Is Four Old Enough?

How old were you when you became Christian?

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In a survey by the International Bible Society — indicated that 83% of all Christians make their commitment to Jesus between the ages of 4 and 14, that is, when they are children or early youth. The Barna Research Group surveys demonstrate that American children ages 5 to 13 have a 32% probability of accepting Christ, but youth or teens aged 14 to 18 have only a 4% probability of doing so. Adults age 19 and over have just a 6% probability of becoming Christians.

Because the 4-14 age period slice of the pie is so large, many have started referring to the “4-14 Window.” Many people serving as career cross-cultural missionaries have testified that they first felt God calling them to missionary service during that 4-14 age period.

It’s a fair question. How old were you when you accepted Jesus?

Shedding Colonialism

Insights of a Filipino-Panamanian working in religious small town America.

The double insult of colonization from my experience in just one week of work.

I can’t speak for everyone, I only speak for myself and my point of view.

As I went to work, I centered myself for the upcoming chaos of being the new local high school secretary. Many things to learn and handle at once, with minimal training and a large dose of survival tactics.

I open the doors, make the coffee and enjoy the quiet ritual of gently waking our building up so that it may have a welcoming atmosphere.

One by one the teachers arrive and we have genuinely pleasant banter of our evening and the plans for the day.

Then the buses arrive. The students with their chatter and questions.

I love these moments.

As my day progressed I was speaking in Spanish to a student. She was concerned that her lack of being able to speak to anyone in Spanish was making her forget her words. Then a staff member walks in and interjects. “Isn’t it wonderful that our local school has provided you with someone to speak in Spanish to?” The student and I lock eyes and flinch. The staff member goes on, “ I’m sure you are very grateful for this opportunity. How does it make you feel to be able to speak in Spanish here in our little town?”

By then she and I are in a full side conversation just using out eyebrows and pointing with our noses. The student stops and puts her hand to her jaw and searches for the word she wants to share with the staff member. She voices without a doubt, “Awkward “

I knew she was talking about the situation and was not answering the questions being asked. The staff member told her she should not feel awkward about her English skills. I shook my head because this situation was way to big to handle and the phones were ringing.

I dismissed the student and told her not to pay any mind to what had just happened. She was welcome to come back and we’d talk about this situation later.

The student returned and was asking me a question—it was a silly one about her day and we giggled. As we did, another staff member walked in and slammed her hand on the counter repeatedly and yelled, “Speak English!! We live in America!”

The student and I were not pleased. I really wanted to ask her, “Why does it matter if I speak in another colonizers language?” I held my tongue. I apologized to the student on behalf of the staff member’s ignorance and she went back to class. Turning to the staff member who sat there with a huge grin as she celebrated her dominance and superiority, I said to her, “ I spoke to her in Spanish in a private conversation. Her shirt was not buttoned correctly and she would have been embarrassed if I had pointed it out in front of everyone in English.”

I felt weak, small and frustrated. How does one combat ignorance? My whole life has been confusing. Brown skin, white mind. I am a square peg trying to fit into a circular hole. I work twice as hard to get half as far as my Anglo coworkers. I try to convince myself that it’s just my work ethic. This is a whole other subject. The serviceable brown lady stereotype. Ugh.

I continue to navigate through life and find my footing, my voice and my strength. As I shed the colonization mindset that I was cloaked in as a child, I’m working on being kind and patient. It’s hard. I’m tired of making excuses for white privileged people and excuses for being me. This is going to be an interesting journey.

The Source of Morality

How easy it is to identify the source of morality.

Forging more self discipline and restraint than any supposed morality dispensed by god, humans refrain because of what others will think—and will even claim to believe in god for the same reason.

Morality among mankind is nothing more than consensual dance of personal opinion inside a framework of what societies are collectively willing to tolerate, evolved into fairness bit by bit through trial and error, cause and effect, fear of exclusion (and indoctrination, of course)

Skirting religions own morality, “sin” is still committed in private as it always has been, where few reveal what they do alone (in the sole presence of their god) proves they really don’t believe any of it.

Not to place any blame on them for being human, but for pretending to be much more obedient than they are—because of what their fellow believers might see of what lies below the superficial piety and smiles, while inside the anxieties of endless failure eats away at their soul.

The church has quite a racket going, for who can change their consciousness without even knowing what that is, especially by way of commandment and threat? Revolving door repentance, penance, payments and guilt never cease the failures of an artificial morality no one can meet?

Autumn on the mount 8/28/19

Philosophizing God

Better arguments needed to support deity.

If believing in god is enough to imagine him into existence, then god is equally diminished by the arguments against him. The seesaw effect, back and forth, god, no god, poof, there he is, then gone again. There is no advantage to believing because of a cleverly worded argument that can be dismantled by reason. The real existence of a god would be an irrevocable surety. It is not, therefore he is not.

If god were real, no argument would be needed. Take any of the popular arguments for god and at first glance—quite clever. But, that’s about as far as it goes. A genuine treatise shoehorning the existence of god would in fact, be evident without persuasion, manipulating word games, sermonic hormones, and overcoming doubt, which doubt in itself should be a red-enough flag.

The bottom line is this; Religion has the audacity to think it can outwit nature. Accepting this natural order takes the fear out of life and negates the threats of death with endless suffering posed by religion. It also restores the esteem to man taken by religion. Atrophy and decay is a normal part of this experience and getting that little fact takes the decision to fear from our hands and tosses it out—the decisions surrounding death is made for you. Indigenous types all over the world accepted it as the natural course of things. Even in men’s ignorance or brilliance it mattered not. It just is and is nothing to fear. Understanding that keeps one from getting suckered by religious threat and seekers of power.

Accepting the fact we don’t know what happened before this life or what happens after is truly the only thing that could possibly excite an infinite being like myself, infiltrated with all encompassing consciousness in his natural state.

Things have lived and died long before the Abrahamic visions of the monarchical boss. For millions of years species have came and went long before “the fall”, just as the earliest hominids lived and died out, so will we. So what? Oh those poor souls for all those years before Jesus.

Believe in Your Doubt

How doubt is so natural its value exceeds belief

The founders knew the power of doubt and hedged the stupor of faith with some clever cautions. Now, doubt is considered a trial to mature you in the faith, “there will be doubters and temptations, but god will reward you for your faith”—Just believe, god is testing your devotion.

Using your good sense to forfeit your good sense makes no sense. It puts one in the position of “we believe” and everyone is smarter when they join a group, right? My son used to always say, “no one is as dumb as all of us“.

If you fear the unavoidable unknowns that bookend this existence, by all means join a group to influence you to prejudice. Now you are in a position to believe great and abominable things by the power of groupthink. Now, go ahead, condemn and judge at will, hope them wickeds to suffer and burn, for the power and backing of the group has now made you something you’re not.

The reality—doubt is a warning to your inner self that your being conned. It’s a natural feeling to protect ourselves, but has been carefully crafted into a weakness by religious men of words who have a dog in the fight. Doubt is a weakness? Only if you need to believe.

To those who want to protect their minds from assimilating imaginations, doubt is an essential strength. Never give up your power to speak out. Ignoring doubt produces exactly the conundrum that allows nonsense to flourish. Quelling your openness to question everything—by fear of rejection.

Any group that will embrace you over belief, will abandon you over unbelief” Conditional friendships anyone?

The Idea of I AM—The Jehovah Effect©

How Christianity fuels the ego it is meant to kill

Ego enhancement, the attribute that captures certain men and women in the Jehovah Effect©, by thinking themselves exclusive (or important) because of a particular experience they’ve interpreted poorly. Ie; “I’ve had this spiritual interaction, my predisposed cultural interpretation drives urgency to self importance—now, I must do my part of The Way, The Truth™️, and The Life. No man goes to the source unless they hear what I say—and do what I admonish them to do”

The misinterpretation of “the experience” is what is wrong with the world

The universe has merely given you a glimpse of you—the all encompassing I AM while in your darkest hour, or still in training. Some have even claimed the experience of I AM as if they are the only one entitled to it (I and the father are one?) but the truth is much cooler than that. We are all the center of it, equally alive with the whole existence we cannot effectively grasp until we live in the present, which is eternally now.

Each of us already possess the very enlightenment we seek, but are privileged to pretend we don’t through insecurity, guilt, and the idea of self, or ego—that is the trick!

Muhammad had the experience as he lay in his cave, but if he has the final say, he also must extend that courtesy to me, for there is no difference but his disposition to align things to a culture of his times—control.

Jesus, having been conditioned by his culture interpreted himself to be the only way, the truth, and a god himself (which can happen if you’re not careful) It was true, but not solely his to claim, but mine and yours (ours) as well. He went calmly to his death with a surety this experience is only a waypoint amidst a much larger picture of a never ending play—we are it!

Be careful—the experience is real. It is there to ponder, to give perspective, to understand I AM and our place in the cosmos, but you first have to realize ego is an illusion. You and everyone and every thing are equally blended participants in a temporary field trip that can only be had with eyes that see and ears that hear—has been transformed into fear and punishment by those who feel their enlightenment surpasses yours and mine, which came actually from a crude cultural interpretation of a violent time. Those who get the joke just sit back and laugh (what else is there to do?) Ego is thinking you are you, but it isn’t you at all.

We are the mix of life and neither can one be without the other. The universe is the whole of life, while religion is trying to fix something that truly does not exist, make you feel guilty for it and then it becomes a contest—”who can be the most sorry for their sins and who can be humbler than the competition”—the ultimate ego, a misdirected sense of self, clinging to the idols of gods, deprecation, and forced humility.

Wolf tracks by the Columbia River at Hunters, Wa. 9/15/19 Measured 5 inches across.