church of all worlds

I was reading an article the other day about how over 95% of all the staff members in the American Churches (and I imagine most of the Churches elsewhere in the world would have similar numbers too) are all married, so it’s not hard to imagine why the Church caters for the married people so much and might overlook the single people.

Paul talks in both 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9 that the leadership of the Church should be comprised of married men with kids. So, it is good for the leaders of the Church to follow the Biblical guidelines for Church leadership, but Paul was only referring to the men who are Church leaders and not everyone else.

It is a shame that so many Churches these days basically make you feel like there’s something wrong with you unless you have a family. Is having a family great? Sure. Are kids a blessing? Scripture says they are a blessing from God. Yet, most people seem to overlook the qualities of the single life.

Our Lord Christ and His apostle Paul were big on the single life. They led single lives and there’s Scriptures which shows us how much of a blessing it is to be single. Being single is a gift, just as being married and having kids is another gift.

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 7:7-8: “I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am.” Notice that he says some have the gift of singleness and some the gift of marriage. Although it seems that nearly everyone marries, it is not necessarily God’s will for everyone. Paul, for example, did not have to worry about the extra problems and stresses that come with marriage and/or family.

He went on to talk about married people in 1 Corinthians 7:33-34, “But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.”

Some people do better as a team, serving God as a couple and a family like the apostle Peter who managed to handle being married (Matthew 8:14) and being an apostle just fine. Both kinds of people are equally important. It is not a sin to remain single, even for your entire life. The most important thing in life is not finding a mate and having children, but serving God. We should educate ourselves on the Word of God by reading our Bibles and praying. If we ask God to reveal Himself to us, He will respond (Matthew 7:7), and if we ask Him to use us to fulfill His good works, He will do that as well. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

Singleness should not be viewed as a curse or an indication that there is “something wrong” with the single man or woman. While most people marry, and while the Bible seems to indicate that it is God’s will for most people to marry, a single Christian is in no sense a “second class” Christian. As 1 Corinthians 7 indicates, singleness is, if anything, a higher calling. As with everything else in life, we should ask God for wisdom (James 1:5) concerning marriage. Following God’s plan, whether that be marriage or singleness, will result in the productivity and joy that God desires for us.

I remember some time ago, there was this elderly lady who never got married or had kids that said this about her single life: “I rather follow the will of God and have moments of loneliness in my life than to live outside of His will and have a lifetime of chaos.” Sadly, many people choose the latter.

Whatever the case, whether marriage or singleness, we must respect our gifts as Paul talked about when he said, “But each has his own gift from God, one person in this way and another in that way.” If you are called to be single, do not squander your gift. If He has called you to be single, He has called you to be closer to Him as Paul talks later on in 1 Corinthians 7. For Paul, a person who gets married does well but a person who chooses not to get married “does better” according to him.

In Matthew 19 our Lord Jesus Christ talks about how there are some people “… who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it” when He was talking about marriage. Living a single life and dedicating oneself to the kingdom of heaven is an exceptional calling, but it’s not for everyone.

Paul said that the one who is unmarried because of the calling should “be holy both in body and in spirit” (1 Corinthians 7:34). Therefore, the eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake mentioned by our Lord Jesus in Matthew 19:12 should come to peace with their celibacy both physically and spiritually; it should not be a consistent torment to them in either aspect. For people who struggle with lust and the temptation of the flesh in their attempt to live a single life, the apostle Paul had a really good advice found in 1 Corinthians 7:9.

If you are ever bummed out about being single in a married world, read the whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 7 and see what the apostle Paul thought about the amazing qualities of being single.

Non-Member’s Reaction to Watching General Conference For The First Time

I have a friend who has been meeting with missionaries for a few months now. He was able to watch a few sessions of General Conference this weekend, for the first time in his life. Shortly after the last session ended, I received the following via text message:

Sooo conference is amazing <3 I’m kind of in love.

This happens twice a year?? I can’t believe it! Haha can I just freak out for a second? Being from a denomination where each church building has its own individual congregation and the message even varies slightly from church to church, it’s a bit of a shock to have seen this live as it happened and know that it truly exists as one unified church session for all people around the world who trust in the message shared and who have access to it. I clicked on the YouTube hyperlink to watch directly on YouTube because I wanted to see how many live viewers there were… Almost exactly 100,000. I know many of those single “views” were actually group streams with entire families or other groups watching together so that number can be multiplied… so cool!

I want to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir live and meet the Apostles and Prophet!!!!

Needless to say, I was delighted by his response, and also quite humbled. A child of two converts, I grew up attending General Conference broadcasts every 6 months at our ward building (before the internet was a thing) or watching at home on a computer. It’s something that seems so normal to me that I forget how unique and beautiful it actually is. The fact that we are part of a worldwide church, where members everywhere learn, teach, and live the same Gospel in thousands of languages across millions of cultures, is absolutely amazing. 

Have we been taking it all for granted?

Koi Fish 2017 01 – Pike’s Nursery, Charlotte, North Carolina, March 11, 2017

When “the center cannot hold”
and “the falcon cannot hear the falconer,”
(W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming),
and the God-fearing are no better off
on any level
than the godless,
you had better find
“the still point of the turning world”
(T.S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton”).
You had better BE
“the still point of the turning world”!
The Church in all its glory
cannot shake the shame
of its failure
to teach us to BE the Christ,
as it did,
all of our time
telling us to BELIEVE,
and neglecting all instruction
regarding the importance
those who are as integrated
as whole,
and as in accord
with their essence
as Jesus was.
And we are left
as alone as Jesus was
with the task
of finding our way
to ourselves
by ourselves.
Mindfulness leads the way,
as it always has,
and will–
We have to do the work,
and bear the pain
in being what we seek
and doing what needs us to do it,
what must be done,
in order to be who we are
which is all Jesus did.
It only takes
In each situation as it arises,
all our life long.

We thank thee that thy Church, unsleeping, while earth rolls onward into light; through all the world her watch is keeping and rests not now by day or night. ~ John Ellerton

anonymous asked:

Your beloved Varg advocated for the burning of churches all around the world but never mentioned the torching of a synagogue or mosque hahaha and you take "moral logic" teachings from this guy. Nice role model their shill. Like listening to Alex Jones

>be Varg
>be 1990s
>there’s no muslim invasion yet
>LITERALLY two synagogues in all of norway, both in the middle of a city.
>jewish population in norway less than 1,500
>christians and americanization have replaced the folk culture of your nation
>churches literally built ATOP sacred pagan sites
>burn churches like a BOSS
>25 years later


seriously. This is how stupid you look. 

“Historically, Christian mysticism has taught that for Christians the major emphasis of mysticism concerns a spiritual transformation of the egoic self, the following of a path designed to produce more fully realized human persons, "created in the Image and Likeness of God” and as such, living in harmonious communion with God, the Church, the rest of world, and all creation, including oneself. For Christians, this human potential is realized most perfectly in Jesus, precisely because he is both God and human, and is manifested in others through their association with him, whether conscious, as in the case of Christian mystics, or unconscious, with regard to spiritual persons who follow other traditions, such as Gandhi. The Eastern Christian tradition speaks of this transformation in terms of theosis or divinization, perhaps best summed up by an ancient aphorism usually attributed to Athanasius of Alexandria: “God became human so that man might become god.”

Threefold path
Going back to Evagrius Ponticus, Christian mystics have been described as pursuing a threefold path corresponding to body (soma), soul (psyche), and spirit (pneuma). In 869, the 8th Ecumenical Council reduced the image of the human to only body and soul but within mystics a model of three aspects continued. The three aspects later became purgative, illuminative, and unitive in the western churches and prayer of the lips, the mind, the heart in the eastern churches. The first, purification is where aspiring traditionally Christian mystics start. This aspect focuses on discipline, particularly in terms of the human body; thus, it emphasizes prayer at certain times, either alone or with others, and in certain postures, often standing or kneeling. It also emphasizes the other disciplines of fasting and alms-giving, the latter including those activities called “the works of mercy,” both spiritual and corporal, such as feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless.

Purification, which grounds Christian spirituality in general, is primarily focused on efforts to, in the words of St. Paul, “put to death the deeds of the flesh by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 8:13). This is considered a result of the Spirit working in the person and is not a result of personal deeds. Also in the words of St. Paul, “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Epistle to the Philippians 1:6). The “deeds of the flesh” here include not only external behavior, but also those habits, attitudes, compulsions, addictions, etc. (sometimes called egoic passions) which oppose themselves to true being and living as a Christian not only exteriorly, but interiorly as well. Evelyn Underhill describes purification as an awareness of one’s own imperfections and finiteness, followed by self-discipline and mortification. Because of its physical, disciplinary aspect, this phase, as well as the entire Christian spiritual path, is often referred to as “ascetic,” a term which is derived from a Greek word which connotes athletic training. Because of this, in ancient Christian literature, prominent mystics are often called “spiritual athletes,” an image which is also used several times in the New Testament to describe the Christian life. What is sought here is salvation in the original sense of the word, referring not only to one’s eternal fate, but also to healing in all areas of life, including the restoration of spiritual, psychological, and physical health.

It remains a paradox of the mystics that the passivity at which they appear to aim is really a state of the most intense activity: more, that where it is wholly absent no great creative action can take place. In it, the superficial self compels itself to be still, in order that it may liberate another more deep-seated power which is, in the ecstasy of the contemplative genius, raised to the highest pitch of efficiency.

The second phase, the path of illumination, has to do with the activity of the Holy Spirit enlightening the mind, giving insights into truths not only explicit in scripture and the rest of the Christian tradition, but also those implicit in nature, not in the scientific sense, but rather in terms of an illumination of the “depth” aspects of reality and natural happenings, such that the working of God is perceived in all that one experiences. Underhill describes it as marked by a consciousness of a transcendent order and a vision of a new heaven and a new earth.

The third phase, usually called contemplation (or Mystical Contemplative Prayer) in the Western tradition, refers to the experience of oneself as in some way united with God. The experience of union varies, but it is first and foremost always associated with a reuniting with Divine love, the underlying theme being that God, the perfect goodness, is known or experienced at least as much by the heart as by the intellect since, in the words 1 John 4:16: “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.” Some approaches to classical mysticism would consider the first two phases as preparatory to the third, explicitly mystical experience, but others state that these three phases overlap and intertwine.

Mystical Contemplative Prayer is the blessing for which the Christian mystic hopes. No human effort can produce it. This form of prayer has three characteristics. (a) It is infused (i.e. implanted by God in the soul, not the result of human effort.) (b) It is extraordinary (i.e. indicating that the intellect operates in new way). © Moreover, It is passive (i.e. showing that the soul receives something from God, and is conscious of receiving it.) It can manifest itself in one of four degrees. The four degrees are the prayer of quiet, the prayer of union, ecstatic union, and transforming deifying union.

Underhill’s five-stage path
Author and mystic Evelyn Underhill recognizes two additional phases to the mystical path. First comes the awakening, the stage in which one begins to have some consciousness of absolute or divine reality. Purgation and illumination are followed by a fourth stage which Underhill, borrowing the language of St. John of the Cross, calls the dark night of the soul. This stage, experienced by the few, is one of final and complete purification and is marked by confusion, helplessness, stagnation of the will, and a sense of the withdrawal of God’s presence. This dark night of the soul is not, in Underhill’s conception, the Divine Darkness of the pseudo-Dionysius and German Christian mysticism. It is the period of final “unselfing” and the surrender to the hidden purposes of the divine will. Her fifth and final stage is union with the object of love, the one Reality, God. Here the self has been permanently established on a transcendental level and liberated for a new purpose.

Types of meditation
Within theistic mysticism two broad tendencies can be identified. One is a tendency to understand God by asserting what He is not and the other by asserting what He is. The former leads to what is called apophatic theology and the latter to cataphatic theology.

Apophatic (imageless, stillness, and wordlessness) – e.g., The Cloud of the Unknowing, Meister Eckhart; and
Cataphatic (imaging God, imagination or words) – e.g.,The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Dame Julian, Francis of Assisi…This second type is considered by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.
Scholars such as Urban T. Holmes, III have also categorized mystical theology in terms of whether it focuses on illuminating the mind, which Holmes refers to as speculative practice, or the heart/emotions, which he calls affective practice. Combining the speculative/affective scale with the apophatic/cataphatic scale allows for a range of categories:

Rationalism = Cataphatic and speculative
Pietism = Cataphatic and affective
Encratism = Apophatic and speculative
Quietism = Apophatic and affective
Ascetic practices
Many mystics, following the model of Paul’s metaphor of the athlete, as well as the story of the disciples sleeping while Jesus prayed, disciplined their bodies through activities ranging from fasting and sleep-deprivation to more extreme forms, such as self-flagellation.

Sensory experiences
Many mystics experience visions. But other sensory experiences are common as well. For instance, Richard Rolle heard heavenly music and felt a fire in his chest.

Religious ecstasy is common for many mystics, such as Teresa of Avila, whose experience was immortalized in the sculpture Ecstasy of Saint Teresa by Bernini.

Physical transformations
One of the most familiar examples of mystical physical transformation is the appearance of stigmata on the body of the mystic, such as those received by Francis of Assisi and Padre Pio. But other transformations are possible, such as the odour of sanctity that accompanies the body of the deceased mystic, such as Teresa of Avila and Therese of Liseaux.

Some mystics are said to have been able to perform miracles. But for many mystics, the miracles occurred to them. In the Middle Ages, one common form of mystical miracle, especially for women, was the Eucharistic miracle, such as being able to eat nothing other than the communion host. Catherine of Genoa was an example of someone who experienced this type of miracle.“

A Second Wasn’t Long Enough

Prompt: @powerfulpomegranate  So we all know Church has the world’s most extreme martyr complex, so how does he react when someone else takes the fall to save him?

Christ you guys play fucking hardball. Not gonna lie this one hurt even worse than the first one. 

Triggers: GORE, language, serious emotional trauma

“FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!” Church screamed. “D, options, now!”

“Sniper shot. System 99-Series 5 AM Rifle, famous for breaking through high energy shielding and armor alike. At current velocity and trajectory the shot will puncture Agent Carolina’s spinal cord.”

“How did we miss it?!”

“The shot originated from a secluded spot in the cliff face 5.6 miles to the east. While their camo would have failed at close range at such distance scans passed over them entirely.”

“Would shields stop the bullet?”

“Sorry,” Theta said, “That might slow it down some but I… I don’t think it would stop it. I’m sorry, I’m sorry-“

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South America, Sublime…..

Photographs are not the only way of sharing the beauty and majesty of nature, since the birth of Romanticism painters have been depicting our world in all its beauty. Frank Edwin Church (1826-1900) was a member of the Hudson River School of landscape painters (the first real artistic school to develop in the USA) whose work involves large panoramas of the New World in what became known as the Sublime style.

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i mean, there’s a pretty big difference between talking in the theatre and like, gasping when you are startled and laughing at jokes and crying if something makes you sad?? heaven fucking forfend somebody have an audible emotional reaction to a piece of media you’re all experiencing in the same damn place

also like, there’s a pretty big difference between being obnoxious and a dick and failing to ~sit in silence Appreciating the Art with Appropriate Reverance~

i’d rather have somebody scream in the theatre when the production does something nuts like have fortinbras shoot horatio in the head, whether i am performer or audience member (and i have frequently been both) than get nothing but stoic silence? i want startled laughter when somebody gets a dick joke for the first time. i want people to fucking cheer aloud at the end of the st crispin’s day speech if the feel moved to do so. i hope there is audible fucking sobbing when juliet tries to kiss the poison from romeo’s lips.

that’s just me but like, whatever, you must be a tonne of fun at parties, mate.

Starting in 1975 The Church of All Worlds, along with publishing the Green Egg started to put out the first and as far as I know only Neo-Pagan comic book (sorry Wonder Woman and Thor don’t really count) called Mythos it only lasted for five or six issues, but one did at least feature art by big time comic artist Joe Staton.

I had all of the issues but over the years, moving here and there, have lost all of them; I haven’t even been able to find images of the covers other than the one above. 

Does anyone know where I can find scans of the other issues?

Holidays & Days of Note for March 4, 2015

*   Feast day of Rhiannon (Wales) Day for the Welsh horse goddess of the Underworld, Rhiannon

*   National Pound Cake Day (U.S.)

*   Holy Experiment Day. (Christian) Has something to do with two fellows in Numbers (3:4) who tried to please the Bible God with “strange” (common) fire instead of “Holy” fire and were struck dead for their trouble. 

*   Church of All Worlds incorporates in Missouri, in 1968, Becoming the first Pagan church to do such in the U.S.

Shorter-ish RNC: “Are you scared? I’m scared! When will Trump stop telling his KKK fan fiction and save us with his really small, really big government that will be isolationist as it attacks countries around the world, all while giving churches more political power as the GOP screams ‘Sharia Law is coming’ and protects LGBTQ citizens with Mike Pence as VP.”

Kat Graham’s “Secrets” Lyrics

Kiss your lips under the sky
That should be you and I,
Two people with nothing to hide
Baby, wouldn’t that be nice?

Take me to church, or take me home
I wanna be close, but with the lights turned on
Cause all of the feelings, and all of our lies, are killing me
Cause I’m into you

All of my secrets turn me on, cause nobody knows
My guilty conscience has gone rogue, and it’s left me alone with
All of my secrets (Won’t let me go)
All of my secrets, yeah
All of my secrets (Keep holdin’ on)
All of my secrets

Take me to a crowded room
And put your hands under my dress,
Let everyone see the truth
So nobody has to guess

Take me to church, or take me home
Take me somewhere where the world can know
Cause all of the feelings, and all of our lies, are killing me
Cause I’m into you

All of my secrets turn me on, cause nobody knows
My guilty conscience has gone rogue, and it’s left me alone with
All of my secrets turn me on, cause nobody knows
My guilty conscience has gone rogue, and it’s left me alone with
All of my secrets (Won’t let me go)
All of my secrets, yeah
All of my secrets (Keep holdin’ on)
All of my secrets

Let’s do it in public
Don’t you wanna just, don’t you wanna just?
Let’s do it in public
Don’t you wanna just, don’t you wanna wanna?

All of my secrets turn me on, cause nobody knows
My guilty conscience has gone rogue, and it’s left me alone with
All of my secrets turn me on, cause nobody knows
My guilty conscience has gone rogue, and it’s left me alone with
All of my secrets turn me on, cause nobody knows
My guilty conscience has gone rogue, and it’s left me alone with
All of my secrets turn me on, cause nobody knows
My guilty conscience has gone rogue, and it’s left me alone with
All of my secrets (Won’t let me go)
All of my secrets, yeah
All of my secrets (Keep holdin’ on)
All of my secrets


VAGABOND has taken me all around the world over the last year or so and I couldn’t be more thankful!! Here’s one final video from the album launch in London last year with some untimely accompaniment from the St Pancras Old Church bells :)