Monday, November 16, 2009

Simple Theology

If I were to boil down my religious convictions, I would simply say:

God is omnipresent.

Actually, I would say God is Omnipresence.
The Field of Possibilities, the Energy of Life, All That Is (which of course is more than the sum of Its parts), Universal Consciousness, Supreme Intelligence, the Love, Beauty, Generosity, Hope, Goodwill, Strength, Courage, and Compassion that expresses throughout the world...I tend to call these Qualities "God" and I believe that God is omnipresent...God is the Power and the Presence that is everywhere and at all times fully and completely available.

The second part of my simple theology is that because God is Omnipresence, we are always at one with the divine Presence...It surrounds us and flows through us. It expresses in, through, and as us. This understanding is what I call At-One-Ment.

I don't believe that we were ever estranged from a remote deity; nor do I believe that any sort of sacrifice (human or otherwise) was ever required to reconcile us to God. God being Omnipresent could never be separated from us. It is in God that we "live and move and have our being." Atonement, in my understanding, isn't an extraordinary act that reconciles us to God; it is the awareness that we were never and could never be separated from God. It is the realization of our At-One-Ment.

God is Good.
God is Omnipresent.
We are one with God.
This is my simple theology.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Biblolatry, Hatred, and Gay Marriage

Bible believers are free to vote their biblical values. Many who fund anti-gay marriage initiatives and who vote to keep same-gender loving persons as second class citizens often use the bible as their justification to do unto gays as they would never want anyone to do unto them.

I assume those who use the bible to justify their heterosexism have sold all their possessions and given all the proceeds to the poor (Mark 10.21).

I also assume all the women who voted against gay marriage because of their biblical faith never teach sunday school, sing in church choirs, pray in public, preach, or otherwise break silence in church (1 Corinthians 14.34).

I certainly hope NONE of the righteous voters are tatooed (Leviticus 19.28), and I would bet that every single one observes the Jewish Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday as is COMMANDED in the precious Ten Commandments (Exodus 20.8).

And, being the good biblical literalists they are, I'm sure they've worked out somehow which of the two contradictory creation narratives (Genesis 1.1 - 2.4 and Genesis 2.5 ff) they take at face value. I'm sure they believe slaves should obey their masters and men can have multiple wives and children can be beaten and that it is very difficult for the wealthy to "enter the kingdom of heaven)...bearing in mind that almost everyone in the US is wealthier than most everyone else on the planet.

As long as they are consistent with their biblical literalism and biblically excused fears and hatreds, I'm OK with it all...oh, wait...maybe hatred is hatred and no amount of proof-texting can make it less ugly than it is. OK, i'm back. Let's fix this mess and demand equality for everyone.

Redeeming Jesus (at Sunshine Cathedral in January)

Redeeming Jesus: A Progressive Christianity Mini-Conference

It is a joy and a pleasure to welcome you to the Redeeming Jesus Mini-Conference to be held at the Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

This Progressive Mini-Conference will bring together a diverse and ecumenical group of people to discuss a variety of ways to approach, experience, consider, and follow Jesus.

This isn't a homogenous or dogmatic conference, but an open and honest sharing of a variety of Christologies to show how Christ remains a relevant figure for 21st century progressive Christians and our friends. All presentations will demonstrate faithfulness to the liberating Good News that many different kinds of people have found in the Jesus story.

The conference will include dinner on Friday evening, continental breakfast on Saturday morning, and a box lunch on Saturday. There will be break out sessions for interactive discussion. There will be dinner and lunch speakers, a Key Note Address, multiple plenary sessions, time for networking, and a devotional time during Saturday breakfast. Conference registrants are invited to worship at Sunshine Cathedral on Sunday, January 24th as well.

Please visit to learn about the workshops and presenters that will make the Redeeming Jesus: A Progressive Christianity Mini-Conference a progressive, positive, and practical experience!

Also at you can learn about nearby lodging options if you need to spend a night or two in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Creating Our Own Destiny

"Destiny is...a destination, the way we are headed at any given time. Destiny does not make us; we make destiny...We are not puppets, pulled by heavenly strings, nor the play things of chance..." R. H. Grenville

I've seen people prosper when the economy was grim. I've seen people outlive their prognosis by years. I've seen lonely people find love and angry people find peace. I've seen people who had suffered abuse forgive their batterers and move on to live joyful lives.

You see, our past need not be our future. Circumstances can't define us, nor can they determine what will become of us. "Destiny does not make us; we make destiny." As Rev. Dr. Johnnie Colemon used to say, "I am the thinker who thinks the thought."

We get to choose our thoughts, and the thoughts we habitually think will create our attitudes and our attitudes will determine how we view and experience life. Neither parents nor schools nor doctors nor even churches can determine what we believe about ourselves or how we will experience our lives. We are the ones who will make those decisions. Destiny isn't our fate, it's just the direction we seem to be going at the moment. If we don't like it, we get to change direction. We aren't puppets; we are the creators of our own destiny.

Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins