Saturday, February 28, 2009

Speaking of a Peacemaker....

Dena posted the following story about Paul Young, the author of The Shack, on one of the lists she and I are both members of. I think it perfectly exemplifies the spirit Gary talked about in his article “A Peacekeeper.” And for anyone who read The Shack, the quote will make sense. For anyone who hasn’t read The Shack…you should.

Reminds me of what happened to Paul Young ... about a year ago, in Portland (his hometown, where a prophet is not welcome), he was being interviewed on radio (can't remember whether it was a Christian station or not). A woman called in, and blasted him in no uncertain terms, for being a heretic, a universalist, a new-ager, a false teacher, wolf in sheep's clothing ... all the typical names that are used in fear. After she was finished with her rant, she hung up (a drive-by sliming, LOL!). The host, obviously shocked at the venom,turned to Paul and said, "wow, you've been hit by a heresy-hunter!"
Paul just smiled, and said, "Papa's especially fond of her, too."

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Peacemaker?

Me a Peacemaker? Ahhh…not likely, in spite of the fact that I’ve written a lot about what peace might look like in our day to day lives, I don’t have it down…AT ALL. I am getting better at being nonreactive (meltdowns are few and far between) and accepting the “IS”ness of situations and personalities and events. I’ve been exposed to a lot of different venues that basically teach that same message. Acceptance of what is. But do I emanate a sense of peace? Ah…probably not. But along with my hope to someday see the Christ in everyone and everything (including myself), I want to sow seeds of peace and not seeds of discord.

Since I’ve plugged Gary Sigler’s website in a few posts lately, let me mention his message board, Heart 2 Heart. A core group of posters keep the discussions there going. I read there more than anything, but I do occasionally post my two cents worth. Gary recently posted a writing of his called A Peacemaker. Some snippets from the article….

“For He is our peace who has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, for to make in Himself of two one new man, so making peace” (Eph. 2:14-15).

This is God’s goal: to break down every barrier between husband and wife, brother and sister, people on the job, everyone you meet, and bring you into fellowship and true spiritual oneness. The biggest walls are self-centeredness, self-preservation, and natural feelings. When the Holy Spirit breaks down all those walls in your life and forms the character of God in you, then you will bring peace everywhere you go.

And they are big walls indeed…and he acknowledges that the role of peacemaker is not for everyone…only those willing to be conformed to the image and likeness of Christ. Eventually we all will be, yet some of us may go kicking and screaming as he convinces us to will and to do of His good pleasure. To be a peacemaker we have to give up our right to be right, to not react in the natural…and to learn to bite out tongues, to not be offended, touchy or resentful. Hmmmm....let me think this over for a while and I'll get back to you :)


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Recognizing His Presence.....

In a recent post, I talked about a series of messages by Gary Sigler called The Experience of Oneness. On Gary’s site, you will find a large collection of audio messages…his and those of others available to listen to online or to download free of charge.

In part 3 of the “Oneness” series, he said something that struck me:

The spirit of God within you will become so perceptive, that you will recognize his presence everywhere.

Mother Teresa has this down pat. She saw Jesus in everyone. I am not there yet. Nope…not by a long shot but I want to be. In her book No Greater Love she writes:

Jesus is the Hungry - to be fed.

Jesus is the Thirsty - to be satiated.

Jesus is the Naked - to be clothed.

Jesus is the Homeless - to be taken in.

Jesus is the Sick - to be healed.

Jesus is the Lonely - to be loved.

Jesus is the Unwanted - to be wanted.

Jesus is the Leper - to wash his wounds.

Jesus is the Beggar - to give him a smile.

Jesus is the Drunkard - to listen to him.

Jesus is the Mental - to protect him.

Jesus is the Little One - to embrace him.

Jesus is the Blind - to lead him.

Jesus is the Dumb - to speak for him.

Jesus is the Crippled - to walk with him.

Jesus is the Drug Addict - to befriend him.

Jesus is the Prostitute - to remove from danger and befriend her.

Jesus is the Prisoner - to be visited.

Jesus is the Old - to be served.

And another quote by Gandhi that says the same thing just a bit more succinctly:

If you do not see God in the next person you see, you need look no further. —Mahatma Gandhi

And so, I pray that God will soften my heart and open my eyes so that I can see Him in the "next person I see"...that I can see Him everywhere, in everyone....and in the most unlikely places.  He is the light that lights every man that comes into the world….and there is one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.

People see God every day, they just don't recognize him.  ~Pearl Bailey

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You Have a Choice....

At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.
Thich Nhat Hahn

I think it might have been Greg Boyd (but then again maybe not...and google yields no helpful results)..... but even if I don't remember for sure who said it...I remember the gist of what they said.

Sort of along the lines of "if you keep making that face it will freeze that way" The comparison was to our hearts and conscience. The decisions we make build upon the decisions we have already made..and affect the decisions we have yet to make. In essence, in the case of bad decisions, slowly but surely our heart freezes that way. We become jaded. We become hard. And we find ourselves on a downward spiral of despair. We lose hope.

Now I by no means think this is a permanent thing. I've said Colonel Klink on Hogan's Hero's (am I dating myself or what???) "he has his ways" of bending the most stubborn knee. Jesus said he came to give us life..and to give it more abundantly. He sets before us life and death. He tells us to choose life. With the indwelling of the Holy Spirit....tapping into the Christ nature within....we can (most of the time) discern the choice most likely to lead to life.

My daughter Beth continued to "make that face" this past summer. Bad choice upon bad choice leading to even worse choices. It was one hell of a summer. I kept telling her ...when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!! Sometimes I would just look at her and say, "Stop digging, Beth!!!" Yet, she continued to dig that hole deeper and deeper...pulling the rest of us down there with her.

Somewhere along the way, she made a few good choices. They started to accumulate and now (fingers crossed and sending up a prayer) she seems to be making more good choices than bad choices. She seems to be headed in the direction of life. Thank goodness, she finally stopped digging!!!

Throughout each day, God gives us hundreds of opportunities to choose life....or to choose death. Rarely are these choices life or death situations but when we continue to choose life (in even the seemingly unimportant matters) it sets a foundation for the next choice that leads to life. Unfortunately it also works the same when we choose the other direction.

......I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Set your mind on the things above

As I type this, the Glen Beck show is on Fox News. Keith usually uses a headset for his viewing entertainment because I am not much of a TV fan and the audio is distracting while I try to stare at my favorite screen…the one on my lap top….and read or “write.” So, I am only seeing the picture…thankfully….no sound. I can see the scrolling subtitles predicting all kinds of doom and gloom. (hard to miss a 62 inch screen 15 feet in front of you)

This is a worst case scenario show. This show comes with a viewer discretion warning after every commercial break. Travel will be nonexistent in 2014 because it is too dangerous. Survival skills will be vital by the year 2014. The dollar will be worth nothing by then. The pipeline could be destroyed in 2010. .Iran will have Nuclear Power. Because the internet connects the world, individual militias will be springing up all over the place because of the “Bubba Effect.” (What is the Bubba Effect?)

I did catch an episode of Glen Beck a few weeks ago. Big mistake. Doom and gloom…disaster right around the corner in the economy….the internet (because of bot networks) etc. etc. etc. I told Keith that if I watched his show very often, I would be a nervous wreck.

Predictions of the world ending really rattle me. I trace it back to when I lived on and off with my grandparents who were sure the world was going to end "any day now"....surely before I grew up…and they told me so. What a thing to tell a ten year old. I can vividly remember one of the conversations....

“But Grandma….I want to grow up!!!”

“It would be nice, but I don’t think you will”

Scared the crap out of me. It still scares me. And they were post trib believers so not one iota of the pain and horror, bugs as big as Volkswagens and Godzilla monsters coming up out of the ocean (a Lynn Hiles quote) would be escaped. If there was going to be a believer of the rapture, I think I would pick the pre-trib view…..

During the first Gulf War, I was petrified. I was not a Christian then…so I only had enough information to truly spook me. I used to walk at the mall….and I remember passing the Christian bookstore with its display of books outside the entrance…all about the problems in the mid-east and Armageddon…666….the coming one world market etc. I had avert my gaze when I hoofed it (briskly) past that store.

So now….16 or so years later, I AM a Christian…and I have a whole different view of many things. Still it is not all that difficult to arouse those dormant fears and send me into a near panic about the end of days scenarios. I can’t let myself get sucked into that mindset….and the following verse comes to mind:

"If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God." Col. 3:1-3

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious--the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Philippians 4:8

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sounds like an ego problem to me.....

I took note of how Paul described himself in Galatians 1. 

13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond * measure and tried to destroy it; 14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions

More extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions?  What does Tolle say about the ego encompassing more than just individual "delusions" and can include an identification with ethnic, national, religious groups....and that one of the tricks of the ego  (carnal man/flesh/adamic man) is to tie our identity up in one (or in the case of Paul ALL) of those factors. 

Doesn't Paul say he was the chief of sinners....sin as in missing the mark??  The mark of who he really was perhaps?  But Galatians 1 Paul goes on to say that:

God was pleased  to reveal His Son IN me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles.

I like reveal His Son IN as in already there.  The text declares that God had set him apart.."even from his mother's womb" or as the rather wordy Amplified version renders it....

15 But when He, Who had chosen and set me apart [even] before I was born and had called me by His grace (His undeserved favor and blessing), saw fit and was pleased F1 16 To reveal (unveil, disclose) His Son within me so that I might proclaim Him among the Gentiles (the non-Jewish world) as the glad tidings (Gospel)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Ego By Another Name Is Still The Ego....

We've been talking about some of the teachings of Tolle on EU and on Sacred Cow Tippers.  I posted the following both places this morning...and decided to go ahead and post it here too.  (Third time is the charm...or is it three strikes and you're out? ) It just tickles me to no end that I am seeing the message in scripture so much clearer.  Probably most anyone who reads here already knows this stuff....but in case there are some other "johnny come lately's" like me, following are some on my thoughts about what I've been reading in Galatians......


I have been reading the NT...mainly the writings of Paul.  I have done this in part, while hoofing it on the treadmill at the gym.  I plan to go again today....

I don't get very far because I keep seeing these insights....into the ego....and our mimetic natures, which I think is just an aspect of the ego/painbody/carnal man/adamic man/the flesh...whatever you choose to call it.  We did a study about this a while back on Beautiful Heresy....a book by the "founding father" of this theory (Rene' Girard) called "I See Satan Fall Like Lightening"  I think it all comes down to the fact that we are living out of the wrong nature...and when we do, we end up as it says in Galatians 5 desiring what is contrary to the Spirit.  Solution"  "live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." Okay....easier said than done sometimes!!!  And the result of living out of the flesh in succint terms (again, according to Galatians 5) 

19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

that is the NIV translation...the Message usually calls a spade a spade and lays things out in modern lingo.....

19It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; 20trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; 21the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.

This list simply reeks of mimetic rivalry and the exploits of the egoic nature!! Eckhart says that in order for the ego to strengthen fact, in order for it to survive, it must individualize itself into a me and them sort of view.  There as to be an "other" and usually that "other" is turned into an enemy.  (the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival and ugly parodies of community????)

But the fruits of the Spirit???

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. NIV

Or as the Message puts it....

22But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard--things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, 23not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. 24Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good--crucified is all there in scripture.  It always WAS there in scripture....but I simply did not see it or understand it until I read Tolle and he put in terms that I understood.  Scripture has come alive for me.  This is so cool!!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Duty That Lies Nearest

I’ve read most of the essays on the Godquest site…some of them several times. Recently, I’ve printed some of them off and taken them to the gym with me to read while treadmilling or incumbent biking….even stair stepping (although that is a bit trickier) They have all made an impact on my spiritual beliefs and my spiritual walk. That is the case with the essay, “How Then Shall We Live?”

So many times I’ve wondered what being a Christian looks like. We are to emulate Jesus, no? Isn’t that impossible unless we are living out of the spirit within each of us? Of mine own self I can do nothing? Yep. If we are living out of the egoic mindset, for the most part, mankind reeks of total depravity.

When I was going to the PCA church in Nashville…having those five points of Calvinism drummed into me….I was repulsed by the total depravity doctrine. Now I see shades of truth in it. I guess it could be considered a veiled understanding of living out of the egoic mindset.

Pastor Richard (one of my favorite people ever) used to say that any good we did of our own selves (ego) was ultimately for selfish motives. If you peeled back the layers (like an onion) at the core, our motivation would be selfishness. Hmmmmm. Perhaps. If we allow the egoic mind (carnal/adamic man, flesh) to rule us, then yes, I suppose most good acts have their root in selfishness.

Yet, do we just do nothing until we get our act together and live out of the spirit? And won’t there be an overlap where we live out of both mindsets…going back and forth between the carnal and the spiritual? So how do we live in the meantime?

Another favorite pastor of mine from yesteryear, Vernon…an eccentric, outspoken Texan…elderly. He impacted my Christian walk quite a bit. I was not a believer when I started to go to his church but while I attended there some really powerful things happened in my spiritual life. It was while attending his dinky little start up church that I became a Christian. In part due to his influence. He baptized me and the kids. But anyway, I digress.

He used to say that when you didn’t feel like a Christian (as in have Christian feelings and emotions….forgiveness, generosity etc) to act the way a Christian should and eventually the feelings would catch up to the actions. I’m not sure how that fits with all this new understanding I’ve been coming into, but it impacted me then and I suspect, at least in part, it holds a truth for me now. I think the following excerpt from the essay on Godquest somehow fits with all this….and it is very good advice for anyone.

But when we are able to hear God’s voice, what will God say to us? I believe God gives every person, eventually, the ability to live in two beautifully simple ways. He gives us all the ability to be faithful to the highest that we know; and, the ability to “do the duty that lies nearest” (Carlyle) as his Spirit reveals to us individually, simple opportunities to obey him in love.

God has given everyone a “measure of faith.” Some people apparently have more than others. Are we faithful to the highest we know? Are we willing to do the duty that lies nearest—in the “now”? God is faithful to speak to each of us in these ways as we “image” God within us with a sense of His acceptance, love and kindness for us.

Being faithful to the highest we know is to know Him! This is Eternal Life; that is, to know of God’s nature, and to let Him imbue us with it. It is a state of heart that is able to enjoy the quality of eternal life right now. After all, all we have is “now” and eternal life can be enjoyed in the present. It finds its expression in obedience: doing the duty that lies nearest. This could involve writing a letter we have had intentions of writing, a phone call we’ve been meaning to make, forgiving a person who needs our forgiveness. God is faithful to continually prompt within us “duties” that we may in turn commit as love-offerings to Him. But this requires holy imagination—the ability to see God as he is. No one who has seen God for who He is, can live; that is, live in ones former ways of selfishness and fear.

In Ephesians scripture tells us:

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. NIV

God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing. NCV

His, in fact we are - his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus upon a footing of good works, which God prepared beforehand, that, therein, we might walk. Emph.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Arise Today...

While “researching” for another post (Gee….I feel a bit silly when I refer to my web jaunts as “research”), I came upon The Breastplate of St. Patrick. It occurred to me that parts of it make a wonderful prayer for the start of the day….and I am simply going to copy and paste those excerpts below. Time to get ready for work….ugh….and brave another snowy day….double ugh. If you want to read a bit about St. Patrick there are links on this prayer site I found this morning….doing “research” :)

I arise today, through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me,
God's host to secure me:
against snares of devils, against temptations of vices,
against inclinations of nature, against everyone who
shall wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

I summon today all these powers between me (and these evils):
against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose
my body and my soul,
against incantations of false prophets,
against black laws of heathenry,
against false laws of heretics, against craft of idolatry,
against spells of women [any witch] and smiths and wizards,
against every knowledge that endangers man's body and soul.
Christ to protect me today
against poison, against burning, against drowning,
against wounding, so that there may come abundance of reward.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Does God Care If You Think His Name Is Buddha?

Recently, I listened to a series of messages by Gary Sigler called the Experience of Oneness. (scroll down to find message) Gary is very inclusive….preaches an interfaith message from a Christian perspective….which is what I’ve been focusing on in some recent posts. In part 3 of this series of four messages, Gary says:

The revelation of God’s all encompassing love includes everyone. Do you think God cares…and I’m going to step on some religious toes here….but do you think God cares if you think his name is Buddha? Do you really think he cares? If you have a heart that’s reaching out for God he’s going to meet you no matter what you think. You may be kneeling before a statue of Buddha with a heart crying out for God and he’s going to meet you right where you are.

For the most part in America, we’ve pretty much gotten rid of bigotry with the exception of religion. We really believe that God has only given the Christian religion the truth and everybody has been receiving all of their information from devils, doctrines of demons and angels of light. But we Christians, we’ve got the truth. It’s because again we’ve had an intelectual understanding of God.

Do you think God really cares if you’re right or wrong? Seems to me like that’s the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Right and wrong. You see, when I meet a Buddhist, and I have in the past, or any other religion, I wouldn’t think of trying to tell them they’re serving a false God because if they really have that hunger for God, I mean….the spirit of God within you will become so perceptive, that you will recognize his presence everywhere.

There are some verses that go along with Gary’s view….

"I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, 'Here am I, here am I,' To a nation which did not call on My name. Isaiah 65:1

Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. Hosea 1:10 KJV

Hmmmm.....I said, “Here am I, here am I” to a nation who did not call upon my name.

More to follow…..

Monday, February 16, 2009

Neither Do I.....

I recently came across a snippet in an article on Doug Trudall’s site. The article is called Core Essentials and in it Doug expresses his views on some of the accepted doctrines of Christianity. Can I be a Christian if I don’t believe……fill in the blank….virgin birth, the Trinity, inerrancy, the penal substitutionary view of the atonement. He is a bit off the beaten (Christian) path in many of his views.

Near the beginning of the article, he tells the story of a woman in his group who was troubled by the direction they seemed to be heading:

As we were getting started this lady took the time to express what was on her heart. It doesn’t do her words justice to give you the short “Coles notes” version, nor does it convey the tenderness of her heart but she simply stated that with all the changes we have been discussing and experiencing, she doesn’t want to walk away from the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, nor does she want to walk away from Yeshua (Jesus) etc. She is concerned that the changes may lead us away from the faith found in the Bible, as she understands it.

In  Passion For Peace Thomas Merton says:

"The dread of being open to the ideas of others generally comes from our hidden insecurity about our own convictions. We fear that we may be "converted" – or perverted – by a pernicious doctrine. On the other hand, if we are mature and objective in our open-mindedness, we may find that viewing things from a basically different perspective – that of our adversary – we discover our own truth in a new light and are able to understand our own ideal more realistically.

Even though I seem to have no qualms about boldly going anywhere…ANY WHERE….the Spirit seems to be leading, like the lady in the snippet above, I don’t want to walk away from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I never want to stop being a Christian, yet I do want to “discover my own truth in a new light.” I will not discount another’s faith journey or the path God chooses to lead them back to Him, yet I know in my heart that I am a Christian…and I always want to stay a Christian.

I may borrow some of the mindfulness principles of Buddhism or acknowledge that Christ is not confined to the King James Version, 66 Chapters, bound in leather….but Jesus Christ has won my heart. With a deeper understanding of what it was he actually taught….more now than ever. And with a deeper understanding of the Father he came to reveal….more now than ever.

He is the Father to me…Abba. And even though I know he cannot be pegged as one sex or the other…. along with Jesus, I choose to call him Father. He is the love of my life…the sustainer of my life. I do not limit God or Christ to Christianity, however, at this point, contrary to appearances and opinions expressed in this blog and elsewhere, I consider myself a Christian.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Can Anything Good Come Out of Nazareth?

John 1:

45Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
46And Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"
Philip said to him, "Come and see." NKJV

45Philip went and found Nathanael and told him, "We've found the One Moses wrote of in the Law, the One preached by the prophets. It's Jesus, Joseph's son, the one from Nazareth!" 46Nathanael said, "Nazareth? You've got to be kidding."
But Philip said, "Come, see for yourself." Message

It seems that many today are certain they will only find Christ where they expect to find Christ. In the pages of Scripture….in the right church, teaching the right doctrine. I see many in Christianity today who, along with Nathaniel, have formed their opinions…etched in stone about where they will find the Christ….and have pretty much eliminated “Nazareth” as a place he might dwell.

Are there places you are certain you would never find the Christ? A mosque? A Unitarian church? A synagogue? A Buddhist temple? Do you echo Nathaniel in the no nonsense words of The Message Bible?

“Nazareth? You’ve got to be kidding.”

Like Nathaniel, you just might be surprised.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Abiding in the Doctrine of Christ...

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name (nature) under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Not that there are no others who can do the good work of Jesus—many, and from various religious traditions, have done this, and are doing this work. The key word is not “Jesus”, but “nature”. Many “abide in the doctrine of Christ” (2 John 1:9) but would not consider themselves “Christian.” Such has the name been contaminated by the “official” Christian church and then projected upon people of other religious traditions.

The above quote is from an essay called Why We Hardly Love God....on Godquest. It got me wondering what it means to abide in the doctrine of Christ. I looked the verse up in several translations.

2 John 1:9

For if you wander beyond the teaching of Christ, you will not have fellowship with God. But if you continue in the teaching of Christ, you will have fellowship with both the Father and the Son. NLT

Whosoever revolteth and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine, the same hath both the Father and the Son. Douay – Rheims

So my question might be…when it talks about the doctrine of Christ….does it mean the teaching ABOUT Jesus (which seems to fit with the standard definition of doctrine) or the teaching OF Jesus? Is it more about praying the sinner’s prayer, acknowledging Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and having all of your theological ducks in a row....or is it about living out the teachings of Christ in our day to day lives?

Robertson’s Word Pictures says the following:

Not the teaching about Christ, but that of Christ which is the standard of Christian teaching as the walk of Christ is the standard for the Christian's walk

Okay…so according to Robertson it is the walk not the talk? Sort of like what the following verse from 1 John points out?

2:6 - the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.  NAS

Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived. Message

He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. KJV

So many Christians seem to be so caught up in the right doctrine. Some with such narrow legalistic views it is all about…only about the talk. The walk is secondary to the right doctrine.

"Live Truth instead of professing it." Elbert Hubbard

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

All Roads?

Do all roads lead to God?

Jesus and Mack discuss this very question in The Shack.

“‘Does that mean’, asked Mack, ‘that all roads will lead to you?’ ‘Not at all’, smiled Jesus as he reached for the door handle to the shop. ‘Most roads don’t lead anywhere. What it does mean is that I will travel any road to find you.’”

Or as my daughter, Emily, wrote in a poem:

Some roads don't lead to me, but I'd go down any to set you free.

So much of what I read these days speaks from a very inclusive perspective. Must be the crowd I’m hanging out with :) Even friends who formerly struggled with the inclusion of CHRISTIAN universalism now see things from a much broader perspective. There has been an expansion in their views about the depth and breadth and all inclusive nature of our Father. It seems to me that this spirit of inclusion is hard to miss in the life and teachings of Jesus. The inclusive nature of Jesus totally ticked off the Pharisees who were determined that they had the corner on the God market. It seems that many Christians today are not far from that same mindset. We know the harshest words Jesus spoke were directed at the Pharisees.

In a Beliefnet interview a few years ago, Carlton Pearson said:

Christians are hung up on "You need to believe in Jesus." Christians forget that it's not about somebody believing in Christianity, it's about Christ believing in humanity. He created humanity and understands the diversity of humanity. He accepts us as we are.

God is] so inclusive, it's hard to believe. He put the versions of Himself back together in Christ. There's a version of God that's Hindu. There's a version of God that's Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Baha'i. It's so beautiful.


And from an essay on the Godquest site called How Then Shall We Live:

God has provided for every person, in every culture and religion the means whereby that person can authentically “connect” with the “divine nature”—a connecting with God within and a connecting with others without. God in his goodness has provided authentic vehicles for connecting with the divine personality and these are used by every spiritual tradition. Through these, God eventually woos and wins us all.


The Spirit of God is simply not limited to any one custom or spiritual way. The Spirit of God reveals within all spiritual traditions a single priority: The things…the deep things of God have to do with God’s true character. This wonderful truth about God’s good nature and personality, though scarce and precious, simply cannot be contained within any single organized religious group and breaks forth as light throughout the world.


St Paul also wrote that there is but “one Spirit, one Lord and one baptism…one God and Father over all” That one spirit finds expression within the various world spiritual traditions and presents from within the hearts of all called now to know the divine nature as mercy, justice and humility…summed up by Love.


For God has his saints attuned to his voice sprinkled throughout the world and within every religion and spiritual path.

I will be exploring and musing about this over the next few posts…..

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Twisting the Truth

We don’t have to outright lie in order to distort the truth. I used to work with a woman who….well….let’s just say she seemed to sow seeds of discord….and if she didn’t like you, well, she really didn’t like you. I am glad I remained on her good side the whole time we worked together. I saw her distort the truth time and time again…..yet she didn’t lie.

I heard her, many times, repeat a conversation I had been a part of or witnessed…and she did not misquote the words the person said….but she added her own tone, her own spin…and it changed the whole meaning of the conversation!!! It always reflected negatively on the person she was talking about. I was amazed that just by changing the tone of their words, she implied a whole different meaning. Perhaps it was not a conscious thing. Perhaps it was not a malicious thing…..

And there are other ways of twisting the truth. I came upon an article on a site called Truth or Fiction the other day. It was about a widely circulated email about Obama….with quotes that very much reflected negatively. Several were actual lies. Pure fabrications. Most of the legitimate quotes were from his books but they were taken out of context….or snipped halfway through and twisted to say something entirely different than he meant.

I am not an ardent supporter of Obama. I did not vote for him (or anyone). I just happened to come across this while looking for quotes on truth for some recent posts. I am pretty sure there were many Sarah Palin emails going around that were bogus as well. This is just the one I happened to come across. The following is copied verbatim from Truth or Fiction.

Summary of the eRumor:  
A collection of quotes from two books written by Senator Barack Obama that try to highlight his attitudes about race and Islam.

The Truth:  
All but two of the quotes seem to be accurate, but are taken out of context.
One of the quotes does not exist and the one about Islam is fabricated.
Also, whoever constructed this eRumor claims that some of the quotes are from a book by Obama titled Dreams of My Father.  The actual title of Obama's book is Dreams From my Father.

In response to email rumors that have circulated about Obama, his campaign has created a page to respond to the rumors.  CLICK HERE for the "Fight the Smears" page.
(CLICK HERE for a list of other related stories about Barack Obama)
Let's look at them one-at-a-time:

"I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites."-Truth!
This is an accurate quote from the introduction to Dreams from My Father.  The book chronicles Obama's experience as the son of an African father and an American mother.
"I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race."-Fiction!
This quote does not exist in either of Obama's books.

"There was something about him that made me wary, a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white."-Truth!
This is a quote from Dreams from My Father.  It it in a section in which Obama describes a job interview with a man in Chicago.  Race had been a part of their discussion and the full quote is, "There was something about him that made me wary, a little too sure of himself, maybe.  And white---he'd said himself that was a problem."

It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names."-Truth!
This one is also from Dreams from My Father.  It is from a section when Obama was a college student and wrestling with his identity including as an African-American.  The quote describes his observation of what was required among his fellow students.

"I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, Dubois and Mandela."-Truth!
This is from Dreams from my Father.  The more complete quote is, ""Yes, I’d seen weakness in other men— Gramps and his disappointments, Lolo and his compromise. But these men had become object lessons for me, men I might love but never emulate, white men and brown men whose fates didn’t speak to my own. It was into my father’s image, the black man, son of Africa, that I’d packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela."

"I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."-Fiction!
This is a corruption of a quote from Obama's book The Audacity of Hope. It is from a section that talks about the concerns of immigrants who are American citizens.
Here is the accurate and more complete quote:  "Of course, not all my conversations in immigrant communities follow this easy pattern. In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging.  They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

Updated 5/13/08

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Subject: Obama and his thoughts from HIS BOOKS

I wouldn’t recommend purchasing his books, but checking them out from the public library

and verifying the quotes this is a dangerous individual that has not been truthful, evidently

with very much he has uttered in public. Particularly the last quote!

This guy wants to be our President and control our government. Pay close attention to the last comment!! Below are a few lines from Obama's books " his words:

From Dreams of My Father: "I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites."

From Dreams of My Father: "I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race."

From Dreams of My Father: "There was something about him that made me wary, a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white."

From Dreams of My Father: ; "It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names."

From Dreams of My Father: "I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, Dubois and Mandela."

From Audacity of Hope: "I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

Holy Cow ! He's lost his mind, and so has anyone that votes for him ! Go be President of a Muslim country, then !

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A New Earth Book Study....

There is a new book study starting up on The Beautiful Heresy Message Board.  Well, it is actually an old book study brought back to life....

We started to study Eckhart Tolle's book, A New Earth, back in the spring.  The board crashed and when it came back on line several months later, it seemed to be off the beaten path for most of the people who previously hung out there. There have been very few posts since then.  Some members of Dena's Sacred Cow Tippers yahoo group were interested in Tolle's writings (especially Dena) so we all decided to resurrect the old study "from the dead" and begin anew.  There are the remains of what we posted last spring.  We are going to add to them...

I'm not sure how many will participate, but I know my bud, annie, will...and Dena...and a few others from her list...and probably a few from EU. 

You have to join the board (a quick process) to post...but anyone can read the book studies.  Several other studies took place there.  (Girard's, I See Satan Fall Like Lightning, Tom Talbott's, The Inescapable Love of God and The Language of God by Francis Collins) 

If you are interested, please join us.  If you happen to have any trouble joining the board (it seems to have some glitches and quirks) please contact me via email ( or by way of the comments section on this blog and I will forward your issues to the owner of Beautiful Heresy.  He will fix you right up. 

Hope to see you there :)


Keith's View of Union by Fusion....

While looking for something in the files on my computer, I came upon the following message board post Keith wrote a few years ago. It was probably posted on Tentmaker….or The Savior of All board….which has since been closed. It was in response to a question about Zechariah 13. I think it goes well with the Union By Fusion and Christ in us/as us posts of late.

Keith first taught me about the egoic mind/spirit mind…or tried to. I didn’t really understand it then. He didn’t call it the egoic mind…and used more acceptable “kingdom” words like “adamic man/carnal man/the flesh” and the spiritual side of us….the seed of God in all of us was called the christ…the spiritual man. In kingdom circles, the “hybrid” is more likely referred to as the new creation man. Just different words…same concepts. To me, anyway. His post follows…..

Zech 13:
8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

While the Scripture is often interpreted literally, and certain things are just assumed, I believe that it is not talking about a group of people, or a nation of people, or 33 people out of 100. What I believe it is saying is that each individual person is made up of 3 parts! Body, soul, and Spirit.
The verse says that two parts shall be cut off and die, but a third shall be left therein. So, then it becomes an easier understanding to see that God will deal with all the inhabitants of the earth the same way. What third do you think now will be left to be refined??
The easy answer to that is that since you must be born again, your spirit becomes alive unto God, and you go through the refining fires. Silver is a type for redemption, and Gold is a type for divinity. So then you become refined LIKE silver and gold where the "dross" comes to the surface, and is cleaned off to purify it. Which is great because a silver smith would say that silver is pure when you can see your face in it!! And God will have refined us pure when He can see the reflection of His face in us!!
"they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God" Well now, it is easy to see how this comes about, because they that call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved! And since we know ALL shall call upon the name of the Lord, that will include everybody!!

I think that says it pretty well...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth

So why do we cling so tightly to the traditions of the past? Why do we cling to the status quo interpretations of scripture…hanging on for dear life, even when those interpretations make no sense? Because the truth makes us uncomfortable. It “upsets the apple cart.” Nobody likes to have what they know to be fact, questioned. You know the saying…..I’ve made up my mind, now don’t confuse me with the facts? So true in modern Chrisitianity. Closer to the truth sometimes is not that “I’ve” made up my mind but rather….the powers that be….my spiritual leaders and those who “KNOW” have made up my mind.

Why is that? Are we afraid we will be found mistaken? Is it the slippery slope thing talked about so often in Christianity. Once you start down that slippery slope, watch out…0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds. You are a goner….headed into abyss of the liberal, ungodly heathens. Straight to hell with you, pal.

Is it laziness? It is a lot of work to seek out the truth, weigh the options and decide for ourselves (with the guidance of the holy spirit) Much easier to just listen to what others who know more tell us? I cannot be satisfied with what others tell me. I have been on a quest for truth for years now. It is an insatiable burning desire…hunger, thirst to find the truth about every doctrine that besmirches the name and nature of God. To see him as he is…apart from the qualities and traditions that have been attributed to him. And I will keep seeking and searching under every rock, in every nook, in every craney….finding revelation (that quickening in my spirit) everywhere….not limited to just the Bible or what the respected theologians say (and since they don’t agree anyway, what theologian would I align my beliefs with anyway?)

So, this has gone off on a tangent. I will end it with some quotes on truth that I found the other day. I love quotes. They so succinctly encapsulate truth into a sort of "aha" moment. The ultimate summary of what could take paragraphs to explain.

Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized.  In the first, it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self-evident.  ~Arthur Schopenhauer

All great truths begin as blasphemies.  ~George Bernard Shaw, Annajanska, 1919

We do not err because truth is difficult to see.  It is visible at a glance.  We err because this is more comfortable.  ~Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.  ~Attributed to James A. Garfield

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.  ~Aldous Huxley

If a thousand old beliefs were ruined in our march to truth we must still march on.  ~Stopford Brooke

Sponge, truth quotes, obama thing....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Debating the Flat Earth Society....

I stole this title from Bishop Shelby Spong taken from the text of an essay annie posted on EU about his views on homosexuality and Bible inerrancy. In it he said the following

The Bible was written between the years 1000 B.C.E. and 135 C.E. Our knowledge of almost everything has increased exponentially since that time. It is the height of ignorance to continue using the Bible as an encyclopedia of knowledge to keep dying prejudices intact.

There is also a widely accepted mentality that if the Bible is opposed, the idea must be wrong. That is little more than nonsensical fundamentalism. The rise of democracy was contrary to the "clear teaching of the Bible," as the debate over the forced signing of the Magna Carta by King John of England in 1215 revealed. The Bible was quoted to prove that Galileo was wrong; that Darwin was wrong; that Freud was wrong; that allowing women to be educated, to vote, to enter the professions and to be ordained was wrong. So the fact that the Bible is quoted to prove that homosexuality is evil and to be condemned is hardly a strong argument, given the history of how many times the Bible has been wrong. I believe that most bishops know this but the Episcopal Church has some fundamentalist bishops and a few who are "fellow travelers" with fundamentalists.

It could also be argued that the Bible has been used to support slavery, segregation, child abuse, wife abuse, jihad, capital punishment, it has endorsed (or not spoken out against) rape, forced marriage, polygamy, concubines, castration, lying, murder, bigotry, torture.

No Christian today endorses slavery…yet the Bible seems to take a so what, who cares, be the best slave you can be attitude. Huh? And polygamy and having a whole slew of concubines was commonplace…yet today would that fly? How about the plucking out of eyes….and a dozen heads in a basket….the spoils go to the victor stories in the OT? Would that fly today? Can you say “war crimes.” How about Elijah killing off the priests of Baal by his own hand? Can you say “religious persecution.”

So many things in the OT we condemn today…and have actually, in part, gone to war over. (Sadam and sons….tortured their own people….instituted genocide against the Kurds) Although oil and other issues played a big part in the gulf wars…that was at least a part of it.

And what about the infamous texts everyone quotes about eating seafood, wearing mixed garments, planting a garden with mixed crops etc. etc. etc. These texts are used as an example that the OT rules and regulations are not for us today.

With a bit of study, most of the OT traditions are not a cut and dry case. Like hell, the condemnation of homosexuals is a tradition etched into the very fibers of Christianity….and is (in my opinion) just another exclusion by the Christian elite, the favored, chosen ones of God.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Union by Fusion

I ended yesterday’s post with a quote from Francois du Tuit

 Not a saved man and a glorious God. But man fused into God and God fused into man, one divine creation. One in heart, one in mind, one in soul, you and God as one.

When I read this it reminded me of a writing by Preston Eby that I’ve been meaning to read. Union by Fusion. What exactly is that…union by fusion? Knowing the theology of Preston Eby, I was pretty sure it had to do with processing. Preston Eby is big on processing...and it usually involves something quite unpleasant and painful. I still have not read the entire two part series from start to finish but I read parts of it and found the following excerpts

It is a joining, a blending, an intermixture, a merging, an amalgamation, a unification of two or more items. It is more than an adhering. It is different from merely gluing something together. It is a commingling of the elements. We have come today to participate in an event of spiritual fusion, whereby we are told that we, being many separate individuals (atoms as it were), are fused together into one in Christ Jesus. "For we being many are one bread, and one body..." (I Cor. 10:17). "And the glory which You gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and You in me, that they may be made perfect in one..." (Jn. 17:22-23).


Ah – Christ is in us today – but where is He within us? In what part? It is abundantly clear – Christ is in our spirit. There is no need to be vague and say, "Oh, the Lord is in you and the Lord is in me." The last verse of II Timothy 4 definitely states that Christ is in our spirit. "The Lord be with your spirit." The preposition "with" is from the Greek SUN which denotes "union." The Lord is in union with our spirit! There is a mighty working taking place within God's people – no more to have that duality – our spirit, His Spirit, but to be so fully merged into one with Him that HIS Spirit is mine, and my spirit, quickened by His Spirit, is swallowed up into His. "There is ONE SPIRIT," says the Lord (Eph. 4:4).


The One Spirit is my spirit and God's spirit in union. There is one spirit, just as there is one body. God is combining. God is joining. God is fusing. God is creating! God is mingling the elements in His heavenly laboratory, making a New Creation in Christ Jesus the Lord – something that never was before!


The principle was set in motion with the first man, Adam. Adam had to fall into darkness, sin and death, not because he was inherently evil or rebellious, but because all that is contradictory to God must be stirred up, experienced, faced, understood, repented of, overcome and eternally put to rest in man's will before the image of God can shine safely and eternally through him

The one spirit is not just IN you – it IS you. The one spirit is not merely God in you – it is God and you joined in union.

So then…according to Eby, 1 + 1 does not always equal 2. Sometimes, as in the case of our union by fusion with the Lord, 1 + 1 equals 1.  One new creation man...a hybrid....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Mirror Image of an Invisible God...

I came across a site…quite by accident…which is how I usually come across sites, called Mirror Reflections…which has, as it’s theme, this union between man and God. On the site’s home page it begins by saying…..

Jesus Christ is infinitely more than an historic Hero; He is both the mirror image of an invisible God, and at the same time the reflection and blueprint of every person's original design.

The site is owned by a man by the name of Francois du Toit, from South Africa….author of quite a few articles available to download as word documents on his website. Among them:

Books (MS Word format)

He has authored a paraphrased translation of several of the books in the New Testament that mainly deal with the new creation man.They are also available on his site.

Some excerpts from his writings….

Man exists to be in union with his Maker; in his very make-up he is the God-kind, created for Divine companionship and encounter. Mankind is God’s love dream. Eph.1:4, 5. “I say ye are gods, all of you are sons of the Most High, why would you die like mere men?” Psalm 82:6,7. “You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth.”

The central theme and revelation of the Bible celebrates a relationship between God and man of the highest order, a union of absolute integrity, with no hint of distance, inferiority, guilt, condemnation or suspicion. The sacred moment, when for the first time in the history of the universe, the invisible Creator reflected His image and likeness in a fragile vessel of flesh became the reference of a presence and purpose in the earth that would dominate human history and destiny.

From The Divine Embrace

And from The Mystery Revealed:

You and the glorified Christ as one are the divine manifestation of God. Come up to the throne, dear ones. Let the throne life and the throne love and the throne power and the throne spirit possess you, and your tread will be the march of the conqueror, your crown the crown of glory, and your power the power of God. Not a saved man and a glorious God. But man fused into God and God fused into man, one divine creation. One in heart, one in mind, one in soul, you and God as one.

More to come....

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Hybrid....

On Heart 2 Heart, the message board on Gary Sigler's site…in a thread entitled “reincarnation” ....a poster who goes by the name RonSigler made a statement that captured my attention:

as God {man} evolves, a hybrid is in the making. This hybrid then, will be able to see all things from both the human and the divine perspectives

It’s funny how a very simple statement can sometimes tie up a lot of loose ends while…at the same time leading to more questions. That was the case with this statement.

I looked up the word hybrid on Wordsmyth. One of the definitions (among other less politically correct words like half breed, mongrel…and worse) was the word “cross”. Of course…I’ve heard that used many times. About dogs…a peekapoo is a cross between a Pekingnese and a poodle. A tangelo is a cross between an orange and a grapefruit.  A mule is a cross between a horse and a donkey. And the new creation man is a a cross between mankind and God.

I find it striking that the place where the supernatural event of the greatest significance in this union of man and God took place on a cross. That event…the crucifixion…on an old rugged cross somehow bridges the gap between man and God. The atonement…the…ment. A cross between mankind and God.

There are many theories about how this actually works. I think that some of those theories, like penal substitution, are a travesty to the character and nature of God….yet, I don’t have it all down pat even though I’ve posted about the atonement quite often on this blog. But something of great significance happened there to break down the walls, open blind eyes, rend the veil…bridge the gap.

More on this in my next post…..

Sunday, February 1, 2009

In Him All Things Hold Together....

Colossians 1:17 says:

17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

So, all things are held together in Christ. According to the Wikipedia article on laminin, it is a cell adhesion protein molecule that, in essence, glues the parts of our bodies together. Christ and laminin, then, perform the same function of holding things together.

If it stopped there, it would be cool enough, but there’s more. Check out the following scientific diagram of laminin:

Not only does laminin hold things together like Christ, it actually looks like the cross upon which Christ died for our sins. How awesome is that!?


This was posted on Gary Sigler's H2H message board.  I came across the same thing about a year ago.  Again..not timely...oh well.  Being fooled a time or two by Christian forwards...and non Christian forwards, I decided to check it out a little further.  Lo and behold, it is the truth.  Following is another picture of laminin...clearly cross shaped. 



AND..the following excerpt from the website Truth or Fiction:

Laminin, an Important Protein that Look Like a Cross-Truth!

Summary of the eRumor: 
The eRumor talks of a substance called "laminin" that is described as part of a family of proteins that "hold us together."  Then there is a picture of laminin---which looks like a cross.

The Truth: 
This story leads into complex considerations of science and biology but the main questions it prompts are whether laminin is as important as the eRumor claims and does it have a shape like a cross.

The simple answer to both questions seems to be yes. 

Laminin is defined by the Webster Medical Dictionary as a "glycoprotein that is a component of connective tissue basement membrane and that promotes cell adhesion."  In other words, looking at laminin as a kind of glue isn't far from the truth.  There are several different laminins.

In their book The Laminins authors Peter Elkblom and Rupert Timpl go into more detail about both the importance of laminins and their structure.  They describe laminins that, together with other proteins, "hold cells and tissues together."   They also say, "Electron microscopy reveals a cross-like shape for all laminins investigated so far."  They went on to say that in solution the laminin shapes were more like a flower than a cross.  The strands of laminins do not always stand straight and at right angles, but they do consists of arms, three of which are short and one of which is long.

Research has been conducted on laminins in connection with numerous conditions and diseases.  It has been found, for example, that people with congenital muscular dystrophies do not have  laminin-alpha2, which is normally found in the layer of cells around muscle fibers and other cells important to the structural integrity of muscle cells.