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 Post subject: SCHOOL SHOOTINGS
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:00 pm +0000
Posts: 659
Location: Savannah GA
Another school shooting, another day in America. People are asking, “how can this happen, how has it come to this?” This question has provoked a heated discussion, but thus far, there has been very little action on either side of the debate. Indeed, each new shooting only seems to lock the opposing sides further into their respective positions.

But WHY is this happening? In my view, it is fairly simple, but I will get to that presently (spoiler alert). Instead, in order to make my point, I must digress and speak to a broader issue. Before I can make myself understandable on this critical issue, I must paint a bigger picture.

We are now almost fully immersed into a new and amazing era of scientific progress. The rate of change in society has reached critical mass; the point where in one generation we are remaking many parts of our culture, not once, not twice, but continuously. There has been more progress in the distribution of information in the last 20 years than there was in the previous 10,000. Change is everywhere, whirling countless lives into the maelstrom as civilization lurches backwards, forward and sideways in a ruthless rush towards an uncertain future. And in all this craziness, the glue which has held society together for a millennia has become temporally unstuck. And that glue is religion.

For ages, religion has functioned as a vital cultural safeguard. A safety brake on progress. An essential protection, keeping new ideas from getting out of hand. And this has been all very well and good. But religion, institutional religion, has become a victim of its own success: it has lost its way. Institutionalized Christianity has become so intertwined into the fabric of Western Civilization that it is now nearly powerless to get ahead of the relentless challenges it now faces. For just as society struggles to get ahead of change, so does the baggage of society also struggle, and that baggage sadly includes institutionalized religion.

But make no mistake; the adventurous youth of today will not be called to action by trumpet blasts from the Middle Ages! Institutionalized Christianity must await the reconstruction of society before it can reconstruct itself, but another road exists, and is ready today, to change the world. And that road is nothing less than the real truth buried so deeply into the heart of Institutionalized Christianity: the truth of the actual teachings of the Master as he lived his life on our world 2,000 plus years ago. For Jesus did not come to our world to tell us how to regulate our society. He did not come here to tell us to ignore the science which has only just begun to prove various aspects of our shared beliefs as obsolete. No, he came with a single message, so simple, yet so dangerous; that we are all, all of us, the common children of a common Father. And that message was so revolutionary, and so disruptive at that time, that the Leaders of what was then the most advanced religion yet to appear on the planet nailed the Master to a cross to shut him up.

And so again would the Religious Leaders of today react, for sadly, not much has changed in this regard. It is most unfortunate that Institutionalized Christianity has removed itself so far from its simple beginnings. Instead of spreading the simple teachings of the Master, Christianity instead focuses on abortion, sacrifice, and a host of other worthy (and perhaps not so worthy) social issues. And again, while this is all very well and good, the fact that material and social issues have taken precedence to the teachings of the Master is almost criminal, and borders on treason to everything he stood for and came to our world to teach us. The youth of today is ripe for a new approach to religion, an approach which does not neglect, ignore, or even actively fight the scientific discoveries which have become so inconvenient to so many of the tenets of so called Christianity. And that approach is to break free of the fetters into which organized religion has so willfully prostituted itself to, and live anew the teachings of the Master as exemplified in the lives of those who truly understand his mission.

So how does all this tie back to school shootings? Well, as to that I have this to say… So many people have become so lost, they are drifting, wandering aimlessly thru a materialistic world awash in useless information. The false promise of technology to bring real happiness has been an empty one from the beginning, regardless of the relentless barrage of happy smiling people filling our television screens with their new cars, their fancy phones or their use of the latest cosmological, face lifting wonder. For the purpose of technology is not to bring real happiness. The mission of Technology is to be nothing more than our Servant, but instead, for so many, it has become our Master. And Institutionalized Religion, having so tied itself to the very foundation of our materialistic and self serving culture, cannot seem to get itself out of its own way to provide a viable solution. So it will be up to a new generation of religious teachers to lead the world to a better way. And while this will not come quickly, in time it will come. For this new religion of personal experience is not spread impersonally over a television screen at some Mega-Church, it is spread individually, with one-on-one contact and by living one’s life as a present day and modern illustration of each individual’s interpretation of what living and loving should be. The religion of personal experience is messy and fraught with mistakes, but it is real, and it is far more effective than a rote reading of some 2000 year old text can ever be. The religion of personal experience is the only religion which is adaptable enough to meet any challenge and to overcome any obstacle. The religion of personal experience does not fear scientific progress as do some portions of organized Christianity, it embraces scientific progress for what it is: it has no moldering canons to preserve at all costs. The religion of personal experience will eventually bring many of these lost ones back into the fold, but will take time and the interim costs will be terrible and enormous.

Hang on, it gonna be a bumpy ride!

The three legged stool of human existence, Science, Philosophy and Religion has become dangerously unbalanced. And the ever extending leg of Science shows no sign of slowing down! It is up to Religion to cast itself free of its institutionalized shackles and, together with an expanded philosophy of living, catch up to Science and bring stability back to an ever changing world.


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 Post subject: Re: SCHOOL SHOOTINGS
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:00 pm +0000
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Location: Savannah GA
I just HAD to write this, this morning. Sat in bed, wide awake at 6:00 AM and knew I had to put something down on paper. Larry and all, please excuse my liberal samplings from the Book.
Thanks, Al


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 Post subject: Re: SCHOOL SHOOTINGS
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Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:13 am +0000
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Location: Denver CO
Dear Al,

What a beautiful essay...you have woven the teachings of the UB into it very nicely. It makes perfect sense to me. Your observations are spot-on, and your solution is obvious to anyone who understands the teachings of the Master. Materialism is a monumental failure.

It's a huge problem, and there are far too many casualties now for us to not pay close attention to where the real problems lie. All I can say is how sad I feel about it, and what a gigantic mess we have to clean up. I wish I had a sure way of reforming the churches - and quickly - but I don't. It l took us a long time to get to where we find ourselves, and it's going to take a long tome to swing back to something that addresses real human need. Our children are dying. The gospel of the kingdom and the religion of Jesus is the only way...

By the way - I notice that you mentioned Larry. Larry passed away in February, sorry to say. We miss him a lot around here. You can find his memorial in the "In Memoriam" section.

Sincerely,

MaryJo


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 Post subject: Re: SCHOOL SHOOTINGS
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Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2003 8:59 pm +0000
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Location: North Dakota
Thanks very much Al.

This morning I was talking with my wife about a very challenging issue I am dealing with at work and in so doing found myself laying out my options. First, I could change my expectation of the result; secondly I could just quit tryinf; thirdly, I could try harder and see if I could force my way. Then the whole discussion direction changed and I said, "all i really want is to have clarity on God's guidance because if i dont get it on this issue he will bring me to another event which will be more challenging so i won't miss the lesson. As i have always said, he turns my stumbling blocks into stepping stones if I let him."

This world's practice of processing these very difficult issues doesn't include the whole seeking God's will part, so the stumbling block that makes us stumble becomes the thing we want to get away from when it is the real answer to our success.

195:9.7 Selfish men and women simply will not pay such a price for even the greatest spiritual treasure ever offered mortal man. Only when man has become sufficiently disillusioned by the sorrowful disappointments attendant upon the foolish and deceptive pursuits of selfishness, and subsequent to the discovery of the barrenness of formalized religion, will he be disposed to turn wholeheartedly to the gospel of the kingdom, the religion of Jesus of Nazareth.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: SCHOOL SHOOTINGS
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:00 pm +0000
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Location: Savannah GA
Thank you both. Sorry to hear about Larry.


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