Posts Tagged ‘James’


The Epistle of Hebrews is a bit of a mystery. The author is unknown; it has flecks of Pauline influence, but is not of Paul. Many have thought it comes from the school of Pauline Christianity, perhaps Priscilla or Aquila, Or Barnabas or Timothy or Luke or someone else. The challenge being that there is rabbit trails that lead to one thought, then norms of writing that disqualify. It is someone who was born into and raised in Judaism, but knows the classic Greek rhetorical styles.  Neither the Roman Catholic Church or John Calvin or Martin Luther could confirm an authorship. It is this enigma that sits as the cover letter to the General Epistles. If the Pauline Epistles were filling the void of the Major Prophets in the Christian Testament, then the General Epistles would be akin to the Minor Prophets.

What can be agreed upon, as the term Hebrews is used, and that the language is very much rooted in Judaic practice that it is a letter to Jewish converts to the way. As its writing falls into the latter half of the 1st Century it is possible it was written after the synagogue expulsion. Some suspect it was sent to Jerusalem, which puts it firmly in the teaching gatherings of James, younger brother of Jesus of Nazareth, and Bishop of Jerusalem.

Xaviant Haze (2018) in Ancient Aliens in the Bible uses the first chapter of Hebrews as a text to prove his theorem that Jesus was born of an alien-human mix. It comes out of the theory that angels in the Hebrew Bible, and Christian Testament, were ancient alien astronauts visiting our world:

After all, he was born king of the angels (Hebrews 1). An obvious link between Jesus and the Old Testament are the bright lights, metallic clouds, and fiery colours that raged in the skies on the day before he died. (p. 169).

As I have contemplated this journey through the Epistles of the Christian Testament it has been about my own thoughts and reflections, a bit of context, and pushing others to engage the texts in different ways. It is part of my recovery to give me something to care about, and to do. In my teaching I have always brought out different perspectives, how much different than to bring forth Hebrews through the lens of Ancient Alien Theology? I think it bears reflecting on, and thinking a bit outside the norm of events.

After putting forth that Jesus of Nazareth is the King of Angels in chapter 1, the writer continues into the concept of Salvation (2:1-11). The idea being that Jesus had to surrender his throne in the heavens, come down and live amongst humanity. Relying a bit on Ancient Alien theory as supposed by Haze (2018) it is about a humanity that was crafted through genetic experiments in the times of the Hebrew Bible. The Adams and Eves were genetic alterations to existing species on the planet, incurred gene splicing (almost like the augments in Star Trek, think Khan Noonien Singh). Then the women were so beautiful that many from the ships mated with them producing the Nephilim, which were giants, and a cover up was needed before the home planet discovered this awryness, hence the flood. The rainbow in the sky post flood was about salvation, the promise not to wreak havoc again of mass destruction on the world. As the hearers of the words of Hebrews would be reminded of their ancient stories as a source of encouragement:

12 saying,

“I will tell of your name to my brothers;
    in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”

13 And again,

“I will put my trust in him.”

And again,

“Behold, I and the children God has given me.”

14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

-Hebrews 2:12-18 (English Standard Version)

 

The angels (aliens) constantly came to aid the descendants of Abraham, through the matriarchal lines of Sarah and Hagar. Ensuring a journey, worship, survival, growth and discovery for their children. Many postulate the images of the Hebrew Bible ala Jacob’s ladder is describing entering and exiting a UFO. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah a use of a nuclear device upon the earth as the description is of the havoc wrecked by such a bomb going off, including Lot’s wife turning to salt, where an alternative translation of the word would be dissolving.  These are a few points; it comes from a place of ponderment on why angels would need to eat? Sleep? Essentially engage in human like activities. The theory growing that is because they are simply travellers from the stars that the ancients used language they could grasp to explain. It also explains a bit of the violence seen by Angels (the wall coming down in Joshua for one).

One has to wonder if the mystery that surrounds Hebrews authorship is due to it being of this kind of text. Yes it is written to a certain population, in time and space, but is it also written to preserve a separate understanding of events. A breadcrumb of a trail to a deeper creation mystery? Does it disqualify God as parent/creator if aliens were involved in the process? Could the concept of life long slavery from a devil be a different allegory of an ongoing cosmic-interstellar conflict? Or is it the allegory of the struggle for those that have used technologies and blessings for nefarious gain within Imperial culture?

The epistle (letter) of Hebrews is assumed to be to Jewish converts to the gatherings in Jerusalem under the guidance of Jesus’ brother James. It is a treatise, not a letter in the traditional sense that begins to outline how Jesus brings together many pieces of the Hebrew Bible story. Angels to Moses to Priestly castes to salvation to a deeper cosmology that I have decided to take a contrary non-orthodox exploration of. It is through the lens of Ancient Alien Theology that we will continue the journey over the remaining chapters, and engage a conversation to see what pops up.

As the question comes forward, have we just fallen silent to being able to connect with our alien brethren?


Since religion and spirituality has come into humanity’s history I believe it is safe to say that the holy writings/stories/teachings have been weaponized to the detriment of the followers and for control by the ruling classes. This is where the Marxist concept of it being the opiate of the people came from.

The next step in James’ writings to the early followers in Jerusalem is one of those passages that can be weaponized to remove holistic health from a person. But when taken in context is forcing the hearer/reader into a deeper understanding of who they are:

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

-James 1:19-21 (English Standard Version (ESV)).

The lead in of the writing brought the believer to reflect on the journey of the ancient story of Job. Now it enters into the understanding of emotion. I used the term weaponized, because for a literal black ink on page reading this can be read as “DO NOT ANGER” (or feel, or take things personally, always forgive and forget- the list of ways these words can be used to harm one’s boundaries is boundless). That is not the intent of James’ words. Rather, it is speaking of the root of actions. Taking hearers back to stories shared from the early Apostles of the Sermon on the Mount, the idea that our thoughts create our actions. If the root of our actions are ran through only emotions without contemplation, that is one harm can happen.

It is the epistle acknowledging anger happens. But the caution before it to hear to understand; process to respond. Emotions are going to happen, allow the feeling of the emotion- it may spur you to action, but ensure that your actions are not rooted only in anger (or hate). We have seen in our world currently the rise of populism, and resurgence of nationalism. Sadly they have taken on the guise of the Cross within the Religious Right.

This is the living out of anger, James’ warned about. The living out of anger that ignites extremism (within the right or left or any spectrum)…and that is the path that leads to destruction. The Zealots created war; the Sanhedrin created layered oppression. Neither was healthy for the people under the Empire Occupation. These are the actions out of anger…which leads into the next phase of the teaching to understand what it means to act justly (as the Prophet Micah would counsel).

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

-James 1:22-27

As John the Baptist would be recorded in the Canonical Gospels calling the elected religious a den of vipers; for they knew by rote the religion. They were educated highly within it. They heard, but they chose the path that created the most power for them. So it is James subversively calling the leadership that now controlled Jerusalem out, and reminding his small gathering not to follow suit. Yes they looked like they had achieved power, but it was labels over substance. Catch phrases, twitter policy if you will. What light was there had been hidden under a bushel. For there was many that saw the ends justifying the means even if it meant becoming like Rome to throw Rome off.

James’ is following his elder brother’s lead (Jesus of Nazareth), and his Mum (Mary of Nazareth) and Dad’s (Joseph) in not just hearing the words and using the word’s to make his actions appear holy. Rather he chose to live his actions,and let those actions show his faith and God.

It is a hard example, for it was the concept of “earning” prosperity that many of Paul’s letters rallied against. But it was not about earning anything; it was about practicing what one professed.  It is an example of it being included in the “canon” under Constantine many centuries later that the Church was a very diverse Christianities and not one simple stream.

For the early followers without a written gospel, it was reminding them to hear and live out the Great Commandments, which came from the Shema:

Loving God, Self and neighbour with one’s whole self.

This weekend: Listen to understand. Contemplate your response. Acknowledge and accept your feelings. Be a whole you, just the way you were created to be.

 


It is weird what launches into a rebooting mind. That is where these words come from, and possibly a few more posts in the series. It is from my favourite Epistle (letter) in the Christian Testament. That tradition tells us is from the teachings of James; brother of Jesus of Nazareth. That statement in itself creates some shock waves, not as many as when things like the Jesus Seminar first started, but still some.

It is hard for some to wrap their head around Mary and Joseph having children after Jesus. Part of it even for liberals/progressives or Protestants is our undiagnosed hold onto Roman Catholic doctrine around Mary of Nazareth. That being Immaculate Conception and Perpetual Virginity. Which has relegated the gospel mention of siblings, to be that Joseph had a family before Mary, hence half-siblings, or that these were cousins being raised in Joseph’s house due to extended family having passed away. The rationale being that Mary could not be “sullied” by sexual intimacy (perpetual virginity) and extended further was conceived and birthed without sexual intercourse (immaculate conception).

Which makes James’ claim to being the brother of Jesus problematic. Some would state it is nothing more than Christian euphemism of us all being brothers and sisters. As well, by claiming to be Jesus’ brother, he shows to be a later convert (as in the gospel narrative they try to bring Jesus home) and has risen to such a high station as the leader (bishop) of the early gatherings in Jerusalem. This is problematic for a patriarchy structure because it shows strongly the leadership role given to women in the early church, and that Mary of Nazareth’s opinion held quite a bit of sway (even in Acts her presence during the choosing of the replacement of Judas).

Which is part of the reason James’ letter has been problematic. Another is that Martin Luther termed it an epistle of straw, because in the Reformation as they battled against corrupt indulgences the Reformers did not like the concept of faith/works being intertwined. It rung to them of a salvation earned, not freely given. Which as you study the history of the Reformation, rise of Nationalist church, Ana-baptist and Free Church responses creates a quagmire outside of the text.

But this is a dialogue on the text.

What is shown is a close relative of Jesus’ growing up, has risen to leadership and presents a very succinct Gospel message. One that mystics and monastics have discovered and attempted to get the church universal back on track with. Or as Brother Francis phrased it:

Preach the Gospel everywhere you go, when all else fails, use words.

Our life of compassion and kindness is what shows our faith. It is our gospel story that we right. For the term gospel is about a political life proclamation. For good or ill.

That is what James’ words are trying to get the community then and now to understand. What story do your actions tell?

What proclamation is your life lived writing?

What is your gospel?

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

-James (English Standard Version) 2:14-17


What blocks you in your false life from living truly free and within/through the Holy Mystery?

What holds you in the past, and not being able to step fully into the glory of the present?

leaving-the-church

Aquarian Gospel chapter 138

Brother Jesus discourses on ancient laws that were designed to limit harm to others. To bring more a balance to a situation of reprisal (eye for and eye, instead of massacring your whole tribe for the loss of my eye). It was pointing to the pain that existed within or that selfishness that holds one in blindness of what truly can happen in your life. This story uses an existence that the ancient world could understand to show this juxtaposition. A blind man.

What is the blindness you exist in today? It is not a physical impediment. Are you in the wrong job? The wrong life? Can you not connect to that holy work (vocation) that fills you up? The soul flow that energizes you and aids you in being deeply rooted into the cosmic dust we are formed from?

This is the story of blindness.  The blindness kept the man out of true community, for he was isolated. In the 21st century our isolation is created through giving ourselves fully into the wrong work, the wrong life, the selfishness we mistake for holy love, that is true self hatred and destructive.

As this story unfolds, it shows that this is where the unjust, the oppressors, those that seek power and control over others want us to exist in.  Just look to the Pharisees response, not seeing the celebration of a holy family member becoming whole. Rather it is to challenge that it can’t be holy because it happened contrary to the control mechanisms, it happened on a day of rest. But whomever stated that the work of loving neighbour as self, was the work we are to rest from on the Sabbath?

The man’s own parents even though celebratory, bowed to the oppressors and lived into the injustice towards their son out of fear of being cast out themselves. But the man stood his ground, even though now whole, awakened, he was still once more cast out because he shook the foundation of the oppression (perhaps the first Marxist calling out the cabal creating the opiates of the masses?).

Move into this story yourself. Each of us have had moments of needing to willingly or being forced out of those situations where we need to make the moral over money or belonging or safety choice. Where we needed to walk in the Holy Mystery and trust blindly. For let’s be honest, the Holy Mystery is well, a mystery that is meant to be lived.

Take time to centre yourself with a candle or light imaging prayer. Feel your body relax before you come back to the words of the text with a fresh heart.

The Christines in Jerusalem. They meet a man blind from birth. Jesus teaches a lesson on the cause of disease and disasters. He heals the blind man.

1. The Lord with Peter, James and John were in Jerusalem; it was the Sabbath day.
2. And as they walked along the way they saw a man who could not see; he had been blind from birth.
3. And Peter said, Lord, if disease and imperfections all are caused by sin, who was the sinner in this case? the parents or the man himself?
4. And Jesus said, Afflictions all are partial payments on a debt, or debts, that have been made.
5. There is a law of recompense that never fails, and it is summarised in that true rule of life:
6. Whatsoever man shall do to any other man some other man will do to him.
7. In this we find the meaning of the Jewish law, expressed concisely in the words, Tooth for a tooth; life for a life.
8. He who shall injure any one in thought, or word, or deed, is judged a debtor to the law, and some one else shall, likewise, injure him in thought, or word or deed.
9. And he who shed the blood of any man will come upon the time when his blood shall be shed by man.
10. Affliction is a prison cell in which a man must stay until he pays his debts unless a master sets him free that he may have a better chance to pay his debts.
11. Affliction is a certain sign that one has debts to pay.
12. Behold this man! Once in another life he was a cruel man, and in a cruel way destroyed the eyes of one, a fellow man.
13. The parents of this man once turned their faces on a blind and helpless man, and drove him from their door.
14. Then Peter asked, Do we pay off the debts of other men when by the Word we heal them, drive the unclean spirits out, or rescue them from any form of sore distress?
15. And Jesus said, We cannot pay the debts of any man, but by the Word we may release a man from his afflictions and distress,
16. And make him free, that he may pay the debts he owes, by giving up his life in willing sacrifice for men, or other living things.
17. Behold, we may make free this man that he may better serve the race and pay his debts.
18. Then Jesus called the man and said, Would you be free? would you receive your sight?
19. The man replied, All that I have would I most freely give if I could see.
20. And Jesus took saliva and a bit of clay and make a salve, and put it on the blind man’s eyes.
21. He spoke the Word and then he said, Go to Siloam and wash, and as you wash say, Jahhevahe. This do for seven times and you shall see.
22. The man was led unto Siloam; he washed his eyes and spoke the word, and instantly his eyes were opened and he saw.
23. The people who had seen the man for many years sit by the way and beg, were much surprised to see him see.
24. They said, Is not this man the Job that was born blind, who sat beside the way and begged?
25. He heard them talk among themselves; he said, Yes I am he.
26. The people asked, How were you healed? who opened up your eyes?
27. He said, A man whom men call Jesus, made a salve of clay and put it on my eyes, and bade me say a word and wash in Siloam seven times; I did as he commanded me, and now I see.
28. A certain scribe was passing, and he saw the man and heard him say that Jesus, by the Word, had opened up his eyes.
29. He therefore took the man up to the synagogue, and told the story to the priests, who asked the man about the miracle.
30. The man replied, I never saw the light until to-day, for I was blind from birth.
31. This morning as I sat beside Siloam, a man I never knew put on my eyes a salve that people say he made of clay; he bade me say a word and bathe my eyes in water seven times; I did as he commanded and I saw.
32. A lawyer asked the man, Who was it opened up your eyes?
33. The man replied, Some people say, His name is Jesus and that he came from Galilee; but others say, He is the son of God.
34. A Pharisee came up and said, This is the Sabbath day; a man who does a work like this, regarding not the Sabbath day, is not from God.
35. Some of the priests were much amazed and said, A wicked man could never do a miracle like this; he must possess the power of God. And so they strove among themselves.
36. They asked the man, What do you think about this man from Galilee?
37. He said, He is a prophet sent from God.
38. Now, many of the Jews did not believe the man was blind from birth; they said, There is no power to open up the eyes of one born blind.
39. And then they brought the parents of the man before the Pharisees that they might testify.
40. They said, This is our son who was born blind; we do not know how he received his sight; he is of age and he can tell; ask him.
41. They were afraid to say what they believed, that Jesus is the Christ who came to manifest the power of God, lest they offend the priests and be cast from the synagogue.
42. Again the rulers said, This Jesus is a wicked man. The man who had been healed stood forth again and said,
43. This Jesus may be sinner or be saint, I do not know; but this one thing I know; I once was blind, but now I see.
44. And then the scribes and Pharisees reviled the man and said, You are a follower of this man from Galilee. We follow Moses, but this man, we know him not, and know not whence he is.
45. The man replied, It is a marvel that you know not whence he is, and yet he opened up my eyes.
46. You know that nothing but the power of God can do such things.
47. God hears not sinners pray, and you must know that he is not a wicked man who can employ the power of God.
48. The Pharisees replied, You wretch! you were begotten and were born in sin, and now you try to teach the law to us. And then they cast him from the synagogue.

-Aquarian Gospel 138

When ready, have your journal ready. Seek where the Holy Mystery is guiding you in life at this moment. Which role in the story speaks to your current situation?

  1. Peter/James/John
  2. Blind Man
  3. The parents
  4. The Pharisee

Take time to re-write the story from that point of view. Remember during the re-write to include insights and emotions as the character.

Spend time each day for about a week re-reading your story, asking where it is speaking into to your life now.

How does this ancient wisdom speak to your modern life?

Ready to step from story to life-story?

kids


Faith without works is dead. That is one of those sentiments that can tend to stick with you. Traditionally it is from one of the most contested epistles within the Christian Testament. That of James, whom tradition teaches was a brother of Jesus of Nazareth, it also shows the matrilineal lineage of the early tribe as an ascent this quickly into leadership and teaching would be via Mother Mary of Nazareth, those whom was adopted by the Beloved Disciple (which is you read the Gospel of John through a mystic lens then it should be us inserted into each instance of the term being used, so it is us that opens our arms to the one society would turn out for being outside).

But I digress, for this does tie into the Aquarian Gospel readings, which seem to be more thematically clumped as the work progresses. Chapters 137-141 create an arc of teaching that would make James proud (and for those that have spent any real time in Marian theology and her call to the world of hope, justice and inclusion, as well).

Yet it starts in Chapter 137 with a teaching on prayer. Where Jesus lays out the Lord’s prayer, as Levi has imagined it into his era (there are many different versions one can find by simply googling, the one’s from the Indigenous perspective are quite good). Yet it is pared with a parable of a wife in need for caring for the traveler:

A housewife was alone at night and, lo, some guests arrived, and they were hungry, having had no food for all the day.
11. The housewife had no bread, and so at midnight she went forth and called a friend and said, Loan me three loaves of bread, for guests have come, and I have naught for them to eat.
12. The friend replied, Why do you trouble me at midnight hour? My door is shut; my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise to give you bread; to-morrow you can be supplied.
13. The housewife asked again, and then again, and then because she pled, and would not be refused, the friend arose and gave her bread.
14. Behold, I say to you, Ask firmly and you shall receive; seek trustingly and you shall find; knock earnestly, the door will open up.

It is much like the petitioning when the masses were hungry, and one step forwarded, a child (again someone without voice in the world) to show the way. From that miracles happened, perhaps it was like this where those who had but were unwilling simply became willing. It is how our world truly runs, we are an interdependent species and as such we need to care for one another to make this world work.

Some would call it justice, some a social contract, some a social gospel or a liberation gospel But what 137 does is line it up that it begins with prayer, and then prayer/meditation leads to action, and action leads to compassion which leads to loving our neighbour as ourselves.

Or truly living into this from the Gospel of Matthew:

Matthew 25 (3)

To Be Continued as we reflect on Chapter 138

prayer_orig


Read Aquarian Gospel 129 here.

Transfiguration. It is one of those unique stories that some have alluded to, almost like Clark Kent changing into Superman. But then that removes the mystical aspect. For it is a transformation.

Perhaps there is more for us to uncover than simply changing clothes.

What if it was more akin to when the Incredible Hulk becomes Bruce Banner. When the ego run rampant, that which separates us from the Holy Mystery is stripped away to truly live into our vocational calling of brilliance. For, the Hulk was the protector. In life coaching, we coin the term saboteur or gremlin. That which allows us to survive in life, but holds us back from truly thriving. It is once we have released the monster truly from our being, and lived into our true self that we are at peace, content, whole in Holy Love…

Transfigured.

Like Brother Jesus:

  1. And as he prayed a brilliant light appeared; his form became as radiant as a precious stone;
    13. His face shone like the sun; his garments seemed as white as snow; the son of man became the son of God.
    14. He was transfigured that the men of earth might see the possibilities of man.

-129:12-14

Peter, James and John play the role of showing what has allowed survival…but the next step into thriving they show letting go of the past in the manifestations of Moses and Elijah to live into the Cosmic Christ.

First acknowledge and give voice to that holding you back.

Draw it out.

Prepare your self for release.

Thank the Gremlin for allowing you to survive up until now, while acknowledging it is time to move forward in your new life.

Destroy/discard the image when truly ready to step out of the past, this is the monument left on the mountain.

  1. The veil that separates the worlds is but an ether veil. For those who purify their hearts by faith the veil is rolled aside, and they can see and know that death is an illusive thing.

                        –129:19

For the old must die, for the new to be born, like a fire releasing the seed of life within the pine cone.

  1. And all symbolic of the path that every man must tread; symbolic of the way the sons of men become the sons of God.

                        –129:24

The symbolism of release, the stepping into your new reality connecting with the Cosmic Christ-Holy Mystery within. Letting your love light shine brightly within your own transfiguration. Each moment of each day.

The question is, are you willing to leave the gremlins on the mountain top and descend with the Holy Mystery into true life?