Good Friday

 Posted by on April 2, 2010 at 8:44 AM
Apr 022010
 

Christ of Saint John of the CrossSalvador Dalí, 1951

From The Urantia Book:

4. MEANING OF THE DEATH ON THE CROSS

Although Jesus did not die this death on the cross to atone for the racial guilt of mortal man nor to provide some sort of effective approach to an otherwise offended and unforgiving God; even though the Son of Man did not offer himself as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of God and to open the way for sinful man to obtain salvation; notwithstanding that these ideas of atonement and propitiation are erroneous, nonetheless, there are significances attached to this death of Jesus on the cross which should not be overlooked. It is a fact that Urantia has become known among other neighboring inhabited planets as the “World of the Cross.”

Jesus desired to live a full mortal life in the flesh on Urantia. Death is, ordinarily, a part of life. Death is the last act in the mortal drama. In your well-meant efforts to escape the superstitious errors of the false interpretation of the meaning of the death on the cross, you should be careful not to make the great mistake of failing to perceive the true significance and the genuine import of the Master’s death.

Mortal man was never the property of the archdeceivers. Jesus did not die to ransom man from the clutch of the apostate rulers and fallen princes of the spheres. The Father in heaven never conceived of such crass injustice as damning a mortal soul because of the evildoing of his ancestors. Neither was the Master’s death on the cross a sacrifice which consisted in an effort to pay God a debt which the race of mankind had come to owe him.

Before Jesus lived on earth, you might possibly have been justified in believing in such a God, but not since the Master lived and died among your fellow mortals. Moses taught the dignity and justice of a Creator God; but Jesus portrayed the love and mercy of a heavenly Father.

The animal nature—the tendency toward evildoing—may be hereditary, but sin is not transmitted from parent to child. Sin is the act of conscious and deliberate rebellion against the Father’s will and the Sons’ laws by an individual will creature.

Jesus lived and died for a whole universe, not just for the races of this one world. While the mortals of the realms had salvation even before Jesus lived and died on Urantia, it is nevertheless a fact that his bestowal on this world greatly illuminated the way of salvation; his death did much to make forever plain the certainty of mortal survival after death in the flesh

Though it is hardly proper to speak of Jesus as a sacrificer, a ransomer, or a redeemer, it is wholly correct to refer to him as a savior. He forever made the way of salvation (survival) more clear and certain; he did better and more surely show the way of salvation for all the mortals of all the worlds of the universe of Nebadon.

When once you grasp the idea of God as a true and loving Father, the only concept which Jesus ever taught, you must forthwith, in all consistency, utterly abandon all those primitive notions about God as an offended monarch, a stern and all-powerful ruler whose chief delight is to detect his subjects in wrongdoing and to see that they are adequately punished, unless some being almost equal to himself should volunteer to suffer for them, to die as a substitute and in their stead. The whole idea of ransom and atonement is incompatible with the concept of God as it was taught and exemplified by Jesus of Nazareth. The infinite love of God is not secondary to anything in the divine nature.

All this concept of atonement and sacrificial salvation is rooted and grounded in selfishness. Jesus taught that service to one’s fellows is the highest concept of the brotherhood of spirit believers. Salvation should be taken for granted by those who believe in the fatherhood of God. The believer’s chief concern should not be the selfish desire for personal salvation but rather the unselfish urge to love and, therefore, serve one’s fellows even as Jesus loved and served mortal men.

Neither do genuine believers trouble themselves so much about the future punishment of sin. The real believer is only concerned about present separation from God. True, wise fathers may chasten their sons, but they do all this in love and for corrective purposes. They do not punish in anger, neither do they chastise in retribution.

Even if God were the stern and legal monarch of a universe in which justice ruled supreme, he certainly would not be satisfied with the childish scheme of substituting an innocent sufferer for a guilty offender.

The great thing about the death of Jesus, as it is related to the enrichment of human experience and the enlargement of the way of salvation, is not the fact of his death but rather the superb manner and the matchless spirit in which he met death.

This entire idea of the ransom of the atonement places salvation upon a plane of unreality; such a concept is purely philosophic. Human salvation is real; it is based on two realities which may be grasped by the creature’s faith and thereby become incorporated into individual human experience: the fact of the fatherhood of God and its correlated truth, the brotherhood of man. It is true, after all, that you are to be “forgiven your debts, even as you forgive your debtors.”

——————————————————-

About the painting, from Wikipedia:

Christ of Saint John of the Cross is a painting by Salvador Dalí made in 1951. It depicts Jesus Christ on the cross in a darkened sky floating over a body of water complete with a boat and fishermen. Although it is a depiction of the crucifixion, it is devoid of nails, blood, and a crown of thorns, because, according to Dalí, he was convinced by a dream that these features would mar his depiction of Christ. Also in a dream, the importance of depicting Christ in the extreme angle evident in the painting was revealed to him.

The painting is known as the “Christ of Saint John of the Cross,” because its design is based on a drawing by the 16th century Spanish friar Saint John of the Cross. The composition of Christ is also based on a triangle and circle (the triangle is formed by Christ’s arms; the circle is formed by Christ’s head). The triangle, since it has three sides, can be seen as a reference to the Trinity, and the circle may be an allusion to Platonic thought.[1] On the bottom of his studies for the painting, Dalí explained its inspiration: “In the first place, in 1950, I had a ‘cosmic dream’ in which I saw this image in color and which in my dream represented the ‘nucleus of the atom.’ This nucleus later took on a metaphysical sense; I considered it ‘the very unity of the universe, ‘ the Christ!” [2]

The Resurrection of Jesus

 Posted by on April 22, 2014 at 10:10 AM
Apr 222014
 

twobrothersThe Two Brothers of Emmaus (after Caravaggio)Terry Kruger

“Did not this Jesus tell you, even in Galilee,
that he would die, but that he would rise again?”
—The Urantia Papers


JERUSALEM — Words alone can never fully describe the Resurrection of Jesus. The Urantia Book’s account, which comes the closest to revealing the truth of what actually happened on the morning of April 9, 30 A.D. — for our time— is still a narration that must be heard with the ear of faith.  Not because it lacks the compelling power of truth, but because it involves events beyond the scope of normal human experience.  Those who chance to read this who might lack the faith necessary to put these things in their rightful perspective can, nonetheless, benefit from the experience of simply putting the narration of these events into their personal consciousness.  What your Spirit is able to do with it once it’s there, is another matter, dependent upon your freewill decisions.

We pick up the story inside the Sanhedrin, where a group of chief priests gathered at the home of Caiaphas near midnight, Friday. They discussed their fears concerning Jesus’ public assertions that he would “rise from the dead on the third day.”  They appointed a committee to officially request a Roman guard be stationed at the tomb, to prevent his disciples from stealing the body by night, and proclaim that Jesus had risen from the dead.  Subsequently, Pilate did provide a guard of ten soldiers to accompany ten Jewish guards.  And these twenty soldiers decided to roll a second stone before the tomb, and they set the seal of Pilate on and around both stones, lest they be disturbed without their knowledge.  The larger of these two stones was a huge circular milled stone, which moved in a groove chiseled out of the rock;  it could be rolled back and forth to open or close the tomb.

The Jewish guards and the Roman soldiers, in the dim light of the morning, saw this huge stone begin to roll away from the entrance of the tomb— apparently of its own accord— without any visible means to account for such motion.  The entire contingent of soldiers panicked;  the Jews fled to their homes, the Romans to the fortress of Antonia.  The guards were paid bribes— and instructed to say, “While we slept during the nighttime, his disciples came upon us and took away the body.”

That’s right.  A few fishermen, carpenters, and common folk who followed Jesus, armed with boat oars and wood mallets, overpowered twenty soldiers of a combined Roman and Jewish guard.

 

 

At this same time, Mary Magdalene and four other women were attempting to complete the proper burial preparations on the body of Jesus. (They had agreed amongst themselves to do so, after having secreted themselves near the tomb Friday and witnessing the haphazard internment of Jesus.)

Mary Magdalene:

A little before three o’clock this Sunday morning as the first signs of day began to appear in the east, five women, with an abundance of embalming lotions and linen bandages, started out for the tomb of Jesus. As we passed through the Damascus gate, we encountered a number of soldiers fleeing into the city more or less panic-stricken, and this caused us to pause for a few minutes; but when nothing more developed, we continued on.

When we arrived at the tomb, we were greatly surprised to see not one, but two stones rolled away from the entrance to the tomb, inasmuch as we had been wondering on the way out, who will help us roll away the stone? We set down our supplies, and stood looking upon one another in fear and amazement.

As we stood there, trembling with fear, I ventured around the smaller stone and dared to enter the open sepulchre. (The tomb is on the hillside on the eastern side of the road, and it also faces toward the east.) By this hour there was just enough of the dawn to enable me to see where the Master’s body had lain, and to discern that it was gone. I could see only the folded napkin where his head had rested, and the bandages wherewith he had been wrapped, lying intact;  the covering sheet lay at the foot of the burial niche.

Standing in the doorway of the tomb for a few moments (I did not see distinctly when I first entered the tomb), and seeing that Jesus’ body was indeed gone, and seeing only the grave cloths, I cried out in anguish.  The other women, having been on edge ever since meeting the panicky soldiers at the city gate, became terror-stricken and fled. And they did not stop until they had run all the way to the Damascus gate, where they realized they had deserted me at the tomb, and started back.

I was greatly afraid when I failed to find my sisters waiting when I came out of the tomb.  After a long and fearful moment, I saw them approaching, and rushed up to them exclaiming:  “He is not there— they have taken him away!” Going back to the tomb, all of us entered and saw that it was empty.

We at first conjectured that the body had been moved to another resting place. But we were at a loss to account for the orderly arrangement of the grave cloths; how could the body have been removed since the very bandages in which it was wrapped were left in position and apparently intact on the burial shelf?

As we puzzled over this, I looked to one side to see a silent and motionless stranger. Thinking he might be the caretaker of the garden, I said, “Where have you taken the Master? Where have they laid him? Tell us that we may go and get him.” But the stranger did not answer me. I began to weep.

Then spoke this stranger to us, saying, “Whom do you seek?” I said: “We seek for Jesus who was laid to rest in Joseph’s tomb, but he is gone. Do you know where they have taken him?”

Then he said : “Did not this Jesus tell you, even in Galilee, that he would die, but that he would rise again?” These words startled all of us, but this figure was so changed that we, I, could not yet recognize him with his back turned to the dim light. As we pondered his words, he addressed me with a familiar voice, saying, “Mary.” And when I heard that word— so well-known to me, and filled with sympathy and affection, I knew instantly it was the voice of the Master, and I rushed to kneel at his feet; I said, “My Lord, and my Master!”

And then all of my sisters recognized it was the Master who stood before us— in glorified form— and they too knelt before him.

I sought to embrace his feet, but Jesus said: “Touch me not, Mary, for I am not as you knew me in the flesh. In this form will I tarry with you for a season before I ascend to the Father. But go, all of you, now and tell my apostles— and Peter— that I have risen, and that you have talked with me.”

After we had somewhat recovered from the shock of our amazement, we hastened back to the city and to the home of Elijah Mark, where we related to the apostles all that had happened to us;  but they were not inclined to believe us.  They thought we had seen a vision, but when I repeated the words Jesus had spoken to us, and when Peter heard his name, he rushed out, followed closely by John, to see these things for themselves.

Again I repeated this story to the other apostles, but they would not believe;  and they would not go to find out for themselves as had Peter and John.

I returned to the tomb, downcast and despairing at the apostles, who would not believe me.  My heart longed to be back where I had heard the Master’s voice.

When I arrived back at the tomb, Peter was saying the body had been stolen by enemies of Jesus, but John reasoned that the grave could not have been left in so orderly a fashion— and how to explain that the bandages had been left behind, so obviously intact?

I lingered at the tomb after John and Peter had left.  And in a moment, the Master again appeared to me, saying, “Be not doubting;  have the courage to believe what you have seen and heard.  Go back to my apostles and again tell them that I have risen, that I will appear to them, and that presently I will go before them into Galilee as I promised.” I immediately did as the Master instructed, but again they would not believe me;  they were filled with fear.

My sisters had gone to the home of Nicodemus and told them what had happened.  Some of those gathered there felt the Jews [the priests?] must have taken the body, but Joseph [of Arimathea] hurried out to see the tomb, particularly the grave cloths;  and they were the last to so view the sepulchre, for the captain of the temple guards arrived at the tomb at half past seven o’clock and removed the grave cloths.

THE URANTIA BOOK

DECADES Of Living Dangerously

 Posted by on April 16, 2014 at 1:23 PM
Apr 162014
 


The rift between science and religion gets a chapter in the Climate Change debacle.

Enjoy your climate today;
It might be gone tomorrow.

The Usual Suspects

 Posted by on March 19, 2014 at 2:35 PM
Mar 192014
 

The Usual DerpsMay the derp with the biggest head win. Click for too close.

WATERLOO, IOWA —   Jimmy Joe Johnson, a member of the Iowa GOP’s State Central Committee and a former Iowa adviser to Ricky Santorum, said he spoke with unannounced praisedential candidate Ted Cruz about “tweaking” his economics-heavy message to best win over Iowa conservatives.

“You’ve got to enunciate the moral themes here,” Johnson told him, “Get a bigger cross, and wear it above your flag pin.  If you don’t, you’ll lose.”  So Ted tweaked it.

You’re probably surprised to see a super-slimmed-down Chris Christie front and center in the lineup.  No more than we are;  here’s what happened.  Six weeks ago Christie promised himself that if he “lost” a little bit in two months, he would lob the rest of his weight into the ring.  Nobody asked him whether he meant lose a kilo of cannabis, or cocaine, or human fat; or, you know, lost ground politically in New Jersey.  And we’re not sure why losing something is incentive to try and win something, but he swears— a lot— that he lost it;  well, actually he swears he’s just no longer looking for it.

And then there’s citizen Ricky Santorum.

On the left end, a cranky little* Marco Rubio won’t shut up about nothing in particular.  And on the far right end, crippled Verbal Kint look-alike,** Randy Paul, who is still sniggering over that CPAC thing, is currently berating “potheads” that they’ll stop wanting to show up for work if they smoke all the time, annnnnd, they’ll get stupid and lazy and lose IQ points.  But Randy is drawing on real world experience:  remember that “Aqua Buddha” episode with his roomie?  No?  Seriously, NO??

Have you been smoking?

 

 

“Not tall enough to be president.” —Mr. Ann Coulter

**  Also “Not tall enough to be president.” —Mr. Ann Coulter

The original Usual Suspects.

What’s The Skinny?

 Posted by on March 14, 2014 at 7:41 PM
Mar 142014
 

Pee Wee I need a photo opportunity, I need a shot at redemption. . .

 
Yeah just click play while we talk.

The Indonesian flight is still missing and the Christie Bridge Fiasco is still expanding faster than his third chin. But it’s Friday, the weekend is here, we be kickin’ back.  So I went out to the guvmint box and got the mail.  Mixed in with the usual metric ton of forest waste paper was a slick, smelly NORDSTROM NERDSTROM Men’s Shop catalog magazine.  Inside were photos of skinny, underdeveloped man-children, wearing clothing that appeared uncomfortably tight, especially everwhere you normally want your clothing to be the most comfortable. Beh Cause, FASH UN.

Pee Wee DweebyDon’t want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard. . .


They instantly reminded me of Pee-wee Herman;  then I couldn’t see them any other way.

Pee Wee Wee WeeGet these mutts away from me;  I don’t find this stuff amusing anymore. . .

So I did the only snarkological thing I could do:  put Pee-wee in the clothes.  But I did not mess with the clothing itself;  those skinny fucking legs were there already.

PeeWhipped“Boss”?  There, I totally get it now.

But somebody at Nerdstrum’s knew that many people getting their 67 page junka-log would not understand what was up with the death-camp thin fash-un-something, so they included a helpful “Anatomy of a Modern Suit” chart, that points out the what-the-fuckness to us, the great t-shirt/sweatsuit/moomoo wearing masses.

. . .fashion still unduly dominates Urantia.
—The Urantia Papers

*Stereotypical nerds are commonly seen as intelligent but socially and physically awkward.  They are typically perceived as either lacking confidence or being indifferent or oblivious to the negative perceptions held of them by others, with the result that they become frequent objects of scorn, snark, ridicule, bullying, and social isolation.  Stereotypical “nerd” appearance includes very large glasses, braces, severe acne and high-water pants lifted up.  In the media, many nerds are portrayed as being physically unfit, either overweight or very thin.  

YOU’RE SINKING; WE KEEP GETTING RICHER.

 Posted by on March 3, 2014 at 1:44 PM
Mar 032014
 


Let’s review. . .
Laurence Lewis:

To Republicans, schadenfreude may be a favorite form of entertainment, but hurting people economically also serves a critical purpose. The more desperate people are to find work, the more likely they will be to accept any work at any wages under any conditions. Kick them while they are down, and try to make them beg. Being able to disparage and demonize them is an added bonus.

Jesus worked, lived, and traded in the world as he found it. He was not an economic reformer, although he did frequently call attention to the injustice of the unequal distribution of wealth. But he did not offer any suggestions by way of remedy. He made it plain to the three that, while his apostles were not to hold property, he was not preaching against wealth and property, merely its unequal and unfair distribution. He recognized the need for social justice and industrial fairness, but he offered no rules for their attainment.
The Urantia Book

The cleansing of the temple discloses the Master’s attitude toward commercializing the practices of religion as well as his detestation of all forms of unfairness and profiteering at the expense of the poor and the unlearned. This episode also demonstrates that Jesus did not look with approval upon the refusal to employ force to protect the majority of any given human group against the unfair and enslaving practices of unjust minorities who may be able to entrench themselves behind political, financial, or ecclesiastical power. Shrewd, wicked, and designing men are not to be permitted to organize themselves for the exploitation and oppression of those who, because of their idealism, are not disposed to resort to force for self-protection or for the furtherance of their laudable life projects.
The Urantia Book