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Languages of Reverence

Earth-Based Ethics Or Pagan Morality in the 21st Century

Nearly all spiritual belief systems seek to provide their adherents with some sort of moral code, be it simple or complex, to guide their lives. The Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have shaped Western culture to the extent that their basic moral paradigm is accepted without analysis even by those who no longer embrace the theological worldview that birthed it.

Amazing Grace

Almost every Wednesday morning at my Lutheran school, we sang this song. No one taught us what the words meant, but over time I figured out that grace was somehow connected to a mysterious thing called the holy spirit, or as I was first taught, the holy ghost. As a child, the word 'ghost' only meant one thing to me - a being without a body that was hell-bent on possessing mine. And indeed, that's what the holy spirit seemed to do.

Salvation

From the Hebrew Scriptures, the Book of Daniel (12: 2-3): Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Three Faces of Jesus

When I was a child, I spoke as a child and understood as a child. 
When I became a man, I put away childish thoughts. (Cor. 13:11)

Original Sin

The way I that first understood original sin as a nine year old was pretty literal. Adam and Eve had eaten of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil, which they had been forbidden by God to eat. They'd broken a rule. That was the very first time that a rule had been broken. That was the original sin.

Evil

Morally wrong; immoral; wicked - a lack of concern or an outright defiant disregard for right conduct or its principles. Evil is a term we use to describe a person or act that is more than just bad or a wrongful deed. It prescribes a state of inherent badness or wrongdoing.

Good and Bad Religion

Once upon a time the people said,
"The world is big, and we are small."
And they were afraid.
So, with busy fingers and gold,
they made a Thing.
"Ah," they sighed as it glittered in the sun,
"Let us bow down and worship!"
And they did.
And they were afraid.

***

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