Augustine’s ‘Disease’

Augustine’s disease, the Church’s Achilles Heel is when good people of good conscience and “curiosity” begin to ask questions that ‘cannot be answered’ and question ‘answers’ that must not be challenged.

Here we have another take away from the book Finding Merlin by Adam Ardrey. On the previous page, he describes the beginnings of challenge to Roman Catholic authority in the 12th century by Abelard and the Achilles Heel of the church. Not necessarily rational debate, but being openly mocked and made fun of in public.

I think the internet is the one tool that cannot be stopped in the well meaning and honest pursuit of people of good conscience and curiosity of the world around them. Try as they might, the institutions that would seek to Propagandize and Narrate for others the stories that otherwise would be shown laughable and without foundation cannot but open themselves up to public scorn and open mockery upon intelligent and thoughtful inquiry.

That’s why many Christian blogs, blogs specifically dedicated to Apologetics and “giving answers” to those who “ask for the reason for the hope within them” more often than not resort to name-calling, verbal abuse and even editing/deletion and blocking of comments once it occurs to them that the questions they have “answers” for rightfully both should have and even have much different answers more grounded in research, history, archaeology and Reality.

Truth and honest inquiry… curiosity itself, outside of the carefully currated borders of ecclesiastical authority and narrative, is the “disease” that the church fears. Because these lead to “Recovery of one’s self from the snare of…” Not the devil, but superstition and religious mythological “mental manacles”.

What leads to freedom is what the church fears the most. Curiousity to Augustine, Reason to Luther, Freedom of the Will and Destiny to Calvin. To ask questions and challenge ‘answers’ is what makes us fully human, fully alive and fully free.

Keep asking questions. Stay curious my friends. It makes them crazy, but it furthers your freedom. Recovery is a Lifelong Journey. Join me.



A Conversation on History

I’ve been reading Finding Merlin by Adam Ardrey lately and have had occasion to use a couple of quotes in conversation with another blogger who swears that his ancient “Merlin/Arthurian” legend is more historically based than the historical Merlin which gave basis to the Arthurian legends we all know from Camelot and Excalibur fame.

It all started rather inocuously with a claim to authority and “rights” of ownership. To which I responded:

Simply being told by another passerby that “Farmer John owns this field” so I’d better fork over the rent for squatting, or a portion of all I have everyday just to eat from what grows freely doesn’t amount to much unless you can demonstrate that Farmer John actually owns the field and actually demands such a price.
Until then… it’s all of our field. And we are free do enjoy and live according the dictates of our own conscience as long as we don’t infringe on the rights and freedoms of the other squatters in the field.

To which he replied more with force and repetition than with Truth and Grace:

Really Mike? You have no problem ignoring and stealing from another mans property, especially when the sign reads ‘no trespassing?’

Do I need to repeat that ALL of the property belongs to the Creator? But it does appear you have once again, missed the point (the gnat thing) of the post.

Which of course, I followed up with:

I can post a sign on the nearest plot of land, hire representatives to say it belongs to me… or for the sake of your point someone else who may or may not be real, but posting a sign and having people repeat adnauseum does nothing to actually demonstrate that what the sign and the representatives are saying is actually true.

And then things got a bit more interesting.

The other blogger, some of you may know him to be quite the comedian, resorted to name calling and scripture quoting. Telling me that he hopes I will one day “Wake up” again, and re-enter “The Faith once delivered to the saints” (which as I found out by researching history, archaeology, and the origins and transmission of the books we call The Bible… isn’t nearly as ‘Once delivered, still the same’ as we’ve been led to believe).

But I followed up any way:

Wake up? You mean go back to sleep. Sorry, I enjoy a fantasy free life. If there is a God of love, mercy and grace… he won’t need to threaten with eternal torture and pain in order to get people to believe he exists on bad or no evidence.
I guess we’ll both have to wait till we see who Farmer John is, won’t we? Until then, live well, love strongly and do the best you can to “live at peace with all me, as much as it depends on you.” You remember that one, right CS? Have a great day.

To which he responded that I would have no way of knowing Truth, Grace, Mercy if not for the scripture. Of course… his preferred scripture, The Bible.

But of course, being happy to contradict and enlighten at the same time, 😉 … I pressed on:

Not true. Grace, mercy and love are taught and exhibited by all people groups and most all religions. They are not exclusive to Christians… who at present seem to be running a bit short on all categories if I can interpret your representation in this comment thread. Again, have a Great day.

To which I gained a bit of agreement with him finally. He even slightly admitted that he was willing to take the “good” from anywhere and “spit out the bones”. Albeit, giving credit to the “good” to his preferred Source, regardless of the actual source of the good.

“Progress of a kind.”- Christopher Hitchens

And so I continued yet again… this time with quotes from the book I’m reading on the History of Merlin.

Speaking of “spitting out the bones”, I have a great quote for you from a book I’m reading on Celtic Christianity and the Old Way of the Druids.
“Once gods, rituals and ‘spiritual authorities’ are stripped away, a love of life and truth is predominant in what remains: that is, in human nature” and “The answer to the fundamental question of why we are here is simply this: we are here for each other.”- Adam Ardrey, Finding Merlin
Great quotes. Really good read. Pick up a copy today.

To which he disregarded the words, disregarded my ‘hobby’ of reading. Apparently, for you who are brave enough to visit his post directly, he isn’t aware that there actually was a Merlin and an Arthur in historical records. Because he lumped them in with Harry Potter of all fictitious characters. Maybe he really does need Reading and History books as a new hobby.

But as I tried to tell him, but he deleted my comment, Merlin is well attested to in history. It’s why I’m reading this fascinating book by Ardrey. We know the year of his birth, 540ce, we know where he was born, Cadzow Scotland, we know he had a twin sister, Languoreth who was later married to a real king of the area, Rhydderch, we know his father’s name in historical records, Morken, and we know when he died, how old he was, and where he was buried. All historical facts and records.

There is another… who I referred to, and is the reason that the blogger deleted my comment and told his readers that he did it due to my “perversity” in the comment… that doesn’t have nearly the C.V. or Pedigree recorded in secular or nonreligious and biased sources. This One may have lived at one time, was put to death by authorities and now is believed on as having risen from the dead from an “Empty Tomb”.

But secular, non “Faithful”, unbiased, contemporary 1st century sources tell us nothing more than he was a teacher, who was put to death and that his followers “believed” that he had risen. History itself records accurately or reliably neither the year of his birth, the year of his death, where his “tomb” specifically was, or even if he had one rather than being tossed unceremoniously into a common pit with other victims of Roman Crucifixion at the time.

“Let us hear the conclusion of the matter”. History is clear.

A Merlin most certainly existed. He was not a fictional character like Harry Potter or Gandalf the Grey.

A ‘Jesus’ (Joshua), Jewish Rabbi of the 1st century, may have and I’m prepared to accept that he most certainly existed, tried to rabble rouse the populous to religious revival with an end to resisting or even removing Roman Rule in Palestine… got himself arrested for sedition, executed by crucifixion and most likely, according to biblical scholar John Dominic Crossan, tossed into a common pit, denying him an honorable burial.

As for the Jesus of the New Testament, Son of God, Deity in human form, miracle worker, able to raise the dead and Resurrected Saviour of the World Himself? ColorStorm… John…

THAT Jesus is the “Harry Potter”-like work of religious literary fiction.

The truth is that you have access to all this information, you’ve come into contact with former christians like me and other people who have searched this stuff out. People have come to your blog with all this documentary contradiction to what You Believe to be True. There is no way you couldn’t know that what the Evidence says against the bible and the very foundations of Christianity is historically and factually true. I think you know that what we are telling you is true.

You know that the Jesus of the New Testament isn’t either “Lunatic, Liar or Lord”. He’s a Literary Creation based on a frustrated and disillusioned religious/political hope of a group of followers of an obscure Jewish Rabbi in the first century who got himself killed for inciting rebellion and possibly national revolution. I think You know this.

You just don’t want to admit it yet.


P.s. those who want to comment? Down below. You know what to do. Thx

Forgiveness is not Paying Yourself for Another’s Debt

Just a thought on Grace

“Why would there be a payment in the first place? Who would “pay himself” for a debt owed to him by a different person? You and I would just erase the debt and move on. Forgiveness doesn’t require the payment of the debt… By anyone. Forgiveness erases the debt, no payment required. Otherwise it’s not forgiveness.


Soulful Sunday Quote: A Naturally Human Predilection

“The spirit of enquiry and predilection for asking awkward questions is naturally human and will out unless some other stifling force overpowers it.”

Adam Ardrey, in Finding Merlin

Countering ‘Questions that cannot be Answered’

Let us all, as fellow human beings, brothers and sisters of this one world we call home, celebrate our Natural Humanity by living our lives with a Spirit of Inquiry and Asking Awkward Questions of this whose “Answers must not be Questioned”.

We will Win Out, if we refuse to yield our minds, hearts and spirits to those who would use Stifling Force to overpower our Natural and very Human curiosity. Find the Merlin in yourself everyday, and discover your Arthur as well. Be the Hero of your own Tale.


Just a pipe dream

I was with my dad, or rather… He was with me. He was showing me his pipe and teaching me to smoke it like he did so long ago when I was just a tyke.

Memories of Dad

He and me, all just a dream

Then drifted away.


A smooth short sip of sweet smelling smoke from an old small wooden bowl. Did not inhale, just blew out the pleasant, relaxing draw and enjoyed the aroma that soon reminded me of my dad.

Then he was gone again, slowly disapated like the fading memory of that last wisp of heaven. But he was here, I know it. I felt his presence. I heard his voice.
It was just a pipe dream. He’s been gone for 9yrs this last June. I miss him tonight.


Life and Eternity: Choose the Life you Have

Fear of death and Death Avoidance Schemes.

The ironic thing about religions that promise Eternal Life based on nothing but Hope, Faith and the Inability or Unwillingness to imagine or accept the finality of physical death…

Is that in the Fear of that finality, they end up Hoping for it and even Hastening it’s arrival in favor of the “Life to Come”.

I don’t “Know” anymore if there is a Life or Existence awaiting us after our physical life here trickles away and is done… and neither, I believe, does anyone else. I can Hope and Believe there is but we don’t actually Know that there is. Big difference. Aside from myths, fables and unverifiable Religious Tales there is no one on This side of that Veil who has returned from That side to report.

But even if there IS a There there… Don’t live This Short Life as if it’s “just” a dress rehearsal… a “temporary home”… a “less important” but necessary evil… Anything Less than the One Life you have Now.

Live as though your Life depends on it.

Because for all we Know, regardless of what we Believe, Hope for, have Faith in or Trust… It just may be the Only Life you have or will have. Take the opportunities Now. Enjoy and, if necessary, Repair the relationships you have with close Family and Friends Now. Because there may be no other Time to do it. And when they are Gone… they may just be Gone.

Life is for the Living, not just for Avoiding Death or getting thru to the Next Life that although Promised… is not Demonstrable to be there waiting for us.

So Believe, Hope for, have Faith and Trust in Eternal Life if you like, but Live this Life NOW to the fullest first. Don’t be in such a rush or discount the Only Life you have Evidence or Reason to believe exists. Your family, friends and the World around you are counting on you to be Fully Here before you can be anywhere else. Live before you die. It’s as simple as that.