Blog 1369 – 06.19.2019
That Was A River
Often writers and prophets are the least understood and appreciated by those nearest to them. Jesus is quoted as having said as much. I think if Jesus had written his own story down it would have been a lot clearer and easier to understand. Some think he did just that with the large volume A Course In Miracles. I highly recommend that book and also another, The Way Of Mastery, for those who would like a change of pace from the “church line” highly filter and redacted version of what Jesus might have taught.
People who vehemently claim and firmly believe that the 66 books of the Christian Bible are the complete and inspired Word of God act as if they are completely unaware that both the books in the Old Testament (39) and those of the New Testament (27) were picked by men, the first by a Synagogue Council and the second by a Church Council around 90 A.D. from a much larger group of books contending for inclusion. It was two elections that produced the Bible and we know that though we always say, “May the best candidate win” that often that is not the case. Just look at the long list of losers that we have picked as winners for public office in this country alone. As an overseas example, Adolph Hitler was elected Chancellor in a free democratic election in Germany.
The books included in the Bible were picked as often for what they left out as for what they included. The books and the people holding differing views from the views of those in charge were mercilessly destroyed. A few books survived, being hidden away. Differing views to the “party line” never completely died out either. The great river called Orthodoxy swept through the years and as the saying goes, the winners always write the history books” and make themselves the heroes and everyone who in any way differs from them or their “truth” are always portrayed as ignorant or worse, pagans, witches, and devil worshipers.
I just learned that a beloved uncle, my Uncle Joe, passed out of this life on April 20th this year. One of my favorite memories of him took place at a White Family reunion at East Lake Park in Chattanooga, Tennessee in the mid to late nineteen seventies. Uncle Joe was there up from Houston, Texas where he had lived since the early sixties. Joe was the first one in my dad’s family, to my knowledge, to attend college. I remember my dad thought Joe was showing off using big words. He was not, he just thought bigger thoughts than my family was used to thinking.
At the reunion the religions factions in the family circled their wagons pretty quickly. The greatest divide was between the Baptist’s, practicing and churchless but still devoted to the Baptist doctrines and the Pentecostals the churched and equally indoctrinated unchurched. One by one they were counting everyone either into their camp or the opposition’s. My mother, wife, and I were in a separate category being Church of God, Anderson, Indiana that I can best describe by saying we were not Baptist nor Pentecost, Mormon, Jew, nor Roman Catholic. But we might as well have been to those folks. Several people who had not seen Uncle Joe in sometime began to inquire among themselves what his religious affiliation might be. Someone finally asked him, “What are you, Joe?” And without missing a beat or blinking and eye, he replied, “I am a Druid.’ I just smiled as they all nodded knowingly, having none of them even a clue what a Druid was but not wishing to even entertain another view point. They quickly changed the subject to sports or something less contentious. If you are not a devout Braves fan, even sports is not a safe subject in that part of the country.
My Uncle Joe was on a river of no return for he had opened his mind to ideas that were bigger than the superstitions that he had grown up with. Like the song That Was A River but In, I think, a higher sense than even romantic love, religion is a river but knowledge and education are an ocean. If your God only loves certain races, colors, or genders and has “a chosen people” your God and your religion is too small. What religion we need if we need any is the ole time religion that makes us love everybody even Baptists and Pentecostals, Republicans and Democrats, Yankees and Braves fans. Some religious, political, and sports fans may think I have gone one river too far. See you latter, Uncle Joe.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
That Was A River