How can we come to personally know our loving God?
If any of these questions interest you, you may like to:
Read summaries and two complete chapters from this book
Know the essence of Jesus
See evidence for reincarnation
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Learn how to meditate
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Quote of the Month for Aug. from In Search of the Loving God:
t is, as Jesus said, “more blessed to give than to receive.” Great blessings come from generous and thoughtful giving. Generous people rarely find they are in want themselves, and if they are a little poor, they usually have much greater blessings than mere material prosperity. And there are things other than money people can give generously of: time, expertise, consideration, care, love, patience, thoughtfulness, understanding, tolerance and forgiveness — to name just a few. Indeed, when money is given, much of the value of the gift is lost if thought isn’t given to where the money will go. If the virtue of giving were just in sacrificing money, rather than in the good the gift can do, we could gain blessings from throwing hundred-dollar bills into a fire. Giving to an organization which is going to spend your money in an unworthy way is just as useless. When people entrust the gift of their tithe to a church which is itself grasping and un-giving, and isn’t using the money unselfishly for the benefit of others, and the needy in particular, this is a waste of a holy opportunity to give, and the blessings will turn to dust. Jesus said of the Pharisees’ tithing:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!
You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cummin. But you
have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice,
mercy and faithfulness.” (Matt 23:23)
To help us assess the attitude toward giving a particular church has, we could well use the wider context of the “law of giving”:
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and
you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Give and it will be given you. A good measure, pressed down,
shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.
For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Fundamentalist churches are good at judging society and condemning many of its groups, and maintain a very unforgiving attitude toward moral offenders. At the same time they give little to society, choosing instead to spend their money on promoting their own causes. Consequently they leave themselves open to being judged and condemned, receiving few blessings, and stewing in their own unforgiveness. This is one reason why these churches don’t show much real growth, despite their high public profiles. Many people join these churches, but almost as many leave them again. Tithing to such churches is more than just a waste of money; it actually contributes to their evil: financial scandals involving fundamentalist churches are frequently reported in the news, and such scandals are just the tip of the iceberg of a malaise which runs much deeper.
Most real churches present a mixture of good and bad, a measure of fundamentalism moderated by a measure of genuine giving, which varies from church to church across the whole spectrum from good to bad. We can encourage the church we belong to not to become worldly by not giving to it in excess of its legitimate needs unless we are very sure the extra money is being used to help the poor. Instead there is the opportunity to give directly of our time and money to organizations like Oxfam, World Vision, and Community Aid Abroad, which specialize in efficiently and lovingly helping the poorest and most neglected people in the world get on their feet again.
— From In Search of the Loving God, Chapter 13, "Money Changers in the Temple," p. 214-215.
Past Quotes of the Month can be read at:
Past quotes of the month
Endorsements and Reviews:
In Search of the Loving God is a book written with a purpose - and that purpose is to bring an age old message of truth and love to our tired, confused and desperate world. Mark is out to conquer hearts and win love for God. His book mingles impressive scholarship with both poetic appeal and down to earth empirical experiences. The world is in great need of the healing that this book could bring it.
(Ian D. Baynes, B.V.Sc., M.A.P.S.)
In Search of the Loving God reads like a combination mystery, history, and Bible commentary all rolled into one. Read it for its enlightening view on Scripture and revealing stories of the church's history. May the Spirit use this book to reach many people with its hopeful
message for the future of Christianity.
(Joy Wells, Educator)
Mr Mason's skills as both researcher and writer are such that I was unable to put the book down once I started it. He makes what could be a very dry topic not only readable, but also highly relevant to someone who is attempting to move beyond surface spirituality to a level of deep understanding and growth.
His book is divided into two parts. The first gives a very comprehensive, and eye-opening, history of the Bible and Christianity as a religion. He shows incredibly clearly how and why the church strayed from the teachings of Jesus and what that means to the church today. The second section shows how the Bible and its teachings are relevant to seekers in today's world. He describes Bible passages that teach us about reincarnation, a simple lifestyle and free will, and he includes wonderful and affirming interpretations about what hell and the book of Revelation really means.
(Patricia Vallerand, from her review of In Search of the Loving God in the Observer Quarterly)
To read more reviews, and more of what readers are saying about his book, see the reviews and endorsements page at this site.
Author's description of In Search of the Loving God:
In Search of the Loving God proposes that the key to knowing and loving God is meditation, but that before we can love God, and effectively meditate, we need to overcome our fear of Him. The book challenges traditional Christian beliefs by taking a fresh look at the life of Jesus, and at how the church soon became corrupt and power-seeking and largely ignored Jesus' teachings, invented the concept of everlasting punishment in hell in order to control people through fear, and eventually terrorized European society with the Inquisition and the witch craze, in which millions of women were burned at the stake, often for no crime greater than being a midwife. It looks at the disturbing similarities between medieval Christianity and modern religious fundamentalism, which in America manifests as the Christian Coalition, and other organizations of the religious right. It shows how the "us and them" nature of our society is based on, and underpinned by, the medieval Christian belief that some people are valuable to God and are saved, while others are not and are eternally damned. The importance of the separation of church and state in protecting us against fundamentalism, and preserving our freedom to make our own moral choices is highlighted, as is the reality of our free will -- God's greatest gift to us.
The book has chapters on why there is no honest Biblical basis for believing in everlasting punishment in hell, Biblical evidence for believing in Reincarnation, a metaphysical interpretation of the Book of Revelation, how to meditate, the reality of miracles in our lives, and on how Christianity could be more accepting of other religions such as Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. It advocates a radical reform of Christianity, which would result in it becoming a religion of love and acceptance, rather than what it traditionally has been: a religion of guilt and fear. Abandoning the belief in eternal hell, and embracing reincarnation and meditation may sound particularly New Age, but the Bible shows Jesus taught these concepts, and that they open the way to knowing and loving God. If you are looking for a loving and inclusive spirituality, a Christianity that embraces God and all people, then this book might be a stepping stone on your path.
In divine love,
Challenge yourself to this zany and informative Religous History Quiz
If you need help editing and or publishing your writing,
you may like to read about the author's editing and publishing service: Dwapara Press Editing and Publishing
The Hot Springs of America, a novel, showing how another "terrorist" attack could mean the end of our current democracy, and plunge America into a second civil war. Read two complete chapters online, and if want to read the rest, the e-book can be purchased for just $5.95 (PayPal or Credit Card). To start reading, click here: The Hot Springs of America.
Original Songs: Songs of love, peace and the spirit. A number of songs I have written, including "Avatar" and "Live by the Words We Say": Songs.
Clipper Ship is a suite of productivity tools that makes working on a computer easier and more enjoyable. It includes an "instant spreadsheet," allowing you to do calculations with numbers in editors or word processors, even if they are mixed with text. It also allows you to paste often-used blocks of text from a pick list, and copy symbols not on your keyboard from a symbol list. It has a macro recorder, enabling you to record and replay keystrokes and mouse actions. It has an Area from Map feature that easily gets diminsions and areas from on-screen maps including Google Earth. It has an image capture feature that copies the current window or the whole screen into the Paint program so you can edit and save the images. It has a multi-clipboard, enabling you to paste any of the last 12 clips you have copied, monitors your typing speed in the current session (if you care to look at it!), and it is also an abbreviation expander with over 26,000 built-in short forms for words and phrases. It is fully Windows 7 compatible, and also works on previous versions of windows. To find out more, and to download the free 'Lite' version of the program, click here: Clipper Ship.
Aquarius Database is a freeware business database with perpetual inventory stock control and many other nice features, which will meet the needs of many startup and/or small businesses, and which can be extended later to give added functionality as a business grows. To find out more about it, click here: Aquarius Database.
My farm and forest at Fox Hollow: near Eugene, Oregon: Farm.
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