quotes and observations of william - page 12

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"Do you want real freedom, which carries with it the responsibility of making choices which benefit all, or do you simply want free license to do as you wish, selfishly?" 


"We talk about great commerce.  It is not about great commerce.  It is about enough commerce to do good things for all people, all creatures, and this world we call home."


I have never understood why Christians want to argue about the rightness of their particular position.  If we are called to deliver the Good News and make believers of all the world, arguing is a very strange way to do this.  Browbeating or trying to scare a person into professing something does not necessarily mean they actually believe it.  Sincerely living out the Good News could make an impressive example for belief, but few people wish to live a life so devoid of judging others.  Anyway, the below quote speaks to this concept. 


  "Belief is something which comes from within each person.  It is not an external thing which you can give to another."


"Life is about relationships and example, not job titles."


"We play too many pretend games in the Christian world."


There are endless possibilities for expounding on the above quote.  Mostly though, I think being afraid to look like more of a sinner than the next guy provides the greatest amount of trouble.  I have often said worship services would be better off resembling more of an AA meeting than the way they are now.  Sure, Christians can frequently be heard to say "we are all sinners."  But, it is done in a very generic way, often to blow off something we should actually be facing up to.  Afraid of being judged by others (those "all sinners" too), it is a rare event to hear somebody speak of actual issues or shortcomings they are personally dealing with.  Heaven forbid that they might be questioning something that has traditionally been held up as sin.  Personally, I hate it when people imply I am supposed to look or act more "holy" than I do.  I am in a close personal relationship with God, just as I am, precisely because of the openness and willingness I choose to have with Him.  If we are not as close as I feel and think, it is not because I have withheld any area of my life from His scrutiny or desired influence.  Still, keeping it real is not an easy task in most Christian circles. 


"It is difficult to maintain a positive attitude in the midst of so much bullshit." 


Like the previous one, there are many circumstances and topics in which the above quote could be applied.  I will share the actual story which inspired the sentiment, but its reach, and truth, extends far beyond the situation I am describing here. 

My mother-in-law, my wife, and I, were driving back from dinner the day before I wrote the words.  My wife remarked, as we passed McDonalds, that she saw a sign which read "now hiring."  My mother-in-law joked they could stop and put in an application for me.  I actually have a good relationship with my mother-in-law, but it is no secret that both she and my wife see very little value in what I do.  It is not all that surprising.  In our American culture "legitimate servants of God" go to seminary, have a title in front of their name, are expected to keep a facade of holiness, and get paid for what they do.  I find that general attitude interesting.  All church going Christians refer to the apostles as saints on Sunday (or Saturday).  But, when Jesus called the Twelve, he did not tell any of them to go first and enroll in the local Jewish Theological Seminary.  They were not given any reverential titles so others could identify them (much to Peter's relief).  They were a motley group of individuals to say the least.  And, according to Scripture, not one of them asked how much the job paid, nor did they ever receive a salary.  But, if someone is called into such a life today, American Market Based Christianity sees that person in a whole different light. 


"A consumption based economy bears within its design the seeds of its own destruction.  If we wish to survive, we must transition to a care of creation based economy."


I wrote this expanded thought separately but it seemed to fit the above quote . . .   People act like the economy is some separate entity that is either a problem or a savior depending on how things are going.  But the economy is nothing more than a by-product of our attitudes and philosophies.  Greed and consumption have been a mainstay of our way of life for some time now.  As well as being spiritually harmful, these behaviors bear within them the seeds of economic destruction.  It might be possible to find temporary fixes to the economy externally.  But, there is no magic pill or formula which will solve our economic distress in the long haul.  Such a solution will only come internally.  When people change their attitudes and philosophies to focus on what is really important in, and for, life, then that is where the money will flow.  As I have said many times, money is just an artificial system we created. It is solely something we pass around as a way of keeping score.  It has no inherent value.  Get our perspectives in line with the great truths of our existence, and the economy will simply follow suit.  Connecting the dots creates the picture.  It is all related. 


"You can be released to God."


It is not likely that you, or anyone else, will actually hear me say the above, yet it is one of my most used phrases.  Whenever something negative, judgmental, bizarre, or simply beyond my ability to influence enters my consciousness or presence, this is how I deal with it.  It does not matter whether the issue is an outside influence or from my own inner being, I see my response as the best alternative either way.  Usually, I simply think the phrase, but often when I am alone, I will speak it aloud.  It is usually a very effective release. 


"Nobody should be excluded from learning because of their financial situation."


The tag line for the above quote should also be, "nor should they have to bury themselves under a mountain of debt in order to learn."  This philosophy stands at the core of what I do and, currently, as a basic principle of the Teaching & Sharing Centers organization. 


"If the story of Christianity as presented in the Bible turns out to be the Truth without any tweaks or further enlightenment, it is one bizarre story indeed." 


Think about it.  Pretend we already existed when God was planning this all out.  So He says to us He has created this planet called Earth, and He is going to give us a physical body in which to live upon it.  Plus, He is going to allow us unprecedented freedom.  Now He lays out the rest of the story.  With our new found freedom, we will rebel against Him.  He will continue to interact with us (since beyond Him there is nothing) but for a very long time we, as humans, will question if He even exists, or what He might be.  Eventually a few will get it almost right.  After a while He will come in person to rescue us from the consequences of our rebellion.  But, most of us will not understand it is a rescue, so we will kill Him (and He will allow it to happen).  Incredibly, that is exactly what seals the deal.  Over another very long period of time people will come to realize we have indeed been rescued.  And when we do, we will live happily ever after . . . There has never been a fairy tale to match.  You could not make up a story this preposterous or bizarre if you tried.  Could that be because . . . 


 "Truth is still Truth
regardless of the opinion
    we hold about it."


"One of my most basic beliefs is that people are entitled to make their own choices for their life, because they are the ones who will have to live the consequences of their choices." 


"The more you require to be happy, the less likely it becomes that you will ever really be happy." 


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