First published Sep 1, 2008 at &

So, rather than put a bunch of pictures on Obama in here, I’m putting pictures of what I call the Roman Pharaoh, who is the one who would place crowns on the heads of his agents, such as the monarchs of England. I think Pharaohs (by any title) are worthy of respect, including recognizing their function and power. Being worthy of respect however may be distinct from being worthy of worship.

“Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36

Have you, like me, suffered from surprising crisis in your health, relationships, career or finances? Have you, like me, been unsatisifed with what you witnessed in the mainstream media, in governments near or far, or even in organized religions?

For instance, in some parts of the world, Muslims and Jews are in violent conflict. Likewise, Catholics and Protestants have terrorized each other all over Europe for centuries, like Sunnis and Shi’ites in the Mid-East.

At one time, the orthodox Pharisees and radical Zealots had a conflict so intense that apparently one prominent leader was accused of being a criminal, then was quickly found innocent, but, just before his release, a mob demanded his death. Jesus was then paraded through the streets, abused, and then actually nailed to a cross in a public execution.

We might hope that such a bloodthirsty mob is a thing of the distant times and places, like witch burnings or the genocide of native Americans or lynchings in the 20th century. However, how safe would it be for Osama Bin Laden to publicly walk down a street in New York City?

Why was the mob so bloodthirsty that it would persecute Jesus like it did? For simplicity here, I will focus on the controversy over whether he was the Messiah.

Many claimed that he was a rightful heir to the throne of David, the annointed King of the Jews. Others disagreed (violently).

By the way, in the Greek language, any annointed King of the Jews like

David (or Solomon or Saul or possibly even Moses) would have been called “Christos,” which in English is translated as “Christ.” “Moshiach” (or Messiah) is the Hebrew term for an annointed King, a Christ.So, in the time of Jesus, there was violent controversy as to whether Jesus qualified to be another Christ or annointed King of the Jews. Did Jesus qualify as the adopted son of Joseph, who was a descendent of David? Other rumors said that Jesus was the bastard son of John, with whom his mother Mary lived when she became pregnant, and, since John was a direct descendent of David, then Jesus qualified. Others claimed that his mother Mary was a descendant of Abraham, and that was good enough for Jesus to qualify as a new Christ.

Jesus himself apparently was concerned with other matters more than the issue of bloodlines or titles. At his trial, when Jesus was asked if he was another annointed King of the Jews (the Messianic Christ), different sources/translations report slightly different answers by Jesus, but in no version (to my knowledge) did Jesus at all argue about the point. Earlier, Jesus had challenged the Pharisees on their own understanding of a certain Jewish scripture (what modern Christians call the Old Testament):

“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus ask them, saying, ‘what think ye of Christ [The Messiah]? Whose son is he?’ They say unto him,’ the Son of David.’ He saith unto them, ‘How then doth David in spirit call him Lord?, [Here, Jesus quotes Pslams 110:1, which was authored by David] saying The LORD said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then called him Lord, how is he his son?’ And no man was able to answer [Jesus], neither [dared] any man from that day forth ask him any more questions. ” Matthew 22: 41-46

The orthodox leaders of those days, the Pharisees, may have been scared of someone who challenged them to demonstrate understanding of their own scriptures. There is little controversy that such a radical could be perceived as a threat… at least to rulers who question their own competence or legitimacy.

In fact, Jesus used analogies suggesting not just that the Pharisees were ignorant on isolated points of scripture, but that the people lacked the faithful leadership of a true shepherd, and further that any false shepherds would abandon them rather than risk their own lives for them. Could he have been talking about the Pharisees as being false, unfaithful, and even dangerous?

Could the same even apply to us today, with a glaring absence of truly faithful leadership in many churches, many governments, and many media sources? Are the leaders of many churches not just ignorant of a few isolated points of scripture, such as what the title Christ is referencing or what God is, but ignorant of what faithful leadership is, and, in such ignorance, not just negligent but dangerous?

Today, there may be a sense that we have lost something, like a child who sees something interesting and runs over excitedly to explore, and then later suddenly realizes that the family cannot be seen, and calls out for them in panic. Responding to the panic of the lost people, leaders in churches, governments, and the media offer solutions for distress about health, morals, and economics.

“Put your faith in us- in this new and improved proposal” say these leaders. “Take this new experimental pill” or “Vote for this new candidate” or “buy this new book.”

Some suggest that politicians like Ron Paul or Barrack Obama could be the new Savoir, at least for the USA (which is the only country that matters, right?). In fact, that may be the universal cry of all political campaigns: “this candidate is the only true savior.”

Fortunately, since I already know who the real Messiah is, I am not confused by such silliness. Long live the only true Messiah: Oprah Winfrey. (By the way, I will of course vote for whoever the Messiah tells me to vote for.)

Or, perhaps faithful leadership is not just for other people. Perhaps a faithful leader could be leading a household, or serving a local community, or a leader in business.

Now, I’ve been partially paralyzed [literally]. I’ve had catastrophic breakdowns in relationships. I’ve had severe financial problems and I’ve lost a home to foreclosure.

Those are not reasons for me not to lead. Those are reasons for me to be compassionate for people who are a facing similar crisis to one I have faced. Those are reasons for me to lead, and to lead faithfully.

I’ve seen medical professionals desperately pursue experimental treatments in reaction to symptoms. Anyone else who has had kidney stones can relate. Sometimes, when those techniques of repressing symptoms “works” at all, the symptoms soon come back all the more harshly in sudden but chronic problems. I’ve also personally experienced an overnight recovery of my ability to walk.

But life was not done with challenges. I’ve seen couples seek all sorts of fixes. I’ve seen them hide their issues, complain about their issues, try to fix each other’s issues, and try to fix themselves. I’ve done all of that myself as well. In a few cases, I have witnessed miraculous developments- transformation not just on the level of symptoms, but life-altering developments. Sometimes, those miracles last for decades and sometimes, at least temporarily, one apparent miracle can soon lead to an even bigger communication breakdown.

I’ve had huge gains in income. I’ve had huge losses in income.

All of that, to me, was in the realm of effects or symptoms. Health is the effect of something, and the absence of that precedes illness. Wealth is the effect of something, and the absence of that precedes poverty. Intimacy is the effect of something, and the absence of that precedes compromise, resentment, and disconnection.

Hiding or removing symptoms does not provide the source of health, wealth, or intimacy. Only nourishing the source of those effects can produce those effects.

Even in the realm of politics, people may respond to symptoms with demands for political change. Let’s have a war to end all wars or new laws to end all crime or a new bureacuracy to fight government waste and corruption. Let’s execute people to show them that cold-blooded killing is immoral. Let’s regulate this and subsidize that and criminalize everything else.

By the way, I finally figured out the problem with this country: we just need to take the words “IN GOD WE TRUST” off the money. I don’t know about you, but that was really causing me a lot of distress to know that somewhere there might be an atheist or agnostic staring at a coin and just feeling so left out that I could cry.

Other people say that the only real solution is to put those words back on the currency, but, so as not to upset people who can only read English, we’d write the phrase in Latin! That is obviously a great idea, except, if I recall correctly, all the main problems of current governments were already here even when those words were on the money.

Is the removing of those words a symptom of a problem? That may very well be.

However, if all the Protestants in the US demanded that we remove all Latin words from every government document because Latin is the favorite language of Roman Catholics, I’d give them the really shocking news: all of the Roman Catholics that I know speak Spanish better than they speak Latin. I know lots of people who worship the words of the founding documents of the USA or of various religions. I think they are missing the point. Most of those written words were passed down by oral tradition for centuries. If the words were true after they were recorded in written language, then perhaps they were true before they were recorded as well.

The words are not the issue. Trusting God is not just a matter of using a few words or publicizing those words for the public to see.

When I look back on the history of this nation, I do see some courageous actions that I do consider to be faithful to the simplest spiritual principles. However, most of the actions that I am thinking of did not involve the government, or, if the actions did involve the government, that may have only been in response to the demands of the people, and sometimes that response was quite slow and even then only partial.

This country has a long history of political assassinations, with certain U.S. Presidents being the most famous targets. This country also has a long history of conspiracy theories, including some theories about those assassinations.

However, the most popular consipiracy that I know of is the theory promoted by the current President, GW Bush. He says that there was a series of incidents on a certain Tuesday in September a few years ago, and that the incidents were the culmination of a conspiracy. I say he is a fool.

I, for one, consider him and his conspiracy theory to be totally ridiculous. First of all, I heard that the Messiah, Oprah Winfrey, said that those incidents were totally unrelated and just really coincidental. If the Messiah said that the incidents were unrelated, that is good enough for me. If Oprah said to vote for Obama Bin Laden, then that is exactly what I would do, you know, because I am a faithful blind follower.

While I deny that the little misunderstanding at Pearl Harbor was the cause of the sinking of the Lusitania, I am clear that JFK was the best President this country has ever had (and probably will ever have) because he inspired taxpayers to pour huge amounts of oil into the quest to land intelligent life on the earth. Unfortunately, that quest has not yet been fulfilled, but at least his intentions were good!

As for the rumor about JFK playing a character named Frank Sinatra before Frank Sinatra was even born, which was the movie called “Being There” about the assassination of two Federal Reserve hitmen from Manchuria (Al Pacino and Marlon Brando), even I admit that is entirely true. I know this because Oprah told me that it’s in the secret last book of the Bible, which is currently only available on the internet.

So, here is the deal. Many people do not trust in God. Many people instead trust in the media, and politics, and religions.

Just as printing the words “IN GOD WE TRUST” does not produce faith, using the word God does not make someone religious. As long as the people invest their faith in religious leaders that would not visit them if they were sick and in jail, or nourish them if they were hungry, then there is a natural consequence to those investments.

I know health activists who want the government to tell the truth, such as the FDA. I know peace activists who want the media to tell the truth (???)! I even know spiritual radicals who want mainstream churches to welcome them.

Some churches, governments, and mass media do not deserve our trust, our faith, our attention, or our conversation. By the way, when I say “some,” it is possible that I mean “virtually all.”

The question ultimately is: what is deserving of our trust, our faith, our attention, and our conversation? I warn you that the answer I propose may be radical, and even heretical to you: God.

When I say God, I may not mean God in the way that politicians and the mainstream mean God. God is the Divine Order of things. God rules not only the earth, and not only the earthlings, and not only the nations and their laws and economies and churches and media. God regulates what happens in my personal life- and in yours.

If we want blessings in our personal life, we can seek them through other people, and other people certainly may bless us with generosity and opportunity. However, to first be faithful to God is my choice.

“If God wills it, then…” let this health issue or that relationship or the right job manifest (or terminate or whatever else I am requesting). I make my request of God first, and then I may share it with other people (or not). I may even say rather presumptuous things like “God-willing, I am getting the perfect job for me.” I may say that to other people. I may just keep it to myself.

I pray to be open to receiving God’s blessings, and in giving thanks for what I actually receive, even if I do not consider it a blessing already. That last item is a big one for being full of faith.

I pray for my beloved to receive God’s blessings. I pray for my community to be faithful, and every nation beginning with my own, and for the whole earth to be the host of a holy kingdom.

I pray to know what is the divine plan for my life, for my nourishment, for my finances, for my career, and so on. I pray not just for clarity, but with an advance commitment to faithfully perform whatever God wills that I do.

I am ready to serve. How, God, can I best serve you today? If I currently lack the ability to serve in a certain way, but God will that I serve that way, then now I am open to God providing me with that ability anytime in the future, even as soon as right now.

I am ready to die… for God. I am ready to live… for God.

My body is the temple of God. My heart is the fountain of God. My words are the expression of God. My actions are the instruments of God.

Do I have political opinions about organizations that coerce tribute from their people? I might. Do I have religious opinions about churches that sow discord within nations and amongst nations? I might. Do I have commercial opinions about the commercial media and the content of their commercials? I might. As for “commercial-free media” who publicize their sponsors openly, I definitely have an opinion!

However, my opinions come and go, like my perceptions. My faith, though, is something that I consciously generate.

Here is a story of two hungry creatures. One creature is called “hope for a solution to the problem of all of our differences.” The other creature is called “faith that our differences are the solutions to all of our problems.” Which creature do we feed?

There is a source of health. Those who are suffering from illness either do not know the source of health or know, but are not accessing it. The source of health is faithfulness to God’s divine design. That applies to consciousness, to diet, and even to relationships and lifestyle. If one is in a relationship that is dangerous or disturbingly stressful (in other words, a relationship that is unfaithful), that relationship will not be the source of health that a loving relationship could be. The termination of an unhealthy relationship may even be a positive development for the health of everyone involved, God-willing.

Further, there is a source of intimacy. Those who are in relationships that are reasonably healthy but yet unfulfilling (and you know who you are, whether your spouse knows or not), are not being faithful to the source of intimacy, or not yet. God’s divine design for intimacy involves a certain dynamic of mature masculinity and femininity, from the rather obvious differences in physicality and sexuality to differences in hormones, communication, values, and gifts. The tendency to neutralize gender distinctions in certain modern cultures, rather than hold them sacred, is a major issue not only for personal health, and not only for the strength of families, but for the long-term prosperity of nations.

By the way, there is a source of prosperity. Those who are suffering from poverty are motivated to explore that source. Governments are designed to redistribute wealth systematically. Businesses are designed to redistribute wealth methodically as well. Those who do not understand those designs are apt to be surprised by the predictable functioning of those systems and methods. Banks are predictable. Investors are predictable. Markets are predictable. Surprises are optional.

Those who are faithful to the designs of markets, businesses, and governments are often disproportionately benefitted by them, or at least unusually safe from them. As the people of South Africa and Iraq know, being born near a mine or oil deposit can be either a curse or blessing. Likewise, the abundance of oil in Texas certainly boosted the local economy for a while, but when the oil wells dried up, much of the prosperity had been invested in conspicuous consumption lavishly, indulgently, negligently.

Suddenly, Real Estate values collapsed in Houston. Imprudent borrowers were bankrupted. Prudent investors who sold near the top were enriched, whether or not they bought back in near the bottom.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, prudent infrastructure investment resulted in a new boom in high technology fields (and related service industries like air travel). Houston stabilized without ever recovering fully, while Dallas-Forth Worth blossomed.

However, the USA as a whole has a lot in common now with the situation of Houston a few decades ago. The 1300% rise in oil prices since 1999 has not been without effect on the economic stability of the biggest importer of oil in the world, the USA.

North Americans are world-famous for debt-based investing in consumerism (and promises of government-provided “social security”) rather than productivity (and the real-world economic security that only actual productivity can provide). While there is booming high-tech progress developing the well-populated “middle classes” of India, China, and the rest of Asia, the USA may, like it’s Imperial forefather, Great Britain, join the growing list of former superpowers.

So, there is a source of prosperity. There is a source of health. There is a source of intimacy.

Now, while this answer is only a beginning, I can even tell you briefly the source of health, or intimacy, and wealth: God, or, more precisely, faithfulness to God. However, even faith has a source.

Charity (translated as “love” in much of the New Testament) refers to seeing one’s neighbors as identical to one’s self. This is the teaching of Jesus: ”

As you do unto the least of these, so you are doing unto me.”This charity gives us courage or enthusiasm or optimism (translated as “hope” in much of the New Testament). Courage gives us prudence or faithfulness to the order of God’s will or, simply, faith. I am not just talking about optimism or confidence or even commitment, which are in the realm of what I mean by courage. I am talking about acts of faith.

The whole issue of “faith without works” is about a different understanding of faith. I am talking about an active faith, a willingness that always manifests in some outward way, but without attachment to any particular way of outward manifesting. Attachment is about a fearful desperation that many people have learned to call “hope,” but is less about a general optimism than a specific desperation.

Those who are faithful to God are not attached to a specific outcome, a specific method, a specific candidate, a specific proposal or possibility. Their faith is undauntable. That is how one knows it as faith.

If one possibility does not manifest, faith can produce another. God-willing, the faithful do precisely what divine design inspires them to do. The faithful produce the fruit of inspiration how and when and where God wills.

God-willing, may you be one of the faithful. God-willing, may we be the faithful leaders of households, communities, and nations, as well as faithful stewards of the whole earth.

May we be discerning and conservative in the face of the barrage of promises and provocative dramas issued by politicians and mainstream religious leaders and media sources. May we be prudent, provident, prosperous, and peaceful.

By the way, there is also a souce of peace. From peace within, and through charity and productivity, there is a possibility of real global peace. I do not just mean an absence of international wars or the quiet of a well-medicated ward, but harmony amongst peoples worldwide and within communities and within families and households. By peace, I do not mean the absence of vitality, but the dynamism of miraculous intimacy through a commitment to experience one’s partner as God, one’s neighbors as God, and even one’s self as God.

Why do you think the Pharisees crucified Jesus? Consider, Jesus is reported to have said that he and his heavenly father were one, and further: “be ye perfect just as your father in heaven is perfect.” Think about all that for a moment. Might that have even been more threatening to them than a mere bloodline question, considering that if the bloodline thing alone was really a threat to the Pharisees, they might have just killed Mary, Joseph, and John decades prior and never had the issue of any Messiah except their own carefully cultivated puppet.

The problem with Jesus being one with the Father is that if a man does not need a priest to intercede on his behalf to a distant remote Divinity, then he also wouldn’t need a political savior to lead his family and community to social security, but indeed would have the full power of God directly available without even going through Oprah Winfrey. Well, obviously, that just can’t be allowed!

Do not lead your wife or your household. Obey the church and the government, especially when they seem to contradict each other. They will lead your wife and household for you.

Do not lead your community or your business. Watch for the media to tell you what to do, what to think about, and how to talk about the things they tell you to think about and do.

If you see any homeless people, ignore them. The government will take care of them. If they are members of your own family or church, that is no exception. The government will take care of them!

Always support all public schools, unless they try to teach your children Latin, of course, because that would be mixing religion with free speech. Further, always support all military operations, no matter from which country. Finally, remember, there is no problem that a government can’t solve if you will just give them a hell of lot more money, plus all of your current and future offspring.

In short, love the earthly governments with all thy life, time, and resources. Worship Oprah Winfrey as yourself.

Oh yeah, earlier I mentioned the secret last book of the Bible, remember, that is only available on the internet? It is actually quite short. It says “IN OBAMA I TRUST.”

Beware of the other alleged scriptures that reference faith in God. God is not within you. God is not within other people. God is just a mistake of translation, resulting from this one Hebrew scribe being dyslexic and mis-reading the word Dog.

Okay, sorry about that one. No really, I apologize.

Delete that. Let’s try this instead….

By the way, if you see some dude that looks anything like a middle-eastern shepherd walking down the streets of New York City, it could be Obama Bin Laden. Quickly, form a mob to throw Bibles (or Korans or Torahs) at him until he is reduced to a pile of bloody pulp.

But first, of course, get a video camera (with a fully charged battery!) so you can share the whole thing on YouTube. That’s just the charitable Christian thing to do.

Taking Care, We Fare Well!


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