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The Way to a Wonderful Life, Sunday, February 16, 2014 

Listen to the Radio Broadcast of this Message:  click here
          "Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe."  – St. Augustine

         "When Jesus said, “…be it done for you as you have believed,” [Matt. 8:13, RSV] and, “According to your faith be it done unto you,” [Matt: 9:29, KJV] actually, he was referring to thinking. “Faith” is another word for thought. Jesus was saying, “According to your thoughts, be it done unto you.” The thoughts you think actually are the key to manifesting the conditions of your life. When you think in terms of the possibilities of life, then the door to success is open. If you think in terms of self-pity, of injustice, then the door is closed—but you open it or you close it by the way you think. You can think yourself into being unhappy or depressed. You can think yourself into being glad. You can think yourself into being well and prosperous…or you can think yourself into being sick and poor. You can actually think yourself into unemployment…or you can think yourself back on to a good-salaried position again—doing good work with good compensation. This is a very important thing." – Eric Butterworth

          The word faith is used in different ways in our current culture.  Most people understand that the word "faith" is a verb and as we found in the wisdom from St. Augustine and Eric Butterworth, faith produces results.  In other words, our active faith brings forth results in our experience of life based on what we have given our faith to.  There are others who use the word "faith" as a "noun" ... that is as something that is established rather than something that is active; i.e.  religious dogma.  This seeing faith as something that has already been "set in stone" prevents the greater awareness of spiritual truth from coming to an individual's awareness.  In other words, when we think we know everything, we seldom learn anything new.  And since our faith has an infinite quality to it this means that we can limit ourselves to our detriment.

          There is so much in religion that is nonsense that far too many people accept as true.  We have different Muslim sects killing each other because of religious dogma.  We have Hindus and Buddhists, generally a peaceful religion who are committing monstrous acts due to their religious beliefs.  And we have Christians so dogmatic in their beliefs that they refuse to be moved by even the teachings of Jesus to evolve their beliefs in the light of reason and intelligence.  There are Christian ministers on the radio who deny climate change, hate President Obama and his, their words, "liberal policies."  Martin Luther stated that "Reason should be destroyed in all Christians" ... and for too many of those who adhere to the Christian religion it has been.  Religion in and of itself is not a promotion of hate and violence, but those who foster hate and violence have used it to promote hate and violence.  Modern day religious zealots who manipulate, intimidate and coerce the poor and uneducated to hate those who do not adhere to their particular religious beliefs ... especially people in African and Latin American countries, the Middle East and many areas of Asia ... are little different in mentality (insanity) than those who fostered the evils of the Crusades and the Holocaust.

      This differing use of the word "faith" came to my attention when I read an interview with Sherrie Shepherd of "The View."  After repeating some "typical" religious nonsense about gay and lesbian people, Ms. Shepherd went on to say how she pretty much "hated the sin but loved the sinner."  She stated her "faith" and the traditional view of her religious upbringing supported her views about gays and lesbians.  Now, I believe by "faith" she was referring to her religion and that she believed what had been "set in stone" for her and for all others for all time.  In this framing of the use of the word "faith" all is black and white and there is no room for "reason" ... which would make Martin Luther very happy.  But, Intelligence tells us that "reason" is what moves the "evolution of thought" and was the inherent in the teachings of the Master Mind Jesus.  In the proper context of the word "faith" we know that consistent and persistent "thoughts" create our faith in both good and evil.  This is why the Master Mind Jesus called us to "resist not evil" for we would draw it into our mind and before we know it, it will diminish our enthusiasm for Life, which is G-d made manifest through us.  Very few people who hold views such as Ms. Shepherd are moved by history or Bible scholars and researchers who tell us that the Bible, which I do consider Holy ... to a point ... is the sum total of additions, deletions, misquotes and just plain mistakes.  And so I wondered if Ms. Shepherd also believed that the ancients who gave her the justification for labeling gays and lesbians as sinners, also gave her an accurate account of the world being created in seven days and that the earth was flat?  If we can't change our thoughts and beliefs about the morality espoused by the ancients can we, in good faith, change the other things that they believed to be true?  Can all those of science and the intelligence that is available to us today be wrong and the earth is really flat?  And the universe that is always continually growing and expanding with galaxies and planets arriving in our view almost annually, have all been created in seven days?  To believe these things, once again, would defy reason which would make Martin Luther happy, but it might also reveal that the person who believes such things believes them because they "choose to" rather than that there is any truth to them at all.  The Master Mind Jesus throughout his ministry fostered an "evolving spiritual truth" that so many of his followers throughout history and even today fail to comprehend.

       As the great Eric Butterworth states:  "You can think yourself into being unhappy or depressed. You can think yourself into being glad. You can think yourself into being well and prosperous…or you can think yourself into being sick and poor. You can actually think yourself into unemployment…or you can think yourself back on to a good-salaried position again—doing good work with good compensation."   What he is referring to is "faith" ... an active, living faith that moves through our mind as thoughts.  Our thoughts create our experiences both the good and the uncomfortable.  But ... the key to understanding how our thoughts out-picture in our life experiences is to realize that it is not just the thoughts we think about ourselves that create our experiences but also those thoughts that we think about others and impress upon our mind as the truth about them.  This is why in his profound wisdom the Master Mind Jesus declared that it is "equally important to loving G-d" to also "love our neighbor as our self."  This is the ultimate Law of Attraction and the active and living Energy of the Law of Sowing and Reaping.  As we keep the "High Watch" on our thoughts and direct them only to the highest and greatest good that we can think about ourselves and others, we shall see a movement in our life towards the Good that will amaze us and appear almost miraculous ... but for the spiritually-minded there will be the realization that it is only the consistent and always reliable Law of G-d being made manifest in the right and perfect ways and in the right and perfect time.


Keep the faith!
. Henry Bates

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