Weeping with the Goddess in Jake’s Kitchen

A couple of weeks ago I was dog-sitting for my friend Jake who was out of town. At one point after breakfast, I found myself prostrate on the ground, weeping and talking with an intimate stranger…the Goddess, in fact.

But before I go into all that, it’s probably helpful if I rewind a bit and share a less-known slice of my personal history with the Good Lord.

As longtime readers of this blog might know, my family and I live in Raleigh, North Carolina, where we moved from our native Atlanta are in 2006. We moved here with over a dozen of our friends from undergrad days at Berry College, as well as with new friends and co-dreamers from across the country to ‘seed’ the planting of an ‘organic’ expression of church life – what some variously know as house church, simple church, or intentional community. We were part of a national movement that began to come apart at the seams right around the time we moved; we lasted ‘till about 2008.

Back to me and the Goddess for a second: What caused a nice Jesus-lovin,’ evangelical-reared boy like me to be weeping in front of the Sacred Feminine on my friend’s linoleum floor, a Lassie-looking pup looking docilely on? I was going to write an original explanation of all this, but then I looked back into my ‘Writings’ folder here on the computer, and found something I shared with our house church community back in 2007, on the topic of…

What You Might Not Know About The Lord & Me

You see, our church structure (ideally, at least) was open, participatory, egalitarian and interdependent with others in our ‘family’ or network of churches. Our typical gathering was initiated by singing, and then any number of us sharing for 3-5 minutes, drawn from what we reflected on throughout the week – our “portion of Christ” as we saw it. From time to time, we were given outside direction. We were ‘planted’ and ‘watered’ by those we called ‘workers,’ what those in other traditions might call anything from ‘circuit riders’ to ‘apostles.’ (But we in the Watchman Nee/T. Austin-Sparks post-Brethren lineage that we were, we called them workers.) Our worker at the time, who had a day job as an influential financial manager in the Northeast, challenged us to get to know one another better by having a series of gatherings wherein one person would ‘take’ the majority of the meeting, sharing on What You Might Not Know About the Lord and Me. It was a rich time of hearing new facets of people who lived among – some whom we’d known for years. What follows are rather detailed notes on what I shared:

“The Lord”?

I’m sorry, but this question just lends itself to some rather shady pronouncements. Like “When I was eight, the Lord beat me up and threw me behind a dumpster…” [Dark, Mike. Dark.] But no. I appreciate the impetus behind this question. Many of us have secret pasts and presents with God; dark and mysterious and wondrous things, and it would be good to share.

The first thing you should know is that I don’t call God “the Lord,” not usually. While it’s utterly true that he is our Lord—our Master, the Maestro of the Art of Living—I find it ironic that we’ve picked up on this most formal of titles and made it our choice term of intimacy. The standard placeholder “God” works for me fine, though I also enjoy the Hebrew proper names, like the dynamic and revelatory YHWH, “I am as I shall show myself.” Or El Shaddai.

Let me say a few words about El Shaddai. It’s the most common way I address God while enjoying fellowship with God in Centering Prayer. Now don’t get the wrong impression; I don’t do this nearly as often as I want to; I don’t have a daily ritual of time ‘wasted’ with God like our brother to my right does, though I hope to soon. But when I can, I do the following:

  • I’ve chosen a name of God as the symbol of my awareness of God’s presence within, through and around me.
  • Sitting comfortably and with eyes resting, I briefly and silently introduce this name—El Shaddai—as the symbol of my consent to God’s presence and action within.
  • When I become aware of thoughts, I return ever-so-gently to “El Shaddai.”
  • At the end of about 20 minutes—I typically use a timer—I just sit for a moment or two. I might slowly say the Lord’s Prayer.

There are two reasons why “El Shaddai” is my most intimate of names for addressing God. One is that, with my proclivity toward eating God, it makes the most sense; one rendering of this name is “The God who feeds.” But there is a second reason. A deeper and more literal rendering of this name is “The God with breasts.” El Shaddai means provider precisely because she is the breast-feeding God. Also known as “The voluptuous God,” this is one of the many female depictions of God that has fallen by the wayside in popular use. (See my Appendix handout for Scriptural depictions of God-as-feminine.)

Why is this important to me? Well for one, becoming familiar once again with the many feminine faces of God in Scripture and history gives dignity and power to our sisters in Christ; it is an abandoned memory that needs to be recovered in our words, in our worship, and in our reflections on who God is in our midst.

But for me as a man this has an altogether more close-to-home meaning: recovering the eroticism of God in my devotional life. About a decade ago—first with certain songs coming out of the Vineyard movement and charismatic renewal, and then from the teachings of our itinerant church planters—I was introduced to a vigorous, full-on God-eroticism via bridal language.

Drawing from the Song of Songs and the many bridal images in both Old and New Testaments, I saw painted for me a love affair between the God of Israel/Christ and the people of God, both Israel and the Church. It was illustrated to me as a male suitor pursuing his beloved with fervor that can only be described as sexual, finally culimanating in the saucy, sensuous repertoire we see in both Song of Songs and the end of Revelation. I’ve seen how this understanding has revolutionized the devotional lives of our sisters in communities across the globe; I’ve also seen men in our churches try to get in the game, with varying results. Jesus-as-our-lover has a kind’ve mixed resonance for men because we’re men – it’s even parodied in our larger church culture by men who are uncomfortable with this level of intimacy in contemporary worship songs as Jesus-Is-My-Boyfriend Music. (I wonder: Have any of these critics ever read Bernard of Clairvaux? Hildegard of Bingen? Teresa of Avila?) We recognize that “In Christ there is no male or female,” so in a real sense we too can enter into the ‘bridal experience’ and feel what it’s like to be ravished by our bridegroom via imaginative prayer and resting in divine fellowship. But for those of us who happen to be heterosexual men happily inhabiting our bodies, this is never quite an intuitive experience, is it?

So for me, seeing the sacred feminine as Sophia in Proverbs, or El Shaddai in the Old Testament, or Jesus-as-Mother in several New Testament depictions (not to mention in the writings of mystics like Julian of Norwich) gives me back something I’ve never had as a man: the Voluptuous God, the female creator and nurturer who is comfortable with the space she inhabits. El Shaddai is self-possessed with a powerful, seductive eroticism, one that can both initiate and follow. When I spend time with God, she can ignite my senses with insight and proposition; she can also receive everything I have to give. When our workers encourage us to “Make love to your Lord,” guys, it’s worth reframing this!

The early Genesis poem recounts that both male and female are needed to fully bear the Imago Dei, the image of God on earth as s/he is in heaven. I have taken this to heart, and have sought to incorporate both the male and female in my multi-faceted relating to a many-splendored God.

*                 *                *

That’s what I shared in 2007. So. Many. Words. These days, words are failing me. I feel like Thomas Aquinas at the end of his life, when he fell into a profound silence that lasted weeks. When prompted by one of his assistants to continue writing the thousands of pages of analytical theology had was known for, he replied: “I cannot write anymore because all that I have written seems like straw to me, compared to what has been revealed to me…”

Recently, I’ve been through a dark and challenging time in my life. It isn’t over quite yet. And no, dear readers, I will not be disclosing. Some things are best not blogged. But it really doesn’t matter: If you’re breathing air, you know what I’m talking about: The dissolution of something you once held dear, or thought was solid – perhaps in an outside relationship or job; perhaps within yourself. Changes are taking place; sometimes it feels invigorating, sometimes it feels scary.

I was in just such a place while dog-sitting for my friend Jake – doing dishes, listening to music via my iPhone dock, wondering what was next. I was specifically listening to Krishna Das, an American Kirtan singer – his album Live on Earth. Das’s voice is deeply masculine and totally enchanting all at the same time, the depth of devotion he infuses in his songs is hauntingly beautiful. I’d bought his memoir Chants of a Lifetime: Searching for a Heart of Gold at one of the liquidation sales of the late, lamented Borders, and started reading it recently. As far as coming-of-age-in-the-1960s-and-now-being-an-enlightened-superstud stories go, I enjoyed the writing and pacing of Keith Martin Smith’s A Heart Blown Open: The Life & Practice of Zen Master Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi better. But still – Krishna Das’s story of finding grounding and expansiveness through a life of chanting the Names of God is inspiring – and challenging, as stories like these from varying faith traditions threaten to make me a perennialist yet.

But here I go again with words, words, words – layers of interpretation. Let’s return to the heart of the story: A song came on, Das’s rendering of the Devi Puja, or Goddess Prayer.

From the first notes of his harmonium (an instrument I first heard with powerful effect by my friend, the street-smart yogi and Kalachakra monk Kir – aka Kirantana – at last year’s inaugural Wild Goose Festival), and the repetition of the words He Maa Durga, I stopped drying a glass and froze. Then, I dropped to my knees. I knew that I was in the presence of God, but in this familiar-but-still-culturally-foreign form of El Shaddi, Ruah, Sophia…and more particularly still, Shakti, Shiva, Kali – but more generally, The Goddess.

If you’re one of those people who needs to know what the words mean, here’s an approximate translation of the Devi Puja. But I didn’t know this at the time:

Oh Goddess, you are the one who conquers all
You are the One beyond time
The auspicious One beyond time
The bearer of skulls who destroys all difficulties
Loving forgiveness and supporter of the universe.

You are the one who truly receives our sacrificial offerings
To you I bow.

I did not know, but I had the sense of this personified feminine Love, upholding the universe – and yet being difficult (or perhaps I was the one being difficult). And I was certainly bowing. I began crying – a little bit at first, and then weeping. Who was this One I was in the presence of? Somehow familiar, yet utterly foreign. Goddess. A complex swirl of thoughts, memories, and emotions began to swirl within me. Last May, I was initiated into the ManKind Project – a totally awesome secret society (we aren’t really, I just like to call us one); my initiation and subsequent, consistent time spent in a local circle of men has done wonders for digging deep into and integrating my experience of masculine energies – making peace with the idea of being both a real man and a good man. And now, it seems, that Femininity herself is knocking on the door of my heart. My integration continues.

After ten minutes or so of weeping and verbally asking questions of the Goddess, I decided to write them down. I picked up my journal. This is what I wrote:

May 22nd.

Goddess, I can’t be a man without you. 

Who are You, who’s been refracted so imperfectly through the women of my life? 

Abandoned
Smothered
Wounded
Unattainable
Complex

…why is Your energy so inaccessible, O cruel archetype? 

I long to know You as Mother, Lover, Friend. 

But You are aloof – You play games with me.

The absence of You divorces body from soul, heart from access and flow.

In my life, I’ve idolized You, and I’ve hated You.

I want neither.

Instead, I want to flow into You – to be lost in Your warmth, intoxicated in Your sensuality, recognizing and honoring Your essence in all things.

I also want to feel like a man in Your presence, to give you my essence and have it received, with gratefulness and joy. 

In many ways, my journaling strikes me as being like a Psalm – structured in complaint and collapse into Love. Clearly, I have some issues with feminine energy – and clearly, I long for her. At times, I am misogynist and feminist: This is my confession. Both are true.

The Devi Puja ended, and so did the experience. But she has lingered.

In so many ways, I’m at a crossroads of life and experience. While composting the best of my past, I feel like the first-century church at Pentecost, watching and waiting for the Spirit to hover over the face of my waters. And sometimes, this Spirit comes to me in distinctly feminine form. My prayer – for healing, wholeness, integration, and fresh creation in the world – is summed up in many ways by this song from the band Live at the turn of this century:

Sitting on the beach
The island king of love
Deep in Fijian seas
Deep in some blissful dream

Where the Goddess finally sleeps
In the lap of her lover
Subdued in all her rage
And I am aglow with the taste

Of the demons driven out
And happily replaced
with the presence of real Love
The only one who saves

I wanna dance with you
I see a world where people live and die with grace
The karmic ocean dried up and leave no trace
I wanna dance with you
I see a sky full of the stars that change our minds
And lead us back to a world we would not face

The stillness in your eyes
Convinces me that I
I don’t know a thing
And I been around the world and I’ve
Tasted all the wines
A half a billion times
Came sickened to your shores
You show me what this life is for

I wanna dance with you
I see a world where people live and die with grace
the karmic ocean dried up and leave no trace

I wanna dance with you
I see a sky full of the stars that change our minds
And lead us back to a world we would not face

We would not face
We would not face
We would not face…

See also my “Biblical Proofs” for the Feminine Face of God in Scripture

Recommended Reading if you want to explore the feminine imagery of God more fully:

In Memory of Her by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza (Feminist)

Is It Okay to Call God “Mother”?: Considering the Feminine Face of God by Paul R. Smith (Evangelical)

Embracing Jesus and the Goddess: A Radical Call for Spiritual Sanity  by Carl McColman (Episcopagan)

Journeys by Heart: A Christology of Erotic Power by Rita Nakashima Brock (Womanist)

Revelation of Love  by Julian of Norwich (Contemplative Catholic)

She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse by Elizabeth A. Johnson (Feminist)

The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image by Leonard Shlain (a general literary-historical investigation)

The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd (Post-evangelical, post-Mainline)

The Maternal Face of God by Leonardo Boff (Catholic-Liberationist)

The Unknown She: Eight Faces of an Emerging Consciousness by Hilary Hart (Perennial)

27 Responses to Weeping with the Goddess in Jake’s Kitchen

  1. Ellen May 31, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Thank you for having the courage to post this. I’m sure that you’ll get a lot of grief for it.

    I too have often been touched more deeply, on an emotional level, by the feminine aspects of God. So many of our God-concepts are limiting. A true God must always be too big for any box.

  2. tana May 31, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    This was really touching to read. That sounds patronizing or weak and I don’t mean it to be. Words, words, words. Thanks for the post.

  3. Vicki May 31, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    Mike! What a courageous and honest acknowledgement! Having read Sue Monk Kidd’s book, the Dance of the Dissident Daughter, and deconstructing much of my “religion,” I am also exploring this whole subject. It seems that many who say they want inclusive Biblical and religious language find it hard to make the logical move to using “She” as well as “He” when speaking of the divine. We are full of both religious and cultural blocks toward doing so, but I am finding just naming this reality brings me closer to bigger, more intimate understanding of God..and Goddess. 🙂 I am scratching the surface, but like you, find that there’s really something good underneath.

  4. Constance May 31, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    The Devine Feminine is within All. Lovely. We can all embrace this truth. And, when we do, there is healing for us all.

  5. rain May 31, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    can i just weep my YES along with you? i’ve been on this journey awhile, embracing Amma, and it can be a lonely journey. thank you for writing and staying true.

  6. Ed Burley May 31, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    Grief, Grief, Grief, Grief, Grief, Grief, Grief, Grief, Grief, Grief, Grief, Grief, Grief, Grief, Grief, Grief. There’s a bunch of grief.

    Seriously, good post. I enjoy having my still semi-closed mind stretched out – like a cervix, stretching out to allow the birth of new life/thought. Quite appropos.

  7. Ira May 31, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    I never have given that much thought to what to call God. He and I visit often. I really think of him as my father and the one who helps me through everything, the good and the bad. I am glad that you have decided to call him by the name you have chosen. It really doesn’t matter, he knows everything before you ask it anyways. I like to talk over everything with him. I guess he is Founder, Father and Friend.

  8. Adam Lofbomm May 31, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    Mike,

    I can’t thank you enough for posting this. I do have felt this heart-yearning for the Goddess since my earliest years. Growing up in the Church, for years the only way this longing could express itself was in yearning for romance and love with a woman. My poor girlfriends had to suffer my mythologizing of them and my disappointment when they proved to be mortal after all! When my questioning and seeking took me out of here Church in college, I ran straight for the Goddess via Hinduism’s Shakti, Parvati and Kali. Finally, my heart’s longing and passion had an object big enough to receive them! After a few years, though, I found that I was suffering from having severed my Christian roots. For the last few years, I’ve been doing the slow and careful work of trying to bring the Goddess back home and connect these two worlds. Apparently, from what I see here and in the work happening within the Integral Christianity circles lately, I am not alone! Very encouraged. Thanks again.

  9. Matthew B. Winkel June 4, 2012 at 3:21 am #

    From our guest preacher (from the Iliff School of Theology) for _Disciple_ bible study graduation Sunday last year …

    http://www.st-andrew-umc.com/index.php/library/sermon/behind-every-good-god

    We also gender-neutralize our hymns, etc.

    Huzzah!!!

  10. Adel June 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    Is this posting some kind of apostate joke?

    El Shaddai in the Hebrew means God Almighty.

    It has nothing to do with breasts. I would refer you to good Hebrew dictionaries for more. Simply because someone makes a claim that the Hebrew term is something like a Canaanite term does not mean it is derivitive or similar in meaning.

    As for the rest of your post…it is utter nonsense and has nothing to do with Christianity…just the opposite. God is never once referred to by feminine personal pronoun in the Old or New Testaments. For the clear reason that pagan religions used feminine gods in pantheistic ways…which has nothing to do with the Christian or Hebrew views of God.

    • Ed Burley June 7, 2012 at 12:49 am #

      Is 66:13, “13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”

      Mt 23:37 and Luke 13:34, “…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…”

      These are just two of many examples where the Divine refers to itself in a feminine context. This is not to deny the male context either. In fact, scripture says that “God created man in (his) image – male AND female.”

      So, if humanity was created male and female in order to be made in the Divine’s image, then there MUST be feminine characteristics in the Divine.

      • Adel June 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

        Where have you refuted anything I have said? Where in the Old or New Testament is God referred to with the feminine personal pronoun? Nowhere… Always male.

        You have pointed to 2 similes (and by the way missed many others)…not personal pronouns… The similes you have pointed to speak about certain characteristics of the nature of God…comforting and loving..

        Also to be created in the image of God has nothing to do with sexuality. Scripture is quite clear that God is neither male nor female…sexuality and role…

        The first person of the Trinity is quite regularly referred to as Father…yet that is not equivalent to what we culturally think of as male…

        The major point as I indicated earlier is the distinction from pagan religions where the female goddess’ always led to forms of pantheism and a focus on sexuality. This is antithetical to the Judaic/Christian worldview regarding the identity of God.

        This apostate posting links the nature of God to pagan ideas that are at odds with Biblical revelation.

        • Ed Burley June 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

          So, let me understand you correctly – God is neither male or female and you can refer to God in the masculine but we are apostate for referring to God in the feminine? Right!

          Oh, and as I pointed out in the text of my comment (“many examples”), I agree that I “missed many other” examples of God being referred to in the feminine…Frankly, I didn’t want to waste a lot of time on this argument…

          Peace.

          • Adel June 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

            Clearly you don’t know how to read.

            God is neither male nor female…non-sexual and role issues…

            God is always referred to by the male personal pronouns for a very important reason…because just as this heretical posting pushes…female deities in paganism transform the personal theistic Biblical God into a pantheistic, nature, sexed, fertility god. The Bible consistently rejects this…

            The so-called examples do not refer to God in the feminine, but merely compare certain attributes to that of God’s…nothing more
            God has revealed himself in particular ways for a reason.

            If we can simply refer to God in any way we like, why would the God of the Bible consistently reject all other designations of deities in every other nation, and when it encroaches into Israel?

            The biblical and historical ignorance of this posting and of your comments are profound….and should be rejected as the imaginings and ravings of a fool.

          • zoecarnate June 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

            We’re fools, eh, Adele? Then why, I wonder, are you disobeying Scripture by answering us according to our folly?

            That aside, as Ed pointed out, there are numerous references in our Judeo-Christian Holy Writ to God as female – I document over 100 of them here. You and I agree on this: God is not “literally” female, nor is S/he “literally” male. God transcends gender – and yet, I’d say, as the author of gender, God also includes all gender. God is the template for all that we know as masuculine and feminine.

            But as I listen to you more deeply, it sounds like your objection to the feminine faces of God is not biblical, but theological: Referring to El-Shaddi, Sophia/Wisdom, or Ruah leads us down a slippery slope into “pantheistic, nature, sexed, fertility” ideas about God.

            But I have to wonder: What’s wrong with an imminent God who is intimately involved in her creation? What’s wrong with nature, sex, and fertility – did God not create these things? Why are we – the Western monothestic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – so afraid of the sacred feminine?

          • Adel June 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

            Give me just one biblical reference where the female pronoun is used for God…just one…

            There is an infinite difference between a pantheistic non-personal god and a Biblical theistic personal God who is both imminent and transcendent.

            God is the creator of a good creation, which is subsequently fallen. Therefore sexuality when it exists within the bounds which God intended is very good…

            You are welcome to have all the opinions of god you like, but when you teach them as being somehow compatible with Biblical revelation or Christianity, you have become what the New Testament refers to as an anti-Christ.

            May you someday repent and come to the knowledge of the truth.

          • zoecarnate June 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

            Adel, what if pagan deities are shadows, shades, and partial revelations of the One True God? After all, YHWH proclaims “I am the Lord your God; there is no other.”

            I’d be curious as to what you think of this Jewish author, Jay Michaelson, in Polytheism and Nonduality. My guess is you won’t be a fan, but I have to try. 🙂

            Christ’s grace and peace be with you.

  11. Adel June 7, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    Just 2 final comments.

    I’ve been around many professors and teachers of non-dualistic/non-logic philosophies that posit pan/en/theistic philosophies and try to conflate those with Christianity. It is all very interesting, but one must reject the Biblical perspective, twisting Biblical revelation to make those views compatible with those of Biblical revelation.

    It would be like me saying that since the author of this blog/website uses a picture of a goddess that includes the color purple, he must be saying that God is flying purple people eater from outer space…a female one to be more specific.
    One can read into almost anything what they wish to see, even when the plain meaning of the text is the exact opposite. The overwhelming evidence of both the Old and New Testaments is the utter rejection of every other religion, because God is a “jealous” God…you shall have no other god before me. Nowhere is there the slightest hint of an open acceptance of other names for God, let alone a conflating of YHWH with other gods. Nowhere is there an openness to the believers of other pagan religions as worshipping the same God, but with a different name.. Never! Not once! Even the disciple John closes his first letter with the warning to avoid idols…putting anything or anyone in the place of Jesus!

    Secondly, the apostacy does not come from by seeing some feminine aspects to God, or even in somehow referencing God metaphorically in this way. It comes in the pantheistic references and equating/conflating the one true God with idols and pagan deities.

    Your religious belief system is a mixture of Universalist Unitarian pantheism. Even early gnostic heretics and opastates (and they were referred to that way) held similar types of views and were utterly rejected by the church.

    • Ed Burley June 7, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

      that’s funny because when I posted for the sake of people reading, Adel thought I was trying to refute what he said.

      On to a more serious point: the bible was written primarily to an audience that was made up of the 12 tribes of Israel and all of its converts (those circumcised and believing in the god of Israel). Since the god of the bible was primarily manifesting itself to a Middle Eastern people through whom would come the salvation of the world, couldn’t we make the leap to understand that the Divine may have revealed itself to other people at other times throughout history?

      E.G., Melchizedek. He was “Priest of the Most High,” but we can rest assured that since he “had no genealogy” that he was not of Israelite descent – mostly because he was a contemporary of Abraham. Some Christians seem to think that because God chose a certain group or lineage through whom to bring the Messiah and savior of the world, only that group could possibly know him…this flies in the face of logic, that God would wait until even 6,000 years of history (assuming a young earth, which I reject) before sending the savior. All those people who lived previous to Jesus were “lost forever” and if the rhetoric used by our Adel friend is any indication, burning in eternal torment forever and ever amen!!!!

      What is more likely is that God, the Divine Parent, has manifested itself “at many times and in many ways” that the whole world would be ready when the savior came – and then once he came, the whole world was saved – especially those that believe.

      Peace

  12. Adel June 7, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    Just one last note…I’ll not be posting again…

    I do not write in response for you and your adherents…
    For as zoecarnate indicates, it would not be a wise path…

    Instead I have responded for the sake of others who might run across this nonsense and think there might be something of Christian or biblical value here. These are mere dangerous deceptions that might lead others down the path of destruction. It is for them I respond.

    • Ed Burley June 7, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

      Well, I guess he told you Mike…LOL.

      Again, this all goes back to the old – “if you don’t interpret scripture the way that Augustine tells us to, you ain’t a Christian…”

  13. Boysen Hodgson June 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Mike – BEAUTIFUL. Thank you.

    And in reading the thread here … we’ve certainly come a long way from goat herders living in some seriously inhospitable times. It’s wild that we can use our massive brains and vocabularies and referencing machines so well … and yet be so stunted in a world of literalism.

    Our literalism is killing us. I’ll take the symbols any day.

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