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The Way to a Wonderful Life, Sunday, August 25, 2013 

Listen to the Radio Broadcast of this Message:  click here
    "Remember again the metaphysical law that Jesus gave:  "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."  The basis of this law he gave in this marvelous affirmation, I believe the first time it was ever stated:  "The kingdom of God is within you."  This he gave for all humanity, for you and me now.  Through this Kingdom within, each can say with Jesus:  "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." - Nona L. Brooks, 1935, Divine Science teacher-minister-healer

Today, I received an email message referencing an article written by Pastor Rick Henderson posted on The Huffington Post titled, " The False Promise of the Prosperity Gospel: Why I Called Out Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer" ... and even though the title of the article would make you think that the author of the article was confident in what he was writing, he referenced a video from John Piper to substantiate his claims against Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer.  Here is some of what John Piper had to say about the "Prosperity Gospel":  "Riches are usually a curse."  "People are destroyed by them."  "He quotes the Apostle Paul from 1 Timothy 6:6 where we are told to be content with godliness."    "Those who desire to be rich end up badly."  "Normal Christianity is pain."  "It is sorrowful but always rejoicing."  "To follow Christ is to suffer, it is brief, only 80 years, and then comes heaven."  Then he quotes John from Revelations ... the same John who rejected non-Jews and women from his cult.  He also quotes Jesus from Matthew 19:24 saying, "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God" ... did Jesus really say this?  The same Jesus who said, "it is the Father's good pleasure to give to you" and "Pray believing that you have" and "For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away"?  If Jesus said all these things that are attributed to him, then there is a gross contradiction in his teachings.  And I don't accept that as true.  But this is the reality for those who don't think Jesus' teachings through to a rational conclusion.

        We can choose to see our relationship with G-d as morbid, that is, as a rewarding and punishing god; this is the god of religion for centuries ... this is what primitive man who believed the earth was flat believed.  John Piper tells us that our "treasure is in heaven" ... but is there a different god in the hereafter than there is here?  Jesus said, "the kingdom of G-d is within, not lo here or lo there" but both Pastor Henderson and John Piper look to the Apostle Paul for guidance.  Perhaps like them, the Apostle Paul fostered religious dogma.  This is the "belief" that Pastor Rick Henderson referred to substantiate his harsh judgments against Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer.  His article was far stronger against Joyce Meyer than it was against Joel Osteen.  He even states at one time he wanted to believe what Osteen was teaching, but when he couldn't "prove it" ... he called it a false doctrine.  And finally, Pastor Rick Henderson writes:  "This is a thick and heavy subject. Even though I've written much, this only begins to scratch the surface of the repugnant nature of the Prosperity Gospel."  Wow!  Harsh judgment and arrogance from a Christian Pastor?  I guess all depends on who you follow ... Jesus or those who "talked about him."  This isn't thinking it through to a rational conclusion.

      This not "thinking it through to a rational conclusion" is something that has become all too common in our world, and not just by those who perpetuate religious nonsense.  Politics have taken its own irrational path of reasoning when it comes to the "Affordable Care Act."  Detractors referred to it as "Obamacare" as a sarcastic response to cover up their failure to come up with a better plan.  The name "Obamacare" has become a double-edged sword; if it is successful, President Obama's name will always be associated with it.  So, for some, the only thing to do is "repeal it."  After all, who wants "affordable health insurance" in an era of rising healthcare costs?  There are those who call it "socialism" but they don't think that paying Hospital Emergency room health services for those without insurance as "socialism"?  Our politics here in the United States suffers from the failure to "think it through to a rational conclusion" and we have the evidence to prove it.

      But, here I am back to religion and some statements that were so amazing to me when I read them that I still find it difficult to understand the consciousness of the men who said it.  It is from a Los Angeles Times article about a progressive Rabbi in Los Angeles, Rabbi David Wolpe, who has announced that he will perform same-sex wedding ceremonies at Sinai Temple in Westwood and the opposition he is facing by some in the community.  Here are a couple of quotes from the article:  "At the end of the day, everything is about marriage," said Dr. Saba Soomekh, a history professor and lifelong member of Sinai Temple. "You could be a doctor who cures cancer, but you're not anything in the community if you are not married."  M. Michael Naim states that "in his view, homosexuality is one of many "tendencies" that must be "overcome," such as a desire to cheat on a spouse."  Okay, guys do you really want your heterosexual daughter to marry a gay man?  Or your heterosexual son to marry a lesbian?  And if without marriage a person is not anything, then why deny it to anyone?  Once again, an example of  .... not thinking it through to a rational conclusion.

      We learn in affirmative prayer that we must work in our mind to a rational conclusion.  Praying for something that we do not have the consciousness to believe is true about us or in alignment with the nature of G-d, will not get us the good result that we desire.  It is rational to understand our true nature; what appeals to us and what does not.  Affirming something that is needed, but not appealing, will never get us the results that we truly desire.  Negativity, fear and morbidity are not of the Spirit and those who fail to loose these from their pattern of thinking will always find something to be negative about, to fear and will create shadows where light is possible.  Far too many people give up their power to those who have confused their "opinions" with truth.  We have the power to "convince" ourselves of anything ... false truths, half-truths and even fairytales.  But, we won't discover the kingdom of G-d within us if we do. 

        Our ideal should always be to
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" ... "all things" ... Life is a gift, not a test ... let's not let those who fail to think it through to a rational conclusion ... confuse us.  G-d Is Good ... and ALL that G-d has created Is Good .. and that includes you and me and every good desire for our life that comes to our awareness.


Keep the faith!
. Henry Bates

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