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  17. #17
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    I'm not saying any one is right or wrong, I can, however, see where you do have a big dog in this race and you take my statement personally. Is that how you play this game?

    This being a free country, you're free to believe, or not believe, whatever you choose. I just find his basic beliefs to be a bit "out there" from mainstream Christian beliefs for me, At best, I see him as a primordial L. Ron Hubbard.

    Anyone wishing to get a feel for what this man believes, here's a brief sampling of his life and works.

    From the link:

    '"He said that the Last Judgement had already occurred, in 1757, though only visible in the spiritual world, where he had witnessed it.[7] That Judgement was followed by the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, which occurred, not by Christ in person, but by a revelation from Him through the inner, spiritual sense of the Word[8] to Swedenborg.[9] In fact, Swedenborg said, it is the presence of that spiritual sense that makes the Word Divine.[10]"'

    So, He revealed Himself to Swedenborg, and Swedenborg alone? If that's not exclusivity to the nth degree I don't know what is. That seems a bit strange to me, and many Christians. Kinda like an early Joe Smith, no?

    Anyhow, enjoy your beliefs, and the holidays, even though you say you're not religious.

    I do find it funny, however, that those with an axe to grind come out in full force during this season, almost as if they get off on pithing in everyone else's cornflakes and would begrudge them the joy of their holiday.
    Last edited by markw; 12-31-2011 at 10:22 PM.

  18. #18
    3LB
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    What I take from a book like Heaven & Hell, is the basic principle that we are what we are and it carries over in the afterlife. If Swedenborg did indeed recieve this divine message, its a kind of sobering sentiment. No last minute salvation, no penance without real repentance... true repentance being the rub. What is true repentance? How do you feel if you accidentally hurt someone? Are you truely remorseful or do you show contrition to save face? Because its a commandment or tenet? Because bad people go to hell?

    Swedenborg says that no amount of practice or ritual in this life will pave your way in the next, your afterlife will be a true reflection of your inner self. Of course, this falls in line with some eastern philosophies as well. Same as Swedenborg's differing levels of Heaven. But Swedenborg never asserts that the differing levels of Heaven are rewarded or earned but simply, you'll go where you belong. The Golden Rule isn't really the measuring stick here. You can be as good or great a role model or christian witness as you possibly can, and its all for naught if deep down, you harbor resentment or malice, avarice or indifference, vanity or jealously - how you really feel. You can ask to be forgiven for feeling those negative sentiments, but if it is who you are in life, its who you will be in the afterlife. Your environment in the afterlife will reflect what you were on the inside when you were alive. And here's another thing - you probably wouldn't have it any other way. You'll not only be seperated from 'Love", you'll be repelled by it.

    I know its just one man's vision. It doesn't make him any more or less valid than say, Joseph Smith or L Ron Hubbard. But while a lot of religions have a laundry list of practices, rituals and compulsions, Swedenborg talks about individuals and how they interact with other indivifduals in life. You can behave in a more socially acceptable manner, be more charitable, be more helpful, be outwardly kind, be outwardly honest and tithe to a religious institution of your choice, but how do you feel? Swedenborg says you can't be what you don't feel. Heaven and Love are synonymous and directly proportional. Swedenborg lays the responsibility directly at the feet of the individual - eternity is DIY, it can't be legislated, and its nobody else's business.

    I'll be honest with you guys, this was a revelation to me. Like I mentioned before, it was part of a philosophy class. It challenged my notion of why was I going to church, why did I want to be a christian. I'm not much of a people-person. I'm kind of a loner. Much of the music I listen to and many of my hobbies don't interest the mainstream and I'm not really bothered by it. I don't seek crowds or affirmation. I seek solitude for the most part. Not saying I don't have my share of friends, but I do enjoy them on my own terms. I like having a fortress of solitutde. Living in the Navy was a spirit killer for me, living and working with the same people day in and day out. Emotionally clingy, high maintenance people get on my nerves. I avoid them. A lot of these kinds of people, in my experiences, are the ones who are attracted to religions, cults, multi-level marketing groups, etc (a lot of christians in the latter). If these kinds of people are what make up the practicing religious and they're right, why would I be remiss if I had to go someplace other than Heaven (when I die), if Heaven is full of people I avoided in life? I did try to be one of those people at one time, but I knew deep down I was faking it most of the time. Its not about fooling others or God/gods or whatever - you can't fool yourself.

    Swedenborg's Heaven & Hell is not a real page turner. He's redundant. He belabors a point. A good editor could whittle that thing down to a pamplet easily. Luckily, that's pretty much what the instructor did. I'm glad I read it and I wished religious people did. Or at least take a philosophy class. People need not ask why they're here, they need to ask themselves why do they believe what they believe - it might be a simple answer, it might be a handy answer. As Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living."
    Last edited by 3LB; 01-04-2012 at 06:58 PM.
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  19. #19
    RGA
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    3LB

    Twain said it - "Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company."

    A lot of hubris and wishful thinking that there is any after-life and zero evidence. The problem with such beliefs is that one doesn't appreciate the here and now - nor do they care or try and save the here and now because they are waiting for the better after-life they believe in and that doesn't exist.

    George Carlin - Religion is bull****. - YouTube

  20. #20
    3LB
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    3LB

    Twain said it - "Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company."

    A lot of hubris and wishful thinking that there is any after-life and zero evidence. The problem with such beliefs is that one doesn't appreciate the here and now - nor do they care or try and save the here and now because they are waiting for the better after-life they believe in and that doesn't exist.
    Religion tells us that when you die, the 'evil' are punished and the 'good' are rewarded. And that 'good' is determined by a vengeful, jealous god who will damn your soul forever if you don't obey him. BTW, He loves you very much. Yep, seen that Carlin video several times.

    Funny thing about religions, is that they'll tell you that their centuries-old book is more accurate than someone else's. And of course with accuracy comes authority. Because nothing on earth is as important as authority.

    ever see Bill Maher's Religulous?
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  21. #21
    RGA
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    Bill Maher's Religulous

    I was first in line - I loved the museum with the folks riding dinosaurs - that is the religious person's view of history. Bill Maher's Religulous - Visiting the Creationist Museum [CC].avi - YouTube Though in fairness the Catholic Priest is sane.

    And they wonder why intelligent people stop walking on egg shells when it comes to religion. In Churches in the U.S they give poor people some money and spend the entire session blaming democrats and praising the Republican Party - we'll give you money but now vote for God's party. Yes Republicans like the vengeful evil dictator God. Democrats would be more in line with Jesus - a hippie who spiked the town water supply with heavy opiates to get them to see a burning bush and ocean's parting.

  22. #22
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LB View Post

    Swedenborg says that no amount of practice or ritual in this life will pave your way in the next, your afterlife will be a true reflection of your inner self. Of course, this falls in line with some eastern philosophies as well. Same as Swedenborg's differing levels of Heaven. But Swedenborg never asserts that the differing levels of Heaven are rewarded or earned but simply, you'll go where you belong. The Golden Rule isn't really the measuring stick here. You can be as good or great a role model or christian witness as you possibly can, and its all for naught if deep down, you harbor resentment or malice, avarice or indifference, vanity or jealously - how you really feel. You can ask to be forgiven for feeling those negative sentiments, but if it is who you are in life, its who you will be in the afterlife. Your environment in the afterlife will reflect what you were on the inside when you were alive. And here's another thing - you probably wouldn't have it any other way. You'll not only be seperated from 'Love", you'll be repelled by it.

    Swedenborg says you can't be what you don't feel. Heaven and Love are synonymous and directly proportional. Swedenborg lays the responsibility directly at the feet of the individual - eternity is DIY, it can't be legislated, and its nobody else's business.
    You said that perfectly. I have a hard time articulating what I get from it to others.

    If you view heaven and or hell as a collection of spirit, then it all makes perfect sense. Like minded people/spirits will hang with the same. People who are low life bums in life will not be hanging out with hard working millionaires in the afterlife, rather they will be in an area of the spirit with other low life bums. Even if they tried to move they would not be able to continue to hang because that is not who/what they really are. Heaven and hell are all the same place, just depends on how far away from the center (pure love) you are.

    If you get a chance, watch Robin William's movie What Dreams May Come. The whole journey into hell to save his wife who committed suicide is taken straight from the book and if you have read Arcana Celestia, a whole lot more of those scenes would make sense, like all the Faces in the Water as well as how they go thru the levels and the dead or spirits keep getting uglier and worse as they travel deeper into hell, or farther away from the heaven portion.

    I gave up on organized religion a long time ago but that does not mean I have not taken teachings from many of them and incorporated them into my life. When I read Swedenborgs works, they make more sense to me than the main stream messages.

    In Arcana Celestia, he interprets the first several books of the old testament line by line with a logical explanation of it's correspondence as well as referencing other parts of the bible where the same is used so that when you read those other sections, they make a bit more sense.

    As far as LR Hubbard goes, his whole book was based on lies. He was not injured when he claims, nor did he or anyone else heal him of his fictitious wounds. His discharge papers are signed by a fictitious person that does not exist in our military.

    Did Spirits or Angels talk to Swedenborg? We will never know. Did Jesus get up from being dead? We will never know. But it can't be dis-proven either. Does how Swedenborg interprets the bible make more sense than not? Yes, for me an many others including Helen Keller and Johny Appleseed who were both members of the Swedenborg Church.
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