Charley Earp's Blog (26)

Loving Radically Across the Atheist/Theist Divide

Even though I haven’t believed in a personal god since 1996 or so, I have hesitated to call myself an atheist. No doubt a good bit of that hesitation arises from my long period as a Pentecostal Christian. I have little problem using the term atheist to describe myself to other atheists. However, with Christians and other theists, I seek to use less polarizing terms, like nontheist or even agnostic. The main reason I don’t want theists to consider me to be an atheist is that as believers, my…


Added by Charley Earp on 10th mo. 6, 2012 at 2:27pm — No Comments

The Communism of Jesus

I am a Communist because it is the logical outcome of my childhood Pentecostal faith in Jesus. I am a Communist, because Jesus was a Communist.

I am not a Christian, because Jesus was not a Christian. Jesus was a Jewish rabbi who mobilized a mass movement to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, that is Communism. Communism is the logical fulfillment of the teachings of Jesus.

The story of Pentecost was at the heart of my childhood faith. As the story goes, a group of 120…


Added by Charley Earp on 10th mo. 3, 2012 at 5:58pm — 1 Comment

A Hunk-a-Hunk-a Burning Love….

“Indeed, as the Concern was weighty, so I was not forward, lest I should be found to Run before I was sent; therefore I waited patiently to be fully satisfied in the Matter, not only a Day, or a Week, but many Months; and then as my Concern grew heavier upon me, I gave up, begging the Lord to be with me, and to give me a full Mission for so weighty a Concern. Alice Hayes, A Legacy or The Widow’s Mite.

I’ve begun to find the Quaker…


Added by Charley Earp on 8th mo. 29, 2012 at 1:17am — No Comments

A Radical Quaker Message for Our Time

So, I am convinced that we Quakers do have a radical message to recover, and it is neither the guilt-ridden Puritan message of personal salvation, nor the liberal message of quiet inclusive reformism. It’s the message of a new world order that must be born to save this planet from self-annihilation. It isn’t a message of enlightened liberals fixing the problems of the third world or zealous missionaries winning souls for a heavenly reward. The message of Jesus, Winstanley, Fox, and…


Added by Charley Earp on 8th mo. 5, 2012 at 1:20am — No Comments

Love's Communism

I am being transformed into a Communist of Universal Love. I first glimpsed this Communism in the story of Jesus and his earliest followers. As I followed this obscure road to Love’s Communism, I was commanded by Jesus to leave the church and God above to find the real meaning of his Gospel.

Read the rest...

Added by Charley Earp on 8th mo. 2, 2012 at 5:41pm — No Comments

The Future of Quakerism

Rather than repost in its entirety, here's a short excerpt and a link:

"....  in my opinion, the leading challenge to FGC is that we cannot reach unity on outreach and growth. Do we try to find new attenders deliberately? Do we work at nurturing new attenders so they become permanent members? Those two things have to happen if we want to reverse the decline in numbers."…


Added by Charley Earp on 5th mo. 5, 2012 at 1:45am — 1 Comment

The Prophetic Calling: It’ll Break Your Heart

“The only thing that truly defines Friends as a distinct group and not just a bunch of Unitarians or Christians or a secular social club is that all True Quakers are committed to the process of gettin’ naked as a step in the longer path of being clothed in righteousness, which means a return to right order, or the Gospel Order, or the Kingdom of Heaven, or the Garden or Eden, or total Liberation, or WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT.” Maggie Harrison…


Added by Charley Earp on 2nd mo. 4, 2012 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Jesus Christ: A Integral Mythical Re-telling

(Note: this blog posting was originally written for the site, which is focused on what is known as "integral life practice" a synthesis of Eastern and Western mystical traditions. I am something of an outlier there as I am here, being a nontheist in the midst of theists. However, the threads there drew me into reflection on the story of Jesus and what…


Added by Charley Earp on 6th mo. 7, 2011 at 3:56am — 2 Comments

The Infinite Depths of Radical Love

Everyday a new horror arises to haunt one’s soul. Death, suffering, and powerlessness challenge even the strongest hearts. The struggle to hold on to hope, courage, and life itself must be won anew against each shocking sorrow.

It is no wonder that many turn from facing the depths of the abyss. Seeking for some relief from constant sadness, a once-sensitive person retreats into private pleasures. It is so tempting to let the truth drift away over the far-off horizon.

A… Continue

Added by Charley Earp on 6th mo. 12, 2010 at 12:05am — No Comments

The Revolutionary Means: Radical Nonviolence

A basic assumption of a pacifist radical philosophy is that violence and warfare are not limited to the actions of established militaries and their enemies. Violence…


Added by Charley Earp on 5th mo. 13, 2010 at 3:20am — No Comments

Jesus Among Liberal Friends

It's not a secret that I am an ex-Christian liberal Quaker. I didn't leave the faith as a wounded soul with a grudge against every believer, though I acknowledge that there are many out there with that sort of experience. I was raised in a very dysfunctional Pentecostal family and escaped from that drama in my early 20s to a Mennonite intentional community for 10 years.

That community was a most…

Added by Charley Earp on 3rd mo. 28, 2010 at 7:00pm — No Comments

"Climate Gate" Gets a Re-Tread: Daily Mail Distorts

I tend to post articles about human-caused climate change by experts, because I am not one. I am scientifically literate, but not expert enough to feel confident trying to explain the complexity of the earth's climate balance.

However, today's Daily Mail, a London-based yellow journalism rag, has a headline claiming that a…

Added by Charley Earp on 2nd mo. 14, 2010 at 10:04pm — 1 Comment

Dynamics of Radical Progress: Envisioning Revolutionary Global Change

Preliminary: This essay rethinks some earlier attempts at a comprehensive understanding of social change, most notably in a 2005 essay, In Search of Religious Radicalism, and my former blog Utopian Longings. This is the first of an intended series.


The period from 1955-1975, broadly… Continue

Added by Charley Earp on 2nd mo. 4, 2010 at 1:39am — No Comments

Religion: The Soul of Soulless Conditions

I really suck at being an atheist. Actually, I've never liked that word, even if I begrudgingly admit that, by the abstract definition, I am one. That abstract definition goes like this, "a-" stands for absence and "-theism" stands for belief in god. I have an absence of theism.

Of course, most people take atheism to imply an overt hostility to religion. That is why I am such a lousy atheist. I love religion. If I could in all good conscience return to believing in a god, miracles,… Continue

Added by Charley Earp on 1st mo. 13, 2010 at 11:00pm — 4 Comments

Notes on Religious Socialism - 01

My socialism arose originally from two biblical texts:

First: Matthew 25:31ff: "When the son of man starts his revolution with all his band around him, then he will assume authority. And all the nations will be assembled before him, and he will sort them out, like a farmer separating his cows from his hogs, penning the cows on the right and the hogs on the left. Then the Leader of the Movement will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you pride of my Father, share in the Movement that… Continue

Added by Charley Earp on 12th mo. 19, 2009 at 2:06am — No Comments

What Kind of Revolution?

(Note: I know this is somewhat tangential to Quakerism, but I haven't posted a thing here for several days.)

A local Marxist organization hosted a panel discussion on Marxism vs. Anarchism. As someone with sympathies with both philosophies, I wanted to see if I would learn anything new by listening to what each side had to say. The panelists were all younger folks than myself, so I thought… Continue

Added by Charley Earp on 9th mo. 20, 2009 at 6:35am — No Comments

The Enormity of Human Suffering, part 1: Starvation

(My intent here is to do a series of blogs on human suffering, each highlighting a specific sort of suffering. This may sound morbid and dreary, but I find that recognizing human suffering forms a core part of my sense of calling in the world.)

Starvation is a terrible way to die. I have been terribly ill, with my stomach in knots, feverish and sweating, dry mouth, and throbbing headache. Starvation is much, much… Continue

Added by Charley Earp on 9th mo. 12, 2009 at 2:36am — No Comments

Suffering, Truth, and Struggle (was The Trouble With Realism)

"Existence is Suffering." Buddha's First Noble Truth

If everything suffers, is all suffering?

No, I find joy in existence as well.

Then, our life is a quest for joy amidst suffering, a struggle against suffering towards joy.

Is suffering private? I see suffering in others, suffering is shared. The struggle against suffering towards joy is also shared.

The starting-point for an ethically engaged search for the truth is to recognize that we… Continue

Added by Charley Earp on 9th mo. 9, 2009 at 11:00pm — No Comments

The Trouble With Realism: Why David Boulton is not Anti-Quaker

This is in response to Simon Heywood's blog on David Boulton's book The Trouble with God posted here.

As a nontheist Quaker, I will begin by saying that while I do not agree with everything that David Boulton writes in TTwG*, I do not consider him anti-Quaker. Far from it, I consider him a respectable Friend with whom I have co-clerked a workshop and more than a few… Continue

Added by Charley Earp on 9th mo. 8, 2009 at 4:00am — 7 Comments

A Radical Soul

For years, I have been somewhat obsessed with trying to understand social change. I was born in 1963 and in the 4 and a half decades since then, I have seen lots of changes, good and bad. Sometimes it seems more bad than good.

I'm a radical by nature. In kindergarten I remember some teacher scolding me for something I thought was dumb. I looked around the room, realized that there were more of us (students) than her, and fantasized briefly about trying to get the class to push her… Continue

Added by Charley Earp on 8th mo. 22, 2009 at 4:26am — No Comments

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