Christianity vs. Jesus in Key West, among other Watter’s World attractions

Jesus with leper

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Tim Gratz

Tim Gratz, of Key West, replied my comments in the recent

more entertaining, or maddening, depending on your point of view, viral Bill O’Reilly documentary video slam of Key West fallout; Key West Police Department denies tasering to death lying face down tourist, which well-attended (by Key West police officers) event the Key West Citizen did not report, as far as I know, until after it got a big splash (12/13/2013) in the ever pesky (thank God) online Key West the Newspaper (www.thebluepaper.com)

post, that Key West and its Christians should turn the other cheek and pray for and do good to Bill O’Reilly, who recently slammed Key West in a documentary video which I understand went viral world-wide.

Subject: Turn the other cheek [to Bill O’Reilly’ documentary on Key West]

Key West’s More “Colorful” Side Spotlighted on FOX NEWS: THE O’REILLY SHOW [WATTER’S WORLD]

Oreilly photo

Click on the photo to link to the FOX website and view the video

Sloan, in my opinion you are stretching this command beyond what Jesus meant, He was addressing what Christian should do when he or she is offended.

I try to practice this.

I do struggle daily with the injunction to forgive … Pastor Carey had a recent sermon on this which included references to Christain martys who forgave the people who were killing them.

Whether or not Jesus’ turn the other cheek command coupled with what the martyrs did requie one not to abstain from self defense in the face of deadly force is a very difficult question particularly when the death of the person being attacked will affect others including perhaps the person’s children.

But that is a far different issue than whether one should act to prevent the death or even serious bodily harm to another. There is a Biblical command to rescue the perishing and enslaved. In such a situation I believe ethics compels one to attempt a recue even at the risk of serious bodily injury or even death to yourself.

And the command by the same rationale does not apply to corporations or municipalities. At least IMO it would not prohibit KW from responding to the attack piece.

Moreover of course liberals would argue that cities ought not govern their actions by the religious convictions of their officers and officials.

The Bible condemns divorce. Does that mean that a state should prohibit it?

The Bible condemns adultery. As you know Muslims kill those who have committed adultery. But does the Biblical command require a state to criminalize adultery, even with a penalty short of death?

I think you see my point that the turn the other cheek commandment relates to what an individual should do.

Now I can see why a Christian or other person could be a conscienous objector if he or she could not countenance involvement in a war. But that does not IMO negate the doctrine of a just war. Even if there had been no Pearl Harbor or no other attack on the US should US have launched war against Hitler to prevent the Holocaust? I think so.

My thoughts anyway.

I replied:

Tim, Christianity did not exist when Jesus lived and is reported in the Gospels to have said that to Peter, as I recall. Jesus gave his disciples a far different way to live than they had been living. He told them to live as he taught them, or end up like the foolish man who built his house on sand and when the flood came the house fell down and how great was that fall! Christians who do not think Jesus meant what he told Peter are gravely mistaken and do not know Jesus in the Gospels. No big deal, they are saved by a magical salvation formula totally disconnected from Jesus’ teachings about how to live.

I quoted Jesus to you, Tim, because you say you are a Christian and are saved because of your beliefs, but not by your actions which you say have zero to do with being saved by Jesus. I quoted Jesus to you, Tim, because you recommended what Key West officials should do re O’Reilly, which was not to turn the other cheek but to get satisfaction and at the very least protest O’Reilly’s actions to FOX and his bosses, if he has any bosses, which I doubt, because they don’t want to lose him because he is making them lots of money, which is the most important to them and probably also to O’Reilly, although he does like the limelight a lot, too.

Saying it another way, Tim, from the recommendation you gave to Key West in your email to me, you judged Key West not to be a Christian city and its leaders not to be Christians, because a Christian city and Christians would simply have turned the other cheek to O’Reilly and stepped back and looked at the beam in their own eye, which was the parts of O’Reilly’s video which were true, most of it was true, in fact. What O’Reilly did not do was present the sides of Key West you, Mayor Cates, others wanted him to present instead.

O’Reilly went right to the heart of it, Tim. He cut through the veneer, through the pretense, and told Key West that it is hardly the fairest in the land, and why, and for his doing that, you and others took high offense, instead of responding as Jesus would have told you to respond were he among you. So, I remind you of what Jesus was about in the Gospels, what he told his disciples about how to live if they wanted to be in his flock. That was before the magic salvation formula later was invented because Jesus’ salvation formula was far too rugged to live.

I don’t see forgiveness has anything to do with what O’Reilly did. Turn the other cheek, or not. Take the beam out of your own eye, or not. Follow Jesus in the Gospels, or not. That, to me, is the razor’s edge on which O’Reilly perched you and perhaps lots of Key West Christians and non-Christians.

The stripper I gave a ride the other day was far closer to Jesus, in my opinion, than most people I know. She had no pretense. She was dead honest about herself and other people. She judged herself in hindsight for letting herself get into the rough situation with her club’s manager. She did not care how other people viewed her. She did not judge the clubs. She did not judge the other strippers. She did not judge the pimps. She did not judge the young KW cops she said are trafficking in narcotics in the strip clubs in exchange for looking out for the clubs’ patrons and owners.

I figured when she was in my car that you and Connie Gilbert, among other people, would be hearing of it. I didn’t know yet how it would turn out, but I knew the angels caused me to turn around after I had passed by her and go back and ask her if she wanted a ride? The angels wanted me to hear what she had to say, so I could write about it. One of the angels, Tim, is Jesus. Ain’t that a hoot?!

Ciao

Tim wrote:

Well, Jesus was in favor of truth and truth does involve balance. For every derelict who sells food stamps to purchase alcohol and cigarettes if not drugs there are hundreds of people who for instance do charity work. I am sure you agree that the people JW interviewed are not even truly representative of the homeless.

The real story of good and evil in Key West that JW missed is what we discussed in our previous e-mail. That clash is very significant and very real.

But given separation of church and state do you propose that a city as a corporation should follow injunctions that Jesus intended for personal relationships?

It is perhaps unfortunate but we do not live in a theocracy.

By your standards should Key West stop prosecuting criminals?

Elected officials have a duty to protect their constituents, IMO.

If the Mayor is a Christian and someone strikes him, yes he should turn the other cheek. But if his police force see a person assault an innocent person the police should turn turn the other cheek. They should arrest the criminal and he should be prosecuted.

Again Jesus injunction in this regard was not intended to be a primer on how a society should govern itself.

My opinion at least.

I replied:

How do you migrate from what Bill O’Reilly did to committing crimes? In fact, it is well known in homeless and homeless help circles that Key West homeless addicts trade/sell food stamps for their drug of choice. A genuine city needs no public relations, no advertising, no Tourist Development Council to highlight what the city wants to present of itself to the public. Just look at the whitewash job the city did on that tourist who recently died underneath the city police at South Beach. And just look at the whitewashing the city’s Republican-Christian-owned newspaper did on that sad tale. I really do think, Tim, that you have been screwed up by being a Christian and being a Republican. It has twisted your perception so you cannot see what really is there. You are hardly alone. And Republican-Christians are hardly alone. O’Reilly is a buffoon, a joke. He also is a Republican-Christian.

Being a Republican, Tim, is a very tiny box to put yourself in. So is being a Christian. Being a human is a far bigger box, and walking and talking with Jesus is limitlessness and has nothing to do with being a Christian or not being one. It has to do with what I keep telling you and you keep going off on tangents and into more tiny boxes. Bill O’Reilly did Key West a huge favor, in my opinion – how else could the city have gotten such widespread exposure? You don’t think there are millions of people in the US just like those people in O’Reilly’s documentary? Hell, Tim, there are many people in Key West like those people. I run into them frequently. Don’t you?

Sloan

Tim forwarded:

From: tim_______@hotmail.com
To: ccates@keywestcity.com (city mayor); srhoades@_____com (local writer and publisher); bwolz@______________.com; srhoades@_________; markhowell@__________(Editor of Solares Hill Sunday Magazine, which went out of business after it’s parent, The Key West Citizen, shut it down to save money); rd.boettger@__________ (local rabble rouser, sometimes writer); keysmyhome@hotmail.com (me)
CC: pjspeare@________
Subject:
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2013 23:48:12 +0000

You will see below that O’Reilly’s tv show on the Kennedy assassination was as bad as his piece on Key West! The outright lies in the show are incredible.

A comment by my friend Pat Speer who is a REAL student of the assassinatikonn.

: Killing Kennedy, a feature-length film on the assassination, premieres on the National Geographic Channel. It stars Rob Lowe as Kennedy. It reveals itself as nonsense within the first few seconds. It shows Oswald leave the Paine residence with a long rifle-sized package in his hands. No one, of course, saw such a package. This package appears to be about 6 inches wide. Well, this matches the size of the package noted by the witnesses, but is inconsistent with the 10 inch or so bag pulled out of the depository, and photographed by newsman. It then shows Oswald sneak upstairs and build the sniper’s nest from scratch. This never happened. Most of the boxes were stacked there by the crew working on the floor. It then shows Oswald pull an intact rifle from the paper bag. Geez! This serves to conceal that the bag placed into evidence was too small to hold an intact rifle, and that the FBI proposed that he brought the rifle into the building disassembled and put it together with a dime. They then show him put a full clip into the rifle. This hides that there were at most four bullets in the clip, and that no rifle bullets were found among Oswald’s possessions. They then show him track the limo up Houston Street while standing in front of an open window. Well, this hides that the window went down almost to the floor and was only open a few inches, and that someone firing from this window and tracking a car would have to do so while kneeling. They then show him fire. Only now do they show us the title: Killing Kennedy. I struggle to hold back the projectile vomit my mind so desperately wants to expel.

The rest of the program is almost as bad. When Oswald visits Mexico City, the program shows someone taking photographs of him, freezing on the black and white image of him entering the Cuban Embassy. No such photograph exists. The photographs the CIA thought showed Oswald turned out to show someone else, who many assume was impersonating Oswald. As it closes in on the assassination, the program continues to spiral downward. It shows Oswald at a shooting range, putting three rapid fire shots into the head of his target. This is a deliberate lie. The FBI was able to account for almost all of Oswald’s actions after his return from Mexico City, and found none of the “Oswald-sightings” at shooting ranges to be credible. Besides, the beginning of the program showed Oswald remove his rifle from the Paine residence, where it had been stored in a blanket in an unlocked garage. Are we supposed to assume, then, that Oswald removed his rifle from the Paine’s garage so he could practice with it, and then sneaked it back in? In the middle of the day? Without anyone noticing? No, not entirely. The program then shows Marina catch Oswald re-wrapping his rifle in the Paine’s garage, and ask him what he is doing. This scene is total nonsense. It never happened, or, if it did, Marina has never told anyone about it. Bill O’Reilly and his co-writer martin Dugard just made it up. After commercial, they show Jack Ruby bragging about how much he loves Kennedy, and Oswald finding out about the upcoming motorcade while reading the paper at work. They show him open up a window and look down Elm Street. Elm runs straight away from the window. This, of course, is not the view from the school book depository, from which Elm runs left to right. It is instead, and probably not accidentally, the view from the building across the street: the Dal-Tex Building. The program then repeats the beginning, with Oswald getting into the car with Buell Frazier. This time, however, they show Oswald stash his still-wrapped rifle in between some boxes after he shows up at work. There’s no evidence this happened. It then shows him build the sniper’s nest, only to be asked by someone–presumably Charles Givens–if he was gonna come downstairs. They have Oswald tell him no, when the actual story told by Givens was that Oswald told him he’ll be down shortly and to keep the elevator available. It then shows Oswald get his rifle, and track the limo, while standing, of course. He fires, a shot, a gap of about four seconds, a second shot, a gap of about two seconds, a third shot. Surprisingly, considering the nature of this program, they show the first and third bullets strike Kennedy. They do not show what happened to the second bullet. It then shows Oswald successfully evade capture by motorcycle officer Marion Baker, who confronts Oswald while Oswald is rapidly moving across the middle of a large open room. Baker, in fact, saw a barely-moving Oswald through the window of a small lunch room. A few minutes later they show Oswald racing down a street and hailing a cab. Well, this is deceptive as well. He got into the cab at a cab stop outside the bus station, after letting a woman take the cab before it. They then show Capt. Will Fritz smelling one of the three shells found in the sniper’s nest, then emptying the rifle to remove an unfired shell. This never happened, of course. The rifle was found on the far side of the building from the sniper’s nest. They then show Oswald race into his rooming house and…change shirts. Well, this is a surprise seeing as how the FBI found fibers on the rifle that matched the shirt Oswald was wearing when arrested. Soon thereafter, they show Oswald kill Officer Tippit. He shoots four times. Oops. Oswald is believed to have fired five bullets. Oswald is then arrested. When interrogated after his arrest, the program sinks to another low. Agent Hosty whips out a file that has a photo of Oswald in Mexico, and asks him what he was doing there. Well, once again, no such photo exists! Moments later, they show Jack Ruby telling his policemen friends about how he can’t stand the thought of Mrs. Kennedy returning to Dallas for a trial. Well, this is nonsense. Ruby later admitted that this was an excuse made up by his lawyer AFTER he killed Oswald. It just gets worse and worse. They then show Ruby sneak into the basement down an empty ramp with NO ONE around. Well, my gosh. This hides that a number of men were in the area and that 1) NONE of them saw Ruby slip down the ramp into the basement where he shot Oswald, and 2) the Dallas Police Officer in charge of security for the basement subsequently failed a lie detector. They then show Oswald marching out into the basement with a slight smirk on his face, only to be killed by a presumably well-meaning Ruby. There’s no mention of Ruby’s ties to organized crime, of course. He’s just a patriotic American caught up in the moment. Why, of course.

(Note: a UPI article the next day reports that 3.4 million viewers watched this piece of trash.)

I replied to Tim, not seeing there were other recipients – what an opportunity missed!!!

And how many of those trash viewers do you suppose were Christians – 99 percent?

Tim wrote:

Well it depends on how widely you define Christian.

Your statistic is probably quite close as it relates to those who consider and call themselves Christians.

We both know that O’Reilly’s audience is no doubt largely middle aged, very predominantly male, white and Republican. Not WASP since he is himself a Catholic, how about WASR with some WHR and very very few WAAR, although there are some.

Those presumed statistics do not defeat the proposition that the show will effect our tourism,

There are WASRs that DO visit here,

And even white Republicans with children.

Hey, I have to go to work now, So sorry. The dialogue is always interesting, Sloan.

I replied:

I define Christian as anyone who claims to be a Christian, and I include Catholics in that camp. Jesus defines who follows him, though, and to what extent, and it has nothing to do with what they call themselves; it has to do with how they behave. It’s that simple, Tim.

Tim replied:

Well I agree that many may call themselves Christians who are not. What makes one a Christian i not how one acts but rather if one has accepted God’s free gift of salvation. However the Bible says as you know “by their fruits (works) you will know them.” It is not unreasonable to question the Christianity of those whose lives do not show it. Christians should certainly act as you did in befriiending the hitch-hiker.

Often I am too critical and judgmental of people. I “feel” Christian when I see myself looking at people as Jesus would.

But the Bible clearly states that salvation does not come by works and it sounds like that is what you are suggesting.

If a great sinner truly confesses his sins and asks foregiveness even on his deathbed he can be saved even if he has no opportunity to do any good works.

On the other hand those who accept the Lord early on should be doing good works because God is living in their heart.

Thanks

I replied:

Tim, your salvation spiel is a computer program invented by men long ago to make Christianity more attractive than Jesus; you are brainwashed. To understand salvation through Jesus in the Gospels, all anyone needs to do is read what he said and did in the Gospels.

How about, steep is the way and narrow the gate and few enter therein?

How about, many are called but few are chosen?

How about, a man who hears my words and does not do what I (Jesus) say is like the foolish man who built his house on sand and when the flood came the house fell down and how great was that fall?

If John Carey and other Christian ministers preached that shit each Sunday, and turn the other cheek, and first take the beam out of your own eye, and do good to and pray for those who persecute you, and resist not one who does evil, and it is more blessed to give than to receive, and if a man takes your goods ask not for them back, and if a man takes you to court settle along the way, and you cannot serve mammon and God, and take no thought for tomorrow and what you shall eat and what you shall wear and where you shall live, and except as you do unto the least of these you do also unto me (Jesus), love your neighbor as yourself (even if he is a dirt bag, a drunk, a a criminal), and so forth and so on, those ministers would honor Jesus and maybe they would be kept on as ministers by their congregations and maybe not …

I think it was of prophets Jesus said, by their fruits you shall know them?

I picked up and befriended the hitchhiker because Jesus moved me to do that, and I am not a Christian, although I once was.

Any Christian shows his/her relationship to/with Jesus by how that Christian lives, behaves, relates to others. KKK members are Christians. Bill O’Reilly is Christian. G.W. Bush is Christian. Barack Obama is Christian. The stripper I picked up is Christian. Nearly ever homeless person in Key West is Christian. Nearly ever drunk and other narcotics addict in Key West is Christian. The Key West cops who were on that tourist who died recently probably were Christians. Most of the top Nazis were Christians. I imagine many pimps and slave traders are Christians.

You cannot make them not Christians because you don’t like how they go about things, any more than you can make Bill O’Reilly not a Republican because of the way he goes about things. What any Christian needs to worry about ongoing is how is he/she going about things. I worry about that ongoing, how I am going about things. And when I poke my nose into other people’s business, it is because Jesus and his confederates tell me to do it, just like they told me to offer the stripper a ride.

Tim wrote:

Sloan, one who calls himself/herself a Christian is not necessarily a “born-again” Christian.

It is just lunatic to think that for instance sex traffickers and criminals are Christian. I can call myself a neurosurgeon but that does not make me one. It takes an affirmative action to become a Christian, just as it takes a lot of action (work and study) to become a neurosurgeon.

The doctrine of salvation only through accepting Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is not man-made. It is straight from the Bible, You surely know the verses (“You must be born again [to enter Heaven]”; “by grace [ie Jesus’ redemptive death on the cross] are you saved, not of works, lest anyone might boast.” The first step is salvation but of course the Bible also says that “faith without works is dead.” If Jesus is living in a person and the person yields to His commands, they will act and perform good works.

In fact, the Bible commands Christians to be “perfect, as [God] is perfect”, an incredibly high bar and I am far from it. In no way do I want anyone to think I have a “holier than thou” attitude because that is about as far from I think as can be.

You must understand, Sloan, that if one accepts the doctrine that a person who has not accepted Christ as his saviour, one is bound for eternal punishment you will understand why the primary objective of Christians must be the salvation message. That is what is eternal. But of course often the best way to “preach” salvation is by having people see your good works.

Pastor Carey’s message last Sunday was “There are no altar calls in Hell.” I.e., no chance for salvation after one’s death.

But let me talk about the Glad Tidings service today. Just parenthetically it started from a song by Marshall Downs. Wow, is his singing incredible! He could be a professional IMO.

GT had been running a food program last year but its food supplies ran out. Well, Dr.J.C. started by announcing that G.T. will be re-instituting its food program in January thanks to a generous $10,000 contribution from Publix. He attributed the donation to His prayers for assistance in the food program. He stated that God had promised him that whatever he prayed for (in accordance with Scripture) at the G.T, altar, inJesus name, that his prayer would be answered. G.T. will be practicing one of Jesus’ commands through this food program.

Now I scanned the Assemblies weekly magazine before service and came across an interview with the head of a Christian adoption service whose family has adopted special needs children. Perhaps what caught my eye was his statement that orphaned children easily fall victim to AIDS, poverty and trafficking. But I thought you might appreciate this Q & A:

Evangel magazine: How have christians confused achieving the American dream of material wealth with biblical mandates of social justice? Sloan, isn’t this at least terribly close to what you are stating?

Pastor Johnny Carr: God didn’t put us here to live out the American dream in as easy a life as we can possibly live. He put us here to enjoy Him and to make him known. That means entering into other person’s lives, entering into other people’s pain. In the story of the good Samaritan, the religious leaders of the day didn’t stop to help the injured man. The Samaritan had compassion when he saw the beaten man on the side of the road. He knew it wasn’t right for him to pass by. He took a huge risk by stopping to help. It was a dangerous road. The robbers could have been waiting to also beat up the Samaritan. Life is risky. So many of us want to live as comfortably as we possibly can. God has not called us to live comfortably. He has called us to be in real community with one another. To do that it’s going to get messy and risky.

**********

Thanks for listening as I know you will.

I replied:

Oh, so now to be saved, you have to be a born again Christian, as opposed to being a Christian all of your life?

I remember John Carey’s church before he was there, back in Pastor Ernie deLoach’s day, feeding us homeless people every Sunday afternoon at Higgs Beach on the bay side across Atlantic Blvd. Not infrequently we were preached down to by Glad Tidings personnel before they fed us.

One time, we were told, if we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we no longer would be homeless. I hollered, there’s been quite enough of that talk; nearly everyone here did that already, some did it several times, and we are homeless! That shut the blasphemers up.

Another time, I hollered, what’s wrong with being homeless? Jesus was homeless! That shut the blasphemers up, except for a young pastor named Mark who came over to me after I had been served and was eating, grateful for the meal, and asked me where I ever got the idea that Jesus was homeless? Right out of the Gospels, I said. Mark said the Gospels don’t say Jesus was homeless. I said Jesus himself said in the Gospels that he was homeless. Surely you know where that is in the Gospels, I said. Mark said where in the Gospels? I said where the man came to Jesus and said he wanted to follow Jesus and Jesus told the man what that would be like: The foxes have their dens, the birds have their nests, and the son of man has no where to lay down his head. Mark said that passage did not mean Jesus was homeless. I said it meant just that. Mark said Jesus had a home where he could stay if he wanted to. I said where was that? Mark said Jesus could stay in his mother’s home. I said show me that in the Gospels; in fact, Jesus clearly did not care much for his mother in the Gospels, he spoke poorly to and of her.

I told Mark at his later going away party at Glad Tidings that I believed God indeed had called him into the ministry, but he was just getting started and he would be sorely tested and, for his sake, he should not turn away. I could have added the person Mark then was would die and a new person entirely would emerge if he did not turn away. Mark believed he already was born again, but he was only just getting started with that ordeal.

Jesus’ disciples, for example, went through the born again experience when he was teaching them; they were stripped of everything. They walked away from everything. They were taught to view everything differently from the way they had before. The were taught to behave differently from the way they had before. And yet, even when Jesus left them, they were not yet born again in the Spirit. They were still superstitious, quarreling, egotistical children. Only after the Holy Spirit invaded them at Pentecost and began to lead them did they become new men entirely. Only then were they born again, and even then it was provisional and they knew it; they knew they could go back to their old ways, they knew they could forfeit what they had been given by the grace of God of them being selected by Jesus and not others.

Saul of Tarsus was apprehended by Jesus from the spirit on the road of Damascus. Saul was persecuting Christians and dragging them before the Roman authorities and having them executed if they did not renounce Jesus. Paul was not born again on the road to Damascus. He was arrested. he was put into jail. While in jail, he was transformed by angels of the Lord. When he emerge from jail, he was born again. Some of his transformation is reported in Acts of the Apostles, as is some of Peter’s transformation. These men, and women, were in direct communion with angels of the Lord all the time, Tim. They lived in the spirit and in their bodies at the same time. They were in this world and not in it, in it and not of it. They were born again.

You have had such an experience? Do you know anyone who has had such an experience? Actually, you do, Tim. The Letter to the Hebrews was written to Jewish followers of Jesus who were falling away because the going for them was so rough, so steep, so hot. The author rebuked them for still drinking milk, instead of eating meat; for not being teachers. The author rebuked them for falling away. The author warned them of the grave peril they faced if they did not return to the path on which they had set out with Jesus at their helm.

You, Tim, John Carey, and lots of Christians, including Catholics, Mormons, and other Christ-claiming sects, will see when you leave this life that God is not nearly so selective and exclusive as you had thought when you lived on this world. You will see along side of you, Jews, Unitarians, Muslims, New Agers, Wiccans, Pagans, Buddhists, Taoists, Shintoists, Zens, aborigines, atheists, believers and non-believers. You will see what you cannot now see because of your programming. Then will you start to be born again, in the true sense, as opposed the the sense you wrote to me, which is Christian doctrine not understood by most Christians.

An excellent movie on someone being born again is “Brother Sun Sister Moon”, which is about Francis of Assisi’s death and resurrection, so to speak, and then his spiritual training, which leads him to the jumping off place of his becoming of real use to God. It’s a wonderful treatment. As is, for those more deep into being apprehended and changed by the Spirit, the movie “Stigmata”.

God is everywhere, Tim. God is not exclusive. God’s angels are working in Glad Tidings, as is Lucifer. That duet is going on in every church, in every religion. It is going on in every person, in every family, in every community, in every society, in every government, in every nation. I wish you’d had my experiences, Tim, but since you have not, you cannot see what I see, you cannot hear what I hear, you cannot sense what I sense.

I once was very much like you, Tim. I was not a bad person, but I had done some bad things. I finally realized I was not going to make it if God did not help me. So, I asked God to help me, and almost as an afterthought, I offered my life to human service. Ten days later, Jesus and Archangel Michael came to me in the nighttime and woke me up, I saw them hovering above me in the darkness, and said to me (I did not yet know who they were, I just knew they were angels), “This will push you to your limits but you asked for it (I remembered the prayer I had made) and we are going to give it to you.” I was struck by lightning. Spiritual lightning. I saw the bright flash. My soul and my body lurched. I was struck by lighting again. I was struck my lightning again. The two beings dissolved into nothingness.

That, Tim, was the beginning of my being born again. That, Tim, was my road to Damascus experience. My arrest. What followed was my jail time, being changed, and changed, and changed, and changed, and it was awful, and sometimes it was beautiful, and it was terrible, and sometimes it was wonderful, and it was terrifying, and sometimes it was heavenly, and it went on and on and on, and it’s still going on and on and on, as it did for Paul, and I expect it to continue to go on and on and on, as it did for Peter, and James, and their fellow disciples, including the women disciples not mentioned in the new Testament very much. As it went on and on for Francis of Assisi, as it went on and on for Mother Teresa.

I’m describing people who are known in history, who were born again in the Spirit, Tim. Not in an instant, but in an ongoing baptism in fire and spirit, which John the Baptist and Jesus both said in the Gospels was Jesus’ baptism. Christianity has made being born again in the Spirit into something alien to Jesus, Peter, James, Magdalene, Paul. Christianity has made being born again in the Spirit into something Lucifer likes immensely.

My sense, Tim, is you perhaps are on the verge of being taken into the baptism in fire and Spirit. The young pastor Mark was on the verge when he was at Glad Tidings. I know from reports I later heard of him that he was being roughed up, tested. I don’t know how that went for him after I stopped hearing reports about him. Such a thing is not of this world. It is not something a person can cause to happen. It is administered from the Spirit by angels of the Lord. A person has no say so over how it goes after it begins. A person has no clue where it is going. No person knows where it is going for another person.

However, this probably is okay to say, as Jesus said it to his disciples in the Gospels – something like, except as a man hates his mother and his father and this brother and his sister and his children and his wife and even his own life, he cannot be my (Jesus’) disciple. By hate, Jesus meant the influence those people had on the men, and on the women, he had picked to teach the ways of God. Jesus did not mean to hate those people in the human sense of hate. Au contraire, Jesus meant to love them but not be controlled by them; to leave them behind and follow him into the Unknown and the Unknowable. To be born again, literally, without dying physically, although often that seemed like it would be more enjoyable.

What you keep preaching, Tim, is what you were taught as a boy by people who believed it. What I keep preaching, Tim, is what I was taught by Jesus, Michael, Melchizedek and others in their circle they let have at me, mostly by my being dragged and carried through it, and to some degree by them explaining it to me when I needed an explanation to keep me from going totally insane or killing myself because I couldn’t take any more of it.

Sloan

The last time I attended Glad Tidings before John Carey came there, Ernie deLoach told his congregation they were “the choicest of the choicest of the chosen.” I got up and walked out shortly afterward. I did not go back until couple of months ago, after I’d had lunch with Tim and John Carey. I attended one service. I felt John was a lot farther down the road than Ernie, but I felt John was still very much stuck in church being required to get into heaven, and the Bible being essential to getting into heaven, and only Christians get into heaven, and I knew all of that was not true. I did not believe it was not true, I knew it was not true. John is still operating largely from belief mixed with some direct experiences with the Spirit. I am operating from direct ongoing experience with supernatural beings, which most Christians would call angels of the Lord. I simply call them by the names they gave me to call them: Jesus, Michael, Magdalene-Melchizedek.

I know many people think I’m nuts, and others think I’m demon-possessed, and I know they need to view me that way, because if I am not that way, then they are what they think I am. I could care less what they think about me. I worry ongoing what God thinks about me, though, which I think would be a good idea for everyone to be doing, but Christians don’t seem to worry about what God thinks of them because they are saved because the Bible says so. Actually, the Bible says no such thing. Actually, the Bible repeatedly speaks of how to walk with God and how not to walk with God, and you see in the Bible only a few people of the cast or many who walked with God.

Even so, based on what I’ve been told by the angels running me, a lot more people than I figured would get to heaven after they died, got there, and so far I have not been told of anyone who went to hell even for a little while, much less forever. Leaves me feeling God is infinitely more tolerant of human beings than human beings are, and it leaves me feeling an awful lot of Christians, Catholics and members of other other Jesus-based sects are going to be really surprised to learn when their roles, er, rolls are called up yonder, that God looks into people’s hearts and observes what they do, and why, and on that evidence are they measured, and not on what they might believe, or not believe, which might have been programmed into them when they were so young there was nothing they could do but believe it.

I bet they are going to have to sit down and catch their breath after they are told that the mysterious thorn in the flesh of St. Paul, who condemned homosexuality as an abomination, quoting Leviticus just about verbatim, himself was a homosexual, albeit perhaps a celibate one after his arrest and jailing. I bet they also are going to have to sit down and catch their breath after they are told that God did not create human beings to be celibate, they were created to have sex, and furthermore, God did not create marriage, it, too, was created by human beings, and when young men and women passed through puberty, they were ready to have sex, breed, produce offspring and raise them. All of which human beings perverted in the name of God, or in the name of something.

In fact, the most remarkable love story in human history, perhaps because it is so well hidden by Christendom, whose all-He god trinity surely must be homosexual, is that of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, and the child they had, whose bloodline now spans this world, and those people with her blood in their veins do not feel like they are from or belong on this planet, but they do the best they can here, which tends to be … different. Aw come on, if Magdalene washed Jesus’ feet with her hair and tears and she anointed him with precious ointment she scarce could afford, what do you imagine she washed and anointed him with when they were in private?

Best for Christendom to focus on Jesus and the Gospels, and not on Paul, who never laid eyes on the man, Jesus.

Sloan at Coco'sSloan in collarSloan with troll

keysmyhome@hotmail.com

You should be able to reach today’s grinder pump war post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com by clicking on that link today, and by clicking on this link at anytime:  tidal shifts and Acts of God in the garden of good and evil: Heisman Trophy voting, Florida Keys Cudjoe regional sewer district, 500 polluted canals in the Florida Keys

About Sloan

Darn, that would take a while. Try the autobiographical pages in the header. Ditto for header menu pages at www.goodmorningbirmingham.com. Hatched and raised there, eventually I ran away from home. Here's a short list: Born 1942; male; single; accused of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things, perhaps some true. Live on Key West of Weird asteroid. Publish something most days on this website, been at that since July 2007. That's heaps of catch-up reading, probably not recommended.
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