October Food for Thought…….

We are now in my favorite month. The weather is cooling, the trees are changing color and the Ancestors are packing for their visit.
Isn’t it amazing that all the wonder and beauty around us cannot temper, even slightly, the ignorance and outright hatred of those who profess to be followers of Jesus? I’m referring to people who follow, “religiously”, the version of the Bible that suits their needs of the moment. I was faced with this ugliness when I was told by eyewitnesses and saw videos of a recent Pagan Pride Festival in our town. Professed Christians are afraid of what they have no knowledge of and don’t understand protesting the festival. I have no issues with protests. I believe everyone has the right to worship as they please and to follow whatever path gives them hope and comfort. I believe that everyone has the right to speak their mind. But the ugliness that this group was shouting has made me wonder if they actually listen in church or just socialize and take naps. I can only imagine how disappointed Jesus is to hear his name bandied about to advance man’s agenda.
There was a man, and I use this term very lightly to distinguish gender only, on some of the videos who seemed to enjoy shouting bald-faced lies at children, scaring them into tears. Yelling at them that they would burn and go to hell for attending the festival. In my version of the Kings James Version of the Bible, referring to hurting children, is Matthew 18:6 “But whosoever cause one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” That “man”, who was bringing children to tears, had no idea if those children believed in Jesus. He didn’t ask, he assumed that they did not. He had no idea if they were being raised Modern Wicca, which is based on Christianity. Their mantra being, “For the good of ALL and harm to NONE.” He just shouted at them. He scared them and now, sadly, that incident is branded in their minds as a really good reason not to trust Christians, not to go to their churches and not to listen to what they have to say. I understand that ALL Christians are not this way, but those precious, tiny hearts are not so understanding of the cruelty that was spoken.
This same “man”, who is not a true man, because a true man is secure in his beliefs and grounded in the Word of God, would not accost a woman he doesn’t know and call her a whore. He would not lie to stir up anger by telling parents entering the festival with children, that the children were being sacrificed in a ritual. Such ignorant ugliness. This “man” is a loud-mouthed bigot and a hypocrite. If he was a member of my congregation, he would be expelled. Everyone, in this country, at least, has the right of peaceful existence, to worship as they choose and freedom of speech. I don’t deny anyone their rights. I do, however, deny anyone who uses those freedoms to deliberately hurt children and seems to thrive on conflict for his own purposes.
Matthew 7:1-5 is another reference a lot of Christians ignore. It is referenced in The Sermon on the Mount. “Judge not that ye not be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, and considers not the beam is in your own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye….”
I, personally, do not understand a lot of the attitudes put forth by some Christians who believe that people, in general, today, will respond to them through shouting threats and hypocrisy. I have always believed that you need to ‘walk the walk’ not ‘talk the talk’ if you want to set an example.
So, here is some food for thought…I am ME, an eclectic believer. I believe in God the Creator, I believe his son, Jesus walked this earth as a man and tried to teach, through the Word, the blind to see. And here’s the part most people gasp at. I also believe that all the Gods and Goddesses that came before Jesus are also the Creators children, as are we. How disappointed He must be to see, and HEAR, how some of His children are willing to act and speak. They are, most certainly, NOT speaking on His behalf or in His name. They are not emissaries of His Word and they are not friends or brothers and sisters to Jesus. They serve their own needs and wants and are willing to hurt young hearts and old, to get the results THEY want.
As an Ordained Minister, I believe God wants us to see all he has created. He wants us to live by one simple rule. The rule? Commandment? John13:34 Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you. That you love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” He was saying that we love one another unconditionally. And then He proved it by going to the Cross for us.
A short clarification for those who are unaware, ‘Pagan’ is a category that includes all belief systems that are NOT Christian. ‘Christian’ is a category that encompasses all denominations of Christianity. There are currently 60 denominations of Christians in the US alone. And they don’t even get along with each other. So, here’s a question for thought. Why would peaceful, earth-loving ‘Pagans’, who respect the rights of others to follow their beliefs, respect the earth and themselves, ever want to be involved in the chaos that Christianity has become? Most Pagan belief systems have been around for eons. In comparison, Christianity has been around for a little over 2000 years and they’re showing it. Many act more like infants going through the terrible twos than faithful servants of the Word.
Think about it and feed your mind positive food.

A. V. Shanna Neal

Shanna, originally from New York, became a West Virginia transplant 30 years ago. After starting her first business in her 20's--and several since--she is certain that Crystal Lotus Shoppe will be her last. Bookkeeper, Purchaser, Marketer, Manager, Legal, and so much more, the many hats that she wears seem to always keep growing. Surrounded by excellence, she has many lofty goals for CLS, some of which she feels will definitely be accomplished. Exercise and healthy eating proponent (who occasionally eats pizza for convenience), she hopes more people find the time to stop in at CLS and experience the calm, loving atmosphere that is sometimes vibrating with laughter and craziness.

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