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Question 129: About apostasy

Posted on: February 2, 2017

Question 129: Do apostasy and blasphemy have any place or meaning in the Gospel of Oneness?

These are concepts of duality. They are made up terms by people who have a dualistic world view. They are predicated on the view that what we believe about God is so important that we could be killed or honored for what we believe about God or what we say about God or about people who are considered to be messengers or prophets or avatars of God.

These concepts have no place in the gospel of oneness. God is not, cannot be mocked. God cannot be insulted or hurt or shamed by anything humans can say about him/her, or it. Humans are the ones who get upset if they think someone is insulting their god. God doesn’t need any defenders, especially violent or hateful defenders.  The people who are considered to be messengers, prophets, or avatars of God also do not need violent or hateful defenders.

We are all a part of God, so if a person talks against God or doesn’t believe in a Supreme Consciousness, it is their God-given free right to do so. We can’t force anyone to honor God. It is a free will choice, and it can change over time. So blasphemy is out the window. We don’t care about it and we are not offended by it.

As for apostasy we don’t care about that either. If a person believes in the oneness of all life for awhile, and then changes his mind, that is all right. Maybe he or she never really had an experience of oneness. No one is punished or shunned for changing their mind about what they believe.  All of us are working out what we believe is true about life and about the existence of a Supreme Creator, and whether or not we have eternal souls, and what happens after our bodies die. To insist that we have the full truth about any of this, and that we have the right to punish people who believe differently than we do is just crazy.

Now where we do draw the line, and this has nothing to do with apostasy or blasphemy, is when religious beliefs call for violence unto others. For example, if a moon-god religion called for the sacrifice of a child or a virgin once a month, we could make a civil law forbidding such a practice. If a religion calls for the killing of people they think are apostates, we can and have made civil laws against such practice.

“If you do not have the possibility of abandoning your religion, you do not enjoy the possibility of freely embracing it, either.”
Paul Berman

“Describing the process of making her decision to leave, Patricia said: “It is as if there is a shelf where all your doubts and misgivings are placed while you are in that group. Over the months or years you observe so many things that may conflict with your original beliefs and values, or you see things done by the group or leader that are just not right. Because of the indoctrination and not being allowed to ask questions, you just put it on the shelf. Eventually, the shelf gets heavier and heavier and finally just breaks, and you are ready to leave” (p. 55).”
Madeleine Landau Tobias, Captive Hearts, Captive Minds: Freedom and Recovery from Cults and Other Abusive Relationships

Was there ever a more horrible blasphemy than the statement that all the knowledge of God is confined to this or that book? How dare men call God infinite, and yet try to compress Him within the covers of a little book!

Swami Vivekananda

Blasphemy has always seemed to require taking things very seriously.

Donna J. Haraway

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