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RevBates.tv Global - Weekly Message To The Masses for March 27, 2011 

              "If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." - Albert Einstein
               "The dust will return to the ground as it was, and the spirit will return to G-d who gave it." -  Holy Bible, Ecclesiastes 12:17
                "We are a soul, we are an immortal being, we are the personality of God........To know that one is the personality of God is the beginning of wisdom."  - from the Annual titled "Ten Ideas That Make a Difference", by E. Holmes;  chapter 6: "Discover Yourself"

     These past couple of weeks there have been news stories on both CNN, CBS and several print media with copies on the Internet about a popular evangelical pastor who has written a book in which he writes that he doesn't believe that Heaven is exclusive to Christians.  This week another evangelical pastor was fired for writing on Facebook that he agreed with this and supposedly a few other progressive opinions.  Although none of us can know for sure what the radical Jesus had to say about hell, Catholic churches and fundamentalist and evangelical Christian churches, have interpreted his words to declare that there is a "hell."  So, it is refreshing to see that at least two pastors in a religion that has staked a claim to both a heaven and hell, out-there-somewhere, have publicly spoken up and declared that perhaps it isn't all that they believed them to be.

      It is written in the Book of Luke 17:
20The Pharisees asked Jesus, `When will the kingdom of God come?' He answered them, `You cannot see the kingdom of God when it comes.  21People will not be able to say, "Look, here it is!" or "There it is! That is because the kingdom of God is inside you."  And as we look at the lives of so many people who have worked selflessly to support others in their good, this rings of the truth clearly.  The world judges by appearances, and religion has fostered this throughout the ages, but with G-d, the spirit of the thing is all-important, for as Ernest Holmes writes we are the "personality of G-d."

     During her wondrous life, Elizabeth Taylor, faced the harsh judgments of so many people who judged her not by what was in her heart, but by the way she outwardly lived her life.  She left Christian Science and converted to Judaism in 1959.  From CNN Belief blog:  Some gave Taylor a hard time about her decision to convert, but she stood by the choice, Ivry wrote, adding, Biographer Kitty Kelley quotes Taylor as saying: I felt terribly sorry for the suffering of the Jews during the war. I was attracted to their heritage. I guess I identified with them as underdogs.  Elizabeth also identified with those going through the experience of living with disease.  She raised over $270-million dollars for AIDS causes and actively promoted awareness and compassion throughout the world for those affected by AIDS.

     Elizabeth Taylor was an example of someone who understood that we are to live life abundantly and freely.  She was not afraid to be unconventional, nor was she afraid of the harsh judgments of the Media or the religious.  In her life she married about eight times, almost always to extraordinary men, purchased and received as gifts some of the most beautiful diamonds in the world, and was considered one of the most beautiful actresses to grace the silver screen.  She is quoted as saying: "I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I'm not afraid to look behind them."  
This is the consciousness that knows that life is to be lived to the fullest, as the radical Jesus declared, "I have come to tell you that you can have life, and have it abundantly."

    
After it was announced that Elizabeth Taylor had made her transition, Margie Phelps, daughter of Fred Phelps, of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, went on Twitter and wrote:  "RIP Elizabeth Taylor is in hell as sure as you're reading this & getting mad as a wet hen. She should've obeyed God. Too late!"   Although Margie Phelps is a "religious extremist" there are fundamentalist and evangelical Christians who will agree with her ... multiple marriages and friendships with homosexuals just don't add up to a life in heaven to them.  To give up "hell" would just seem so unfair to those like Margie Phelps who are already living in it in their minds.  After all, if the "kingdom of G-d is within us" then a mind filled with scorn and harsh judgments has blocked G-d out completely.  

       I often wonder how these types of Christians would react to the radical Jesus ... who had compassion for those living with disease and spoke up for the prostitute who was going to be stoned ... and he was a Jew.  To truly know him, through an understanding of his teachings, is to love him ... to love him without understanding him is idolatry.  I think too many Christians are living with SHS (super hero syndrome), expecting Jesus to save them all the while ignoring all that he taught us so we can save ourselves; judge not, love one another, love thy enemies, seek the kingdom of G-d within.

     I believe, as did King Solomon who is believed to be the author of the Book of
Ecclesiastes in the Bible, that "the spirit will return to G-d who gave it" ... and I believe fully and faithfully that "the kingdom of G-d is within us" ... and we express "G-d within us" more fully when we live without fear of judgment, live to the blissful feelings of our heart, and enjoy the abundance that G-d has created for us to enjoy.  As Thomas Troward revealed, "G-d wants to enjoy life through us" ... and this joy can only be restrained and suppressed by our fears, our misguided judgments, and our beliefs in a heaven or hell outside of us.  

     We each get to choose every day what we believe in.  The teachings of the radical Jesus and the profound Love and Law found in the science of mind philosophy, direct us to believe in the Omnipresence of G-d, of Good; it is the way to a wonderful life. 
The Presence of G-d is everywhere present; within you and me and everyone else.  G-d is no respecter of religion or anything else ... "it rains on the good and the bad alike" the Master Mind Jesus stated, knowing that G-d is universal ... for All, in All, and through All ... throughout infinity.  So where in the heaven could hell be? ... it can only be in the minds of those who have yet to surrender to the grace and love of the Divine that is within them.


AND SO IT IS!

Keep the faith!
Rev. Dr. Henry Lee Bates

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"I have been all things unholy.  If God can work through me, He can work
through anyone." 
-
St. Francis of Assisi