This article was submitted by guest blogger Priestess Danielle, ULCM Voodoo doctor and conjure woman

 

“The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” – Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

pray, ulcBe kind to yourself, treat yourself with respect and dignity, love yourself for all your flaws and faults, and remember to marvel at your own life and being. You are a beautifully created imperfect perfect being, a marvelous contradiction, and for better or worse you will have trials and tribulations. That being said, it is ok to say, “No, not today. Today I take some time to connect with my God.”

When you take the time to look at yourself to the divinity that God has put within you, to take that time with your own soul to re-energize yourself, you can move forward with peace in your heart.

If you have been practicing your faith for much longer than I have, instead of judging me for what I don’t know, realize that I try despite the fact that perhaps unlike you, I am alone, and maybe if you have had that honor, try to point me in the right direction with grace and tact, so that I can learn from my mistakes.

In the end remember we are all students; remain humble so that we can continue this journey to learning our place in the universe and in God’s plan. Remember that you and I are children of God and that we might never know our road until we look back on it and see where we have been.

It is harsh words that push at the boundaries of our hearts and makes us waver like water ripples from a rock thrown into a pool. They can cause us to look at ourselves with doubt. Sometimes those words can stay with us for days, weeks, and even years.

When I find myself wavering on the faith that I have in myself I remember what a friend once told me: “You know more than you think you do, have faith.” Most times we choose to look away from that faith and say that we don’t need it in our life. The fact of the matter is that no one has the answer to everything and at one point you are going to have to put trust in something and be humble.

I have not always chose the humble path and found at one time that I could be quite boastful when I thought that I was right. These days I sit back and watch, keep my mouth shut for the most part because as I have gotten older, I have been humbled and I know no matter how much I think I know, there are a million things that I don’t. I am not recognized by anyone as having a great mind or a well-rounded knowledge these are all things that I have to recognize in myself.

When I started my first book project I thought that I would have more than enough knowledge to fill a hundred pages and then with every passing day I looked on it and despaired. I found myself fumbling to find the right words or frustrated that the information I thought I had so ingrained in my head is lost somewhere in the back of my mind – hiding.

So today I have to say that in my searches I have to give myself permission to be wrong, and I have the right to the answers that I seek, but in order to have either one I have to have enough faith in myself to know that if I fall I can get back up, if I look I will find, and I don’t need recognition from others if I recognize myself. In that spirit I will learn to tasunset pathke care of myself first, to be spiritually one with myself before I can effectively give myself to others.

First and foremost I feel that our Father would want what any good father wants and that would be for us each to take care of ourselves and to be happy in life. We throw ourselves into the service of others and take their sorrows on our shoulders but when it comes to our own hearts who is there to sooth our worries when all is said and done?

“There are always people who have it worse” or “I can’t take time for myself, there is so much left to do!” Do we push aside our own needs when the time comes because others might have it worse? This is a trap that many light workers I have known fall into.

Yes, there are many things that require our attention and at the end of the day there are not enough hours in the course of that day to finish them all. Your own problems may be big or they may be small but suffering is not a contest to be measured against another; grief is not a race to get to the end before another.

Recently I had a hateful comment directed at me, and I won’t lie it hurt. It was implying that I don’t take my spirituality seriously (though I do, I just don’t take myself to seriously). It said that I “don’t teach but tell others what to do.” No I have never said anywhere that anyone has to do anything, and these are my ideas like them or leave them. I am not here to “brag”, I wanted simply to make my thoughts known. If you don’t like what I write don’t read it, if you think I am wrong kindly tell me why, I don’t know everything, in fact in the large scope of the universal knowledge I don’t know anything.

I understand the temptation to angrily join the fray, to participate in an ultimately futile argument with people you will probably never meet, the loudest argument is heard first and remembered longer for its ability to drive into the heart and stay there like a splinter. However I urge you to resist, those words are poisonous to not only those you direct them at but also to yourself, when you shut yourself off and console yourself with the fact that they are nothing but words on a screen you dehumanize them as they have you, you shut yourself off from God. Speak with the same kindness and patience that you would like to spoken to. Treat yourself with love first, be at peace with your words and have faith in God that He will see you through, when you allow yourself the conduit in which God can speak you become the voice of patience you wish to see in others, and that voice of encouragement could be the turning point in someone’s life.

Priestess Danielle:  A Voodoo doctor, root woman and backwood conjure woman.

 

51 comments

  1. Br. Saul says:

    Putting an opinion on the internet is like strapping raw meat to yourself and jumping into a pool of hungry sharks, put an opinion about your spiritual beliefs and those sharks will probably be upgraded to a school of piranhas.

    1. Kevin DeFranco says:

      Joseph, it is what it is. Especially talking theology. You can agree/disagree with someone on just about anything, but when you question someone’s theology you better wear body armor. Stick to your guns, right or wrong its all relative to each person anyway. You do have aright to express your opinion.

  2. Kevin DeFranco says:

    God hears everything you say. When you talk to Him, He appreciates it. Its nice to hear from your children especially when its just to say hello and I love you. He also knows what’s in your heart and doesn’t dismiss it. What you say to men and their responses means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Be Happy.

    1. casey says:

      what you say to men means nothing in the grand scheme? whatever you do unto the least of these you do unto me. pretty sure thats in the Bible so I must disagree with you Kevin, I think it matters alot what you say to men.

      1. Kevin DeFranco says:

        You left out “their responses” to what you say. Priestess Danielle has every right to believe and profess anything she wants, and however she wants. Regardless of what any man/woman thinks. That is everyone’s right. In the grand scheme of things if she is happy, and communes with God it doesn’t matter what you, I, or anyone else thinks. Some people have never been introduced to the Bible but God is still there for them, how they come to know Him is personal for everyone.

  3. Ty Ford says:

    A friend of mine asked me if I ever prayed FOR God instead of TO God. Don’t you think he needs our prayers too?

    I thought it was a provocative position and worthy of consideration. Another friend, also fairly religious, said, “No that’s wrong. God is All Powerful and doesn’t need our prayers. After considering the two positions, the first one felt better than the second.

    1. Kevin DeFranco says:

      Interesting point Ty. Maybe praying for Him, and not to Him is a great way to show Him you really care. And not only when you need something, but just letting Him know you love Him and wish Him well also. Good question.

  4. Brother John says:

    Beautifully written Priestess Danielle. I’m not certain which “God” you’re referring to, but all deities are folk myths that may have allegorical truths, but are, nonetheless, myths to explain the unexplainable. Your humbling admission that there is much you don’t know applies to all of us. As the ULC allows for all beliefs, there are a wide variety of them present here. Some are humble students of life such as yourself, others loudly present their beliefs as facts, often becoming abusive with those who challenge them. One of the benefits of our blogs is we don’t HAVE TO LISTEN TO THOSE WHO SHOUT WHILE TYPING, but can simply scroll down for the intelligent and thoughtful comments. Do not let these people dampen your spirit or silence your voice.

  5. C.M. Davidson Pickett says:

    Priestess Danielle, we are all on a lifelong learning journey; we need not be humble, rather we need to be open to understanding that we still have much left to learn. As an educator it became my role to learn about learning; once credentialed that learning did not stop, rather it felt that I was now licensed to begin that learning journey anew. Wisdom comes not from age, but from lived experience and how we make meaning from it. What I read from you is testimony of attaining wisdom about yourself, your faith, and your place in creation. Congratulations! Many never achieve even a part of what you already have. Keep moving forward on your journey; keep challenging your own assumptions and the assumption of others. Most importantly, keep learning despite the negative attitudes of others. Your contribution to our community of learners in invaluable.

  6. R.D Pickett says:

    Priestess Danielle, Firstly I would like to say this,being a published Author and will soon be again, please do not mistake Writers block of what we call writers willies for lost or hidden knowledge. Try this, before you begin penning or typing, take a few moments for silent meditation, focus on the task and slow your breathing. Funny how that knowledge is right there where you need it.Mayhap, not all at once but there none the less. Secondly Your Faith is your own,unique to you. As are your practices of it.Some folks look at the title we choose for ourselves, and judge us on their own perception of the longer the title the more implied knowledge. And to some their judgement is ” oh they think they know more than they do” Been their, done that. Until they find you do know of what you speak…..Be true to yourself and your Faith and it will be true to you… Peace Sister….\ /

  7. Priestess Danielle says:

    Thank you all so very much for your words of encouragement, they make the writing so much easier to hear the words of enjoyment, and gives me faith that I can press on in my writing despite the pitfalls. I appreciate every word of praise, thank you, thank you, thank you!

    1. Kevin DeFranco says:

      Danielle there is no shortage of people willing to say mean things to you and about you. I found that out recently on this website. Especially when your faith doesn’t match theirs. I questioned my faith also. I let several people push me to the point of demeaning myself, by what I was posting in retaliation. Bad stuff. I completely lost it., using bad language to counter their total dismissal of mine and several others beliefs about God and His truth as WE see it. You are special, you have found God in your own way. You are part of Him and He is part of you. Nothing anyone says can change that, do your best and be comforted knowing that God knows it also. From your writing I can tell that you are a thoughtful, sensitive, caring person. We all have pitfalls, shrug them off and go forward. We have to accept the fact that there are people out there hungry to defeat you, why is a mystery. Know also that there are just as many out there to applaud you and support you. Don’t let anyone shake your faith by giving power to their words. The faith lives inside you, it belongs to you, and you will be just fine. What I found out here is: you don’t have to respond to detractors because they don’t really matter, relative to you. Have a great day.

      1. Priestess Danielle says:

        I agree there is no shortage of people who will demand pieces of your soul in return for nothing, or demand that you listen to them despite the fact that it is clearly negative. The problem is even if you step past them into your own state of being and your own relationship with the greater consciousness that is in all of us, it still has to be said that words hurt, even if they are from a stranger. It is my hope that this will reach as many people as possible and that in their anger they stop to regard the other person they are about to verbally attack and think for a moment that yes there is a real thinking, feeling, alive human being at the other end of the conversation and for better or worse they deserve the same treatment you would demand of others.

    2. Kevin DeFranco says:

      I sincerely hope that all is well with you Priestess Danielle. God bless you.

  8. Kevin DeFranco says:

    You are right Danielle they do hurt terribly. Thanks to a minister on this site that I confided in, he helped work past the hurt and to move on. Unfortunately there are people with no sensitivity for other people’s feelings as long as appear to make their point. Some people just don’t care no matter how much you appeal to them for civility. Good luck with your writings.

    1. Brother John says:

      I hope that your apparent epiphany is for real Kevin. It’s surprising to hear you, of all people, expressing any concern for other people’s feelings and bemoaning those who have no sensitivity to other people’s feelings. For those who aren’t familiar with Kevin’s recent abusive and bullying behaviour, read through the comments on the post “Call to Re-write Religion”. His abusive language is the reason this was one of the few posts that ever had comments closed.

      Although your apology is diluted by claiming you were pushed into your shameful tirades rather than accepting full responsibility for them, at least you’ve “moved on” and will hopefully comment in a civil and intelligent manner in the future.

      As the ULC is not a traditional church, and is accepting of all beliefs including; Atheist, Agnostic, Druid and Pagan (see the ULC’s Mission Statement), those with fundamentalist Christian beliefs will find them challenged and often outright rejected in this forum. As we all chose to be ordained in the ULC, and choose to participate in this forum, we should all accept the mission and purpose of the ULC. This is not the place to be proselytizing and heaping abuse upon those who disagree with our beliefs. However, it is the place to challenge any statements and beliefs that are contrary to the ULC’s credo… “We are all children of the same Universe”. People’s beliefs control their actions, and those that cause bigotry, dissent and hatred, instead of acceptance and love, need to be changed if humanity is to blossom with enlightenment.

      The fact that you accept the views of Priestess Danielle, who is a root woman, voodoo doctor and backwood conjure woman, rather than damning her with Bible passages, is a clear indication that you’ve opened your heart and mind to beliefs other than your own. This is a fine example of someone being uplifted by a fellow ULC minister. Your words, and those of another ULC minister, seem to have softened and opened Kevin’s heart, Priestess Danielle.

      I welcome the newly awakened Kevin DeFranco in the spirit of the ULC community!!

      1. Kevin DeFranco says:

        I have no intention of engaging you. the denigration of my my Bible, my God, and the scripture I believe in was uncalled for and inappropriate. calling me and my fellow Christians names and mocking us for believing the Bible is divinely inspired. I don’t care what you believe or don’t believe. FYI.. I have empathy, and compassion for hurting individuals no matter what their faith is. I have no tolerance for those attacking me, my God, or my faith and fellow brethren. You completely dismiss your active antagonism, and malevolence. See it. Understand it . Own it! And anyone can go to that site and read your posts and see how you ridiculed Christians, and the scriptures that you consider fairy tales. This site claims open acceptance of all faiths, but you are evidence that all are not respected. good day to you sir.

  9. Brother John says:

    So much for miracles and epiphanies, but good to see you’ve at least cleaned up your language, Kevin. As I said in my comment, fundamentalist Christians like yourself need to be prepared to have your beliefs challenged and rejected on this forum. Unfortunately you interpret this as being attacked, denigrated and mocked. And yes, it’s obvious that you have no tolerance, to the point of threatening physical violence to several people, including myself. I agree that I have, and will, challenge bigotry, hatred and ignorance when I see it, particularly on a forum that invites Free Thinkers like this one. I do not agree with you that everyone has the right to express their opinions. Not if they promote violence, hatred and divisiveness. In fact, there are laws about hate crimes to protect society from such extreme opinions and statements.

    It is you, my friend, that was claiming, and I expect still are, that non-believers in your version of God and the Bible will burn in Hell. I accept that you have those and other beliefs, but when taken to your extremes, I don’t agree with them or respect them, so in that you are correct.

    If anyone wants to take the time to read through what is probably the longest post on this site (Call to Re-write Religion), in part due to your seemingly endless comments, they will find a couple of my calls for civility directed to you, along with the following language and more from you. I disagree that there is “no shortage of people willing to say “mean things to you and about you” as you advised Danielle. There are very few who would say things like this, particularly on a spiritually oriented site, or people who would respect those who say them.

    “he just has an orgasm screwing with people”
    “…I bet you cum all over yourself with every insidious filthy paragraph you concoct”
    “what you need more than a few harsh words is a punch right in the face”
    “In reality it was just a scab hiding the virulent pus that you are”
    “go pound sand creepy crawler”
    “I also rebuke you and your liberal, pacifist B.S.”
    “You hapless goof, keep your brainless opinions to yourself”
    “God is perfect, you arrogant jerk..”
    “then wipe that brown ring from around your neck”
    “…. you pile of dog crap.”

    I honestly believed you had “moved on” and was sincere in welcoming your new found enlightenment after reading your comments on this post. I do hope that you’ve had enough of an awakening to refrain from any further comments like the above, but will gladly welcome your refusal to engage with me if not.

    1. Kevin DeFranco says:

      I have no intention of engaging you at all. And by the way, you can stop playing the wounded duck, you played your own part in that fiasco, so own up to it.

  10. nexorchid says:

    “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”

    -Bruce Lee

  11. Brother John says:

    I see that admin has removed most of the vile language you posted after closing that particular post to further comments, but there are many here who read them with as much shock and disgust as I did, Kevin. My part in “that fiasco” was simply to challenge beliefs and statements made by yourself and others as part of an open discussion that included both fundamentalist Christians as well as “non-believers”. Ironically, at one point you even suggested that I need to take an anger management course. I do not recall any calls for civility coming from you, but a few directed to you and others calling themselves Christians.

    I’m not sure how you justify your behaviour biblically, but the common belief is that Christians are supposed to promote peace, harmony, forgiveness etc. Here are a couple of quotes I’m sure you’re familiar with…..

    1 Peter 3:15English Standard Version (ESV)
    15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

    Galatians 5:22English Standard Version (ESV)
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

    1 Corinthians 13:1-13English Standard Version (ESV)
    The Way of Love
    13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

    4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

    13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

    The Beatitudes
    2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

    3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

    5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

    6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

    7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

    8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

    9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.

    10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    John 13:34-35, He says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    1 John 4:20-21, God calls anyone a liar if they claim to be a believer and yet hates their brother or sister, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? This commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”

    These are very easy to understand words of wisdom. They do not require interpretation. Most, if not all, “non-believers” would have more respect for you and other fervent Christians if you practiced what you preached. I trust that your God will forgive you, but also that you will have taken the above words to heart, and truly connected with your God in the spirit of the above scripture.

    FYI, I am not a “Christian hater” as you claim, but do deplore hypocrisy, dogma, and violence from any source.
    I do not mock the Bible, but I do question it’s veracity, particularly when it’s supposed followers speak in a hateful, angry or delusional manner. I do not believe it’s a “fairy tale”, but it is certainly a collection of stories told, and eventually written, by men, many of which contain great truths.

    I’ve posted a series of questions in a couple of open posts to you and your fellow Christians and hope that you’ll respond to help those of us who do not share all of your beliefs to better understand them.

    We are all children of the same Universe

  12. Kevin DeFranco says:

    For someone who spent hours defaming the Christian God and Bible, do you think we believe you didn’t just google what you want? Please. None of us “believers” need to be lectured on how to practice our faith by a non believer. Your attempt from the get go was to humiliate and ridicule every Christian that stepped up to the plate, branding them a delusional “fundamentalist” and you did so.. I did not corner the market on you. I did however give you what you never expected, and it wasn’t a turn the other cheek Christian. I actually surprised myself with some of those angry rants and apologized to my brethren accordingly. So you can stop beating the drum slowly. Everything you put down as scripture is I believe coveted by Christians as truth. Please continue to read them, for your own benefit as well. Some of the comments you originally made were inciteful and inflammatory , and until you accept that fact, we(I) will be apprehensive about the sincerity of your yearning to learn why and what we believe. Its hard concentrating on the screen right now with only one eye. I will address all your questions as they relate to me, for I cannot speak for any, or all Christians. I will return after I get rid of this eye problem.

  13. Brother John says:

    I can google with the best of them, and would guess that most of the biblical quotes we see here are not from memory, but from one of the many online sources like those I quoted. My comments weren’t meant to be lectures, as some are, but rather reminders about how Christians are supposed to conduct themselves as per the scriptures. They are also sage advice for those who aren’t Christians as well, particularly when stripped of the dogma that some of us find oppressive and unnecessary.

    Our choice of words have a huge impact on how our messages are received and understood. I know what my intentions were, but may not have chosen the best words to express them and that applies to many of us. For example, my intention was not to defame, humiliate or ridicule all Christians and the Bible. Challenge statements I believe are false, inappropriate or hypocritical, yes. That being said, there are comments in this forum that sound very much like delusional ranting. ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY’RE IN ALL CAPS!!!!

    I agree that I did find some of your responses surprising, and more, as the quotes I provided are what I thought defined a practicing Christian. However, I do understand that both Christians and non-Christians are also human. But right or wrong, those claiming spiritual high ground create expectations for themselves higher than those who don’t.

    Get that eye working again and let’s all head for higher ground.

  14. Big Frank says:

    What an interesting dialog!

  15. Kevin DeFranco says:

    BJ, I’ll start off with some short answered questions, until I can stay on the computer comfortably. can murderers be forgiven if they find Jesus. At this point in time, there is no sin that is unforgivable by God. The only sin that is unpardonable to my knowledge is not allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through God’s elect when they are presented before the synagogue of Satan. That will not happen until after the 6th trump in revelation when Satan comes back and establishes his kingdom under the guise of him being Jesus. Scripture tells us ” the blood of Jesus Christ washes away all sin”. Forgiveness of sin and the judgment of it is reserved for God alone.

    1. Brother John says:

      Thank you for your replies, Kevin. My eye is watering thinking about you staring at the screen with yours doing the same.

      Don’t you think that a society that believes all but that one sin will be forgiven might be more lawless and barbaric as a result? This opposed to believing in something like karma where you’ll take another turn or more on the wheel of like until your debts are paid?

  16. Kevin DeFranco says:

    BJ, Joseph Smith, Jesus said in Mark 13 “Behold I have foretold you all things” I don’t believe that he was a prophet. He is to Mormons. The book of Mormon has been rewritten many times and laws have been changed. Such as no caffeine. They always drank 7UP, until they invested in Coca Cola. They also see Jesus Christ as their “brother” and that they will be co-rulers here on earth with Him when He comes back. There are several other questionable things such as being given their own planets to be in charge of. I believe the ultimate happiness for me would be to be in God’s presence and live with Him forever. But that’s my belief, relative to me.

    1. Brother John says:

      There are a lot of questionable things about Mr. Smith, but over 14 million people believe him. The crux of the question was do you personally believe they are going to Hell for their beliefs?

      1. Kevin DeFranco says:

        No, I don’t believe they are doomed to hell. I believe that everyone who was not given God’s Word and taught something else will have the opportunity to hear, learn, accept, or reject it during the millennium by Jesus Christ and His elected priests whoever they may be.

  17. Kevin DeFranco says:

    BJ, Jehovah’s witnesses. I believe their Bible has been rewritten about 37 times. They claim to be Greek, and Hebrew scholars, but when brought before scholars of such could not read either language. So I personally hold their bible suspect. They also believe that Jesus Christ is actually Michael the Arch angel, and not their Lord and Savior. So no, I personally would not consider them Christian in the sense that they do not hold Him as the Son of God, and part of the trinity.

    1. Brother John says:

      I pose the same question to you regarding JW’s as well. Both they and the Mormons are quite familiar with the Bible, and I assume both regard it as a holy book. In your opinion, are they going to Heaven or Hell at their deaths, assuming they stick to their current beliefs?

      Although I don’t agree with either of their teachings, I do respect (but not appreciate) their public proselytizing. There’s much abuse heaped upon them, but they feel the obligation to save people. Have you seen this classic video before? Sorry I’m not sure how to link it here… you’ll have to copy and paste.

      1. Brother John says:

        … or it will just apparently appear for you!!

  18. Kevin DeFranco says:

    BJ, referencing my answer to Joseph Smith, I personally don’t believe there are any modern day prophets, as per Mark 13. Besides, any of the modern day prophets that I have seen have either predicted the end of the world and we are still here, or have led their congregations to mass suicide or destruction.

    1. Brother John says:

      I think some, if not all, of the Bible’s prophets were also thought of as dangerous and deranged and many were persecuted, some killed. I would also point out the horror and destruction that can result from belief without rational thinking, using Jonestown as one example. Rev. Jim certainly thought of himself as a prophet and so did his believers. He also used the Bible to justify his extreme beliefs and did much social good while in the U.S.

      As most of his followers died from suicide, do you believe they’re in Heaven?

  19. Kevin DeFranco says:

    BJ, I personally use the King James 1611 Bible. that Bible has the most available research material to draw on for any question I may have.

    1. Brother John says:

      The preface in the KJ version makes me very skeptical. The scholarly team assembled to write a version in his name fawn over The Most HIgh and Mighty Prince James and it seems their purpose was to write a version that pleased him. The first sentence tells us that Almighty God sent him to rule and reign over the English and their empire. Because people believed, and still believe this, vast resources are squandered on and by “royalty” that could have been used for humanitarian purposes.

      This, to me, is clear collusion between the Church and State. Controlling the masses with a wicked brew of religion and royal, God granted, authority. You have no concerns about them having an agenda?

  20. Kevin DeFranco says:

    BJ, The oldest Bible materials I know of are The ancient Hebrew Manuscripts, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, which I believe were dated at 100 B.C. but I’m really not sure about the Dead Sea scrolls. I’m at my limit for today. Sorry. Oh, a quicky, God chose all the prophets, and presumably were selected at the Council of Nicea and were all agreed to be in congruence with other scripture. Some such as the Book of Enoch was not put in the King James. Why, I don’t know, because I believe God plucked him out of danger and transfigured him into His dimension and was with Elijah, a major prophet of the King James Bible.

    1. Brother John says:

      Know that I am not being antagonistic here, Kevin. I truly appreciate your responses. I assume that God’s presence at in Nicea was not direct, but rather through the men who claimed to speak for him. I’m not sure any of them were prophets either.

      Doesn’t the whole issue come down to our believing that all the various men who wrote and compiled the Bible, were speaking on God’s behalf and that those who wrote revised editions were learned scholars with pure intentions?

      1. Brother John says:

        To clarify a bit more…. Is there an original KJV? Was it handwritten or printed and where is it?
        I notice you guessed that Enoch may have been “transfigured into His dimension” and for me, this was a breakthrough Eureka moment.

        I believe that there are dimensions (possible 12 as this number comes up frequently) beyond the three that form our reality of both Space and Time and that it is beyond our comprehension. I’ve attached a video of Dr. Carl Sagan, explaining the fourth dimension as well as anything I’ve seen. When his three dimensional apple comes into contact with the two dimensional world, all that’s perceptible is the razor thin slice, not what’s above or below “flatland” as he called it. Up and Down are beyond their comprehension, just as the fourth dimension is beyond ours. Although Dr. Sagan is referring to Space, the same applies to Time. I’m currently re-reading Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now and highly recommend it.

        This thin slice, I believe, is the Present, Now, God, Allah, the only Truth, Alpha and Omega, etc.
        Our human Reality is filtered through the illusion of Time and greatly limits our perception. All too often illusion becomes delusion when it is fleshed out by the hubris of man believing they can explain the unexplainable.

        There is no evidence that our species is either highly evolved or intelligent, in fact, quite to the contrary. Based on the death and destruction we’ve wreaked upon the planet and it’s inhabitants, mankind is most certainly the most destructive species on the planet. The continuation of life on our planet will only occur if we, as a species, experience widespread enlightenment, or are eliminated.

        I honestly feel we’ve communicated in a very real sense, Kevin. As is often the case, it seems like our misunderstanding are more about semantics and belief than they are about reality. I’d like to read your response to the video when your eyes can stand it.

        1. Kevin DeFranco says:

          Big’ John, I was disappointed to find out I couldn’t watch the video because of copyright grounds. e One blocked it. The oldest known Bible was the old testament written in about 500 B.C .It was written in Hebrew and Aramaic, and scribed by Ezra , it was known as the Septuagint. The new testament was written entirely in Greek and surfaced between 45 A.D. and 95 A.D. It was found in scrolls and was compiled in about 350 A.D. The Bible’s first printer was Constantine who published fifty copies using the Greek texts. It was absorbed by the Roman Empire and written in Latin after that. That’s the connection to the Catholic Church. Later on, the Protestant Reformers and the Anglican Church compiled the 1611 Bible King James version.

  21. Kevin DeFranco says:

    Believing is the key. I would presume for “myself” that the the scholars and clergy at Nicea were fluent in Hebrew and Greek and were in agreement that these critical texts were from people who did have contact with God and chronicled what He said to them. They did have reading and writing skills, as Abraham presented ten commandments on written tablets. And Ezekiel, did a great job depicting God’s vehicle considering He probably only saw a two wheeled cart until then. I believe those scholars did have “pure” intentions. Some of these hybrid, updated versions I’m not involved with, its more of ” this fits my agenda much better” type of Bible thing. That’s my opinion.

  22. Kevin DeFranco says:

    It may be a by product of him being the financer of the project. There were rumors that he may have abused younger boys, but the writers didn’t hold anything back as far as God’s expectations concerning our sexual conduct. I never heard of any scholars being beheaded, or put in a dungeon. I believe it was purely theologically based with pure intentions. I think King James wasn’t all that concerned with being a theologian, and more interested in boosting his public image. That’s my opinion.

  23. Kevin DeFranco says:

    As I mentioned there have been many self professed prophets, come and go. You look at a person’s fruit. These guys ended up destroying themselves and other people. That wouldn’t come from the God I believe in. Those poor people never had a chance from the get go, they were lied to, duped, drugged, and threatened with guns, and violence and forced to believe. God is a fair God, I don’t believe He will hold it against them. That is why at the seventh trump of revelation, when the real Jesus comes back there will be a millennium. A thousand years of teaching and prophesy to all who have not had the chance to learn of God and His Word. They will decide to be with Him or not. Then comes the Judgment and end to all evil as is “God’s” will. That’s what I believe.

  24. Kevin DeFranco says:

    I believe the same rules apply to JW’s as do the Mormons, or anyone else for that matter. I personally have found Mormons are much more approachable and helpful and understanding than most Catholics that I grew up with. As I grew ,I came to realize that Catholics really taught me nothing of God that wasn’t fear motivated. I came to have a belief in a much more loving, rewarding God than the one they offered me. I have not been around that many JW’s but those I have met seem nice.

    1. Brother John says:

      I am thoroughly enjoying our conversation Kevin. I’ve never had a Mormon show up at my door, but some JW’s have. They’ve always seemed respectful and sincere and I normally invite them in for a chat as I do respect the fact they’re “walking the walk” and, no doubt, having some rude encounters at other homes. Their magazines often have some interesting articles, but also depictions of Heaven that include children riding on lions, Dad with a coat and tie, and Mom in an apron. Don’t they publish their own version of the Bible? Do you think it’s valid?

      My wife was “raised a Catholic”, and although her mother still claims to be one, she hasn’t been to Mass for many years. Regarding Catholics, here’s what I think is an important question.

      Wouldn’t it be accurate to say the the early Roman Catholic church authorized and compiled the Bible, including the KJV?
      Assuming this is so, is it just their interpretations and dogma that you rejected?

      And I’ve always wondered how their churches contain what I’d call idols, including Jesus and Mary, when the second of the 10 commandments forbids it.

      I’m having a little difficulty replying as the comments are often posted well below what they’re referring to… Let’s make a short reference with our replies to avoid confusion.

      1. Kevin DeFranco says:

        BJ, maybe so, Europe was not foreign territory to the Apostles or for Jesus, Mary, and Joseph of Aramethia, Jesus’s uncle. St. Peter lived in Rome, had a church there, and died there, being crucified upside down at his request. St. Peter is known as the first Catholic Pope, and the Vicar of Christ on earth, as are all other Popes. Christians were routinely killed by the Romans. Then came the Emperor from Constantinople that made Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire. Thus the Roman Catholic Church came out of that happening, I often heard Catholic nuns telling students that “the blood of the martyrs were the seed of the church”. Jesus and his Uncle Joseph traveled a lot to England by boat because Joseph owned tin mines in England and was a wealthy man. When Jesus died, Joseph claimed the body from Pontius Pilate, and only kin were able to do that. He had just had a new tomb built for himself and that’s where he placed Jesus. After Jesus’s death, and resurrection, Joseph, Jesus’s uncle, and Mary went to England to start the Church there. The first Bible as we know it, probably was written by the Roman Catholics. Then came along Martin Luther, John Calvin, and other reformers, the Anglicans. They were of course excommunicated immediately as heretics. I believe that the culmination of Luther, Calvin, and The Anglican Church in England, resulted in the King James version of what is known as the Protestant Bible. I think that’s what they called the “great schism” from the Roman Catholic Church. This Bible was not sanctioned by the Catholics. Well, as far as the Catholic Church goes, I didn’t agree with them burning incense, praying to statues(Idolatry), and saints, confessing your sins to a man, purgatory or a limbo( a holding area) reserved for babies who died and were not baptized Catholic. The Vatican II Ecumenical decree that if you read the Bible 30 days straight at least an hour a day, you would get a “Special Dispensation” from the Pope and your time in purgatory would be considered paid in full. Only God can determine what happens to your soul, and where you end up. Relative to me of course. The truth is supposed to set you free, not burden you or put you in chains, with guilt ridden padlocks. That’s the way I felt in the Catholic Church, to me it was the traditions of men instead of what God tells me in the Bible so I left. I tried several different Christian denominations, but there was something always lacking or clouded by scandal. That’s when I met a man who taught me to use all different types of research materials and started investigating on my own. He too started out in Major Churches and ended up non denominational also. Gotta go, my eye hurts.

  25. Kevin DeFranco says:

    BJ, I would think so. It would be a better place, but people believe what they want to believe. Like I said, I believe that the God I believe in is a fair, loving God. He is a heart knower, if your heart is truly sorry for your transgressions, I believe He will forgive all who come before Him asking forgiveness. As the Bible says, “God will not be mocked” or fooled either. If your heart is true, He will be true to you. At the great rebellion of Satan, God had the option to destroy him and all that followed him, but he did not. What would we do in that instance; facing the possibility of having to destroy maybe 4 billion souls that we created? I love God, and if I was one of the souls tricked by Satan the first time, I surely am not now. I’m trying to do whatever I can to get back in His graces and live forever with an immortal soul. God is giving every soul the opportunity to come through the womb, with no recall of the first world age when we were spirit and rebelled. In this one, we get to learn of Him, His Son, and what is to come. Some will not have the opportunity to see, or hear, and He still gives us a safety valve that is the millennium. That’s more than fair, in my eye. the one
    I’m looking through right now. Have a nice day.

  26. Kevin DeFranco says:

    I don’t know where the original one is. I’ll have to research it.

    1. Brother John says:

      OK Kevin. I’m interested in your reaction to the Sagan video and my comments about it. It was one of the most profound explanations of “what’s going on” that I’d ever seen/heard. As virtually all deities have been extraterrestrial or supernatural in nature, other dimensions that we cannot comprehend seems to be theory.

  27. Brother John says:

    After a long hiatus, I’ve returned to the ULC forum and have found it more civil and rational than in the past. I haven’t seen you around Kevin, and will miss our discussions, as they had also become much more civil. I was interested in your response to the Sagan video…. you could probably find it on YouTube by searching Sagan Fourth Dimension as it was very popular. If you ever check back in, I encourage you to spend some time watching some of Dr. Bart Ehrman’s lectures and debates for discussion here.

  28. John says:

    Beautifully Put. I needed to read that.

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