To receive email from Rev. Rick Root,
add pastor.rick@flintspiritual.com to your safe sender list.
View as Web Page Subscribe Send to a Friend Preferences
The Flint Spiritual Church
 
The March 2010 eNewsletter of The FSC

Lord, Make Me A Blessing

  
By Rev. Rick Root
 
 
Jesus said, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. (44) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (45) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven:"  Matthew 5:43-45 KJV
 
Most of us have prayed at one time or other, “Lord, make me a blessing”. I'd been praying along this line for several months when a holy spirit said to me, “If you really want to be a blessing, then secretly1 bless every person you meet with the full integrity of your heart, and do this for thirty days.” It seemed like I was being challenged to do this. So I decided to take up that challenge, and it became a journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth.
 
I had a basic understanding of what this spirit had asked me to do; If I did this, I couldn't do it half- hearted, but had to throw myself fully into it. I started the next day.
 
The first few days were easy as I blessed this person with healing or that person with prosperity, or another with a peaceful home, whatever I perceived they needed. At the time of this journey I didn't have the understanding of the blessing that I have now. Those things, and more, are just the fruits of the blessing, not the blessing itself. Then the spirit said, “Your duty is to bless with the full integrity of your heart: Leave the what, where, when and how up to God.” In other words, God's way, God's time, God's place and to His purpose.
 
I renewed my journey with this new understanding, and left it fully up to God while I got into that place where I knew God's blessing would fall when I said in my heart, “God bless you” or simply “God Bless"2. It may have been my state of spiritual consciousness, but the next few days were easy.
 
Then it seemed like I was confronted with all the “issues” of my heart. Attitudes and judgments, even secret judgments (ones that I didn't know I was making), rose up to block the integrity of my heart. I had to forgive others and myself. I had to overcome inner attitudes like anger and other things, no matter how justified I felt my attitudes to be. I found it amazing how even the simple things such as finding someone attractive or unattractive could block the integrity of the heart. It seemed like this journey had become very hard, as I had to put to work everything I knew about the application of spiritual law. But I was resolved to see this journey to the end, and would not leave a person's energy until I had got to that place, even just momentarily, where I had the full integrity of my heart in the blessing.
 
Friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances; all would just come into my mind and I would set about overcoming my heart's issues so I could bless. As the days went by, I applied the practice of spiritual law to my heart, and it became easier. Toward the end of this journey, I was recognizing the block and yet overcoming it, in what seemed like the same breath. I was given a look at my own heart in ways that I had never seen before, and came to know myself even better. God looks upon the heart.
 
A few days before the end of the 30 days was up, this holy spirit came to me again and said, “this is the pathway to the greater works.”3 For you to fully comprehend this, I challenge you to take up this spiritual journey of 30 days. It will change your life.
 
Through this practice. you will begin to see the image of the heart of One who has truly mastered, (even if its' just momentarily), and you will see it in yourself.
 
Since the days of this spiritual journey, I naturally fall into secretly blessing with the full integrity of my heart when I'm walking in a high state of spiritual consciousness. But even though I know the heart of the One who has mastered, I still fall short of that high calling in Christ Jesus4.
 
Write us and tell us about your journey.
--------------------------------------------
 
1Matthew 6:5-6 KJV And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (6) But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
 
2Mark 11:22-25 KJV And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. (23) For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. (24) Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (25) And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
 
3John 14:12 KJV Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
 
4Philippians 3:12-14 KJV (12) Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. (13) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, (14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 

These Three Things

 

Spirit and Spirituality

By Dennis Dunk
 
   Many people misunderstand what spirituality is.  If you ask around, you'll get a lot of vague answers with different opinions as to what it might be.  Spirituality is based on spirit, which is the form of energy that provides an activating or animating force and provides the drive for a human being.  Spirit is the essence of a person that is comprised of the essential parts of an individual humans' basic nature associated with the mind, will, and feelings.  Humans are a very complex combination of spiritual and material elements interacting with an ever-changing material world.  Everyone has a spirit that quietly guides their personal daily lives.  Spirits are individual beings that can influence other spirits.  
   Spirituality is the realization and application of spirit in connection to other spirits.  Spirits are not always easy to recognize, as not all spirits exist on the human plane of existence.  I could show the product of my spirit through such things as creativity and enthusiasm, but not my spirit itself.  Proving spirit exists using physical science is not easy, because spirit is a thing of thought and feeling, not a physical presence.  Emotion is something that a mind produces that people find easy to believe in without having a measurable quantity.  When you say "I Love You", there is an admission of feeling that there is something unseen that has a great and deep meaning.  Spirituality provides a personal connection to other spirits and to greater forces.  All things are connected by practically invisible energies.  Using the connection of spirituality for guidance and inspiration, makes life more pleasing and satisfying. 
   Spirituality provides the roots of all religion.  Religion is a set of beliefs, attitude and practices used on a personal basis and by organizations.  Religions provide an established foundation of beliefs based on the service and worship of an existence outside the natural world.  Religion introduces us to the greatest spirit, which most people refer to as God, and our connection through the Holy Spirit.  This is the spirit of Love.  Spirits are not all equal or the same.  Some spirits are good and promote well being through service to self and others.  Other spirits are based on self serving, being willing to take and use without giving back.  Religion recognizes a human connection to greater power that exists for the benefit of all; promoting goodwill, peace, and happiness.  Spirituality is being aware of our inner person and the greater purpose of our human existence.  We are here to learn, grow, and help take care of our planet.  Practicing spirituality can make this world a better place to be for all people.
 
Be Good to Each Other.
 
Dennis Dunk ©2010
Excerpts from The General Laws of Spirituality are used.
Please request permission to reprint this article

 

Do Unto Others....

 
By Rev. Suzanne Chase 
Clarkston, MI
 
Golden Light Spiritualist Church, I.S.A. 
White Lake, MI
 
  
 
 
   Reciprocity as defined in Webster's II:  "A mutual or co-operative interchange of favors; the exchange of rights or privileges."  Reciprocate:  "To give and take mutually; to make a return for something given or done; to be equivalent or complementary."The Law of Reciprocity is sometimes referred to as one of two things - "what you sow so shall you reap or what goes around comes around."  Upon further study however, perhaps this law could also be what is more commonly known in society today as "The Golden Rule."  The Golden Rule is basically endorsed by all organized religions.  Jesus, Confucius and Hillel used this in their teachings of the treatment of others and also moral truths.
   The religions of today may vary in their concept of a custom, belief or even their deities to worship, but there is a unanimous theme that prevails in the religious, ethical and philosophical systems.  This theme may vary in its language but the underlying current of the verbiage is the same:  that each person should be treated in a decent manner.  Thus we explore the ethics behind the Law of Reciprocity or for this purpose will be "The Golden Rule." 
   Almost all the secular and religious groups today have passages in their holy books, sacred writings or Bibles, regardless of the versions available in today's market.  The most common one in the Christian community is  called The Golden Rule.  The basis of this rule is "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." 
   This concept is not necessarily a religious one as much as it is a moral and ethical one; we all share in certain inherent human rights because we are all members of the same human race.  President John F. Kennedy and his appeal in 1963 gave us a good example of the non-religious use of the Golden Rule in his anti-segregation speech during the first enrollment in the University of Alabama and its first black students. During this speech President Kennedy asked Americans to consider what it would be like for them to be treated as second class citizens due to the color of their skin, he asked that they try to imagine being told they had no right to vote, they could not eat in a public restaurant or sit in just any seat of a bus.  He said..."We are confronted primarily with a moral issue.  It is as old as the scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution.  The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.  If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place?  Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay?"Clearly we do vary in gender, size, color, shape, race, intellect, ability, religion, socio and economic stations along with cultural and language differences, but we are also alike in the fact that we are all of the human race and as such there is a growing consensus that all of us are of equal importance,  We should all enjoy the same basic human rights and dignities.
   The United Nations has adopted the UDHR - Universal Declaration of Human Rights which is growing in its world consensus of how do we want to be treated if we were in the same situation.  This resolution #217 A (lll) was formerly adopted on December 10, 1948 in which it declares... "That human rights education, training and public information are essential for the promotion and achievement of stable and harmonious relations among communities and for fostering mutual understanding, tolerance and peace.  The Conference recommends that States should strive to eradicate illiteracy and should direct education towards the full development of the human personality and the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.  We call on all States and institutions to include human rights, humanitarian laws, democracy and rule of law as subjects in the curricula of all learning institutions in formal and non-formal settings."  Amnesty International on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of this declaration collected over 3 million signatures world wide in support of the UDHR.  Today in 2010 some 62 years later, it still holds just as true as it did in 1948.
   One of the problems with organized religions today is that this human right "do unto others" is many times not given to those outside of their own belief systems.  We all fall under what is commonly known as Natural Laws or Universal Laws.  These laws were put into place to govern our universe and all things in it.  Although this may be taught, the practice of this basic human right seems to be ignored or forgotten somewhere in much of today's society.  These natural Laws apply to everyone without prejudice to gender, race, religion, social or economic standings,etc., nor do they discriminate in any way.  The Natural/Universal Laws should be considered equal opportunity laws - they will and do affect everyone, everywhere, every time.
   Thus we come into the Law of Reciprocity or what is many times referred to as "what goes around comes around."  To apply this rule, we need to have imagination and knowledge.  We need to KNOW what the effect of our actions will be on the lives of others and IMAGINE ourselves in that other persons place at the end of such action.  Only with this knowledge and imagination can we progress to our highest and best levels.  There are two versions of the Golden Rule which say it very straight forward... Confucianism:  "Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you" and Socrates:  "Do not do to others that which would anger you if other did it to you."  The Golden Rule doesn't give us answers; it doesn't tell us right or wrong and certainly does not replace any oral codes nor is it infallible.  If your wish is to be treated in an unjust and undignified manner then so be it,  that is your choice.  The Golden Rule/ Law of Reciprocity only prescribes consistency - it tries to tell us how to be in harmony with our desires and thus with the universe as a whole.  It is a test, so to speak, of our own moral compasses.
   There are in the world religions today twenty one (21) versions of the Golden Rule.  The wording may vary but the message is the same.
 
Some of these versions are...
 
Baha'i:  "Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not."  "Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself."4
--------------------
"And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbor that which thou choosest for thyself."5
--------------------
Brahmanism: "this is the sum of Dharma (duty):  do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you."6
--------------------
Buddhism:  "A state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another."7
--------------------
Christianity:  "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them:  for this is the law and the prophets."9 "And as ye would that men should do unto you, do ye also to them likewise."10
--------------------
Confucianism:  "Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you."11
--------------------
Hinduism:  "This is the duty:  do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you."12
--------------------
Islam:  "None of you believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself."13
--------------------
Judaism:  "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."14  "What is hateful to you; do not to your fellow man.  This is the law:  all the rest is commentary."15
---------------------
Native American Spirituality:  "Respect for all life is the foundation."16
--------------------
Shinto:  "The heart of the person before you is a mirror.  See there your own form."17
--------------------
Sufism:  "The basis of Sufism is consideration of the hearts and feelings of others.  If you haven't the will to gladden someone's heart, then at least beware lest you hurt someone's heart,for on our paths, no sin exists but this."18
--------------------
Taoism:  "Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss."19
--------------------
Some of our greatest scholars and philosophers also made similar statements along the same venue:
 
Plato:  "May I do to others as I would that hey should do unto me."
 
Socrates:  "Do not do to others that which would anger you if others did it to you."
--------------------
   As is clearly shown above, the Golden Rule, by whatever name it is called, is clearly turning into a standard that different cultures, religions and countries could use when resolving their conflicts.
   With the technology available today, our world is becoming more and more a single global community with continual interaction.  The need for such a standard, common among all, is becoming more urgent as time goes on if we wish to live in peace and harmony in this ever-changing universe.  In its' most basic language, regardless of religion or beliefs, the rule is simply this - treat each other with the same respect as you would want to be treated yourself, and as you would want your family to be treated.  As human beings, we all want the same things:  Respect of others, and the underlying desire to be needed, accepted and loved.  By the use of the Golden Rule / the Law of Reciprocity we can achieve, for everyone, this basic human right, and in doing so, we can also achieve our own highest moral compass. 
--------------------
In Matthew 7:1-3 it states... "Do not judge or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge other, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay not attention to the plank in your own eye?"
--------------------
The last and sometimes considered the highest commandment given to us is found in Matthew 19:19 it states... "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
 
And also in John 13:34 ... "A new commandment I give to you:  Love one another, as I have loved you, so you must love one another."
--------------------
"Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you."   Confucianism
--------------------
 
Authors note:
 
   The Golden Rule is a positive force when placed into action.  We all want the same basic human rights in our lives:  The respect of our peers, love, peace and harmony.  In these times, we are constantly being bombarded with negativity. The news media is full of such stories, along with scare tactics which tend to make us all feel insecure.  Then we are being fed through commercials that we need to become a more litigious (prone to sue) society.  No wonder then, we forget to put into practice the positive aspects of the Golden Rule and be more forgiving of others.
   It is my hope that this publication will give all food for thought.  This thought will then become a positive action for all.  The Spiritualist religion teaches that we are responsible for our own actions.  This is one of those actions that we need to be more attentive to.  Wouldn't our world be a much more peaceful, loving place if we all followed the Golden Rule, not just within our own families, but when dealing with everyone?  After all, we are all God's children. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Sources:
1  Websters ll New College Dictionary
2  Transcription #237 - June 11, 1963 - available at the John F. Kennedy Library
Universal Declaration can be obtained at: www.un.org
4  Baha'u'llah
5  Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
Mahabharata 5:1517
7  Samyutta Nikaya v. 353
8  Udana - Varga 5:18
9  Matthew 7:12 KJV
10 Luke 6:31
11 Analects 15:23
12 Mahabharata 5:1517   
13 Number 13 of Imam
14 Leviticus 19:18
15 Talmud, Shabbat 31a
16 The Geat Law of Peace
17 Ko-ji-ki Hachiman Kasuga
18 Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh
19 T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'len     
 NIV Bible used

 

Divine Consciousness, The Branch Davidians and the Holy Family

By Albert R. Lane
 
 
     In last month's column we discussed the term “ruach.” Well, actually one element of the same word. We also examined the wording of Genesis chapter one and two and read how they were completely different from each other. Genesis chapter one speaks of a female creative figure; while chapter two speaks of an entirely different creation story. Throughout Jewish and Christian history no one has ever fully explained the reasonings behind the radically different myths.
     We shall endeavor to do that. Within Judaism, there is an esoteric mysticism called Kabbalah, which basically means “received wisdom.” From God is not clearly mentioned. The tradition of Kabbalah teaches that when Adam and Eve were created, Adam procreated all the spirits while he was under a spell. Similarly, Eve bore demons to male spirits for the space of 130 years. This corresponds to the view that the demons are half human.
     "When Adam, doing penance for his sin, separated from Eve for 130 years, he, by impure desire, caused the earth to be filled with demons, or shedim, lilin, and evil spirits", and it was Lilith, as Adam's concubine, who bore them.”
     Before we wander too far from our central thesis, the Midrash Rabbah speaks of some very interesting ideas. The Midrash is a collection of ideas; teachings of a wide variety of ideas. Some are legal definitions, rabbinic teachings, etc. The part that we are interested in is found in Genesis Rabbah chapter twenty. The chapter starts out discussing the history of Creation, etc.
     According to Genesis Rabbah, during the Creation, there was quite a bit of discussion that went into creation as it was unfolding. When it comes to creating man, the discussion becomes rather heated!
     “When creation was all but ended, the world with all its grandeur and splendor stood out in its glorious beauty. There was but one thing wanting to consummate the marvelous work called into existence by the mere "let there be," and that was a creature with thought and understanding able to behold, reflect, and marvel on this great handiwork of God, who now sat on his divine throne surrounded by hosts of angels and seraphim singing hymns before him.”
     Then God said, "Let us make man in our likeness, and let there be a creature not only the product of earth, but also gifted with heavenly, spiritual elements, which will bestow on him reason, intellect, and understanding." Truth then appeared, falling before God's throne, and in all humility exclaimed: "Deign, O God, to refrain from calling into being a creature who is beset with the vice of lying, who will tread truth under his feet." Peace came forth to support this petition. "Wherefore, O lord, shall this creature appear on earth, a creature so full of strife and contention, to disturb the peace and harmony of thy creation? He will carry the flame of quarrel and ill-will in his trail; he will bring about war and destruction in his eagerness for gain and conquest."
     “Whilst they were pleading against the creation of man, there was heard, arising from another part of the heavens, the soft voice of Charity: "Sovereign of the universe." the voice exclaimed, in all its mildness, "vouchsafe thou to create a being in thy, likeness, for it will be a noble creature striving to imitate thy attributes by its actions. I see man now in Spirit, that being with God's breath in his nostrils, seeking to perform his great mission, to do his noble work. I see him now in spirit, approaching the humble hut, seeking out those who are distressed and wretched to comfort them, drying the tears of the afflicted and despondent, raising up them that are bowed down in spirit, reaching his helping hand to those who are in need of help, speaking peace to the heart of the widow, and giving shelter to the fatherless. Such a creature can not fail to be a glory to his Maker." The Creator approved of the pleadings of Charity, called man into being, and cast Truth down to the earth to flourish there; as the Psalmist says (Ps. lxxxv. 12): "Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven to abide with man"; and he dignified Truth by making her his own seal.”
"Let us make man." God may be said to address the spiritual and the material elements thus: "Till now all creatures have been of matter only; now I will create a being who shall consist of both matter and spirit."
     "In our form, in our likeness." "Hitherto there was but one such creature; I have now added to him another who was taken from him. They shall both be in our form and likeness; there shall be no man without a woman and no woman without a man, and no man and woman together without God." Thus in the words AISH VASHH ("man and woman") there is the word IH (God).
     If they are unworthy the I from the word AISH and the H from VASHH is taken away, and thus IH, God, departs and there are left the words ASH VASH = "fire and fire."
     “Adam was created with two bodies, one of which was cut away from him and formed Eve.
     If man had been created out of spiritual elements only there could be no death for him, in the event of his fall. If, on the other hand, he had been created out of matter only, there could be no future bliss for him. Hence he was formed out of matter and spirit. If he lives the earthly, i.e., the animal life only, he dies like all matter; if he lives a spiritual life he obtains the spiritual future bliss. 
    Michael and Gabriel acted as "best men" at the nuptials of Adam and Eve. God joined them in wedlock, and pronounced the marriage-benediction on them.”
     “The appearance of Adam and Eve, when just formed, was like that of persons of twenty years of age.” (1)
     I digressed a bit...time to get back to the real work of trying to understand how the many different languages have helped to inform (or dis-inform) the understanding and meaning of the word ruach.
Wikipedia has a lot to say on the subject. I will not go into all of the nuances, I will list the URL of Wikipedia if you wish to read more.
     If by "gender" is meant grammatical gender, the gender of "Holy Spirit" varies according to the language used. Thus the grammatical gender of the word "spirit" is masculine in Latin ("spiritus") and in Latin-derived languages, as also, for instance, in the German language ("Geist"), while in the Semitic languages such as Hebrew ("רוח"), Aramaic and its descendant Syriac, it is feminine, and in Greek it is neuter ("πνεῦμα").
     When grammatical gender is confused with physical gender, the Holy Spirit is then thought of as male, female or neither.
     In Catholic teaching and practice, the Holy Spirit is referred to as masculine. (2)
     In the Syriac language the grammatically feminine word ruah means "spirit", and writers in that language, both orthodox Gnostic, used maternal images when speaking of the Holy Spirit. This imagery is found in the fourth-century theologians Aphrahat and Ephraim. It is found in earlier writings of Syriac Gnosticism such as the Odes of Solomon and in the early-third-century Gnostic Acts of Thomas:
Holy Dove that bearest the twin young; Come, hidden Mother;
Come, thou that art manifest in thy deeds
and dost furnish joy and rest for all that are joined with thee;
Come and partake with us in this Eucharist
Which we celebrate in thy name,
and in the love-feast in which we are gathered together at thy call.
     Eastern Orthodox theologian Susan Ashbrook Harvey considers the grammatical gender to be significant for early Syrian Christianity: "It seems clear that for the Syrians, the cue from grammar — ruah as a feminine noun — was not entirely gratuitous. There was real meaning in calling the Spirit 'She.'" (3)
     Wikipedia also has a lot to say about feminist thought. There is one large article which I will not quote verbatim. If you would like to do further study or research, please feel free to do so:
     Sentiments and attitudes that certain societies associate with women ("femininity") rather than men ("masculinity") are sometimes attributed to each of the three Persons of the Trinity, without necessarily  assigning to the Person a particular gender. The God spoken of in the Old Testament, generally regarded as God the Father, is spoken of also as a mother giving birth to her people in Deuteronomy 32:18. and in Luke 13:34 and in the parallel passages of the other Synoptic Gospels Jesus compares his care for Jerusalem to that of a mother hen for her chickens and Jesus has been seen as the incarnation of Divine Wisdom (sophia, grammatically feminine, in Greek).
     So too the Holy Spirit has been associated with a feminine attitude on the part of the Divinity and has been spoken of under the images of mother and mistress. And Martin Luther is reported to have used feminine terms to speak of the Holy Spirit. (4)
     Last month saw us spending time understanding  some of the many different interpretations of the word “ruach.”
     This month we will be going towards the mystical side, seeking to understand better the concept of the Holy Family. As we know, Catholicism is really strong on the issue of the holy family. Catholics believe in the Fatherhood of God, the Mothership of Mary, the Son (Jesus). It is possible that there are more. Some believe that there was also a DAUGHTER who was a product of the relationship between the Father God and the Mother God. Again this will is highly controversial in nature. I am not willing to say that such theories are true, per se. But they are worth considering. I will leave it up to the reader to determine the “truth.”
     Here is what one of the many web sites has to say on the subject:
Some small Christian groups regard the gender of the Holy Spirit to be female, based on their understanding that the Hebrew word for Spirit, ruach, is feminine. Their views derive from skepticism toward Greek primacy for the New Testament. They are skeptical of the neuter Greek word for "spirit" (Greek pneuma), and the masculine Latin word, because the logos ("oracles" or "words") of God were are said to be given unto the Jews (Romans 3:1-2). Foremost among these groups, and the most vocal on the subject are the Branch Davidian Seventh-day Adventists.
     In 1977, one of their leaders, Lois Roden, began to formally teach that a feminine Holy Spirit is the heavenly pattern of women. In her many studies and talks, she cited numerous scholars and researchers from Jewish, Christian, and other sources. They see in the creation of Adam and Eve a literal image and likeness of the invisible Godhead, male and female, who is "clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made" (Romans 1:20).
     They take the Oneness of God to mean the "familial" unity which exists between them, which unity is not seen in any other depiction of the Godhead by the various non-Hebrew peoples. Thus, having a Father and Mother in heaven, they see that the Bible shows that those Parents had a Son born unto them before the creation of the world, by Whom all things were created.[24][25][26][27]. (5)
 
The personality of the Holy Spirit is known from the facts that: 
  1.   She has a mind:  But if we have hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. likwise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we aught: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26,27)  For it seemed good to the Holy ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; (Acts 15:28).
  2. Knowledge:  "for who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him?  In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." (1 Corinthians 2:11).
  3. A will:  "For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him?  In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." (1 Corinthians 2:11)
  4. Love:  "For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."  (Romans 15:3) 
  5. Communion:  "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." (2 Corinthians 13:14)
  6. Can Be Grieved:  "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." (Ephesians 4:30); "Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit.  So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them."  (Isaiah 63:10)
  7. Can be insulted, tempted, and lied to:  "How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who was treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctifieed him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?"  (Hebrews 10:29)  "Peter said to her, 'How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also."  (Acts 5:9);  "Then Peter said, 'Ananias, how is it that Satan has so fulled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money at your disposal?  What made you think of doing such a thing?  You have not lied to men but to God."  (Acts 5:3,4,6)
 
     Here is a statement from Ellen White about the Bride and the church:  "Clearly, then, the bride represents the holy city, and the virgins that go out to meet the bridegroom (Mat. 25) are a symbol of the church. In the Revelation the people of God are said to be guests at the marriage supper. If guests, they cannot also be represented as the bride." Great Controversy, p. 426,427.
     Take that as just the simple facts of the matter. That is, the virgins (wise and foolish) of Matt. 25 represent the church who are waiting
with the Bride for the coming of the Bridegroom, and they are also portrayed in Rev. as guests as the supper. So they are not portrayed there as being the Bride.
     Moreover, in Rev.19 the Bride is said to be clothed in "the righteousness of the saints" (
"the fine linen"). So, who is it who is clothed with the righteousness of the saints? The answer to that question is the same as the answer to this question, "Who is the highest member of the church on earth?" The answer is the Holy Ghost - the One who was "brought up with him [Christ]" (Prov. 8:30), and has been sent here to lead the church in His absence. She is the King's [the Father's] Daughter of Ps. 45:13 who is to marry the King [the Son].
     So according to the Branch Davidians...Elohim is the Father God. The Eloah is the Mother God. They have a son named Jesus. Later the Holy Family has a daughter...the Holy Spirit who then marries her brother! No further comment past this is offered by the Branch Davidians whether or not the Holy Family has holy Grandkids. This is an excellent example where some folks get so wrapped up in one theory and then take the theory to excess...to the point where they appear to be laughable to the rest of the religious community.
     Such people tend to follow the example found in Matthew 23:24: “You blind guides, straining out the gnat while you gulp down the camel!” Weymouth Edition of the Bible.
     In case you miss my point, it is this: A forcible image of those who are very conscientious over small, and careless of great, matters. They tend to choke on the smaller issues, but they totally lose the main point. The main point to show the loving kindness of God and the familial relationship...until theories become totally twisted into something as horrible and ugly as the Branch Davidians theories. The teaching that “God is love” has been totally lost on the Branch Davidians.
 
Next month: Understanding the word Shekinah
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Footnotes
  1. bid
  2. Ibid
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LoisIRoden.jpg
-------------------------------------------
 
Further reading on this topic may be found at the following URL: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20010507_liturgiam-authenticam_en.html
 
The text is here for your further reading should you wish to do so:
 
     “In many languages there exist nouns and pronouns denoting both genders, masculine and feminine, together in a single term. The insistence that such a usage should be changed is not necessarily to be regarded as the effect or the manifestation of an authentic development of the language as such. Even if it may be necessary by means of catechesis to ensure that such words continue to be understood in the “inclusive” sense just described, it may not be possible to employ different words in the translations themselves without detriment to the precise intended meaning of the text, the correlation of its various words or expressions, or its aesthetic qualities. When the original text, for example, employs a single term in expressing the interplay between the individual and the universality and unity of the human family or community (such as the Hebrew word ’adam, the Greek anthropos, or the Latin homo), this property of the language of the original text should be maintained in the translation. Just as has occurred at other times in history, the Church herself must freely decide upon the system of language that will serve her doctrinal mission most effectively, and should not be subject to externally imposed linguistic norms that are detrimental to that mission.”
     Further on this subject, one of the reasons why the Catholic Church steadfastly refuses to acknowledge the Divine Feminine is due to lesbianism. I came across a number of web sites where this point was raised. I neglected to make a note of the web sites as I initially felt that that theory was a really long shot as far as being a theory is concerned. However, there is a value in better understanding this idea. Therefore, I offer to you the following quote: “To be a mother, a woman needs to be actively fertilized by a man; a man can beget with or without feminine activity. Referring to God as a “mother” may imply that His creation is passively produced, or an emanation from Him. It also calls into question God’s aseity: the fact that God is not dependent, and does not have need of any other being. Masculine terminology preserves the fundamental theological truth of God’s transcendence: He is not part of the universe, nor the universe a part of Him. He created it from nothing and enters creation from without. God did not have a biological sex prior to the Incarnation; yet in relation to the creation He has made, He is masculine and He assumed humanity as God-man to express this relationship physically.”
     Another quote from the same web page offers this insight: “Though it may be asserted by some radical feminists, Catholics do not refer to God as Father “because the Roman Church is primarily a male-centered hierarchical structure.” God is referred to as Father to express a theological reality, not a social paradigm. The word “father” means “to beget, to make oneself founder, producer, or author of.” Christians and Jews believe that, “In the beginning God created . . . “ (Gen. 1:1). Christians also believe that the Son is “eternally begotten of the Father.” The terms “creator” and “begetter” reveal to us that the Godhead actively produces. It’s the reality of God’s creative activity, and not a male-centered misconception, that makes it appropriate to refer to God as Father rather than mother. Referring to God with masculine and fatherly terms therefore eliminates many possible theological problems that may arise from using feminine and motherly terms.”
     “Ruach Hakodesh is the hebrew name and it is Feminine, its not accepted as feminine now because how can a female make another female pregnant? as in Mary.”

 

Biblical Spiritualism

Healing and Anointing with Oil
 
Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Anointing the sick with oil was instituted by Jesus, and continues to this day as a spiritual practice. Oil is able to hold healing virtue through faith and prayer, and distribute the same to the person in need through anointing.
 
James 5:13-16 KJV Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. (14) Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: (15) And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (16) Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
 
Mark 6:7-13 KJV And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; (8) And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: (9) But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. (10) And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. (11) And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. (12) And they went out, and preached that men should repent. (13) And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
 
 As shown above, these scriptures illustrate how powerful this method of healing the sick can be.   No matter what the condition, people were healed.

 

Announcements

 
 
The Flint Spiritual Church is now on Facebook, become a fan.
 
If you are on Facebook you can easily place a link to this eNewsletter on your wall for your friends to read, just click the Facebook Icon at the bottom of this page.
-----------------------------------
Updates to the church's website have been slow lately.  We are in the process of improving the site over the next few months.  We thank you for your patience.
-----------------------------------
The FSC is currently looking for a place to begin holding services.  If you live in or around the Flint area please keep your eyes and ears open.  Any suggestions will be appreciated.  Please contact Rev. Rick Root at pastor.rick@flintspiritual.com

The FSC on Facebook

In This Issue:

Lord, Make Me A Blessing
Spirit and Spirituality
Do Unto Others....
Divine Consciousness, The Branch Davidians and the Holy Family
Biblical Spiritualism
Announcements
Our Mission
Who Am I?
This Month's Affirmation
Morning Prayer
Destinations
Prayer Requests
Does Your Religion Resonate with You?
Book Offer
Laugh Of The Month
Links


Our Mission

The FSC is an independent, progressive, non-traditional, Christian Church and is founded upon the sacred teachings of the Holy Bible; to bring mankind the understanding of spirituality according to the fundamentals of Spiritualism.

Articles Of Faith

 

Who Am I?

 
When you experience a great loss and get to the other side of that canyon, you wonder who has survived. It is as though parts of you have disappeared during that dark journey and you no longer have any reference points. Where am I? Who am I? Retracing your footsteps is not an option. It was a long, arduous climb out of the depths of your despair. There is no need to feel that terror again.
 
Rumi describes it well:
I do not know who
lives here in my chest
or why the smile comes,
am not myself, more the bare
green knob of a rose that
lost every leaf and petal to
the morning wind.1
 
What has been lost comes round again, but in a different form. You have been emptied and what remains is God’s joy. Open to the incoming breath and what it brings, be it the fragrance of a rose, the song of a meadow lark, the taste of honey, the softness of a baby’s skin, or the view of wild daffodils on the hill. “Where will you plant your grief-seeds? We need ground to scrape and hoe, not the sky of unspecified desire.”2
 
It has taken me a year to make the circle of pain and loss. My passions have returned, but in new forms, new expressions. I am thrilled when I see blue sky and sunlight. The gray tones of sorrow have lifted enabling me to see God’s beauty which surrounds me now, and always has. I revel in the grace of the arching oak trees, the orange haze of budding willows, tall dads walking their little kids to the front door of the elementary school across the street, horses frolicking in the snow with hooves flying, the kindness of the accountant who could see what my journey had been in my tax information and helped me unravel the maze of government regulations. Who am I? I am human being, I am God on earth, all love, all power, all wisdom. Within and without, it’s all God.
 
We are the mirror as well as the face in it.
We are tasting the taste this minute of eternity.
We are pain and what cures pain.
We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.3
 
The emptying process has removed desires, attachments, judgments, fears, bitterness, and illusions and filled me with the sweetness of Spirit. Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” 4 Like Job, I realized that I knew nothing. Floods remove all things above ground, but they leave rich silt that will bring new growth. It is love that endures, love of God, love of self, love of humanity, and love of Mother Earth. “Jesus said, ‘That which you have will save you if you bring it forth from yourselves. That which you do not have within you will kill you if you do not have it within you.”5  It is the expression of the love that is within, the Christ consciousness that is within, that gives us life, and breathes life into others.
 
Be who you are and bring forth the wonders of Spirit.
 
1The Illuminated Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks
2The Illuminated Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks
3The Illuminated Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks
4Job 42:1, The New NIV Study Bible
5The Gospel of Thomas (70), The Other Bible

More From Rev. Margie

 

This Month's Affirmation

Submitted by Rev. Edee Root
 
I walk with a renewed awareness of the Presence of God alive in me.  I am confident God hears and answers my prayers, and I am grateful for my many blessings.

Affirmation Archive

 

Morning Prayer

By Rev. Margie Kivel
 
Infinite grace be mine  
as I experience this day,
manifesting intent divine
that pierces illusion's way.
 
Mindful of the angel's wing
that guides me on to lofty  heights,
wherein my soul does ever sing
immersed in visions beyond my sight.

 

Destinations

By Rev. Edee Root
 
There is a winding road,
    the end of which we cannot see.
Where this road will lead us,
    remains a mystery.
 
This road has many twists and turns,
    for few roads are ever straight.
If we have the courage, strength and vision,
    surely the way He will make.
 
To walk this road just remember,
    we never walk it alone.
For with the Heavenly Fathers' guidance,
    He will lead us safely home.

More From Rev. Edee

 

Prayer Requests


"Prayer is not getting man's will done in heaven, but getting God's will done on earth. It is not overcoming God's reluctance but laying hold of God's willingness." Richard C. Trench
 
Upon request, your prayer petitions will be held in strict confidence by our Prayer Warriors, as they continue to pray with you and for you during the next 30 days.
 
A Spiritualist Healing Prayer
 
I ask the great Unseen Healing Force to remove all obstructions from my mind and body and to restore me to perfect health. I ask this in all sincerity and honesty and I will do my part. I ask this great Unseen Healing Force to help both present and absent ones who are in need of help and to restore them to perfect health. I put my trust in the Love and Power of God. Amen.
 
Send your prayer requests to prayerwarriors@flintspiritual.com
 
If you would like to become one of our prayer warriors please email pastor.rick@flintspiritual.com

Click Here To Request Prayer

 

Does Your Religion Resonate with You?

 
By Rev. Phillip Falcone
Niles, MI 
 
   Buddhism, like all religions, examines and analyzes. The purpose of these actions is to determine if the religious practice resonates with the individual.i Does your religion resonate with you? If you were to follow a teaching that did not resonate with you, would you be doing a disservice to yourself or the religion? 
   For example, in my younger years, Christianity was the teaching that I followed. Although today, what resonates with me is different from what I followed. When I was a child, I sought to be like my Dad, who was a Christian. Which denomination he belonged to, is beyond my recollection. I was a child and that did not matter. Suffice it to say, he drew me into the religion. When he passed away, a gentleman, by the name of Bob Hope continued to take me to church. I suppose what attracted me was the fellowship. Anyway, one morning during worship service something odd happened. We sang, we prayed, and then we listened to Pastor Reub. Afterwards, we sang again and it happened. We all returned to our seats with one exception. Bob had remained standing. All had turned their eyes on him, but he did not know that. He was in communion with the spirit. With eyes closed, he remained standing as though he were praying intently. The pastor looked at him perplexed, and just as he began to speak, it happened. Bob spoke. What he said, I do not recall. I was a child. I would very much like to say that he had spoken something very profound, but I do not know. What I do know is that the voice was not Bob’s voice. He did not speak in a booming voice, nor did he speak in a timid voice. The voice was one that spoke with authority. When he sat down, I told him how beautiful his words were. He turned and looked at me, as though he knew that I did not have a clue as to the meaning of those words. Nevertheless, this convinced me of the validity of Christianity.  
   I was somewhat satisfied with what Christianity was teaching me. Of course, we all grow up and begin to ask questions. I was now different and the answers I received seemed empty. Dissatisfied, I picked up the Bible and began reading it for myself. I had read it several times before I began making connections. People like to tell you that they do not read the Bible because of its contradictory nature. Well, this is not exactly the case. Incongruities exist between the Hebrew Testament and the New Testament, but they do not compare with the discrepancies in interpretation. I am not going to go into some of the ways that people twist the words of the Bible to serve their purpose, because you already know. What I will tell you, is that Christianity no longer resonated with me, but the Bible continues to do so.
   One must pursue a meditation or religious practice that benefits others.ii This statement either resonates or does not. The manner in which this resonates depends on you. 
   One of the teachings of Christianity, and many other religious doctrines, creeds, and declarations, is the idea of doing good deeds in order to enter some sort of paradise in the afterlife. In my mind, this makes no sense. Do good works and you will go to Heaven when you die? This is a contradiction to the teachings of Jesus. When the Pharisees asked Jesus, when will the Kingdom of God arrive, he told them that the Kingdom lies within.iii In the Gospel of Thomas Jesus tells us if someone says the Kingdom of God is in the sky, then the birds will arrive before you. If the Kingdom of God is in the sea, then the fish will be there before you.iv 
   If the Kingdom of God lies within, and I am to make the inside like the outside, as Christ says in the Gospel of Thomas,v then the Kingdom of God is all around. Why do I have to do good works in order to enter Heaven, when I already dwell in the Kingdom of God? 
   What does this mean? Most of the doctrines, creeds, and declarations of religions are a sham. The purpose of religion, or I should say a purpose of religion is to motivate you to do good works. By doing good works, you serve others. By serving others, you create value. By creating value, you are truly worshiping God. 
   Jesus said that one day we shall worship God in Spirit.vi Jesus described the Spirit to Nicodemus as that of the wind, and the wind is air in motion.vii The wind is movement, or action.
   As Arjuna stood in his chariot between his army and the aggressor’s army in despair, Krishna spoke. One the things Krishna spoke of was worship. Whatever you do, do it as an offering.viii In other words, act without thought to the results of your actions. To do so is truly worshiping God. Those who follow the doctrines, creeds, and declarations with the intent of reaching Heaven will do so. However, they will also fall back because they did not act with their heart.ix 
   What should resonate within a person is not what you read in the doctrines of the religion, but how the religion serves others. So I ask you, does your religion resonate with you?
 
---------------------------------------
 
i Rapaport, A. (1998). Buddhism in America. Boston, MA: Tuttle Publishing  
iiRapaport, 1998 
iii Gospel of Luke 17:20-21 
iv Gospel of Thomas, verse 3 
v Gospel of Thomas, verse 22 
vi Gospel of John, 4:19-24 
vii Gospel of John, 3:5-8 
viii Mitchell, Stephen (2000) Bhagavad Gita: A new translation (9.23-27). New York: Three Rivers Press. 
ix Mitchell, 2000 (9.19-22)
 

Xolton's Gnostic Thread

 

Book Offer

The New Testament
A New Translation
 
Based on the Oldest Manuscripts
 
By Johannes Greber
 
(Highly Spiritualistic)
 
Hardcover - blue with white cross, 464 pages
 
Your gift for a donation of $30.00 or more to our building fund - US only. 
 
     "Thus there can be no further question of condemnation for those who are in communion with Christ Jesus; for the laws governing the spirit-world that lives in communion with Christ Jesus have freed me from the laws governing the realm of the spiritually dead who are separated from God by the sin of apostasy.  For that which the Law of Moses could not accomplish because it was too weak in the face of the lusts of the flesh, God has accomplished.  He sent His own Son, clothed in an earthly body like that of other sinful mortals.  He send him because of the sin of apostasy, and through him doomed to destruction the dominion which this sin held over all that was earthly, so that the precepts of the Law of Moses might be fulfilled among us who do not live according to earthly desires, but as a spirit of God directs.  For the worldly-minded are only intent upon the things of the world, but those who are guided by a spirit of God are intent upon that toward which the spirit directs them.  The craving that obeys the impulse of the flesh brings with it spiritual death; but striving for that toward which the spirit-world of God urges us brings true life and peace.  Worldly ambition is therefor hostile to God, for it is not and cannot be in harmony with divine law.  Hence the worldly-minded cannot find favor with God.  You do not belong to the worldly-minded, but to those who allow themselves to be guided by God's spirits; for such spirits have taken up their abode among you.  Whoever does not harbor a spirit sent by Christ, does not belong to Christ.  But if Christ is in communion with you, your spirit possesses spiritual life because of your faithfulness to God, though your body may still belong to the realm of death because of the sin of apostasy.  Now if the spirit-world of Him Who raised Jesus Christ from the dead has taken up its abode among you, He Who delivered Jesus Christ from the realm of death will also impregnate your bodies, which are still under that kingdom's dominion, with the radiation of life, through His spirit-world that has come to dwell among you.
     Therefore, brothers, we no longer owe it to the desires of the flesh to live as they would have us live; for if you were to live according to those desires, you would suffer spiritual death,  But if, with the help of one of God's spirits, you kill everything within you that springs from sinful desires, then the true life will be yours; for those who accept the guidance of one of God's spirits are children of God.  The spirit whom you have received is not none to enslave you and make you fear him, but a spirit who will make you children of God, so that we may joyously exclaim with him, "Abba!  Dear Father!"  Thus the spirit-world of God, together with our own spirit, arises to testify that we are children of God.  but if children, we are also heirs, for we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, provided that we have shared in his suffering in order to  be able to share in his glory also." Romans 8: 1-17 
 
 

Help us get into a building of our own.

 

Laugh Of The Month

 

At a wedding our pastor recently performed, the little boy who was the ring bearer marched deliberately down the aisle, letting out a loud "Grrr" with each step. As he passed, everyone smiled and wondered what the boy was doing. After the ceremony, curiosity got the better of our pastor, who asked him, "Why were you making those loud 'Grrs' as you came down the aisle?" "Oh, those were growls," the boy answered. "I wanted people to know I was the ring bear."
 

Board Meeting

'There will be a meeting of the Board immediately after the service,' announced Reverend Morris.
 
After the close of the service, the group gathered at the back of church for the announced meeting. However, there was a stranger in their midst. He was a visitor who had never attended their church before.
 
'My friend,' asked Reverend Morris, 'did you understand that this is a meeting of the Board?'
 
'Oh, yes,' came the rejoinder from the visitor, 'and after that sermon, I'm about as bored as you can get.'
 

Lesson in Lying

A minister told his congregation, "Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17."
 
The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17. Every hand went up. The minister smiled and said, "Mark has only sixteen chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying."
 
Send your family friendly jokes and funny stories to pastor.rick@flintspiritual.com for possible inclusion here. 

 
Links:
eNewsletter Archive
Communication with the Spirit World of God
Communication With God
God's Grand Plan
Links
The Flint Spiritual Church • PO Box 530 • Flint, MI 48501
Subscribe | Unsubscribe | Send to a Friend | Preferences | Report Spam
Powered by MyNewsletterBuilder and eNewsStandOnline
 del.icio.us    Digg    reddit    Facebook    StumbleUpon    Twitter  MySpace