Acquitted: Update on Asia Bibi Case

Update 10/31: See link

Asia Bibi Acquitted

Here is the full verdict of the Pakistan Supreme Court on the Asia Bibi case: Asia Bibi Judgement

Text of case thanks to this website

Please see these links (below) for an update on Asia Bibi’s Case. Two of the videos are updates from ACLJ and one is an interview given by her husband.

Asia Bibi is a Christian woman in Pakistan who has been condemned to death on charges of blasphemy against Mohammed. The case was appealed and the Supreme Court of Pakistan may reverse her conviction.

While it appears that a verdict from the Supreme Court of Pakistan may be issued soon, Asia Bibi remains at risk of mob violence by Islamist extremists if she should be released and declared innocent. The judges in the case are putting their lives in jeopardy. One of her advocates in the government had been murdered, some years ago, in connection with her case. The pressure on the judges to have Asia executed is equally strong.

Thanks to international advocacy, and to moderate Islamist parties who support her, the case has come before the United Nations. Blasphemy accusations are frequent for vilifying religious minorities in Pakistan.

Consider: Jesus himself was falsely accused of treason and blasphemy. The judges in the case were also under pressure from the people, who were set against Jesus though he was innocent. Asia Bibi’s case resembles in basic outline the trial of Jesus.

Please find my earlier post, here: Asia Bibi : Christian Jailed in Pakistan

 

 

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Pakistani Heroes: Muslim/Christian Aitzaz Hassan and Asia Bibi

NOTE: Asia Bibi has been released.

Quite often Christians create strict boundaries around the Christian religion. These boundaries are fences by which we demarcate insiders, separating the “insiders” from the “outsiders.”

A key emphasis of the New Testament, however, is that Christ came to break down barriers between Jews (insiders) and Gentiles (outsiders). The one who preached “blessed are the peacemakers” made peace by melting the glue that keeps the religious fence intact, namely, the fence by which we separate ourselves as insiders from others as outsiders.

The glue that keeps such fences intact is the prince of this world (the evil one) who is enlarged and magnified by fear, hatred, and bigotry.

Aitzaz Hassan

Two Pakistani figures have been the news, internationally, as martyrs and heroes, one a Muslim boy named Aitzaz Hassan and the other a Christian woman named Asia Bibi. (For more on Asia Bibi, see link:  Asia Bibi Article).

Aitzaz Hassan, a fifteen year old boy, thwarted a suicide bomber, who was entering a school in order to detonate a bomb in northern Pakistan, according to the story in the Guardian (click link): Guardian Article

Although the bomb detonated, thus killing him, Aitzaz Hassan’s intervention succeeded to protect a school full of some 2000 students.

Like the parents of the children who died at Sandy Hook, so Aitzaz Hassan’s parents magnified the boy’s generous intentions, celebrating his heroism, rather than nursing grievances or bitterness of their own.

What did this boy die for?

Suicide bombing occurs in this region as a weapon of religious militancy in sectarian warfare between Sunnis and Shi’ites.

The real enemy in the story is neither Shi’ite nor Sunni but the prince of the world or the evil one, who feeds on fear, hatred, and bigotry, the glue that keeps the fence intact, which separates insiders from outsiders.

The militant crusader believes so strongly in this fence, that s/he will kill and self-destruct  (slathering on glue) in order to reinforce it, fortifying the barrier that distinguishes the elect (the insiders) from the reprobate (the outsiders).

The boy Aitzaz Hassan,  himself a Muslim,  stood up for principles of Islam that transcend sectarian rivalries: peace, love, and non-violence. He acted, instinctively, in a generous way that may resonate for Christians as being Christ-like.

From a Christian perspective, the self-sacrificing love exhibited by Aitzaz Hassan imitates that of Jesus.

As Jesus said: “No greater love has this than to give one’s life for one’s friends.” The friends of Jesus are those who follow God’s commandment, the greatest of which is love. Similarly, Aitzaz Hassan died on behalf of  love for his friends. Love is save thousands from the bomb of murder and sectarian rivalries.

Asia Bibi

Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman, is a different kind of martyr, a woman and mother, now in prison on allegations of blasphemy.  Her case has been discussed and publicized for many years.

The Supreme court of Pakistan will be handing down a verdict any day, now. Sadly, the danger of mob violence against Asia Bibi is real even should she go free.

Asia Bibi had engaged in dialogue with some Muslim women, her friends, in a Pakistani town, close to where she lives. In the  course of conversation, she spoke about her own religious beliefs.  She made a comment to the effect that for her, and her family, Jesus Christ is savior not Mohammed.

Consequently, she was arrested on charges of blasphemy, a charge associated with apostasy and treason. Asia Bibi is still in prison. Please see this link for an update on her case: Update Asia Bibi Case

Jesus the Lightworker

From a Christian perspective, this case follows the pattern, again, of Jesus’s Christ’s martyrdom.  Jesus was put to death by the Romans on charges of treason and viewed as an enemy of the state.  Rome at the time mandated emperor worship and penalized prophets who were accused of blaspheming the civic gods or undermining the religious-civic order.

Jesus Christ, the light and the lightworker, shines through acts of self-sacrificial love — whether one is Christian, Muslim, or of another religious or sectarian affiliation.

 

Jesus and the Vibrational Escrow

Preface: Why Consider Channeled Sources of Information about Jesus? 

In this article, I present an angle on Jesus Christ offered by Abraham Hicks, the non-physical entity channeled by Esther Hicks. In doing so, I offer only a brief point of  evaluation and critique, concerning whether this information is in accord with the gospel.

Naturally, some people will doubt the credibility of channeled information. How do we distinguish the holy spirit (of truth) from lies? Lies may come through a channeler. However, lies may come from seemingly accredited sources, too– for instance, in books that claim to be biblical or holy.

Others may doubt the message itself. Are there really such things as the “law of attraction,” vibrational realities, and a “vibrational escrow” as Abraham suggests? Let us consider whether these ideas have practical benefits in our lives, which are in accord with the gospel and message of Jesus Christ.

The subject matter is worth considering, I believe, for the following reasons. First of all, truth can be revealed in surprising places. The church version of Jesus is not necessarily always right and correct (and there are quite a few versions offered by churches). Ideas about Jesus that emerge from popular spirituality can shed light on who Jesus is and can be for us. Let us be receptive and open-minded as well as discerning and critical, regarding all information and sources of revelation.

Secondly, this popular spiritual movement — around Abraham (the channeled source of wisdom), has offered support for people in their quest to lead rich and valuable lives. While critiques are also valid, a philosophy or inspired utterance (even from a channeled source) is worth considering when it yields beneficial practical consequences.

The Law of Attraction and other Vibrational Matters

According to the non-physical teacher Abraham Hicks, channeled by Esther Hicks, we are all vibrational beings. Our lives, which follow a “law of attraction,”  are energetic copies of our own states of consciousness or soul. We attract to ourselves experiences based on this inner blueprint. We may come to be happy and fulfilled if we move with the flow of our lives, along the path of joy and the way of least resistance. In doing so, we enter an energetic “vortex,” which allows us to manifest our own highest good with ease, including a meaningful life, good relationships, abundance, and social contribution.

Who is Jesus According to Abraham?

Abraham as channeled by Esther has some thought-provoking ideas about Jesus and how Jesus heals. Jesus,  one who reached full alignment with the divine source, lived in complete vibrational flow with the highest good and desired reality. Hence, he could perform miracles and speak wisdom.

Essentially, when Jesus heals the afflictions or diseases of people, he does so by assisting them to realize the higher purposes and the joyous desires of their souls in accord with the divine source. Since his vibration is high and always loving, lower vibrations (of sickness, guilt, shame, anger, and pain) dissolve in his presence.  He sees not the sickness but rather the image of God in each person. Behind the complaining, suffering person, who needs healing, there is a positive, hopeful, joyful self — as the true self of that person.

For Abraham, our highest good is contained within our “vibrational escrow,” which may be compared to a bank account that is held in custody until such time as one is ready to withdraw funds. In this vibrational account is deposited our hopes, dreams, goals, our ideals for ourselves, and the very blueprint of our destiny. When we have negative experiences in life– which cause pain and despair –our hardships serve as “contrast experiences,” which assist us to define clearly the positive experiences and desires that we would have preferred. This positive experience (desire, goal, or hope) gets deposited into our vibrational escrow account.

Jesus takes a peek into the “vibrational escrow” of each person. The Savior gives the person help in becoming a vibrational match to the highest potential therein.  Wealth in the escrow account may then be cashed in, while our deposited resources are rightly utilized. Tangibly, our life improves.

Abraham explains why Jesus sometimes counsels secrecy after a miracle or healing. If somebody speaks about his or her healing after it is completed, this person may revive the negative vibration that originally made him or her sick. It is best to cloak healing in silence.

Is it True, Helpful, in Accord with the Gospel?  

For instance, if we have a failed relationship, the failures can assist us to define what a successful relationship would look like. Rather than pushing against the loss, we may reach into our “vibrational escrow,” follow the flow of our desires, and bring to realization the success for which we yearn, in the form of a new relationship (or, sometimes, the healing of the failed one).

It is the role of Jesus to assist us to attune ourselves — or to become a “vibrational match” — for our destiny.

How did Jesus “attract” to himself the crucifixion? Although Abraham has not addressed that question (as far as I know), perhaps the crucifixion is the ultimate “contrast experience,” which serves to define, as a reverse image, the immeasurable good to which we may aspire when we are resurrected and in full communion with the divine source.

As I see it, this philosophy can assist us with the dynamics of prayer. While we do not always need to be positive or in a high vibration in order to pray, it is valuable to dissolve blocks to prayer (in the form of resistance and negative beliefs). We may also benefit from embracing our desires and putting them before God/Jesus, who will assist us to convert our desires into life plans that are effective for our own flourishing and the good of others.

For further reading on related matters:

The Law of One (the Ra Material): Channeling in the Name of Jesus Christ

Come Alive !: The Secret and Life Abundant

Here are some links to recordings where Esther Hicks talks about this philosophy and the spirituality of Jesus in that regard. Jesus is mentioned just in a few places toward the end of the recordings.

 

Mexican Folk Saint: El Nino (links)

Let us consider El Nino, the Mexican healer, who blended both traditional healing modalities and Christian/Catholic faith.  His festival is celebrated in Espinoza, Mexico in October and March. The October festival (Oct 19) celebrates the anniversaries of his both his death and his birth, while the March festival celebrates his saint’s day (St. Joseph).

Here are some links (please click on them):

Healing Festival in Honor of El Nino

Mexican Folk Saint: El Nino

Book on El Nino

Mexican Folk Saints

Summary Article

Delores Cannon: Jesus and the Essenes

Delores Cannon offers information about the historical Jesus Christ based on material that she obtained from subjects under hypnosis.

Cannon claimed that certain subjects could enter into a very deep trance state, equivalent to somnambulism. In this state, they would remember their past lives. Cannon said that for these subjects,  under hypnosis they are not engaged in normal past-life regression but rather in a kind of time travel. Subjects under deep hypnosis could forget entirely their current life roles and lose consciousness of their contemporary identities. Instead, they would assume the identity of an earlier incarnation of their souls.

Through one such subject, Cannon gained information about the life of Jesus from a subject who had been a member of the Essenes, a Jewish sect that is probably responsible for the Dead Sea Scrolls.

In this post I will not attempt to assess the legitimacy of Cannon’s claims. Can channeled material under trance genuinely serve as a valid historical source? The claim is rather incredible and contravenes normal standards of historical proof.  Nevertheless, the claim may prove to be valid, either completely or in a limited sense.

Apart from the validity of channeled information as an historical source, Cannon’s work on Jesus serves another beneficial function.  Her presentation of Jesus and the Essenes offers us a renewed imagination for the life of Jesus.

Certainly, the New Testament record provides only a partial look at Jesus Christ and his times. Cannon’s material proposes to fill in some of the gaps in the record. The world of Jesus and the New Testament comes alive with a new vividness.  We get a picture of Jesus’s times, culture, and possible spiritual influences. Our imagination for history and for the life of Jesus is thus enriched.

For more on the Essenes, see: The Essenes

Here is an interview withe Delores Cannon on the topic. There are several more talks by her that are available on youtube, too.

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo: Advocate for Gay rights in Uganda

Sadly, anti-gay persecution is quite often legitimated by Christian churches. The penalties can be harsh for advocates of human rights for LGBT people. The film God Loves Uganda chronicles this human rights struggle in Uganda and among Christian missionaries there.

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo has courageously stood up to the majority in offering reconciliation and a message of inclusive love toward all LGBT people — in the name of the Gospel.

The Gospel ought not to be twisted so as to entail judgment, condemnation, and exclusion on the grounds of one’s love-orientation (the struggle is about the right to love not narrowly about sexual behavior). Quite the contrary, the Gospel proclaims that love is sacred and free. Human rights require that we respect those who may be different from us while securing their freedoms as our own.

See links below.

Here’s God Loves Uganda (English with Italian subtitles)

 

Here are clips from interviews with Bishop Christopher Senyonjo

Miracle of the Sun (1917)

A hundred and one years ago at Fatima in Portugal, there occurred an apparition of Mary, called the Miracle of the Sun, which is said to be the largest attested miracle in modernity, witnessed by 75,000 people.

Whether or not one is Catholic — or sympathetic to Marian devotions — it is striking that this apparition seems to mark the end of one era and the beginning of the new. The old world has died; modernity is born.

The Fatima seers, who speak from the perspective of the old world,  prophesied wars (World War I and II), apostasy, and scandals in the Church. Presumably, the fate of Russia was at stake since it was prophesied that Russia would fall into atheism and the Church would lose its honor.

Some Catholics argue that the old religious world that has been lost ought to be restored. The traditional rites and sacraments, together with ecclesiastical teachings and the preaching of the Gospel, offered people disciplines and instructions for leading holy and good lives. Others welcome the so-called secular movements (e.g., socialism and feminism) that are perceived to have displaced the old hierarchies and to have ignited crisis and critique.

With regard to the miracle of the Sun — and Marian apparitions, generally — skeptics point to the ideologically slanted messages that come to seers and visionaries through Mary. If the mother of God does appear to people, what accounts for the sometimes sectarian and partisan quality of her inspired ideas? Or, shall we concede that Marian messages are filtered through the beliefs of her visionaries and seers rather than being transmitted verbatim or reproduced with a documentary accuracy?

The faithful who take seriously Marian apparitions, by contrast, claim that the messages are sound and creditworthy. Like the prophets of old, Mary issues warnings while advising repentance. To her seers, she offers hopeful remedies (e.g. praying the rosary) and promises for the renewal of faith and the wellbeing of the world.

Whatever one’s position in regard to Fatima and Marian visions, the Miracle of the Sun is a phenomenon to contend with. Can this miracle witnessed by so many be justified by naturalistic causality or explained away as the consequence of  collective hysteria? Or did the veil open between heaven and earth on that day, Oct 13, 1917, one hundred and one years ago?

I am linking to a couple of videos about the Miracle of the Sun and to some discussions and critiques of the Catholic Church with regard to the Fatima prophecies and the three secrets involved. It is debated whether the third secret given at Fatima has actually been revealed. There is also a possible fourth secret.  I link also to an article about another Marian apparition, given to Agnes in Japan, which occurred on Oct 13, 1973,  on the anniversary of Fatima.

 

General Book on Fatima: Our Lady of Fatima Paperback – October 1, 1954
by William T. Walsh

Article about Vatican Deception, documentary on Fatima: Vatican Deception Documentary : Fatima

Fourth Secret Book

Our Lady of Akita: Agnes