Tuesday, February 21, 2023

What the Sermon on the Mount Got Right, But Christians, Jews, and Muslims get woefully Wrong

What the Sermon on the Mount Got Right, But What the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic Religions Get Woefully Wrong

If the 10 Commandments had been practiced with ALL people and for ALL people, they would have been good,
BUT notice that Jews, Christians, and Muslims for thousands of years
only required that enemies NOT violate those commands and that they themselves only needed to practice such moral behavior within their own select religious group.

In contrast, believing that God had ordered them to do so,
the Jews, Christians, and Muslims regularly
and slaughtered their enemies.

And still do so even now in the 21st century.

Read about constant Jewish abuse and theft of land, of water, of resources, in Palestine-Israel, etc.

Jews sometimes massacred every man, woman, child, and infant in the Bible because they believed that God ordered them to do so.

David, supposedly the “man after God’s heart, massacred whole villages, killing every person. And he did this to STEAL their loot.

And in the Jewish Bible in Exodus, if after a Jewish slave owner beat a slave almost to death, yet the slave didn't die in less than 2 or 3 days, no Jewish owner was punished because the slave was the Jew's “property”!

Strange isn’t it, that the Hebrews were so thankful that they escaped slavery, but then they enslaved others.
- Muhammad robbed caravans, had at least 500 Jewish men beheaded, and then enslaved all of the women and children:-(

And Muslims have been doing likewise, for the most part, ever since.
Some nations of Islam didn't even ban slavery until the 20th century!

Creedal Christians in history constantly lied, stole, abused, slaughtered..
Read what they did in “Jesus Wars” back in the 4th century--see the historian Philip Jenkins famous book, Jesus Wars.

Other horrific examples include the present Christian war by Russia, who has invaded Ukraine, with the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church calling for the war, much as devout Christians 1,000 years ago called for the evil Crusades.

Many others show these same immoral and unjust actions by Christians--the English Civil War, the 30 Years War, the American Civil War, the French Religious Wars, the Great War, Vietnam, the British Opium War against China where they forced that nation to take opium!

So ironic the American un-Civil War where dedicated Christians even vandalized, wrecked Southern churches, stabled their horses in them, etc. Heck, one Union soldier even stole a Southern family's Bible and took it back to New England. These devout Christian soldiers after invading, stole clothes, weapons, horses, food, etc. nearly every day.

See, in all of these historic and modern cases, Christians thought it was only wrong to steal from each other, but that God gave them the “right” and “duty” to steal from the enemies, even if the enemies were also Christians.

In contrast, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, states that humans ought to “love their enemies,” do good to their enemies…

This one reason that the secular writer Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and the Buddhist monk Thick Nhat Hanh, and many other human leaders consider Jesus' Sermon on the Mount an ethical precept of deep truth.

CAUTION: “Love” here doesn’t mean emotionally like or approve of!

As Martin Luther King Jr. so clearly pointed out in one of his speeches, to “love one’s enemies” means one has benevolence toward them. For instance, King certainly didn't like the KKK who attacked him, who firebombed his home, but he chose to have hope that if cared for, these bad people might come to the truth and change.

Moral truths are universal.
If stealing is wrong between my neighbor and myself, it is also wrong for us to do it to civilians and soldiers of an enemy nation.

This is why war is, by far, the most evil of all human actions. Invariably in every war, humans on both sides regularly lie, steal, abuse, rape, and slaughter, as well as violate the other commandments.

Let us hope and act to proclaim Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.

In the Light of the Good, the True, the Just, and Altruistic Caring,
Dan Wilcox

Monday, February 20, 2023

Novels so powerful, convincing, transforming that Readers Can't Put Them Down



Ones I’ve read (most at least 3 times) that have incredibly real characters, suspense, setting, and theme—novels that take you into another life,
where for 2 hours or more,
you live a different life in a different time and place,
totally forget your own life!

Novels that have such deep meaning that you reflect on their themes repeatedly,
novels that inspire or warn,
that leave you changed!

EXODUS by Leon Uris

WATCHERS by Dean Koontz

HYPERION and ½ of ENDYMION by Dan Simmons
THE HOST by Stephanie Meyer

THE ORIGIN by Irving Stone


11/22/63 by Stephen King
THE COVENANT by James Michener

IN DUBIOUS BATTLE by John Steinbeck

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS by Ernest Hemingway
(though questionable because of some immoral events)
JANE EYRE by Currer Bell (Charlotte Bronte)
ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN by Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens)

What is your 'can't stop reading, until even the wee hours of the morning' novel?

In the Light,

Dan Wilcox

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Finding the CENTER

Finding the CENTER

"Strained by the mad pace of our daily outer burdens, we are further strained by an inward uneasiness, because we have hints that there is a way of life vastly richer and deeper than all this hurried existence..."
"Within, is the beginning of true life."
"...a dynamic center, a creative life...a Light Within which illumines the face of God and casts new shadows and new glories upon the face of humans."
"Life is meant to be lived from a Center, a divine Center."
"From this holy Center we love our neighbors as ourselves and are stirred to be the means of their awakening..."
--Wise words from Quaker Thomas Kelly,
A Testament of Devotion and The Eternal Promise

The central difficulty though in finding this CENTER
living in the CENTER and becoming more and more who we truly can and ought to become
that many humans, including some Quakers, state that NO Center exists.

In so many ways, finding and CENTERING is like the story the Jewish prophet told about a seeker of fine pearls who found a wondrous pearl. One first needs to seek!
Then one needs to use her/his reasoning ability to identify and discard fake pearls and fraudulent ones that at first looked genuine.

Then one needs to compare average pearls to fine pearls--average facts to transcendent oughts and great truths.

And then comes the most difficult of all--when finding the ONE pearl of perfection,
we humans need to focus on that central wonder.

Each of us needs to give all in order to acquire the perfect gem.

Let us, in this dark present time of horrific suffering and confusion and delusion--
Seek that CENTER--seek what is true,
what is reasonable,
what is wise,
what is good,
what is just,
what is beautiful,
what is kind...

Live in the Reason which spangled the universe into becoming.

In the Light, in the Center,

--Daniel Wilcox Posted by Daniel Wilcox at 9:11 AM No comments: Links to this post Labels: A Testament of Devotion, burdens, Center, creative, destruction, Friends, God, hatred, Light, Quakerism, religious persecution, The Eternal Promise, Thomas Kelly, trials, troubles, war

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Review of Canadian Professor Randal Rauser's Intriguing, Book, The Doubters' Creed

The Doubters' Creed: How to Be a Christian When You Don't Believe It's True by Randal Rauser
on Amazon Kindle

I finished this short positive tour de force this week. Excellent, fairly in-depth answers and vivid examples for those who severely doubt Christianity and for those who disbelieve the Creeds, and those who are atheists, but who hold to moral realism.

One of Rauser's most powerful real-life examples is from the Rwanda genocide where he documents how a well-known creedal Christian leader in Rwanda genocidal helped mass murderers slaughter many of his own church's members!
a non-Christian individual endangered his own life in order to rescue over 100 Rwandans getting them past checkpoints!

Rauser shows how this latter rescuer lived out Jesus' moral truths, even though he wasn't a Christian.

Then Rauser gives an extended description/distillation of the heart of Christianity--that of seeking the infinitely good, loving God and loving all other humans as yourself, Jesus's answer to questioners.

As a non-creedalist, while The Doubters' Creed didn't convince me to accept the doctrinal creeds of Christianity, the book did affirm some views I hold to such as moral realism.

Encourage any doubters, seekers, etc. that you know to check out Rauser's book that has a very positive, life-affirming openness to those who don't believe.
Don't miss this thoughtful book, whatever your own life stance is.


In the Light,

Dan Wilcox