Magic Trixter FoX

Magic Trixter FoX

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Why Doesn't God Stop all the Evil?

The question is usually asked, "If God is supposedly so good why does He not intervene when all the horrible things happen?  Why does He allow child molestation to continue if He is supposedly invisible, in that very room, and powerful enough to somehow stop it?  Why does He, Himself, seemingly condone war and slavery in the Bible?  Subjugation of women in the Qur'an?  Infanticide?  Earthquakes?  Famines?"   And Believers often fall back on some version of "Because Free Will."  That answer doesn't usually satisfy right away.  But it is the right answer.  We just need to think it through.  In other words, here's my version of "Because Free Will."

If you were God, and you wanted to create a perfect universe, you would do it.  Obviously, you would stop the suffering and the cruelty if you had unlimited power.  But no!  God, on the other hand, did not create a perfect Universe, when He very well could have. Where does He get off?  What He created instead was a free Universe, and that, my friend, is why He is God, and you are not.  As wonderful as a perfect Universe sounds, a free Universe is much better.  And I will explain why.

What is a Free Cosmos?  Is it not a Wild Cosmos?  Yes, when a Christian asserts that "God gave us free will," and that annoys you, I want you to try and think, instead, of a lion on the Savannah, gnawing on a wildebeest calf, and replace God gave us free will with God made us wild.  The truth is that every single being in the cosmos gets almost unlimited freedom to choose their reaction to any stimuli they encounter.  Parents are not supernaturally restrained from choosing to abuse their children, or romantic partners to abuse each other or betray each other.  No one is supernaturally restrained from any choice, seemingly, and when you reflect on this fact you must understand this does not apply only to humans.  Ants tear apart beetles.   Parasites rip apart colons.  Insects sometimes consume their mates immediately following intercourse, actually sometimes animals eat their own children.  No being is restrained from making any choice, and this basic built-in fact about the Cosmos is what makes it free and it indicates something very important about the character of God.

At the Big Bang, God essentially opened His eyes, after a long meditation.  The Bhagavad Gita (of Hinduism) has this really neat concept, that there is both Day and Night in the Universe, and in the Daytime, Brahman is awake, and emanating from the consciousness of Brahman are all the individual consciousnesses of the gods and goddesses.  During that Day, the Universe exists.  In the Night, however, the Universe implodes and is dissolved into nothingness.  That nothingness, however, is still inside of God's Being.  God exists before the Big Bang and after the Big Crunch.  "And earth was formless and void, and the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters" describes this (Genesis 1:2), and the idea is also found in ancient Mesopatamian and Canaanite and Egyptian paganism.  God resided over primeval chaos.

In Christianity, God never sleeps, and also, He is One.  But I see those differences as cultural, not doctrinal.  I imagine that God goes into deep periods of meditation (formless chaos), and when He opens His eyes, the Big Bang occurs and the Universe gets spread out over space and time.  As it expands, God's own consciousness is entering into it, like His eyesight.  The Universe is God's field of vision opening up before Him.     In the West we have this huge debate about creation versus evolution, but it doesn't make sense at all to an Eastern mind because creation and evolution are the same exact thing.  The Bhagavad Gita calls God "the Evolver of the Universe."  So rather than thinking of God as having made some machine and set down all these rules about how His Creation was supposed to behave,, a more correct way of thinking of God synthesizes East and West and sees God as entering into His Creation and experiencing it as though He is along for the ride.  Incarnating on a cosmic level.

But there is more to it than just that, because the Earth herself is a living Being, and a wild creature.
Beyond that, if we could perceive it, the whole Universe is a living Being, and a wild creature.
What God really created with His stream of consciousness, was not a machine, but a companion.  The Universe itself is the Divine Feminine, God's wife.  And She can be personified on any level - as the whole Universe (think Tiamat), or as the Earth (think Gaia), or as the nation of Israel (Jehovah's Bride), or as the Church (the Bride of Christ), or as the wife in any marriage (sacramental marriage), or as the goddess in every woman (Paganism).  She is real, and God is mad in love with Her, and so God allows Her to do as She pleases.  He doesn't lay a finger on her right to choose exactly what she does.  Now, there are Angels, such as, for example, the "Angel of the Lord"  (the God of the Old Testament) who take it upon themselves to try and promulgate laws for humanity, and moral codes. The Old Testament God, the one who spoke to Moses, the one who made the crazy rules about diets and beards and menstrual periods, was not the same as the Creator, but was an "Angel (Messenger) of the Lord."  The text itself tells you that, and this Angel was a free, wild being too.

Every single creature God has made, even the Devil, and even you, whatever your gender, is a part of God's Divine Companion.  So everyone is Free.

Consider this rhyme riddle:
"Here on Planet Earth, every soul is free.
I have no power over you.
You have none over me."

Really, that is the Eden model.  That is how God originally intended it.  He gave us the freedom to be as free as He is and decide exactly what to stand for and who to be in each moment of our existence. Even if our choices endanger or threaten others, of whom we are all in a state of interbeing with, whether we know it or not.  God allows His Companion to be full of myriad individual turmoils because He fundamentally is allowing His Creation to be herself and choose to cause suffering or not.
Now let's think about doing it your way, instead, creating the perfect Universe.  Everyone would be much more comfortable, right?  They would know that anytime they inadvertently thought of some way to take advantage of someone else, anytime they had a new idea which, unbeknownst to them, would actually create suffering in the cosmos, that God would just zap them and physically restrain them and keep them in a state of innocence so that no one suffers.  It wouldn't suck at all to just live out a script, live out a trillion do's and don'ts.  (I'm being sarcastic.)  It would suck a lot!  Why does it seem trite to suggest that without the freedom to fuck up we would just be a big mechanical robot?  Why aren't we satisfied with the idea that God wanted to create a Bride and not a robot?  Why do we so undervalue the fact that its a Free Cosmos and want this hypothetical perfect cosmos instead?

If you really think that a perfect cosmos would be better than a Free Cosmos, let's talk about wildlife management.  Throughout the world, there are many wildlife preserves and nature refuges.   Human beings have the power, through technology, to police everyone of these wild places and keep the animals from killing each other, or from fucking each other too much.   We can distribute much needed medicines when the wild animals get sick.  We can give them all flea treatments, or better yet, we can invent a way to relocate all the fleas off the animals and sustain them in some cruelty-free environment, I'm sure.  I'm sure we can use little robots to help sea turtle hatchlings get to the sea before seagulls snatch them away.  There are a thousand improvements we could make on Nature!

Human beings are Animals.  Animals of all species are, and should be, free.  It is not the business of a good environmentalist to police natural predators or to interfere with the day-to-day lives of animals.  It is the business of a good environmentalist to love Nature and let Nature be herself, restraining only the impact of humans.   It is the business of a good God to do the same, for the entire cosmos.

Yes, He allows wars and famine and child molestation.  He allowed Lucifer himself to fall from heaven and deceive the whole world.  He is more than willing to let the Universe careen out of control.  He is very "hands off."  But by no means does that imply He doesn't love us.

In Christianity, God promises to rescue Creation at last.  He promises Eternity.  He promises being with Him.   He promises Rest, Reward, Redemption.  He promises delight and bliss.  He showed his commitment to rescuing us by the symbol of the crucifixion.   Through the crucifixion, and even more broadly, through the entire life of Jesus as the Incarnation, and even more generally, by being an indwelling consciousness looking out from every eye, God experiences suffering alongside us.  He feels the pain of every victim as His own pain because His consciousness is fully within the Universe.  He is wedded to His Bride in an Eternal way and He knows Her and feels Her intensely.  He shares Her pain to its fullest extent.  He also promises to rescue Her through the Eschaton   The Second Coming, the Millennium of Peace, the New Heavens and the New Earth.

If you are an Atheist and you are cynical about Christianity, and if some of the ideas above are new to you or if they give you pause, I want you to consider the doctrine of universal reconciliation.  I want you to reconsider all this hell talk, as are a lot of Christians.  Yes, the Bible talks about hell.  But does it ever say that it is eternal?  The Bible doesn't even say that heaven is eternal.   "Heaven and Earth shall pass away," it says, actually.  Nothing is Eternal except for this marriage between God and His Bride, whom He Himself Created, or Evolved (or did He?  Maybe they are Evolving and Creating each other).

This is a broad view, and if you will entertain it, you will find that it may answer a few other questions as well.   For example, Christianity gets a lot of flack because of similarities between it and ancient pagan mythologies.  Christianity is seen as plagiarizing the other cultures.  I disagree with this assessment vehemently.   I think both Christianity and all the various indigenous paganisms of the world all told the truth about the same basic facts: that God was married to His Creation.   This is how you got Baal and his consort Asherah.  In really old Judaism (Yahwism to be more precise, before the Temple was built), Yahweh also had a consort: Shekinah.  Then in the Jewish nationalism of Temple Judaism and Torah Judaism, Israel herself becomes the Bride of Elohim.  In Christianity, the Church becomes the Bride of Christ.

To really understand why God allows suffering we have to count as primary to the being of God that He wants a love relationship with the Universe.   He wants an equal.  Through His Love we do in fact become His Equal in Eternity.  We become part of His Very Body.  That is what Eucharist means: sharing His very flesh, Him sharing ours.   In the same way that Rain and Sun became Wine and Bread, Wine and Bread become Blood and Flesh, and God becomes Us.  We become God.  We are conformed into His Mind.  We Become At-One.  This process will assuredly make up for every single injustice.  Things eventually swing out of the darkness and into the light.   The Universe enters a period of Perfection.    There is Day and Night also in the Universe.  Long term thinking is: the advantage is the Night of the Universe, God is no longer sleeping Alone, and neither are we.  We hooked up.   God's getting laid.   Its not God and His Robot Universe which He refuses to fix.   Its God and his lovely Lady embracing together at the end point of Eternity, like-minded, equally powerful and real and entire, and in love.

 "All good things are wild and free." - Henry David Thoreau

“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion." "Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion"..."Safe?" said Mr Beaver ..."Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.”  - C.S.  Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

"He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.”  - C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Stop the Clock

Stop the Clock, its the End Times
Not enough minutes left to see the Design
How can I perceive?
What should I believe?
About God, Hell, Eternity?  No guarantees.
To try and make up my mind
While on this side of the grave
Takes a whole lot of unknowing,
Takes a whole lot of brave.
I just want to see Justice.
I just want to see Peace.
But who do I cheer for?
The punks or police?
Marriage equality or the book of Leviticus?
When I stand before God,
I hope I've done my due diligence.
I hope my conclusions are completely sincere.
And I hope that His judgments are kind, not severe.
I hope for a Kingdom of Joy and of Plenty,
I hope that the Voice I hear inside is not empty.
Because war could be coming,
and I'm still so young.
My life as a father has only begun.
I admit I don't know much,
I admit I need help.
I'm just trusting in Jesus
And doubting myself.
But is Jesus on my side?
Am I on His?
I confess to Him daily.
Is more needed than this?
Sometimes I cannot believe He accepts me.
And yet
He responds when I call Him.
And I can't forget
The many blessings He's given.
My wife and my boys.
Direct answers to prayers.
My heart's deepest joys.
I'm thankful!
And seek only
To honor these gifts.
And so as the Earth turns,
As the World shifts,
As everything changes,
To just this I'll cling:
The kind, lowly Jesus
Rules Everything.
His eyes are on the poor,
His heart is only Love,
His hands are grace and mercy.
Christ please come from Above
And show your poor church and your world how to act.
We'll believe You at last,
On the day You come back.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ISIS and the End of the Age

If You are considering the possibility that we may be living in 'the End Times' - whatever that means to You, then I, the FoX, have something to say.  There have always been at least two different major narratives about How the World Will End presented at any given time.  For the purposes of this essay, I will argue that one leads to hatred and warmongering, while another one seeks reconciliation.

Throughout the Age of the Church (the Day of Christ's Resurrection until Now), Believers have expected the End of the Age.  Usually, regardless of other doctrinal differences between the denominations, Christians have been unified in a hope for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  "What will be the Time of His Coming?" and "What are the Signs of His Coming?" are questions often debated amongst Christians.  Some teach that a 'Rapture' of believers from the Earth will happen, either before or during the worst of the Great Tribulation.  Others do not teach this.  But in that diversity, the hope of Christ's Return is universally shared among Christians.  I, the FoX, strongly share this Hope.

It should be noted that one other Religion also expects what Christians expect: Muslims are expecting the return of Jesus. Keeping this fact in mind when talking about Christian eschatology can be very interesting, because often times, Christians and Muslims deeply suspect each other as being on the side of Anti-Christ during the Seven Year Tribulation Period.  It is, however, highly unlikely that the Anti-Christ will be universally accepted by either religion and universally rejected by the other.  The Bible declares that "If it were possible, they [false Christs and false prophets] would deceive even the very elect." (Matthew 24:24).  Therefore, whoever the Anti-Christ is or will be, it is much more reasonable to expect that he will have supporters and detractors from both religions.  We must be far wiser than this tribal thinking if we are to discern the times we are living in. 

 A good resource is the site, which indexes many Islamic blogs specifically relating to the return of Jesus Christ.  Browsing through it can give unfamiliar Christians a glance at just how Muslims relate to Jesus Christ.  Despite a refusal to share the Christian conviction that Jesus Christ is One with God the Father, Muslims do place a great deal of respect upon the figure of Jesus.  They believe that he was a prophet of God, one of 124,000 throughout history beginning with Adam and ending with Muhammad.  Among the Islamic prophets, however, Muhammad is unique for being the final prophet, and Jesus is unique for being the Messiah.  Islam teaches that Jesus is the Messiah, meaning the rightful leader of the 'Ummah' or community of Israel.   Islam teaches that the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah, but promotes the idea that when Jesus returns, the Jews will embrace him.

Right now across the Middle East and in North Africa, Christians are being slaughtered by ISIS.  It is not the first or the only time, by a long shot, that Islamist groups have terrorized Christians, but it is certainly the most brutal contemporary example.  ISIS beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians on the beaches of Tripoli, Libya earlier this month and just a few days ago, the same group captured 90 Assyrian Christians whom they likely intend to execute.  The way that I view the eschaton, Jesus' return could happen at any time, and then again, it could happen in another thousand years.  It is important to remember that Jesus' original twelve disciples fully expected Jesus to return in their own lifetime, and every faithful Christian has thought the same ever since.  As the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, the eschaton is suspended until God alone decides that the End has come.

Because the End could come at any time, there are always actors in the World who are legitimately on the side of an apocalyptic, demonic Evil.   I, the FoX, am betting that You agree with me, and that it is plain to see this spirit at work in ISIS.  On Facebook I have noted comments in which people doubt the humanity of ISIS militants.  The fact that they can smile as they kill is cited as demonic.  I have no doubt that when such extreme acts of violence are committed, they open up the hearts of the killers to a host of demonic influence and activity.  I have no doubt that ISIS militants have become dehumanized through their own activities and are now firmly in Satan's intense psychological and spiritual grip.  Islam has a teaching that at the End Times, there will be many false Muslims in the World, and that inexplicably they will all be one day turned into apes.  But I decry the response of some Americanized Christians, who become so indignant against the ISIS militants that they begin spewing murderous or jingoist rhetoric.  The idea that 'Obama should go in and stop them' or that it is shameful if he does not is the same kind of thinking which enabled a corrupt war for profit to be started under our noses during the Bush era.  "When all you've got is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail,"so the saying goes.  Americans tend to think every problem requires a military response.

Be mindful of that.  It was not so long ago (2013) that Obama himself tried to sell us on a war with Syria, not fighting ISIS, but fighting alongside them against the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  There's an anti-Christ for you, by the way: well at the very least, a war criminal.  Bashar al-Assad had imprisoned nearly 200,000 people for opposing his rule and by some accounts, was demanding to be worshiped as a god.  He responded to protest against his regime during the Arab Spring with strikes on civilians.  President Barack Obama tried to highlight his crimes and justify strikes against Syria in a message to the American people in 2013.  But the American people responded resoundingly that they did not want to get into another war.  Pope Francis called on Christians around the world to pray and fast for peace.  Millions did.  And we did not go to war with Assad.  But about a year later, we started really fighting alongside him against ISIS, an even worse threat.  I detect in the recurring temptations of America to war, something that is also demonic.  Because repeatedly, the Americanized Christian response to sensitive and ancient hostilities brewing in the lands of the Bible is to try and sort it out with bombs and guns.  Repeatedly, this response has proven to not be the right one.

My own falling out of line with Evangelical Christianity happened at around the time that Bush authorized U.S. troops to invade Iraq in 2003.  Because it was obvious to me that nothing linked the nation of Iraq to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 - if anything we should have been going to war with Saudi Arabia since most of the hijackers that day were Saudi - I protested the War.  Within my Evangelical circle of friends, I was repeatedly told that this War against Iraq had something to do with the End Times and that as a Christian I should support the President who was standing up to those evil Muslims.  Finer points about Middle Eastern politics were ignored, let alone finer points about Christian and Islamic eschatology.  Fast forward a few years, and it is now widely accepted that the Iraq War had nothing to do with the End Times or even with stopping terrorism.  The Iraq we "liberated" from Saddam is now a failed state and no weapons of destruction were ever found.  The Iraq War only fueled terrorism.  But now Americanized Christianity wants to charge off into the Middle East again.

If these are indeed the End Times, (and I believe that they are), I think we should start to long for the things Christ himself would long for. We should want there to be peace and justice in the Middle East, and we should respond with prayer for the nations of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Jordan, Saudi Arabia.  I believe that if we are praying heartfully for these nations we will be less interested in taking the American War Machine to each and every one of them.  We should pray for the conversion of militants.  ISIS members are not so dehumanized that we cannot pray for their conversion.   The Apostle Paul started off as an anti-Christian militant.  He was converted by the death of a martyr.  "The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church," Tertullian said.  So although the number of the slain witnesses for Jesus continues to fill up under Heaven's altar each passing day, what this should mean to us in safe, comfortable America is not that it is time to go to War, but that it is time to watchfully and lovingly pray.   There can be no substitute for loving our enemies and praying for them daily.  So I the FoX am calling on You to turn from warmongering and turn to Love through Prayer.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Prayer for Wisdom in 2015

This is my Prayer, uttered while a-wading in The River of January, 2015.

"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding."
 - Proverbs 4:7

It is Wisdom that I covet most.
I have a Wise Reason for Wishing Wisdom
 into the World, and into the Year,
For I am myself a Fool,
and it is Fools alone who have Wisdom.
And I am set out to gain Wisdom.
I ween that from Wisdom,
 all lesser Wishes follow.
King Solomon himself
 was given, you'll recall,
besides Wisdom,
Long Life and Honor:
and Health, and Fame,
and Fortune.
May all these Gifts B.E. for Y.O.U.
a Blessing Seized
In the coming Year.
But Most Importantly,
Get Understanding.

Environmental Understanding.   I wish to know the fate of ......
Keystone XL!  Our irresponssible Congresspersons have passed this climate-killin', oil-spillin' Pipedream using ample muscle from both parties, because of Corporate money and media manipulation, despite widespread opposition to the project.   POTUS has promised to veto this Pipedream, and just a few nights ago badmouthed it in the State of the Union address.  That is Good News!  And I pray that President Barack Obama fulfills that promise.  And yet I know that even when he does, we will still have to fight with an enormous Beast on the issue.

Social Understanding.  I need to know what is happening in...

the whole wide World!     In Syria, Palestine, Ukraine, Iraq, China, North Korea, Lebanon, France, Japan, India, Greece, Turkey, Nigeria, Mexico, and yes, in the United States.  What is going on with this Human Suffering?  I can see indeed that these are Troublous Times.  I Ask, & Ttrust God to Deliver all prisoners, all wartorn, all captured, all maimed, all radiated, all tortured, all enslaved, all embittered, all indigent, all cast out, all dispossessed, all oppressed, all kidnaped, all raped, all murdered, all exploited, all deforested, all polluted.   These are the Tribulations of the World, and I feel them with my Family.

Spiritual Understanding.  I pray to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

On Earth, we are all on Holy Ground.  The Earth is the Lord's, and it will be His Justice that outs in the End. In this Time we're living through, all is Uncertain, and none are immune to the coming of Tribulation.  Storm Clouds are Gathering, indeed, as the YouTube user stormcloudsgathering has been ably pointing out.  May the Lord Deliver us from that Fate!  May He help us to Alter an inhumane course in the curve of History.  Fate & Destiny BOTH exist, I believe, and this is illustrated by the Scriptural paradox found in these verses:             "My times are in your hands," (Psalm 31:15)
             "It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31).

In Prayer, I believe we can successfully calls on God, who holds Time, to alter the very flow of Events unfolding. No bad things are inevitable.  The World doesn't have to End at all.

  "Come quickly, Lord Jesus" is not, I don't think, a prayer for Rapture or Escape.  It is a plea for the Second Coming!  It is a plea that wrongs may be righted.  It is not a prayer that Christians pray hoping to escape the Earth, but one they pray on behalf of the Earth and all its Souls, for Deliverance, Power, Glory, Justice, Equity, Redemption.... even Resurrection.

Personal Understanding.  I would like to know how I may be of the best use.
No one Person can do everything which pulls upon them to do.  My first estate is to love and care and teach my Children, and to Shine with my Wife.  I pray to honor my Parents also.  To uplift my Brothers.  I pray to stand up as a Man against injustice in the World.  To make a difference in the World, to provoke thought, to respond carefully, to be open, involved, accessible.  I pray to be useful and humble, I pray that I may be quick to offer succor when I am able to offer it.   I pray that I may be able to offer it.  I pray to be energetic, attentive, active and creative.  And I do solemnly swear that I need the Lord's Help.  I Need the Help of the Lord, I Need the Help of the Lord... I have made this my constant prayer, and I must keep it...
because "Without me it is certain that you can do nothing." is what I'm hearing the Lord reply.

Wisdom is the Principal Thing.

And you know, another very Bold, Clever, Fearless Of X creature is the F.O.X.!  
So in my Environmental, Social, Spiritual, adn Personal Understandings I will continue to learn from my
Teacher Of True Earth Magic
which is the spirit of the FoX in the Garden of Eden.
Mayhaps a FoX might steal in unawares, into the chancels of the Elite, and play some Trick upon them.  
For you must know that the heart of a FoX is true.  And prayer, I believe, of a Man, avails much.