Mark's blog space
Think about this for a minute… Us believers have a history of driving nails through God and pinning him exactly where we want him to be. It’s uncomfortable but true, it was us believers who nailed him up there.
We listened to Religion that time too, we obeyed him, that great dark Lord who accuses us in a voice he pretends is God’s. We listened to his lies about sin and judgement, hell and condemnation. We listened to what he said the ancient scriptures meant. We didn’t have to, God was right there in front of us urging us to believe he didn’t condemn us. We could have asked him, but we didn’t.
We listened to Religion tell us this God-Man’s message was ‘unscriptural’ and much too lenient and merciful – we listened to his lies so long we believed him and so we nailed God to a tree.
And think about this too for a minute… Us believers, we’re still human, still gullible like that. Religion is still allowed to accuse and rule us with his lies about God. ‘Old dispensation’, ‘new dispensation’, it doesn’t matter, it’s all just so much jargon. The point is this, Religion, that crafty wily demon, is still allowed to twist what our teachers say about the ancient scriptures. Can you imagine that?
We nailed God up once before because he wouldn’t follow our rules, and now, daily, we, me and you, we still make rules that God has to follow. Just like before, if he doesn’t fit with what we think, we refuse to believe him. He has to listen to our interpretation of the Bible, he’s not allowed to tell us his. We think we already know what it means. Can you imagine that?!?
Imagine if we were courageous enough to realise that yes, us believers, in all our sects, denominations and world-famous churches, really are capable of blocking our ears to God. Imagine if we had the courage to shake off all our rules and customs and ‘teachers’ and ‘prophets’ and just hear God speak. Would that be too scary, or would it be wonderful?
Imagine if we began to hear him speak in full sentences and paragraphs and our brains were free to think again. How cool would that be, for us and those around us who we keep pushing away from God with all the rules Religion teaches us. Imagine if we were able to think, just us and God thinking together, instead of our religious bosses having to think for us. Can you imagine that?
Imagine if we had the courage, and our ‘teachers’ and ‘prophets’ had the courage too, to realise that just like we did once before, we’re nailing God up again – nailing him to all the rules and regulations that wily Accuser Religion has told us are true. Imagine what it would look like if we had that much courage and we weren’t afraid of what Religion and his servants might do to us.
Jeremiah had that much courage, so did Elijah. And Jesus, Paul and Peter. And Luther, and Luther-King too. Can you imagine them in some of our pews, can you imagine them believing the stuff we get told, just sucking it up instead of asking God himself – it wouldn’t look right on them would it? They looked a lot better on their own, out there in the world, hearing God say things that were relevant to the man on the street.
Imagine what our lives would be like without all the accusations and talk of sin and hell and punishment. Imagine if we didn’t demand that God always be talking and thinking about that. Imagine if we realised that condemnation comes from The Accuser, not The Redeemer. Imagine if we were free enough just to hear God’s voice. Free to hear his words clear and pure and untainted by Religion’s conditioning and safe-guarding and ‘covering’, the covering that so often suffocates us.
Imagine if we untied God and set him free from Religion, it would be as momentous and world-changing as if the Pharisees had done the same – untied God – just moments before the nails went in.
Imagine if we set God free from all the customs, and rules that us Charismatics, Evangelicals, Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterians and every other denomination and sect have thrust on him. Imagine that!
Imagine if we asked him what he thought about our Christianity instead of telling him what he is supposed to think. That would be a novel approach – Christianity able to listen to God so well that we could hear him speak in full sentences and paragraphs. Impossible right?? Well maybe not, not if we begin to imagine and expect it.
Imagine if God didn’t have to obey all our rules anymore. Imagine if he didn’t have to be angry about sin, didn’t have to throw us into hell unless we grovel and say sorry. Imagine if we freed God up to be the father he wants to be, to be able to love his kids without condition like we can.
Imagine God being free to be the God we always wished he’d be. Imagine being able to talk back and forth with him like a friend. Imagine not having to worry about those mischievous, angry, sin-focused ‘prophesies’ at new year, the ones from the superstar ‘prophets’, the ones we spread around on Social Media like so much vomit after a raucous new year’s party. Imagine if we didn’t believe their message that God stops talking to us when we’re not good enough – he didn’t stop talking to Adam and Eve or Cain. Imagine if we knew God well enough to know he’s not that sort of father, that those lies come from that ‘other father’.
Imagine if we knew how to hear him clearly enough, that we could ask him with confidence whether all those big flash ‘prophets’ really were hearing him, or whether some of the stuff they say on social media and YouTube is trickery from that other father. And spare a thought for them, Religion’s superstars, imagine if the pressure was off them to pretend they hear God on behalf of everyone else.
Imagine how delighted they’d be if we left them alone long enough to earn an honest living. Maybe, just maybe, they don’t want to live up to our expectations that it is them and not God who should be leading us. Imagine being able to hear God ourselves. Imagine discovering that he just wants to be with us, just wants to talk, even if we haven’t been good, or tithed or had enough quiet times, or gone enough times to small group or church. Imagine that!
Imagine being one of those with enough courage to free God from the prison Religion has built for him. He broke our chains, imagine having the courage to break the chains we have put on him.
We can’t put chains on God? Think again, it was us believers who drove in the nails, and laughed and scoffed at his message. Not just everyday people, but believers. Can you imagine that?
Imagine if God was allowed to speak to us whenever he wanted instead of only if we obey all the rules those New Year’s Prophecy ‘prophets’ say we have to. Imagine if we didn’t believe their trickery, their lie that God isn’t going to answer us when we call because we haven’t been good enough. Imagine if we threw off those shackles and were as confident as God told Joshua to be, confident enough to hear God ourselves and were no longer subject to their manipulation and control. CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT?!?!
I can. The more I hear God speak, the more I can imagine it – me and God free to talk, and you and God, and them and God – free enough to talk and plan and laugh with Him, without all those suffocating rules and regulations.
If you can imagine it, then join me. No I don’t have a movement, or a group, or a donations or payment plan – what I mean by join me is have your own conversations back and forth with God, instead of letting others decide for you what he’s saying. Hey hey, imagine that!!
And Religion, you dark and festering sore, you murderous, manipulative majesty, be afraid. You have burnt, drowned, hung, drawn and quartered those who dared question your rules. But now it’s your turn buddy boy, so be very afraid! We’re coming for you, and there are more of us every day, your days are numbered! First we’ll expose your lies, and then we’ll crush your system forever.
“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to earth, you who once laid low the nations.” ISAIAH 14:12
Why do you ask, God?
Because the things you believe and tell each other about me, anyone not familiar with your religion, would have to ask what sort of father do you really think I am? So I’m asking too, Mark, what sort of father do you think I am?
I’m not liking the sound of this, God.
Mark, remember when I compared God with human fathers?
You mean ‘If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more does your father in heaven know how to give good gifts to you’?
Near enough, Mark. A LOT has been lost in translation and a lot of baggage added, but yes that one. The concept is simple - if you, with all your humanness, can be good fathers, then surely I can be too?
God, us Christians are fairly familiar with that concept, we probably know a lot more about godly fatherhood than the Jews did.
Hmmm. This might come as a shock, Mark, I’d like a wee discussion about the nonsense Satan and his servant Religion have taught Christianity and the similarities between you and the Jews.
God, really? Not another of these conversations!
Bear with me, Mark, Satan and Religion have fooled you Christians, it’s nothing new, they did the same to the apostles on a number of occasions…
Aye?? Fooled the Apostles??
Absolutely. Haven’t you read where they tricked the Apostles into thinking the non Jewish Christians needed to be circumcised? First the Jews, and now Christianity, you have been vulnerable to Satan and Religion for so long you have come to believe their most mischievous lies, you think they are gospel truth.
Nice one, God, I’m wanting to tell you to shut up. People won’t like this.
Mark, stop kidding yourself. You love it when I say things that provoke annoyance and outrage. You want to destroy Religion, you want to see him bleed for the damage he’s done to Christianity. It pleases you when I say things that ruffle religious feathers. Your real problem is that the things I say challenge what you personally believe - you think you’re free from Religion’s deceptions, but you’re steeped in them.
That’s a bit tough, God??
The things he has taught you are so poisonous it will take a lifetime before you are free of them. And even then, years from now when you see me face to face, you will be shocked at how many of his lies you still believe. Decades of hunting Religion down will not free you completely from his poison and deception. He is the most powerful and respected majesty in the demonic realm.
Religion is more murderous, more suffocating to personal freedom than any other principality or power. His greatest power is that he turns your attention on lesser kingdoms so that he can sneak in unnoticed.
He points at pornography, murder, violence, racism, but poses himself as a force for righteousness, the purveyor and foundation of all that is good, yet all the while he squeals with glee because you believe his lies. He is like the many denominations, sects and cults he has co-founded with you; ‘clean and white on the outside, and full of dead men’s bones on the inside’.
He has convinced you that you are in danger of punishment from me and lucky to be considered for salvation. But Mark, it’s not about salvation, it’s about relationship with the three of us, Father, Son and Spirit, and you’re not lucky to be considered for it, you were born for it.
You are not the sorry sin-infested mess he tells you that you are, you are the pinnacle of creation, as Paul Young’s masterful book ‘Eve’ states. You are the envy of the angelic kingdom, dark and light, and as John 3:16 puts it, I ‘highly esteem’ you.
God, can we stop a minute please. You know this is going to be too hard to swallow for so many well-meaning Christians. Can’t we take it a bit slower, there has to be a more gentle doorway to all this?
Trust me, Mark, this is the best approach - Religion’s power comes from the rules, regulations and fear, that he imposes on you. And his greatest victory is that Christianity’s twisted view of me turns others away. You think you are evangelising the world with truth, but you have given them such a destructive view of me, that most of them are genuinely bewildered. The nonsense you tell them has them asking the obvious question.
What question, God?
What sort of father do you think I am?
But, God, we think you are a good father. We even sing that song; “You’re a good good father”.
Yes, I am good. But you believe the opposite.
God, that’s hardly fair!
Mark, you sing I am good and the singing is intoxicating, just like any singing can be. You think you believe the words, but the things Religion has taught you, paint a different picture of me – they describe a mean and menacing God, intent on your punishment and harm. The nice words you sing about me are no match for the lies you believe.
But, God no, I think you’re wrong, we think you are a good father!
Actually, you don’t. You are convinced that you were born inescapably sinful.
Yes, but God, that’s us, not you.
You’re missing the point, Mark. You think you’re born sinful but you also believe that each of you is created by me. You’ve never stopped to think through the lie!
What lie, God??
Mark, if I created you sinful then it is not you, but I, who is at fault. You can hardly be blamed for the way you were created.
No, God, it’s not your fault, it’s our fathers’ or something.
Really? So I mix in something your fathers did when I create you, then I hold you responsible?
Well yes, apparently?
Mark, is it any wonder that the un-Christianised think you are mad and your God a tyrant?
Well yes, no, actually I don’t know, God. Arguing with you is difficult.
Mark, the accuser blinds you to the obvious muddle that you have come to believe. He has so messed your minds with Religious filth that those who hear what you believe wonder if you have thrown away your minds.
If you really are created in sin, then how can I blame you for that? And how can any ‘good, good father’ torture you in burning liquid, unless you say sorry for things you had no control over.
But, God, it’s not our sin at birth anymore that you throw us into hell for, that’s all changed, now it’s the stuff we do once we get to the ‘age of accountability’…
What do you mean ‘that’s all changed’, Mark?
Well, Christianity used to believe you threw babies who died into hell. For thousands of years we believed that, then someone was brave enough to suggest that was total codswallop. Eventually we changed what we believed and now, apparently, you only throw us into hell for what we do after we reach the ‘age of accountability’. Babies are safe from you now.
Mark, ‘the age of accountability’ is a concept invented by Religion and you, not me. A clever way to adjust but still hold fast to your insistence that I am a God focused on sin and punishment and throwing the guilty into eternal torture.
Punishment, God, not torture!
Torture, Mark. Flames that burn but never go out, burning people who can never die, but must endure those flames forever. No human, no matter how twisted, has managed to invent a torture so heinous and yet you attribute the idea to me, your ‘good good father’. Really??
Ok, torture. We believe you torture us in burning liquid if we don’t say sorry for the things we decide to do ourselves after we reach ‘the age of accountability’.
Yes, but until recently you Christians believed that I, your ‘good, good father’, would throw dead infants into hell if you didn’t perform all sorts of rites and prayers to persuade me not to. What sort of father do you honestly think I am?? Good men would refuse to follow a God who has to be persuaded not to torture babies – is it any surprise to that the un-churched are so horrified and disgusted by your beliefs?
But God we don’t believe that any more. Now you only throw us into hell…
Torture you Mark, say it, you need to face the grim reality of your beliefs.
Ok, torture. You only torture us for the stuff we do after we reach ‘the age of accountability’.
Yes, so you said. And Mark how old does a person have to be before he reaches this ‘age of accountability’ that you and Religion have invented?
No one seems quite sure, God.
So you are constantly in danger of being thrown into a lake of fire and tortured there forever, by this ‘good, good father’ that you call me, for any action committed after a certain age, but you’re not quite sure what that age is?
Well, ok that is kind of what it’s like, God.
Dear dear dear… What has Religion persuaded you to believe, what sort of father do you honestly think I am? Has anyone ever questioned all this?
Not unless they wanted to be called a heretic God.
That’s what they called me Mark, and Paul, and Elijah, and everyone else worth their salt.
Yes, but God, if we were to believe this stuff you’re saying, it would change everything. The basic tenets of our faith are that we are born in sin, and that you by your mercy, took away our punishment on the cross.
So if you were going to be punished, who was going to be doing the punishing?
Well, you apparently, God?
Mark, honestly? What sort of father do you think I am?
I’m running out of steam here, God. Running out of argument. Not wanting to accept what you’re saying because…
Because it would mean you needed to start again, Mark. Go back to the beginning, back to the garden when Religion first entered the picture and asked ‘Did God really say’? You need to go right back there and ask me. That’s a huge problem for most of Christianity, your leaders included, because most of you don’t know how to hear me, not in full sentences and paragraphs like this.
The prospect of asking me to redefine your faith, re-explain what this whole Father, Son, Spirit and human story is about is terrifying, what if you got it wrong? You’d rather stick with what you believe.
The Pharisees found themselves in the same predicament Mark, and now here you all are at the same place they were. They had taken a relationship I started with the patriarchs and reduced it to a set of rules and regulations presided over by an angry God, and now you have done the same with the truths I taught the disciples.
The Pharisees decided it was safer to stick with Religion’s lies than listen to me, and so they murdered me. And now you are all doing the same, murdering the truth so you can keep listening to Religion’s lies about a father consumed with your behaviour and punishment. Have you ever met any other father so consumed with his children’s behaviour as you say I am?
Well no, God.
What about punishment, have you ever met a father who would punish his children in the way you say I do, torture them, burn them alive, and keep them alive in the flames so the pain never goes away?
God, of course not. But you’re supposed to be more just than we are. Christianity teaches that your ‘justice’ requires you…
To be merciful, Mark?
Mark, mercy is required in the face of guilt, but we’re not talking about guilt, this is about injustice, about people accused of breaking laws they’re not even sure about and can probably not help breaking because of the state in which they were born. Neither mercy nor justice has anything to do with that, it’s a mischievous lie.
And anyway Mark, what sort of father is constantly using words like guilt when talking about his children? Have you ever met another father who would punish his kids for any crime, no matter how minimal, by torturing them forever?
So Mark, that’s why I’m asking…
What sort of father do you think I am?
I need to hear your voice God.
And so let’s talk, Mark. If that’s what you want.
About what, God?
What do you want to talk about?
Not sure really, just be nice to talk. With no agenda. Just whatever you want to say. Not a public conversation. Just us God. I’ve been asking you lots of questions lately, about my new book, my business, and those gnarly subjects – what you think about Gays, the Bible and whether God actually punished you, Jesus. But now I’m feeling the need for some you and me time.
Mark, I loved all those big public conversations.
Because I love to talk.
Ok that’s good, because right now I just need to hear you talk.
Whatever you want to talk about?
What if I want to talk about you?
Well… okay, as long as it’s not too mushy God.
Mark, you know I love you right?
Yes. Everyone knows that God, but it’s a bit touchy-feely to be honest, a bit too fluffy for comfort. Love is a word that’s overdone in Christian circles. Well, that’s what I think anyway.
Maybe overstated is a better word, God? There seems to be too much talk about love without a lot of understanding. Not you, God, obviously, but our Christian culture, a bit sickly sweet sometimes.
The upshot is that if you love me, I’d like some perspective on that, like to know what it really means - what you want me to do with that, so there’s some real meaning, rather than all the Christian fluff.
Mark, for me love is not a fluffy word. Everyone needs to know I love them.
You mean like when we’re feeling down.
Not only then, other times too. At night for instance, with a full moon on the water, a gentle midnight breeze pushing you up the coast – the slow rise and fall as your yacht pushes over the swells. Remember those times? On your own, on the water? Like ‘Cool Change’; Little River Band’s song, ‘staring at the full moon like a lover’. You love that song.
I do God, but some people might think that’s a bit ungodly, should you really be mentioning it here?
Mark, I love that song too, this might be hard to squeeze into your theology, but I inspired it.
God, now I’ll definitely be ruffling feathers, like the time I was talking with you while having a beer and listening to the Stones. People said that was evidence I’m a heretic.
Mark, the Bible is full of people hearing me while they did questionable things. But beer and the Stones are far from questionable.
God!! I’m losing my audience with every word you speak.
Stop worrying. I’m ok with all of this. Not only did I inspire Little River Band’s song, I like to play it, and I love the Stones.
What?? You listen to them?
Absolutely, I’m not religious like you, so I can enjoy the things I create. I invented music and Mick Jagger. I don’t need Spotify, I can listen in when you do. And anyway, the cosmos records all sounds in perfect pitch – I can replay them whenever I want - your scientists will be able to attest to that.
God really?? Little River Band, The Stones, and now Spotify?
Mark, loosen up, you love all those things. Don’t pretend otherwise! Humans, and that includes you Christians, need diversity in music, not an ever increasing sameness. The reason so much popular Christian music sounds all the same is not because my Spirit is ‘in it’ – that’s religious thinking - it’s actually because you Christians make it sound all the same. Which is a great pity - you, and I, need diversity in the music we listen to. You Christians need to push the boundaries, stop following each other, start leading each other.
God, a lot of my audience are going to have difficulty with that, probably even think you didn’t say it.
Mark, your job, should you choose to accept it, is to smash Religion. You’re not going to do that by sticking with his tired rule-bound Christianity. Be honest about what you hear me say, doing so smashes his religious lies.
OK, God, I’m going to ignore that oblique reference to the TV series ‘Mission Impossible’ - you were talking about midnight sailing up the coast. Yes, you’re right, I loved it. What about it though?
At a time like that, when you’re bursting with the sensation, thinking you want to share it with someone…
And then under your tiller hand you feel the surge of the boat as it responds to the breeze, and you look across and at me… and I smile and wink. Those times, that’s when it’s good to know I love you.
Ok true… Yes, that is very cool, but I wouldn’t call it fluffy. I think what I mean by fluffy is false.
My love’s not false, Mark.
OK… actually hang on a minute, God, before I respond to that, you just talked about me in the boat with you and looking across and seeing you wink - people will think I can actually see you or something.
You can if you look.
You mean like actually see you?
You can see what I’m saying - see my mood, my tone. You sense that I have winked at you. Moses saw me, the back of me, with his eyes. That’s different. But anyone can see me with their spirit.
Job understood this concept, Mark, have a look at what he said – “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.”
Suddenly Job could ‘see’ me as a result of conversation. Until then he had known about me, he had religion and traditional prayer, but that kept me at a distance – when conversation between us started, everything changed. Look at what he says;
“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.
Nothing and no one can upset your plans.
You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,
ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’
I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,
made small talk about wonders way over my head.
You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.
Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
I admit I once lived by rumours of you;
now I have it all first hand—from my own eyes and ears!”
OK, well, I expect part of my problem with fluffy love is my own hang ups – the stuff that makes it uncomfortable to be told I’m loved??
Yes that’s true, but what else Mark?
Well, us Christians, we’re all so blimmen lovey dovey - we tell each other we love each other, and I guess sometimes we do, but it’s certainly not that depth of love we feel for our friends and family. They’re the people we really love, until our Christianity begins to minimise the way we love them.
Christianity does what??
God, don’t play around, you know that Christianity is highly separatist. We talk about ourselves as your family and everyone else as ‘the world’. We’re not supposed to love our real friends and family, not in the same way we used to. We’re supposed to think they’re ‘in the world’, and we’re not.
It’s taken me 44 years to figure this out, but now I realise that’s just Christian bullshit. I’m not sure how we all miss it, but one of the key accusations against you was that you hung about with all the questionable characters. The temple going crowd were constantly accusing you of that.
Mark, Religion’s biggest lie is to keep you huddled together and irrelevant to the world. While fantastic people like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Mick Jagger and so many others are all trying to change the world, you’re all busy trying to escape it.
Religion has tricked you Christians into thinking you should love the world, (your old friends and family) just a little less, because your ‘new family’ (Christians) are holier than them. Which is rubbish!! If I loved the world so much that I would give my own son, how can you Christians possibly think it ok to love the world a little less??
God, you’re being particularly unspiritual - how can we possibly love the world even more, and yet somehow stay true to whatever is that you want.
Easy. You already know the answer - listen to me. Be in conversation with me. If you rely on your interpretation of scripture, or what Bible experts say it all means you’ll most often be wrong. You can’t rely on the Bible, Mark, I am the living word, it’s not. Scripture is useless to you unless you hear me explain what it means.
Yes, it’s God breathed and good for teaching and correcting, but only if you are actually having a conversation with me, otherwise the Bible is like a loaded gun in the hands of a toddler – likely to cause death and destruction. It has done for centuries! The Pharisees used a large part of it to justify killing me, the missionaries used it to crush indigenous culture, and so on.
Well, God fine, but our ‘love’ is supposed to be stronger for Christians, God’s family, “I love you with the love of the Lord”, blah blah blah. We’re supposed to enjoy each other more than our old friends and family who are ‘in the world’.
That’s a lie, Mark. I want you in the world, I want you to season it. You can’t do that when you’re trying to escape it all the time. You Christians are like salt that’s sprinkled on a meal and then bounces off the plate and onto the table. Wasted. You need to get back on the plate.
So that’s your new year’s message to me, God? Get back on the plate? Get less religious and fluffy, get more relevant to the world?
It’s a good start, Mark. I want you to do what you came to do, use your talents, not your Christianity.
My marriage came crashing down and me with it. The devastation began sinking in and me with it. Nothing I knew was the same anymore. It was horrible and I was terrified. I threw my pride to the wind and screamed (literally) to God.