March 11-A, 2023

Approaching Jane Bald 01 06/19/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — Roan Mountain Highlands, Carver’s Gap, Tennessee
The problem with religion is theology.
"Theology" is another word for "Opinion."
Theology is opinion that takes itself literally.
That mistakes itself for a fact.
There are no theological facts.
There are only theological beliefs.
All beliefs are opinions. 

Superstition is a set of beliefs that are opinions. 
Black magic, same thing.
Horoscopes, same thing.
Astrology, same thing.
Ouija boards, same thing.
Fortune telling, same thing.
Tea Leaf reading, same thing.
Bone casting, same thing.

It is all opinion. 
All of the denominations have different opinions.
All religion as we know it is opinions.

Religion as it needs to be is experiential.
Experience of the ineffable.
Of the Numen.
Of the Numinous.
Of the Transcendental.
Of "That which cannot be named/said/told/defined/
Of that which is beyond words.

Those experiences are available to us
through the experience of music,
the sublime,
the coincidental,
the wonderful,
the mysterious,
the magical,

We are "thunderstruck" from time to time
"out of the blue."
That is the foundational religious experience.
That is all our religion needs to consist of.
Do not try to explain it,
just experience it
again and again.

Open yourself to wonder,
Become "transparent to transcendence"
so that other people 
experience "transcendent reality"
through their association with you,
not that you are saying/telling/talking,
but just by the way you live,
by the way you respond to your life,
by the way you are in relationship with people,
in your life in the world.

You will transform the world that way.
Never "preaching" a word.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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