LIFE RELIGION FAMILY

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Archive for June, 2010

The Clergy Letter Project

Posted by tawodi on June 29, 2010


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Several years ago I joined a group effort to bring forward the Clergy letter Project. This is an effort by many around the U.S. and the world to educate people that the conflict between religion and Science need not exist.

Each has it’s place in the human drama and the two disciplines need not conflict with each other. In fact they can, in many instances, compliment each other in the human quest to understand ourselves and the human story.

I have assembled a sort of discussion course, kind of a seminar, that points to the acceptance of ideas rather than the rejection of them out of hand, as being mutually exclusive.

Science doe not reject anything out of hand, as to do so limits investigation into unknown, or unseen, possibilities that become visible with the passage of time and the increasing body of knowledge that time bestows on human beings as it passes.

Religion on the other hand denies the possibilities of new understandings by it’s very make up, as being the “word of God”

Which of course begs the question….”is it really??”

Now this will upset lo, even enrage some out there, but the Bible or The Qu’ran is written by men, not God!

As faithfull as they were in their attempts to bring us what God said, it still had to pass through the filters of men’s minds who were subject to the understandings of the times and culture with in which they lived!

As such, we now many thousands of years removed in time, must try and understand that, which in many cases bears little, or NO, resemblance to the way we live now.

We can see this in the way that God Himself is presented to us in the Old and then the New Testaments.

We can see it in the Qu’ran and the difference between it and the Hadiths which are a compilation of the understandings by which the practitioners of Islam see and practice their religion. The Hadith by the way, in many cases, directly contradicts the Qu’ran.

Too many times we deflect or outright reject common sense when dealing with each other and religion. Also we reject science as a threat to religion, which it is not! It can and should, augment our understandings of God and the world .

To give an example, we look at the story of creation. Science postulates the “big bang”. Religion says at first there was darkness and the Lord said let there be light and there WAS light and the Lord saw that it was good.

QUERY; Were you THERE?? No you were not,  niether was anyone else!! Both disciplines tell us that, they do NOT explain why do they? As we have progressed we have come to different understandings of the world. BUT!! Are those understandings correct and why must we reject entire huge segments of humans who believe one way or the other? What does it hurt to say, “well nobody knows.”  Because indeed, nobody DOES!!

Then we progress to the story of man’s formation in the Garden of Eden.

We see the elements used to create the first man and woman. Scientists tell us it occured somewhat differently but although the progression may have been different it was essentially the same process! Now if you were instructing stone age,  early bronze age man,  in what you wanted him to do and how to live, what would you tell him? Don’t forget culture and limits of understanding!!

We now progress to Cain and Able and here is where it REALLY gets interesting!

Cain kills Able we all know the story and is terrified that when God Sends him into the wilderness he will be killed. Roughly paraphrased,  When the people see who I am, they will kill me for my brother’s death…WAIT A MINUTE HERE!! WHAT people!!?? God then says “I will put a mark on you and they who would harm you will be cursed.” WHAT ‘THEY”?? WHO will be cursed?? We’re in the Garden of eden …right? There isn’t any body else!! Oh really??? And, Cain is sent forth and travels to the land of Nod……Where the devil is NOD!! And there he takes a wife…WHAT!!?? Who is she??? Where did she come from!!?? And he and his people become the builders of cities….!!!!!! What people, what cities!!!??

Kinda sorta makes ya wonder don’t it?? Why all these contradictions…or are they really? Can anyone seriously think that men as they wrote and copied these passages never asked these questions? Of course they did! But they dared not change a word and believed that true understanding was to be found in the words contained in the stories. AND, indeed they are, but the story is allegory and THAT is the part that the teologians don’t explain to you when you are kids!

The Bible is at least 4300 years old and has within it stories that in many cases are  allegory in other words to contain the true meaning within it,  not necessarily the factual basis,  but the parts God wants you to understand!

I have spent over fifty years doing this and many people have gained an insight and peace from knowing God and the world of man that is reconciled and complete for them.  They HAVE a relationship with God that is fruitful and unquestioned. Proven in it’s entirity and blessed with their knowledge of the real world that God has provided us all with.

As science has progressed we have gained a working knowledge of how the “natural laws” work.  Something we have brought forward to the miracles of modern existence we are blessed with today. Too many when hearing the words natures laws bristle at them, They are God’s laws they exclaim!!  Well of course they are, God made nature didn’t HE!!!

Do you see what I mean? How easy it is to rise up in righteous indignation at what is really….. simple truth?

It is critically important to realize that they do not exclude God they help explain Him!! And, how His world works and our place in it as never before realised by humankind.

We see our place as the husbandmen of the planet today as never before with our increasing understanding of our responsibilties as human beings, to care for the place the way we were commanded to do so long ago.

With the blessings, as well as the curses of the modern world we MUST integrate all this knowledge and use it to reach forward into a future or be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past with destructive energies  now at our command that can, and perhaps will, destroy us all.

The knowledge of God is critical and the knowledge of science is critical, to accomplish all this…it can no longer be denied.

Rev. Bruce Holzrichter Sr.

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