A Possible Gospel And New Testament

More Fun Than Fundamentalism.

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For further information, email Darius at possiblegospel@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Gospel, Chapter 13: The Man in White

If I Were: The Man in White

A manly man of dread you’d see,
My white hat white as white can be,
But evildoers best beware
Of Johnny Eastwood’s manly stare…

I’d stare into the eyes of guys
And know their souls, it’s no surprise,
Evangelizing on the side
I even speak in strange tongue-ties.

God is love but God is wrath,
And Wrath, by God, is workin’ hard,
And I’m his sword, and I’m his rod,
I love that role - no need to prod!

A silver spoon got in my mouth
But daddy yanked and pulled it out
So standin’ proud, a Texan tall,
Pulled myself up, bootstraps ‘n all,

Became a clever man of words
Of firm resolve, unflinching nerves,
So when those Saudis plane-attacked
I said we’d best take out Iraq

Just like I wanted anyway…
In this and many other ways
I oversee the rule of law,
Like Congress balking - I foresaw.

If I’d spoke to them and tried
Requesting, as the law requires,
Permission for domestic spying,
They might have gone and tried denying.

That’s why I grabbed my zecutive branch
To bushwhack ‘em, like on the ranch.
Amendment fans, just stop yer cryin’,
That first one’s dumb, and I ain’t lyin’…

I tell you that Guantanamo
Lies far outside of my control.
If you’re concerned with human rights
It’s Castro that ya need to fight.

To torture we would never sink
We outsource that, it’s wut… “distinct?”
They signed some notes that say, “We did it,”
Who cares what happens down in Egypt?

I am the axis of the good
God talks to me just like he should,
I’m just a simple Christian mogul
Whose will belongs to Exxon-Mobile.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Gospel, Chapter Twelve: The Right Way

In a comment recently, Misti asked, “How does one live life?” Without pretending that one person can answer that question for another person, it’s still a good question. So this unplanned post is an attempt to say something in response to Misti’s question that may at least be relevant.

The contents of the two pieces that follow have similarities, but also differences. They help illustrate something about the general answer to the question of how to live as I’ve experienced it. They also show how the answer to this question changes – without, I think, changing direction – according to our stage of life and life circumstances.

Start of the Season

for Laura

I love the way this gangly grade-school girl
Sun-lit, freckle-spangled,

Surprises me with real speed sprinting for first base
Growing into her long legs.

I love the way she makes the God in me
Spread slowly into a long grin.

Broad as the greening lawn, my love rounds third for home
Growing into its own world.

Around twenty years later…

Tenacity Prayer: The Wisdom to Make a Difference

Let me understand that no special arrangements have been made for me by the circumstances of reality to nurture my potential into being, and that I will have to make do with the general arrangements.

Let me acknowledge that in this struggling and imperfect world, I may falter badly or even fail in attempting my love’s best work.

Let me come to fully know our faith that, win or lose, the Whole that holds us all will ultimately be all right.

In light of these understandings, give me this courage: the willingness to do all I can while I can to make what difference I am able to.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Gospel, Ch. 11: The Far Right is Way Wrong

Ever Since the First Century…

They say that Jesus came not to bring peace, but a sword, Mat 10:34. I say that Jesus came to bring peace; and that those who wrote about him offer us a sword of spiritual discernment through which we may hope to find it. For there is a Jesus to embrace; and a Jesus to disown, doubting the words that have been put into his mouth.

The Christ of Condemnation

“And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades.” Luke 10:15. Here the same Jesus who rebukes James and John for wanting to bring fire down on those who would not receive him, and who saves an adulterous woman from stoning, is said to have condemned a city to hell for not accepting him.

“Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:18

“The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16

Jesus, allegedly addressing Jews who do not believe that he is the Savior: “Why do I speak to you at all? I have much to say about you and much to condemn…” John 8:25-26.

Christ the Hate-Monger: Blinded by the Log in His Eye (Cf. Mat 7:1-5.)

He supposedly continues as follows: “You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.” John 8:44- 45

Again: “It is my Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, ‘He is our God’, though you do not know him. But I know him; if I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you.” John 8:54-55.

Or, in other words: “Liar, liar, pants on fire…” A Messiah who lacks basic social skills? Truly it is to be doubted that Jesus ever said these things.

And again: “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not have sin. But now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It was to fulfill the word that is written in their law, “They hated me without a cause.” John 15:22-25.

A world of black and white, of good guys vs. fiendish evildoers who hate truth because it is true and goodness because it is good. Truly, Jesus was ahead of his time; for he was a George Bush Christian.

Christ the Crusader

Jesus allegedly to his disciples: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” Mat 28:19-20.

Go therefore and establish perpetual tension and division between Christians and sincere adherents of all other traditions. Ignore the spiritual wisdom of indigenous peoples the world over, look down upon spiritual traditions East and West more ancient than your own, and revered by millions; and be at war forever with millions more who will belong to the Islamic faith that will arise five hundred years later, many of them just as certain as many Christians are that they own God’s truth because they have it in writing and bought the book.

All Bible verses are not equally inspired.

If the grounds for their respective beliefs that are offered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims are really compelling, then why aren’t all thoughtful and spiritual persons Jews; or Christians; or Muslims? Is it because two out of three of these groups are evildoers that perversely hate goodness and truth because goodness is good and truth is true?

Let us judge with right judgment (cf. John 7:24) and condemn condemnation. Let us stand with Jesus, and not with first century theologians and proselytizers who were willing to put words into his mouth that ring as shrill and hateful as the words of some today who profess Christianity or Islam, yet practice the religion of Us vs. them.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Gospel, Chapter Ten: Sin is Compelled

Sin Is Compelled through Self-Ignorance

”When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’” Luke 23: 33-34. Sin is ignorance. Sin is not chosen.

Indeed, it is compelled. As Saint Paul puts it, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Romans 7:15.

“Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.” John 8:34. It is when we know who we are that our words and actions are compelled by neither a sense of threat nor a ravenous desire that disguises fear.

Reflect Upon Yourself; Do Not Judge Others

“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’, while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.” Mat 7:1-5.

Jesus saved a woman from being put to death for adultery by challenging anyone who was without sin to cast the first stone. The crowd dispersed.

And Jesus said to her: ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” The woman replied, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.” John 8:10-11.

Against Punishment

Concerning some who would not receive Jesus: “When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’ But he turned and rebuked them.” Luke 9: 54-55.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.” Luke 6:37.

Do what is necessary to protect the innocent and strive to enlighten the guilty rather than punish them. Punishment is vengeance. It does nothing to instill a conscience in adults, and only embitters them further.

Judgment is False

All persons are incomparable. Make no comparisons. When you say, “If I were her, I wouldn’t have done that,” and, “If I were him I would have done this instead,” you judge with false judgment. For if you were in fact that other person, then “you” would not be you at all; you would be him or her. Therefore you have no way of knowing that you would not have done just the same. All that you know, or suppose that you know, is that if you were in the other’s situation you would have acted differently; but you may not even know this.

To choose evil over good while knowing evil as evil and good as good is like a farmer who tied his wheat in bundles and had it burned, gathering and saving the chaff for bread. Or it is like someone who went out to buy shoes and rejected a stylish and comfortable pair in favor of odd-looking shoes that pinched her feet. Those who do evil know not what they do.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Gospel, Chapter Nine: Jason

Eternal suffering or endless joy - well, I don’t know.
But I can plainly see the thin pale weakness of your limbs right now,
Your white face and startled eyelids that flutter open
When your name is spoken
And you wonder if this is the last time you will hear it
From the loved lips of mother or brother.
Even the word of comfort worries now.
A hand upon your shoulder is appreciated but remote,
Worlds away in the world of we who will still be here tomorrow
When your troubles now are deeper even than a doctor’s hand can go.
Jason, the hell is in your tiredness of tubes and vomit,
Of this well meaning albatross of a hospital hung around your neck
When all you wanted was to toss a football after school
And learn to flirt with girls.

And the heaven, oh the heaven is in how
When I returned this afternoon after a summer’s absence to find you
Wheelchair-bound again, you briefly hurled your head up
From the pillow in your lap where it had been
To greet me with your glad voice.
Grown strange and small, it plainly meant to shout – and so it rang.
And I saw fear
had a back door
And heaven
in the breaking of a light through clouds.

When the pain has stopped, may every joy you meant to shout,
Find, fill, flood you when it breaks your borders,
Passing even now into the songs of other lives.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Gospel, Chapter Eight: Saint Satan

New Readers, Please Note: There is an “About Possible Gospel” link at the right to give a quick idea of where I’m coming from in doing this blog. There are also a couple definitions at the foot of this post. You could call it an experiment. Or possibly, "virtual performance art?” Anyway, since I’m writing more or less in a gospel-style, sometimes I do state things forcefully. But I truly welcome all points of view in comments, very much including those of conservative Christians.

However: if instead of exchanging ideas you find yourself calling me names, sneering, attempting condescension, weeping, wailing, or otherwise gnashing your teeth, your comment won’t go through. Not that I mind being called, “The False Messiah.” (Yes, this was an actual comment.) Rather flattering in its way I guess. But most comments along these lines are more monotonous than humorous, and make for boring reading. So let’s keep it in perspective, conservatives. This is a miniscule blog. Christian conservatism, well-funded, well-organized, and increasingly well-established in America’s government, is in no danger from this little blog, which has maybe 12 regular readers. Twelve? OMG…!!!

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It’s a Tough Job, an’ He’s Been Workin’ Hard for This Administration

On the June 4 post, we noted that the New Testament presents Satan as entering into Judas to make him betray Jesus, allowing for Jesus’ crucifixion and salvation of the world. Satan is actually involved with helping to realize the divine plan from the ground up. For even more fundamentally, so to speak, we find him in the Garden of Eden (Genesis, chap. three), tempting Adam and Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil - creating the very conditions necessary for the free choice that so many Christians firmly believe in today, and that thankfully prevented the human race from living in the innocent and harmonious love of God forever.

Anyway, my main point is that what with Satan going around doing so much good in the world, why blame him for anything?


On the contrary – poor, devoted Satan! He is the “fall guy” in Other-God’s plan, doing all the unpopular sorts of things that Og himself would never even think of doing personally; and all for the sake of realizing The Plan. And in return for all his bad/good work, he’s going to hell! And yet what greater love is there than this: that one divine Entity (kind of) should give his life for his divine Entity friend! (Cf. John 15:13)

Satan as “fallen” angel? I think not! Truly the Devil is the veritable Saint of Angels, or even the world’s co-Messiah – and the one with the harder cross to bear!

The idea that in the end, Og sends a Satan who has done so much for him straight to hell would be disturbing, except that I am confident that any theologian worth his salt could be inspired to make up a deeply mysterious reason to explain this. Indeed, perhaps the deepest of all mysteries is the ability of theologians to explain their favorite dogmas in an infinite number of ways. Love is the greatest gift; but theology the most abundant one. Cf. I Cors 13:13

And with all this interaction among the Father, Son, the Holy Ghost, and the Devil, to say nothing of the intercessionary cast of the Virgin Mother and all the saints, I propose taking this opportunity right now to bow our heads and thank Og-the-Father that we Christians are strict monotheists who have left all forms of pagan pantheism light years behind. Otherwise, things would get really complicated - especially in today’s culture. Og would need to employ more theologians to do actual theology, leaving him fewer to spare for political speech writers.

Return to Kansas

Looking for something to really be afraid of? Let’s stop and consider whether we may harbor any unexamined fears or hatred.

But if you remain tempted by the Satan of Og, just click your heels three times and repeat after me (three times, of course): “’Devil’ get thee hence!” Mat 4:10 But be sure to say “Devil” in quotes.

As to the fire, have eyes to see the light: certain Wizards wearing long robes have been blowing smoke all along, not fire and brimstone.

Hell is hatred. Hell is bitter vengeance. Hell is unworthy of the mind of God.

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Definitions – for New Readers:

Og (“Other" or "Objectified" God): The Creator that western religion has imagined as existing separately and in distinction from being, existence, or creation itself.

God: Being, existence, or creation itself - which is itself in-process of creating; the only One in whom each of us truly lives and moves and has our being.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Outcry and Angst

(Friggin’ Blogger)

My previous post is really the real one.
This one’s a pain; it’s not any real fun.
Once Blogger Inc. was a boon, not a bane,
But now it could easily drive us insane.

If a rival blog-host would step in, I’d jump ship
But when Blogger works well, it’s so easy - a cinch.
So although I flinch every time I log in,
I’m trying to be patient, I’m trying to be thin.

(Needed something to rhyme but have limited time…)

For now please just look at my June seven poem
Don’t bother with this – did the thing even post?
Come on, cut it out, this was only in jest,
Don’t persist to the end; please cease and desist.

Yet I know this remonstrance will never pan out
Connectivity’s fleeting, and readers, no doubt,
Some in faith, some in fear, will be moved to press on
As long as for now Blogger seems to be on.

PS: If comments exceed those of previous post, I’ll explode with reproach; you’ll be virtual toast.

But I’m temporarily OUTA HERE!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Gospel, Chapter Seven: A Child Under Heaven


One day
Not so long ago, Jessica’s eyes
Opened wide looking at the sky.
“Why’s the sky blue?” she asked her Dad.
Her Dad said, “You’ll learn that in science class someday.”
Her Dad was very busy.

Jessica kept looking at the sky.
It made her dizzy.

Only a few long clouds
Were climbing into that blue
So full of empty. Back outside,
Out loud,
Jessica wondered to the sky,
“So how come you’re so blue?”

“Why aren’t you blue?” said Sky.
Jessica wasn’t feeling shy
And placed both hands on her hips:
“I don’t really need
This kind of attitude from you…”


The air came out of Sky

And leaves and twigs got in her hair.
Sky sounded sort of mad
But gentle at the same time,
And the way that he was cold
Made Jessica tingle and feel warm inside.

Sky Said: “Why does mist rise
White in the morning, what makes rubber bands
So snappy or seeing grandma
Make you happy? How come birds have wings,
Why’s chocolate cream pie practically
The very best thing, how come people dream at night
And why does boiling water turn to steam?”
Jessica raised her hand quickly,
Forgetting that she wasn’t in class.
“I know that last part! Water’s steamy when it gets too hot!”

And Sky replied: “And what makes water steamy
When it gets too hot?”
Even though Jessica was sort of amazed
That Sky could keep going on
This way,
Still she wasn’t through:
Hey! These are all trick questions, ya know…”


“Okay, said Sky, “I’ll ask an easy one...”

“How come crayons make those lines
Pink, white, green, red, brown,
Black and blue,
Anytime you draw?”

“Of course cause they have colors.”

“What makes the colors come out?”

“Because I rub them on the paper.”

“Why do you rub them on the paper?”

“Because I like to draw.”

“And why do you like to draw…?”

“Just because I do, I guess… That’s how I’m made?”

“Phew!” said Sky, letting our a big gust
That drove away a lot of mist.
“I think you might be getting this!”

“Well then, how come I’m made this way?”
Jessica’s hands had just started
To go back on her hips again, when…

THAT’S the trick question!” shouted Sky.


Sky widened both eyes and Jessica saw
That blue was just how they were made too.
They were just being blue.
So she replied, “Same goes for you?”
And Sky just smiled.

Then, for just a few minutes,
Sky rained oodles of little “whys,”
Making splashy puddles of word puzzles.
Sky’s sunny smile came back out to dry the last one out
And Jessica helped by jumping in the middle
To see how “whys” go scattering about.
Now Jessica was mesmerized,
Which was a whole new word,
And feeling almost wise
Even though she was only seven.

When I look straight up at you
I almost feel like I could be
That high and wide too,
she sighed.
And this reminded her
Of heaven.


Jessica stayed awhile
Staring at the sky. She was feeling
What it felt like being there with Sky
In almost the same place at the same time
And she started to fall asleep
When she heard Sky wind-whisper in her ear:
Everywhere has all the somewheres
From all over stuck together.
Do you suppose that every somewhere
Knows its only home is everywhere?

And Jessica slipped sleeping into a deep dream
About Sky holding her hand safely
Through the swirling leaves and swaying branches.
The sidewalks were made of air
And even the houses were floating around,
But no one in the land was scared.
And she could even slide whole mountains out of the way
Using her free hand.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Gospel, Chapter Six: A Hell of a Problem

Definitions: Please note the two definitions at the bottom of the post if new to this blog…

Like Og, the devil catches us on the horns of many a dilemma. Examples:

Visiting the Sins of the Devil Upon the Possessed

“Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve; he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers of the temple police about how he might betray him to them.” Luke 22:3-4 Again: “The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him.” John 13:2

The devil is said to make us sin; yet Other-God still judges and condemns those who sin grievously enough. The sins of the devil are visited upon those whom the devil violates.

The theological reason for this is no doubt “mysterious,” or deeply contradictory. For example, theologians might say that we sin by allowing the devil to enter into us. And this is dark doo-doo indeed. If Judas, for example, had just said no to the devil, then Jesus would not have been crucified and resurrected according to divine plan. Judas had to turn him in. The devil’s work is Og’s.

A Devil of a Plan

The gospels tell us that really bad works are absolutely necessary for the unfolding of Og’s perfect plan; for everything is preconceived and foreordained, down to every detail. Og sees everything ahead of time; so don’t worry, it’s all under control. Things always happen just the way they’re supposed to, even when they look – well, really bad. Here are just a couple of the numerous examples from the gospels illustrating the existence of The Advance-Plan:

“Then he took the twelve aside and said to them, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon. After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again.’” Luke 18:31-33


“His disciples said… ‘Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God.’” John 16: 29-30

The gospels suggest that the world is not as an ongoing act of God’s creation in which we genuinely participate, but a divine plan prearranged in all its particulars, including choreographed performances by people possessed by Satan. The books that some Christians call the literal words of the Other-God depict this world’s events as absolutely predetermined by Him.

Evil With a Good Conscience

How then, do Christians who favor a divine plan world-view reconcile it with notions of “personal responsibility” and “free choice” that are often extreme and amount to:

“Because I did this good thing, you could have done it too; because I avoided this evil thing, you could have avoided it too. And ya should of.”

Yet from a divine plan perspective, evil people are just doing what they’re supposed to do. They’re being as conscientious as anybody can be, which is to say they’re walking around doing exactly what they have to do. Kind of like robots, automatons, or zombies.

If those who do bad things do so because they are inhabited by the devil in a manner mysteriously planned for ahead of time by the all-good Og, then exactly what is it that makes evil “evil” at all? And why are those who commit evil blamed and held responsible for it? Seems downright unconscionable.


Og (“Other-God”): The Creator that western religion has imagined as existing separately and in distinction from being, existence, or creation itself.

God: Being, existence, or creation itself - which is itself in-process of creating; the only One in whom each of us truly lives and moves and has our being.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Gospel, Chapter Five: The Problems of Evil

But Ain’t That Og…

From within the One, the only problem of evil is the real problem of evil: how to overcome it, first within ourselves and then in the world. But a second problem – the riddle of evil – arises when we believe in the existence of an Other-God who is both all good and all powerful. “All powerful” is usually understood as having no limitations or constraints upon his power.

I call this all-powerful and all-good Other-God, the alleged Creator of creation and an Entity supposed to exist in distinction from the rest of being or nature, “Og” - the one with the missing letter who’s got it backwards. The problem that the existence of evil presents for Og is a logical contradiction that can never be resolved. Every proposed solution reduces Og’s power; for no one, understandably, wants to reduce Og’s goodness.

But Og - There’s a Razor Blade in My Apple…

Here are the major walls that we run into when we play, “Og: Escape from Evil:”

First, an Other-God able to pull anything into existence that he wanted like a rabbit out of a hat would have brought his Kingdom to fulfillment from the beginning. We would be in heaven now.

Some say that Og allowed for evil in the world so that we would be free to choose between good and evil; otherwise, it’s said that we would be “robots,” “automatons,” or “zombies,” and not humans. But to assert that Og had to allow for evil is to place a major limitation on his power. An all-powerful Og could have brought about his desired end of fully human beings dwelling with Him forever in heaven without being under any constraint to use a methodology that involves putting many of us through hell on earth in order to get from here to there. No means to his desired end could have been forced on Og. He’s just that kind of Guy.

Why would a Guy like that have needed any means at all? If an all-powerful Og created the world from nothing (“ex-nilos”), then Og could have created the best and ultimate world ex-nilos.

If we want to overlook this basic logic and still insist that Og decided to give us “free choice,” whatever that is - choice in a vacuum, with no influences at all, I guess? - on account of how this was necessary to save us all from zombiehood (Note: “necessary” = “had to” = limitation on Og’s power, but okay, let’s just try and forget about that one…), then surely Og could have created a world in which we were free to choose between good and better. Free choice does not require a choice between good and evil. When we let our young children choose something to play with, we do not include razor blades or knives among the choices.

… And Besides: Zombies Have Feelings Too

Furthermore, to assume that we do in fact have “free choice” is a big assumption. In fact, no one knows whether or what or if we choose; for time moves one way, and there is no going back for a do-over to learn if we really could have done differently at those times when we look back and feel as though it would have been possible. Feeling so is not knowing so. We cannot know that our lives aren’t simply or primarily the determined outcomes of our genes interacting with our environments

We do not know that we have free choice. Therefore we cannot know that, lacking free choice, we would become automatons and lose our status as warm-blooded, passionate human beings whose actions sometimes feel more compelled (someone is holding a gun to our head) and at other times feel less compelled, and even relatively free. (My personal speculation regarding choice vs. determinism is that it’s really something in-between – maybe you could call it, “influenced choice.” There are strong influences on us, but we do appear to have some degree of choice.)

Woe then, to you right-wing Christians who speak of zombies and automatons! For you have watched bad sci-fi and allowed it to influence your theology. Cf. Mat 23