Monday, April 24, 2006

Questions and Answers...

I have a question, and it is a sincere one. Why do we have to wrestle so much with HOW we determine what God is saying? Why does he make it so secretive? If you loved someone SO MUCH that you would DIE for him, wouldn't YOU make your communication with that person plain and understandable? Why all the smoke and mirrors from God? Why does he hide from us, and make us wonder what his will is? When you love someone, don't you show it plainly? Do you make them guess about your love for them and your desires for them? Then why does God?

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This is a good question and I think there are many ways to answer it. I will give you my take on the question based on my experience. We have texts that were written by man compiling the things God/Jesus has shared with his people. But do we trust that those words are from God as inspired or given by God? Because God is not in the business of speaking directly to humans in this day and age it is hard for one to really "know" what God is saying to us. Which brings us to free will. God gives us free will to do what we will, but you know what happens if one takes advantage of that free will. (Not my will but thy will).

How many people think they hear God's voice and how many people say they speak to and For God, and really, would you trust those who say they do? So many people speak for God in incite hate and anger and bigotry. Is that God's voice? Discerning God's call to ministry is an internal battle for (my will not thy will) which should become (not my will but thy will). We live our life, and we follow the golden rule, (do you?) and we live our lives to the best of our ability. The call to the ministry requires one to really consider giving up of ones material and ones life in service of the church and for God.

You know I try and relate words that are meaningful and useable. The voice of God is specific and unique and brings with it certain truth and a "knowing" that He is in our midst. But no two men usually hear the same voice. Because for some of us who desire to enter ministry, those who would give the green light may determine that God is not really speaking to us. Because of one issue or another. And that is a truth. It is difficult - to try and explain - why God is so elusive, If I may use that term? Would that be a sincere word to try and interpret your question?

When I entered the seminary I thought I heard God's call and many in my circle thought the same thing. I guess I was in the right space at the right time. While I was in seminary, I followed what I thought was truth, seemingly, others did not. I was judged based on outward appearance and never given the ability or right to explain my internal appearance. It was their way or the high way. so be it. In the end I resigned myself to the fact that my God was not the same God that these men in the seminary were listening to, because of what they did to me and to others.

Why all the smoke and mirrors? Wow, that's a good question. Are there really smoke and mirrors in God's world, or have men created them to make sure we could not really get to see or hear God directly? The discernment process has become a circus act, of jumping through hoops and doing chores and passing the grade and finding someone on the inside who thinks that they believe that God is speaking to you as He does to them. You know biblically that we see different parts of God, his back, his feet, his light etc... but we never see God directly. God is always shrouded in a cloud - as if we could never see him or hear him directly.

I believe that men and women are inspired by someone, be that God or whatever one believes directs them, and that is for you to decide. Ministry has inherent problems. Smoke and mirrors exist in some communities to weed out the undesireables. And to keep us from persuing God in "real time."

Because if WE could access God directly, then the priestly class would loose their ability to rule, govern and control. And wouldn't that be a real kick, if regular Joe and Mary on the street could access God directly and KNOW for sure that it was HE who was talking to them, then where would the church go from there? hmmm.... a tasty thought if you ask me...

Descernment is a process that requires a guide and an interpreter to help one figure out if God is speaking to them, and for some that is necessary and for some it is a requirement. I mean if it was easier to get into ministry everyone could "get in" the club. Hence there is an understood series of smoke and mirrors to get us through the process.

What IS God's will? well, that depends on who you are, what you are, what you believe and what one professes as their truth. Because if someone like me says I try to know God's will for me, another can come up and say I am a queer, married, hiv positive faggot and I am outside God's graces, so really God would never speak to someone like me, and many catholic priests and others believe this.


Let me try and enlighten this topic. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic. When I was "out there" using and abusing myself and others, I was allowing my will to run riot through the streets not caring about God or anyone else. I had taken back my will and I let that destroy me. We all have issues I think in one way or another. I guess for me figuring out God's will for me took alot of time in recovery, in prayer and meditation and just learning to "know." It just comes to you - one day - after living - one day at a time - for a few twenty four hours - you begin to hear Him, I guess this is my Judeo-Christian model.

Forgive me but its the only model I know.


Following the path to discernment is a daily path for all of us in one way or another. Our lives are daily reminders that we are on a path to discerning what is right, learning how to navigate life to the best of our abilities and learning the lessons we need to learn to move ahead on the path. If one believes in a God or a Creator or a deity or maybe nothingness, do we not try to discern for ourselves, the call we hear to live the lives we do? Is discernment for you a process during your day? For some learning and knowing God's will is more difficult than others.

Ministry requires specific tools and abilities. Ministry requires one to give up ones self in the service of God, no questions no excuses. Holy Orders removes you from the world in sevice to that world in all ways. I know very few men who fulfill that requirement. Chastity, Poverty and Obedience are the three oaths a priest takes. Those are prescribed requirements for serving the church.

God's will is the church's will.
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OR Is It Really???

And Do we really "Know?"

The church requires that we follow these precepts for proper ministry - and getting to the point where one can make these vows takes years of process and discernment. It is a daily ritual of discernment. Marriage and life are daily "discernment process" to follow a prescribed path. We all have one, but do we realize it? Or are we just wandering in the fog looking for God? I believe that I, in some small humble way, try my best each day to discern my calling "to just be" because I am outside the church's guidelines "to serve" properly.


What is God's will, translation: How should we live our lives?

Do I get married, Am I gay or straight, do I become a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer? Do I have children or do I stay single? What is God's will? I cannot answer that question fro you, only you can answer that question because it is your journey not mine. Do I become a priest? Is God calling me (in my case - a queer man with HIV) to be a minister of the church? I don't think any church would take me because I am severely "Godly" handicapped and I am abominable to some. My perception of God's will for me is my own "in communion" with God and in spiritual direction that I get from my teachers.


God does not hide from us, but I do think that man has created the veil that we look through to the holy of Holies. The church creates the "separateness" for us to transcend and to rise up to, if God was easily accessible, then where would church be to guide us in that ritual?

There has always been a veil between those who worship and those who have access to the Holy of Holies. Moses was the only man to really see a representation of God in the burning bush and hear his voice - so it was written. Moses, Aaron and his sons had access to the temple at the foot of the Holy Mountain, where the Ark of the Covenant sat before the long journey.

I think that life itself presents a number of veils that stand between us and God. Material, Addictive things, Self will run riot, No thy will but My will, what I have to have always sets me apart from God. Material sets us apart from God.

How many people take the time each day to sit and seek God and speak with him in our hearts and minds? This I think is the important factor to learning discernment. God is a concept taught to us by those who came before us in a church construct that man created to take a place over us to use us for the church's work, and then there are those true men who serve their communities that invite us to walk with God on the same path, all equal, all blessed, none better than the other.

God is there, if you don't know where to find him, how can you find him. And if your faith is shaky then God is there to say, Get up, look up, I am right here, come to me and I will give you what you need. God, I believe is in the business of giving us what we need each day to get by and nothing more. For all we have is today and what we do with it.


God is such a polarizing personage, that many may feel unworthy of God's love because the church has endeavoured to separate the wheat from the chaff. Those who are acceptible and those who are not and that ingrained problem is what separates us from God. For some who are standing at this point, they may not care what God's will for us is because we have been told that we are sinners and that some of us are not within God's grace and never will be, so why bother.

I believe this is the biggest problem for society and ministry. There are too few men to minsiter to God's church, that is why we need to change the requirements and give others the chance to step up and be counted.


If we knew that each one of us was worthy of all of God's love I think things would be different. We all come to adulthood with baggage that separates us from God. God does love us unconditionally, but I find that people ( in my circles) wonder if God really loves them. Because the church ingrains in us that we are sinners and the bible says that we all fall short of the glory of God and that's why we go to church and pray and follow ritual and prescribed church teachings to Get to God in our meager existence here on earth.

It is, I think, the hardest path to know God, but once you start walking it, you figure it out.

Daily.

I think that the world has put filters in place to keep us separated by God with all that is gives us in ways to keep us from getting in touch with God on a daily basis. And do we really care that God loves us or not, with all that is going on in our lives? Who really stops each day to speak with their God of their understanding? And does that matter?


I love my husband and my family and my friends. It is an understood love that does not need words sometimes to express. I love God and I believe he loves me, contrary to what some may say and think about me and my life. There are no guessing games for my hubby or my family. Love is unconditional, BUT I had to learn for myself what unconditional love was.

How many people know how to love unconditionally, and if it were possible, would they live that way, loving without expectations? I don't know the answer, because we all have expectations and getting past those expectations may take a lifetime of learning, it just does not come overnight without some work and trial and error. Men and women are not perfect because if we were we would be the true embodiment of God.

To be able to put someone elses needs before my own was the biggest lesson I have learned in my adult life, that was the point that I believed that "I arrived!" I knew at the moment that God existed in real time for me and that I was ok. I don't think God plays games with us. But the world plays games with US and God.

The world religions make us jump through hoops and follow prescribed precepts and teachings, they teach us about sin and what is unacceptible to God, by way of doctrinal teaching, biblical scripture and teachings from the greats of the church. There are already preset conditions that must be dealt with from the moment we wake to the moment we sleep from our first day of life to our last. SIN - Original SIN - and daily SIN keep us separated from God. AS long as that model is active, then we will always be separated from God.

That is the Judeo-Christian thought about God, sin and human existence. AT least how I was taught to see God and my life.

I have learned in as many years of my life what God's voice sounds like to me. And I bounce around these words and conversations with the men of faith in my life and we talk about God in a true sense of being. Life is an active daily conversation with the great almighty. But because we have religious churches and religious contructs and church teachings and ritual hoops to dance through and around.

God will always be separated from us, UNTIL we figure out how to get around them and find the direct link to God. It is not an easy road. Jesus calls us to serve, to drop what we are doing, to sell all the we have and give it to the poor, give up our earthly posessions and to "Follow Him." how many of us today could actually do that in today's day and age, and would we be able to give it all up for the call? THAT is my daily struggle. That is OUR daily struggle to know what to do each day in the persuit of following a God of our understanding.

That is the angel I wrestle with as do many on many religious paths. Life is a religious path if you really strip it down to bare basics. We are all born into some system of belief from our parents, unless our parents had none to begin with, and as we grow up and become educated we figure out that path for ourselves.


I believe that God calls us to live rightly. I believe that God is accessible to everyone, regardless of station, economic level, understanding, creed, orientation and way of life. I believe that if more people got up and got vocal to speak out against religious intolerance that the world would change. BUT the church, Holy Mother Church is too powerful and overbearing to ever allow such change to take place, so we must find God for ourselves, because I believe that the Church's access model to God is too complicated. So I use what I need and leave the rest behind.

Some may disagree with my model, but the church says I am unable to access God because of what I am, I beg to differ. That I still live and breath is direct testament to God's existence. My faith in God sustains me and for me that is all that matters. No minsiter or Pope will ever take that from me. If there was no God and I had no faith, I would have died many years ago, had it not been for faith filled people who encouraged me to pray and to go to mass and to listen for God's voice.

I am not perfect and I fall short of God's grace daily, but the reprieve I get is that I can start my day over whenever I want, by stopping, dropping and asking God to forgive me and help me begin again.


God does not hide from us, but it is our calling to seek him where he can be found. And how many of us take the time to do that? A relationship takes TWO people. Us and Another, Us and another and God, US and God. God helps those who help themselves, and it is in the service of others that you see God in yourself. And you see God in them.

At the end of the run of my life I would hope to stand in the presence of God and hear him say, "well done good and faithful servant." Be good, do good, serve your brother or sister in humility and kindness, love your neighbor as yourself, and do no harm, for you never know when the Master might appear on the path, and wouldn't you want to hear him say those words "well done good and faithful servant!"

Many are called, few follow and even less succeed, because of the rigid guideline and requirements that the church places upon us to serve him. So we must serve God wheere ever we can, because many of us will never be able to serve IN god's churches so we must create church around us "in the field" which is where Jesus did all of his best work.

I think it is time for the world to create church within us and around us, the buildings have become stained and unholy. And I believe that God can be found "out here" just as easily as he can be found "inside" the walls. We cannot live our lives inside the inner sanctum of the church, we must seek him outside where he can be found.

It is time for the new church to rise and to start changing the world because the world is going to hell in a handbasket and if we sit here and do nothing, then we are all doomed to live out the wishes and actions of those in powerful places in religious life, in government and in high positions.

I believe that God is not happy with the way things have transpired or turned out, but no one is courageous enough to stand us and speak those words. IT IS TIME TO CHANGE or we are all going to DIE !! Do something before it is too late.

Godliness is there for you to find
He is not unaccessible.
Seek Him with a sincere and humble heart and you will find him.

1 Comments:

Blogger Crystal said...

You know, we are all going to die anyway, no matter what we do. I would like to see less suffering on this earth however, and so I agree that it is time to take action and change this world for the better!

9:47 PM  

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