“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; Or else he will hold to the one and despise the other.” – Matthew 6:24 (KJV)
“And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” – Mark 5:25-34 (KJV)
I find it interesting that for the first time since I left my former Christian faith that I am returning to the Bible. In fact even before I left my faith I had the Bible stashed away in a box, angry at God, disappointed in my faith. I hadn’t read it in a very long time. But there was a time I read and studied the Word, as they call it daily. In fact I had even read the Bible cover to cover several times. I really do know it by heart. All of its teachings are still there in my memory.
I bring this up because it is as a former Christian I wish to address Christians tonight. I just watched an episode of Paranormal Witness entitled, “Deliver Us From Evil.” It was about a Christian, Baptist man and his family in Indiana. They had just moved into a new home, could not afford to leave, and the impression I got from my third-hand perspective, which may not be accurate, is that this man’s faith was a major part of his identity. Through what happened in that house it sounds like he went through something Bruce Moen calls a “Belief System Crash.” He had a priest from his church bless the house. He read his Bible. He prayed for his family. But he came to the realization that his faith did not have all the answers, and it was not strong enough to deal with what they called a demon (on the show) in the house.
I felt for this man. I could see myself in him. I too had made my faith a part of my identity. I too experienced a “Belief Systems Crash.” It was very hard to separate myself from something I considered to be a part of who I was. I would often say, “I am a Christian.” Christians are taught to say that, to think like that. It is one of many flaws in this religion, or any religion for matter. How many terrorists have exclaimed, “I am a Muslim!” with some note of pride. Even Buddhists and Hindus do this. Maybe this is human nature. We come to believe or feel that our beliefs are who we are, that they define us.
As I watched this episode, reliving some of the things I experienced when I was a child, which were nowhere near as bad but just as terrifying, this though came to me. Another fly in the Christian ointment. Jesus, the founder of the faith, says right here that “No man can serve two masters…” but this is exactly what Christians do! Other religions as well for that matter.
In the Christian faith there is God and Satan. Good VS Evil. In the non-denominational Christian faith my parents raised me God has certain powers. He is omnipresent, meaning He can be and is everywhere at once. He created everything, He is all powerful. I use the capital H’s here out of respect. I write here only out of love and purest intention. Which is why it troubles me to have to say the following…
In the Christian faith Satan is ascribed the same powers. Before you start arguing or leave this page, please read on. It is never said this way of course. But think about it. Satan can tempt any Christian to sin. So theoretically, if he were tempting you right now, and someone else on the other side of the planet, what else could he be but omnipresent? You may argue that its his demons, the fallen angels that are doing the tempting on his behalf. OK, I have said this before, but 1/3 of the angels fell, presumably to become demons (fallen angels.) That’s a set amount. That means that maybe this could have worked a thousand years ago or so. But the human population is in the billions now. It has been increasing over time. Sooner or later the ratio of demons to humans will be too little to cover everyone, if it isn’t already.
But lets say there are 100 billion demons. Maybe the end times will come before there aren’t enough demons to cover everyone, or maybe the demons only go after Christians. Well there will still have to be an amazing communications network going on, between Satan giving orders and these orders reaching a particular demon attacking a particular family. But let me ask you this. Do you want to ascribe creative powers to Satan? Probably not. I would say that Satan, being the antithesis of God, is destructive in nature, whereas God is creative in nature. So lets theorize again. If you are destructive in nature, even if you managed to make something, wouldn’t you eventually destroy it? Wouldn’t you be incapable of creating anything that lasts because your very nature affects what you make as well as how you interact with it? Do you see the problem here?
However this is not my main concern or reason for posting. I am not here to cause you to doubt. I want you to think for yourself. My main concern here is simply this. It is your belief that gives a thing power. As a recall Jesus said as much, many different times in the New Testament. I remember the story of the woman who believed, and understand, this wasn’t just a mental exercise. She felt this too, even though the scriptures do not say so. She had to have felt this in every fiber in her being. It was more of a knowing, that if she just reached out and touched the hem of Jesus’s robe, she would be healed. What happened? She was healed of course. What did Jesus say to her? As I recall, “It is your faith that has made you well.” If I got that word for word please note I did not look that up. That was directly from memory. I want to stress how well I know and understand the Bible. I want you to understand how much I truly did struggle with my eventual decision, to leave the Christian faith and risk eternal damnation. Hours of study, thought, introspection, contemplation, more likely hundreds of hours, went into my decision.
But I digress… The woman believed (had faith) that she would be healed, and she was. Christians believe in God, and they believe in Satan as well. Therefore they give power to both entities, and are serving two masters. Think about this. Really, truly and honestly think about this. This Christian Baptist man, through his strong faith, was giving power not only to God, but Satan as well. Other Christians of lesser faith never battle what they perceive as demons in their house. They are what some call “Sunday Christians.” They go to church, read the Bible, probably were “saved” and baptized, but you can’t tell them apart from anyone else in the world, as Christians call it, except on Sunday.
Real true devout followers of the Christian faith struggle with temptation., and in extreme circumstances, things that seem to possess their house. This man created his own suffering for himself and his family. He didn’t know any better. He was a man of faith, and it was so strong it energized all that he believed in, and of course being Baptist as I believe I have been told there is a special emphasis on hell and the devil.
This is why it is so dangerous and unhealthy for yourself and others around you to identify so heavily with your belief systems, whatever they are. Terrorists believe so strongly in their causes that they can strap bombs to themselves and blow themselves up. Their faith is just as strong as this man’s must have been, and just as devastating for both of them. Terrorists do not realize that they give power to America and all they perceive it to be by their faith, just as this man did not realize that he was giving power to what he perceived to be his enemy, Satan. Do you see it?
By adopting a belief system into your identity you automatically create an us VS them situation, as I have said before. Christians VS Muslims. Christians VS Satan. Muslims VS America. Christians VS The World. Good VS Evil. It really comes down to this. You believe yourself to be of the “good” faction. You believe the other is of the “evil” faction. So we have the rare person battling what they perceive to be a demon in their house, or in lesser cases a ghosts. We have certain Muslims strapping bombs to their chest to kill people. We have Christians saying things like, “This is not our home…” and in the case of my own father, whenever we talk about old age, “I don’t think I (or we) will be around that long…” in reference to the Second Coming.
I have asked this before but let me ask it again. How can we love each other when we perceive some to be with “us” and others to be with “them?” How can we love our home, earth, if we believe it is coming to an end and it is not our home? Have any of you Christians out there ever noticed how many times in the last 20 years we have been told it is the “End Times?” I remember one time, early in my faith, and I think there has been 2 or 3 since. Why don’t you notice these things? Why don’t you question?
For the same reason when you look at yourself in the mirror you don’t question if you are male or female (with a few rare exceptions I am sure.) This too is a part of your identity. Your body is one type or the other. You were born one way or the other. You have been raised according to your body type and whatever that means in your society/culture/religion. If you faith is a part of your identity you generally do not question it. Unless a “crises of faith” happens and you find yourself asking, “How could God do that?” or “How could this be Allah’s will?” Then your friends and family within your faith are quick to come in and reassure you. They have the best intentions in mind, but are really harming you. Because at such a time you are free to ask questions of your faith, of all you have believed, and come to your own conclusions, and these may be truly surprising.
Unless you are super strong and have been struggling with your faith for many years, it is unlikely you will pull yourself out into this questioning position on your own. Had I been 10-20 years younger at the time I made my choice chances are my family would still have had great influence on me and I would have remained a Christian. I am so happy that I was able to extricate myself from my faith and turn my back on it for good. This may not make sense to other Christians. They may shake their heads sadly or make the sign of the cross on their chest. And that, more than anything, is what makes me sad.
You go to your church or your mosque and you go through the usual rituals. But to my experience in the church nobody ever stands up and challenges the pastor. Nobody asks the hard questions. Nobody points out the inconsistencies in the Bible like how Satan was supposed to cross an “Uncrossable Chasm” to come before God and ask permission to tempt Job, much less why God would allow it. Look it up. There is supposed to be a gulf between Heaven and Hell. But maybe you have a ready answer for that one. OK, how about this. If Heaven is a perfect place, where did Lucifer get sin from? As I recall I asked these questions of a local pastor here at my parent’s church via email. He has never replied.
I don’t usually mention these and the other equally disturbing questions I have about my own former faith. I believe that everyone has a right to their beliefs. I choose to love and accept everyone, no matter what their faith is, or even if they have one. I don’t want to cause Christians to doubt their faith. I don’t feel I have the right to do that to anyone. I am not sure what the right approach here is. So the most I usually try to do is help people think for themselves. Let them come to their own conclusions, make their own decisions.
In this case my purpose is to help Christians realize, especially those who perceive themselves to be under attack, that perhaps their belief in the power of Satan and his minions over them, as their enemy, is what allows such attacks to continue. That they need to somehow come to a place in their faith where they ascribe all power to God and God alone.
Emmett Fox, in reference to the 10 Commandments, interprets the phase, “Thou Shalt Not Have Any Other Gods…” and “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery…” as the same thing. Idolatry. You have given a thing, in the case of the Israelites, a graven image (the Golden Calf) power. But you should only give God power. I don’t know how you can do this in the Christian religion. Some factions of Christianity deny Satan. The other factions condemn them for this. Maybe the best approach here is to simply acknowledge the existence of Satan, but give complete control and power over to God. Realize that Satan is unable to touch you without God’s permission.
I went through much of my life with that sort of thought/belief. I would say things to myself like, “I don’t have to worry about being killed because I will only die when it is God’s will that I die…” It worked for me, and I went through a situation where the second house I lived in, from the age of 5 to 16 or so, was what I would have perceived as”haunted” at that time. I saw a horrific face in the window that glowed with a color I have never seen on this earth. I saw a black dog, saw through it rather, its glowing red eyes on me. I saw my stuffed bunny, facing away from me, turn its head around 180 degrees and stare at me with glowing red eyes. I even experienced something I later determined to be an out of body experience (apparently children have them a lot) where I was taken in a tomato box through my closet and it was darkness and flames. The feeling, what I experienced, I can’t describe. My mom’s faith was strong enough to send me a nightmare about the end times, venturing out of my house and finding body parts laying around. She wanted to scare me securely into my Christian faith.
It worked for me to simply ask God for a “hedge of thorns and hand of protection… Peaceful, restful sleep…” for years before I went to bed. I had few nightmares, despite all I experienced as a child. My parents, to my knowledge, were never attacked by what they would perceive as demons. What I would have perceived as demonic attacks also stopped. But you know what? I haven’t prayed like that since I left my faith, and I still have no nightmares. Now I go to sleep with a deep knowledge that there is no evil, or good in the world. I have come to understand that both of these are creations of man. Manifestations of man’s belief. But I no longer subscribe to such beliefs. Which is why I shy away from anything ritual or that says there is good and evil. To my mind these things are not real. They are what others believe to be reality, but they are not truly real.
I asked myself, just before I sat down to write this, how I would handle going into a house that someone perceived to be haunted or possessed. Or outside of the Christian faith, what about a place that author Meg Blackburn Losey would perceive to have a portal between worlds in it? These are all manifestations of belief. That is they exist because people believe they exist. What is the truth of reality then? I don’t know. But I am open and receptive to whatever it is, without making any judgments, forming any opinions, or investing any belief. Ultimately I think this is the place everyone has to get to if they wish to be truly free.
So if you are under attack and are a Christian stop giving your perceived enemy power. Realize this attacking force only exists because you and other Christians believe it does. Treat it like a thought during meditation. Acknowledge it, but do not attach yourself to it or become adverse to it, just let it be without forming any opinions and thoughts on it at all. Ascribe all power to God.
For your Muslims stop worrying about America corrupting your country. It’s time to step out of the dark ages. You have brought your own suffering on yourselves. Even if you were to nuke the entire continent and send it to the bottom of the sea, you would eventually find fault with Japan or Russia or Sweden or some other country. Do you really want to fight the entire world? Ascribe all power to Allah, what you perceive of as God. Acknowledge the presence of America and American people, as well as the new ideas and beliefs that they represent. But leave it with Allah. He (I assume Allah is a He?) is powerful enough to protect you if that is His will, you would not dare say He is not strong enough, would you? But your actions, by attacking others, reflect your collective thoughts, don’t they?
If you truly believe Allah as strong enough to protect you then you would not be strapping on bombs to sacrifice yourselves while killing others. You are trying to fix things and not trusting what you perceive of as God to be able to do it for you. And as long as you do that you will always have another target, another enemy. You will never win. You will only bring endless war and suffering to yourself and your loved ones. Just as this Christian Baptist man did to his wife and family. Stop giving power to your enemies through your beliefs, and they will stop having power over you. Open yourself to change, accept it, life is change, it is inevitable, and you can not win the fight against it, no matter how long you struggle. Study how it went for China, I believe it was China, that closed itself off for thousands of years. You can learn a lot by studying history.
You Christians too must also stop giving power to things like your own county, other faiths, etc. Worrying about “The Mark of the Beast” and recently “Chrislam” as well as everything else. Your beliefs will only manifest the very thing you don’t want. Exactly what is happening to the Muslims and others. You are not really trusting your God if you are not ascribing Him full power to protect you and your loved ones. You are acting just like the Muslims if you go out and try to fix things yourself. These circumstances that both faiths do not want only exist because of all the belief power, through bloodshed especially, that has been poured into them. The instant you both stop dwelling on what you don’t want it will cease to exist, effortless and easily, without you having to do or be anything. To all religions, give full power to whatever you call God, and leave everything in Its/Her/His hands.
That is serving only one master. As long as you give power to what you perceive of as God and this other thing, whatever it is, you are serving two masters. You are at war with the unwanted, undesired, thing. All the while you are giving it power over you, instead of simply giving it to what you perceive of as God. The blood you shed in your fight, the energy you expend focused against it, only strengthens it. You, by your very though process and your resulting actions, manifest it and make it real. Your beliefs create your reality. It really is as simple as that. Just let it go, give it to what you call God, and trust this entity to take care of it. Serve what you perceive of as God, and nothing else. Serve only one master. Focus all your energy and power on that.
If you want to manifest something in your life (make something real) focus on what you want, and ask your God for it. Then leave it with It/Her/Him, believing, the same way that woman believed, that if she just touched the hem of Jesus’s robe she would be healed, have that belief towards what you perceive as God manifesting (making real) whatever it is you want, and it happens. Instantly, even before you have spoke a single word. Notice the woman never said anything either. She didn’t she fall on her face weeping and begging God for it. She didn’t sit there and worry about how her healing might affect anyone else, or whether or not she would be healed. I assure you that in her mind’s eye she only say herself healed, that’s it. She simply believed, reached out (openness) and touched (acceptance) the hem of Jesus’s robe. Not His flesh, nor did she need Him to utter any words, nor did she seek confirmation, she merely reached out and touched, and what she wanted to manifest (make real), her healing (she was bleeding constantly as I recall) happened. This is the example that all peoples of all faiths should follow whenever they approach what they perceive of as God. If they do that then their request is granted.
Serve one master. Go to whatever or whoever you call God with your request, knowing it is granted before you even say a word. In fact words are unnecessary. Go with your heart yearning for whatever it is, your mind picturing it manifesting in your life (becoming real.) Ascribe all power to a single master, this entity you have come before. Then leave it there. Go so far as to thank this entity for granting your request and leave knowing and feeling with every fiber of your being that it has been granted. If you can master this, you can be healed just as this woman was healed, and more importantly, if you ascribe all power to whatever or whoever you perceive of as God, you can heal exactly like Jesus healed.
Think about that for a minute. What did Jesus always say? “It is not I but my Father in me…” or something like that. Jesus served one master. He gave power only to His father, and as a result he was able to heal and cast out demons. He must have known, in the same way that woman knew, that he would receive whatever he asked of His father before he even asked it. If you are a Christian you should follow this example. If you are not a Christian you should read the Bible to gain another perspective about this process. It will aid you in your own faith. Even someone like me, who is not a Christian at all, can benefit from reading the Bible, because there is much there to help us understand important truths like how we create our own realities by our beliefs.
Here’s a great secret about the Bible, and probably any other “Holy” text as well. There is more to what is being said than what you read in the words. The surface meaning is merely that, just what the words mean if interpreted directly as written. But there is much in these texts beyond the words. There is more to the teachings than what you hear in church, the mosque or the temple. There are as many ways of interpreting and applying the truths in these writings as there are people reading and studying them – maybe even more.
Drawing on Jesus’s example again, as this is what I am familiar with. Does Jesus ever identity himself as a Christian? No. In fact I am not even sure he ever called himself God’s son, although I could be wrong on that. He always said ,”My father…” and “I and my Father are one…” but notice how Jesus’s faith was never a part of His identity. This is the example you should follow if you are a Christian. This is the example you should follow if you are of some other faith. Don’t make your belief systems a part of your identity. Serve one master, ascribe all power to what you perceive of as God, not a belief system. Because if a belief is wrong and you come to a place where you have outgrown it, or it is coming between you and your master, then you have to let it go, and if it is a part of your identity this could be very difficult for you to do. By being open and receptive in your beliefs you dissolve any us VS them mentality. And this allows you to love and accept others. Jesus did not identify himself with one group or another. There was no us VS them in his mentality. He helped Samaritans, a prostitute and tax collectors. He simply ascribed all power to his Father, not His belief in His Father. Do you see the difference? The Pharisees ascribed power to the law, so they served two masters. Why do you think Jesus came down so hard on them?
So accept what appears to be reality in outer circumstances. But leave it to whatever or whoever you call God. Do not ascribe power to external circumstances. These can change. A saying I like is, “It is only real if it never changes.” Your God is real, because that entity is unchanging. The circumstances of your life are not real because they are changing constantly. If the circumstances are undesirable, change them. Come before what you perceive of s God with your request and ascribing It/Her/Him power by leaving it with them. Believe that your request is granted, with every bit of your being, and your request is granted, without you having to utter a single word.
It has nothing to do, by itself, with your belief systems. It has everything to do with your focus, where you ascribe power. That power is channeled through whatever you believe, and that creates what you perceive of as reality. It’s your beliefs that make it your reality. If you have ascribed all power to your God, simply by believing that your God is more powerful than whatever has brought you before It/Her/Him, then you have given your God all the power It/She/He needs to manifest (make real) whatever it is you are asking for.
This is how you serve one master.