HOW DO YOU KNOW
I have listened to, watched on TV, blogged and much more as I have heard the words of people and clergy and various churches from so many different Christian denominations throughout many years over my time in life. I must be a Christian as I decided many years ago that I just could not pin down one group and say to myself “These folks are RIGHT ON”.
HOW DO I KNOW HOW GOD WILL REACT TO ME?
So on 8-04-02 , as the internet developed, I believed in UNORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY and established my own internet theology. It has grown tremendously as the questions developed from all over. Yes, NO, Maybe?
Initially I looked at my website and ran across a few readers until one day my website developed a surprise. Instead of a few readers the number overnight was 45,000 instead of 5 or 6 and the website was frozen. I had to move beyond my original hosting service and the site became a WordPress host. I still owned the original domain as well as a WordPress domain for Unorthodox-Christianity since I moved beyond my original host. In the last 20 plus years the whole discussion on the internet expanded into different versions of Unorthodox Christian whatever as well as what does Unorthodox mean?
As one listens more and more to a great variety of denominations building themselves over the internet the variety that started 20 plus years ago has become a thundering debate about what Christianity is about. I do not have the time or experience to cover the 45,000 denominations that are known about in the entire world. I can guess that there are many doorsteps that question and debate their own beliefs which go on and on to claim themselves THE RIGHT ONE.
“THE RIGHT ONE” idea developed immediately apart of the original message of GOD and the legends of the victories or the losers in a single culture over thousands of years. The stories and the debates have not existed in agreement since the beginning of the stories.
I have mentioned before the story of my question to my 2nd grade Methodist teacher in the fifties about how GOD dealt with people. She asked if anyone was questioning how GOD dealt with people. I raised my hand. “What Dennis” she asked.
“Why didn’t GOD just make good people?” I asked. It seemed like a logical question to me. History was just too full of war and death and it did not seem to be getting any better as we went on and on with war. As I got older in the 50’s and 60’s no one could answer my question? FREE WILL was the answer I got most of the time.
In the original book that many churches handed out to their children when they graduated from Sunday School (and the still do, throughout the world) the book I received started with Genesis 1 when GOD explained in verse 1 – 26 GOD said: “Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves”.
And then in verse 27: “GOD created man in the image of himself, in the image of GOD he created him and female he created them”.
I guess that is what UNORTHODOX may have been meant to mean.
Today there are many versions of Orthodox Christians. Most tell different stories and different legends. And there were wars and there were winners and losers. There are pages of excuses as to why and where “Like us” went away, or “Us” was different than what we know of GOD.
The story of Jesus developed lots of debates in the corners of his conversations. I have come to be very simple about GOD and Jesus. Father, Son, all in ONE, it makes no difference to UNORTHODOX. The message has been simple and strait forward,
LOVE ONE ANOTHER
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF
DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.
That is my story of UNORTHODOX in it’s simplicity. The NEW TESTAMENT can exist with these few words of peace and one more.
FATHER FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.
AND FROM UNORTHODOX:
HOW DO YOU KNOW HOW GOD WILL TREAT HIS CHILDREN MADE IN HIS OWN IMAGE?
HOW DO YOU KNOW?
Originally From 4-16-2005: Now 9-6-2022
I remember the story of Jim (James as he grew to prefer), my best buddy growing up. James was taking a philosophy class in college and the topic of the term paper was to be “What is Life”. James pondered this during the class and when the time came he turned in his paper. Not long after, the papers were graded and handed back to the students. James had received an “A” on his paper. What was it? It was quite simple actually, on the cover was written
“What is Life by James XXXXX”,
On the next page it said:
What is Life?
That was it. It said it all.
I have read so much that has been handed down ‘by GOD’, the Sabbaoth, the Zeus, the Mars, the Erik, the Allah, the HIM, the HER, the great I AM, Sophia, the great colloquial (depends on the era), the Buddha, the Tao, the whatever.
In the same terms that James expressed life, I see GOD.
Jesus tells us “GOD is love”, others tell us “GOD is a Great Spirit”, and others “GOD is judgmental, vengeful and retributive”. Still others that “GOD is all knowing, yet uncompromising or non-understanding of personal circumstance.” For many GOD is forgiving in that He sent Jesus to tell us that we are forgiven, yet the same people would say we can’t be forgiven if we don’t accept Jesus as our personal GOD. Did Jesus come as GOD or merely a reflection of what GOD is like?
To many, GOD is just a really big guy in the sky. We die, we go to a gate, in or out is the judgment and then off you go, there or there, door number 1 or door number 2.
GOD created all, yet what created GOD? GOD cannot be within itself, yet being the all. GOD is more than we can comprehend. For the sake of discussion, let us say we could.
If we knew, for sure, who or what GOD was, would that then cause us to act any different than we act now?
We so seek to discover who or what GOD is so that the new knowledge will be the catalyst for change in our life or circumstance. Why?
If our lives or circumstance needs to change why must we somehow authenticate GOD to change it? Why do we need to hear “THE WORD”, or see “THE HOLY SCRIPTURE” to become a ‘better’ person, or find peace within ourselves where we are currently at war with ourselves.
ALL RELIGION HOLDS THEIR WRITINGS TO BE AUTHENTIC, HOLY, INSPIRED, AND THE TRUTH. HAS THIS CREATED ANY MORE LOVE, PEACE, CARING, UNDERSTANDING OR HAPPINESS IN THE WORLD.
The Christian in America, as an example, while preaching the gospel of LOVE ONE ANOTHER, risks other Americans lives to believe as we choose to, at the cost of what we have been given by GOD to satisfy ourselves not other Americans as though our freedom to worship GOD (however we construct GOD) could be taken away by other Americans. Our teacher freely allowed himself to be crucified, yet we, disciples, justify murder (or war) to protect our right to believe what we couldn’t take away from the black by enslaving them, or the Native American Indian by stealing their land, or the Muslim by invading their country or another. We are apparently so weak in our faith that it can be taken from us by any conqueror in any guise and with any promise.
We can not abide by our own laws, of our own country, in our own land, in our day to day, under our own form of government, with our own chosen leaders, freely elected to represent us. We can’t pick up our own trash, take care of our own property, respect our neighbors’ privacy, quiet, property, safety or security. What makes us believe we can create a better government for anyone else’s country with our own soldiers, on their land, in their country, against their religion or their culture? This led by leaders that fly the flag of Christianity in their personal lives yet cast it aside in their professional lives.
In His time, I believe, that Jesus referred to these as Pharisees.
For a people who believe in an all powerful GOD, certainly GOD must seem to be powerfully weak when we feel that what we believe to be GOD’S HOLY CHARGE to LOVE ONE ANOTHER is weak and inadequate and can not be improved upon by us.
We have a nation that knows how to help each other. We know how to help others throughout the world. We have been challenged as a nation to care for each other, to respect each other and their needs and their choices and not make everyone elses . The morals of years behind us have been replaced by social media and lost souls. We are losing our faith and have become scared to enjoy life and just what it represents in our day to day.
I guess that is just too complicated for us to truly embrace, “LOVE ONE ANOTHER”. We have pushed the envelope to see suicide as a choice to make life easier instead of finding the gifts that we have been given by GOD and people GOD has approached for you. Because it has been so complicated we have yet to implement it where it is most needed. As a result, the Earth we live in is hardly to be confused with the Kingdom of Jesus’ promise. On Earth as it is in Heaven will truly elude us for quite some time to come.
What good is our ‘religion’ if we fail to implement it? Not much, I dare say. IF we are to bring people to CHRIST by our example, perhaps we need to reexamine what our example was and is. Certainly we don’t need the world to be one big East LA with 200+ gangs and more murders each year than most foreign countries experience. Even our small towns and rural communities are challenged. What can we do?
Let us build our own houses first and people will flock to the kingdom to experience its fullness. Not take advantage of it. Maybe, just maybe, the world would reflect LOVE ONE ANOTHER freely, if they could just see it in action in one place, in its fullness, and all its glory. Just maybe.
I have been writing for many years now. The notes that have become Unorthodox Christianity. They go quite a ways back. Why did I even begin with the writing. It seems I need to remind myself to write more articles. Why?
It largely began with the conversation with a Sunday school teacher I have referenced before. In second grade Sunday School, in the midst of teaching about GOD creating the world and GOOD and EVIL, the teacher asked an open door, “Do you have any questions?”
“Yes”. I responded. “If GOD created everything, why didn’t GOD just make GOOD PEOPLE?”
That was the end of my religious question and answer period. I was embarking on a life where I asked questions and I looked for answers.
First question became IS GOD JUST A REALLY BIG GUY IN THE SKY? Then I touched on JESUS. Should I simply ask the questions to the BIG GUY AT THE TOP? Why Work around the middle man. My dad had worked with professional sales representatives. I guess I got it from him.
I looked up at the sky one evening when I was about 13-14 years old. I began asking GOD questions, with help from the middle man. I could not imagine a BIG GUY IN THE SKY. Too Big. Too many planets. Too many people, too many questions. Too fixed.
So here is God, a spirit that envelopes all created order, galaxies and universes we may never see. There are spiritual dimensions that we can’t even imagine and entities that even Hollywood can’t conjure up. Is GOD a celestial humanoid that only speaks one language and favors one race. A spirit (Whatever that is) that came before all physical creation, affects every single human on Earth to some extent. I have no problem believing in God (whatever a GOD is), but a God with limits on just what [HE] can or can not do?
Then you have the question of the power of Christianity, which is removed from the culture of the legend of Jesus a Messiah for what became a completely different culture that didn’t exist before Jesus? A Messiah that has yet to be accepted by the culture that refuses to accept Jesus as its own Messiah. The CHRIST of Christian is very much a separate entity from the culture Jesus came from and built around converts and Gentiles. In fact the Christian culture of early Christianity created power around an individual who preached LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
It is a wonder that a child in Bethlehem was chosen to carry the spirit and message of God to these people? When these people didn’t listen to Jesus, Jesus sent his insight for LOVE ONE ANOTHER through others who did believe in the life and story of Jesus into other cultures that didn’t speak Jesus’ language or have Jesus’ customs. Groups of other believers that translated Jesus story into their own and patterned their own beliefs along with Jesus. Could there be unconditional love in the midst of all religions without respect of culture, origin, skin tone? We have created racial preferences on EARTH which was created by a single entity to be made in “Our image”.
In the midst of it all GOD has already created that entity to be among us.
It comes in the framework of our pets, our animals, our disenfranchised friends that have a language of their own yet understand our emotions more than we understand our own. They understand our behavior and love us in spite of ourselves. They forgive us more quickly than we can respond. And there have been many millions and billions of followers that have moved forward into Jesus’ message of LOVE ONE ANOTHER, plain and simple.
GOD IS CAPABLE and HAS CREATED GOOD PEOPLE. The truth is that even the GOOD PEOPLE have been around since the beginning.
When we strip away the pious posturing and self beneficial exclusionary doctrines of certain elements of mankind that have made religious structures that make no sense in the in light of a loving GOD that created everyone to made in “HIS IMAGE”. A disciple of JESUS put it this way, GOD IS LOVE. GOD is a force of energy that too many people have refused to participate in. Look around you. Let us not forget an evil side of Succes AT Anothers Expense within the creation of the energy of LOVE that GOD has to compete with for individual attention.
And eventually UNORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY became a bit more than a question and answer period of a Second Grade United Methodist Sunday School student who asked a simple question. Why?
Because just CHRISTIANITY didn’t fit what I discovered. It didn’t fit the answers I heard of on TV. It didn’t match with JESUS.
LOVE ONE ANOTHER seemed much simpler than what I heard on Sunday mornings in church discussions. AND TOO MANY THREATS. If you do this, your off to hell. You will never go to heaven. Initially there was only HEAVEN in the first place. In the followers from different cultures who embraced the Jesus of LOVE ONE ANOTHER there was a different outlook. A LIFE IS OUTLOOK.
I discovered other things. They were shocking things. LIFE IS TEMPORARY.
Not only that, YOU CAN NOT CHANGE THAT. The opportunity you have been given ON EARTH comes with no time frame. GOOD, BAD, INDIFFERENT, a car accident, a war, a flood, a pandemic, a tornado, a world war. For many A diagnosis at birth, or in the middle of it. This life, with all of its challenges, is here and it is TEMPORARY in this format. We may follow the adherents from other cultures who believe in reincarnation, or do it over until you get it right. There are others who believe that you need to get it right and that is it. I, personally, have never imaged a day I do not get up to enjoy the journey over and over again.
UNORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY IS LIFE IS MEANT FOR LIVING, TAKE YOUR FAITH OFF OF THE SHELF.
LIVE IN THE DARK or LIVE IN THE LIGHT. YOU CHOOSE.
The variety of what you can choose is beyond my scope.
But I have always remembered one thing. “WHY DIDN’T GOD MAKE ALL PEOPLE GOOD ?”
BECAUSE THAT IS OUR JOB.
By the way we act, FORGIVE ME MY TRESPASSES (easy enough) AS I FORGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE TRESPASSED AGAINST ME (real tough).
LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU
(Way Complicated in it’s depth).
To me, the purpose of living is to participate in the adventure of life.
How you do that is what you choose. You do the best you can while you are here. I have always wanted UNORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY to give you a place where you can MAKE JESUS AND GOD WORK FOR YOU. If you so wish, have a conversation with an entity most of us call GOD. Or a carpenters son named JESUS. Wisdom is not exclusive to just these two. You will meet the wisest people at the most opportune times in your life. It will not happen by coincidence. It will happen for you by asking and recognizing it. It may be your lifelong adventure or at your last breath. You will be forgiven for what you know not what you do. And you may enjoy every moment of the journey. GOD has made all people good, it is just a matter of time.
GOD BLESS and I pray you can make your best life work for you.
It is your gift from GOD and a carpenters SON named JESUS.
WE or ME
Not too many writings ago I utilized a commonly (among Christians) used prayer in response to His disciples:
Luke 11: 1-5: Now once HE (Jesus) was in a certain place praying, and when He was finished one of his disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
He (Jesus) said to them, “Say this when you pray:
“Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who have trespassed against us.…………..
I was thinking about that the other day and have recited it in my life almost as many times as I have lived every day. Not to be holy, but because I memorized it in Sunday Schools and prayer services as me the adult, and it just never left my mind. As I wrote utilizing it the other day I recognized something that I had never considered.
I Can’t see the forest for the trees came to mind.
The disciple prefaced it this way: “Lord, teach us to pray…..”
In Unorthodox Christianity looking outside the box can teach.
FORGIVE US Our TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THOSE….. … It didn’t wring true to me for someone who struggled up to Golgotha and was Crucified on behalf of everyone else in the world. What did He say: “Forgive them Father, they know not what the do”.
I read it again, and again. FORGIVE US? What about me? I trespassed, not US. The universal group did not trespass against the bully. The universal group did not talk about someone else. I DID. It is too easy to blame the US, it is much closer to home to blame the ME. Pass the buck is followed by THE BUCK STOPS HERE.
Forgiving yourself of a trespass is as important as asking GOD to forgive you.
It is hard to forgive those who trespass against you, very hard in certain situations, but it is always harder to forgive the person in the mirror. Love Your neighbor as yourself, depends on you being able to forgive yourself first. GOD will always recognize the whats and the whys , but you have to forgive yourself so that you know Love your neighbor as yourself and to know what it looks and feels like.
See beyond the forest. THE BUCK STOPS HERE. Whether talking Christian or anything else, life for you becomes your responsibility.
“FATHER FORGIVE ME AS I FORGIVE THOSE……”
(Updated from the Original Site in 1-29-2005)
With ministry in whatever form comes responsibility. Whether one is to prostrate oneself before the city gates and scream “REPENT”, or merely comment on the doctrine of the soothsayers and ‘Pharisees’. Whether Church Leaders, Ministers, Popes, or Prophets, it is not to be taken lightly. With thousands of references already on the “net” to unorthodox and Christian, there is but one unorthodoxchristianity.com.
It is humbling. For the seeker who finds themselves seeking through a www, you’ve stumbled upon this site. It is almost as though I have been granted some authority to present a ‘what it is’, I have not. I have no great expertise. I am a simple man. To me, the message of Love One Another is plenty succinct enough. This site is about love one another, and some of my views on what the ‘Pharisees’ say and interpret as truth. Doctrine must be weighed against the gauge of Love One Another. If doctrine doesn’t support that view, I find it hard to reconcile it as coming from GOD.
Many point out Old Testament texts, The New Testament Gospels are about the GOOD NEWS of a new teacher and a radical itinerant Rabbi. The leaders of His time did not exactly embrace his teaching and neither do very many of ours. Do not let anyone make you feel guilty for loving. Do not let anyone condemn you for caring, whether popular or not. And most of all, pay no attention to them when they attempt to judge the measure of your love, that is between you and your GOD. GOD will not condemn any who love, irregardless of their banner. Jesus said that any who love are with us, and can not be against us. Only those who profess to believe in love and who do not demonstrate it need be fearful of the results of their actions. GOD need not condemn for life itself is the greatest of equalizers.
And so I hope and pray that I present what GOD would wish. Unorthodox Christianity is about Loving One Another.
The Circle of Existence
From the way-back machine in Unorthodox Christianity. Before there was WordPress there was the internet. In those earlier years was the original Unorthodox Christianity.com The theology was more than a blog. Much of it was much as the following content. I am setting up the reissue of that original .com that will be in the core of this site. One of the many early pages.
The question of the nature of existence has been at the forefront of philosophical thought forever. From long before mankind could record thoughts on papyrus, and prior even to the cultures of hand me down legends of heroes in the past, where do we come from and where are we going has been the basis of theology and the world’s religions.
I have been reading a brief synopsis of the major theological movements over the past few days and have been intrigued by the growth of theological thought. The term cyclical comes to mind as theology and religious history follow an ebb and flow from strict dogma, to flexible reform and back into a strict religious morality when reform results in what the majority considers to be a rise in the incidence of `immoral’ behavior.
I have also noticed that there seems to be great periods of frenetic religious activity, followed by lulls of mere history, followed by eruptions of dogmatic supremacy, followed by periods of romantic flexibility and a return to dogmatic stigmatism.
From the most primitive forms of mythology that established multiple gods throughout the developing world, in Rome, Egypt, Mexico, Peru and others, man has constantly attempted to explain who he is and why is he here. Hinduism seems to predate and to begin establishing the modern era of a monotheistic theology. Hindusim seems to be followed by a dramatic influx of thought developed by Confucius and then expanded through Lao Tzu. Buddhism grows out of this and then on the western front shades of Mosaic law. Then the segue into Jesus and Christianity and then Mohammed and Islam expanding Christian concepts into cultural conformity. This continues to this day through Bahai and some of the more liberal new age inclusive conceptuals that try and appeal to a broader mixed cultural group.
Even within the buracracy of fundamentalist thought, each major religious turn includes its reformists and its liberalists, whatever name is coined for them, or about them or from them.
I am also amazed that each successive religion takes what it wishes from its predecessors and edits to suit a new crowd of followers or a new crop of leaders. I believe that this accounts for the ebb and flow from dogmatism to flexibility as it benefits the practitioners and their `chosen caste’.
As I read with a skepticism born of historical study, I am drawn always to the Christian writings of my cultural upbringing, the Judaistic drama of history, and the history of Hinduism, the more ancient beginning of current group belief. I see a lot of the writings of Jesus being an interpretation of the writings of Lao Tzu or Confucius or Mencius to a crowd that wasn’t familiar with or had disavowed these ancient writings in favor of “their own” Mosaic dogma and Pharasitic interpretations.
I see where the tribe develops its own school of thought for its own culture and then takes ownership of its relevance and correctness. Jesus, as a great teacher, embraces the whole world of theological thought at the time and proclaims that “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE”. The Way, being the Lao Tzu world of Confucianisms, The Truth, being the world of Mosaic Law, and the LIFE, being the reverent respect for all living things of Buddhism and many of its interpreters. This he conjoins all at once in one convenient itinerant package we came to call Christianity.
Centered amidst the confluence of many trade routes, Jesus was no doubt exposed to much theological thought in his day. I do not believe that one such as Jesus would have been content to merely accept the Mosiac dogma in light of the Eastern beliefs.
The question that seems to gnaw at me is just how much inclusion Jesus incorporates into his world of thought which is buried in his words, thoughts and deeds. In addition, I see how much of our interpretation of Jesus is being contained in a vessel of religious dogma that appears narrow minded and `self’ contained. By this I mean that we interpret Jesus’ sayings in light of what our modern culture wishes for us to believe and not enough of our belief looks at what the world in Jesus time was believing. Because our theological bureaucrats find some beliefs to be `profitable’ we are missing the hidden code of history. Dan Brown only scratches the surface of the code in a haunting mystery novel about political religious history. The real drama lies in the clues to our existence that Jesus came to reveal to us through the disciples and the scribes within his entourage and their families’ oral traditions.
All of this hyperbole to reach this point: where do we come from, where are we going, what is life?
From The Gospel of Thomas within the Nag Hammadi library:
Lesson 18: The Disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us how our end will be.”
Jesus said, “Have you discovered then, the beginning that you look for the end? For where the beginning is there the end will be. Blessed is He who will take his place at the beginning, he will know the end and not experience death.”
Lesson 19: Jesus said, “Blessed is he who came into being before he came into being. If you become my disciples and listen to my words, these stones will minister to you. For there are five trees in Paradise which minister to you in Paradise, which remain undisturbed summer and winter and whose leaves do not fall. Whoever becomes acquainted with them will not experience death.”
Moses, Confucius, Mencius, Lao Tzu, Buddha: All predate Jesus. They are 5 pillars of religious thought that have founded countless schools of theology and represent a core of thought that one could reasonably call, the ancients. Within each lie the prodigy which expanded and interpreted their ideas. These are cores whose beliefs have not fallen out of favor (among the `enlightened’) although they have always been threatening to those who desire power. The stones are the beliefs, the sayings, the proverbials that have been tested and reviewed and found to be valid through the ages.
The mysteries of Jesus have always been enigmatic to scholars. “Even these stones will minister to you.” There is a proverbial that I like from Ecclesiastes, “a time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together.” I noticed in my reading, as obvious as it is that I missed it, the order of the saying seems odd. A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together. Common sense would seem to support that one gathers stones and then throws them; but not in this sense. The stones of beliefs are often
“ read and then cast away, discarded into the cavern of memory”. Later in life an event occurs that brings that old `stone’ to the surface, gathered together so to speak in light of new knowledge or understanding.
An example are the many events of our lives that are lived and cast out of our conciousness in favor of each new event. Upon the death of a loved one we then sit back and pull these stones to the forefront of our memory that we may derive comfort from the memories once discarded and now retrieved.
The pillars of heaven are also not stone pillars, but the knowledge passed along by these great theologians and their theologies of the time. If you become familiar with their teachings and the meanings of the teachings, you will not experience death because you will recognize the mysteries of life. So what mystery do you discover?
I believe that Jesus told us, straight up.
Lesson 18: The Disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us how our end will be.”
Jesus said, “Have you discovered then, the beginning that you look for the end? For where the beginning is there the end will be. Blessed is He who will take his place at the beginning, he will know the end and not experience death.”
This is a simple and common philosophical question. What line has no beginning and no end? A circle. There is no discernible beginning to a circle and no discernible end unless one establishes an arbitrary beginning, which also becomes its own end.
Is it possible, let alone conceivable, that the circle of life: birth, living, death is reflective of the circle that is existence itself. Can the circle of spring-summer-fall-winter-spring- summer-fall-winter be a reflection of existence. Is time a circle not a line? That would explain prophecy, invention, science fiction, people. Another philosophical question, what came first, the chicken or the egg.
In the beginning was the word and the word was with GOD.
If Jesus was the word, did the circle begin with Jesus, or the beginning with GOD. Was it ‘poof’ all at once,everything?
Ecclesiastes also says, “everything that is, was, and ever will be, has already been.” To expand on that idea, imagine a globe made up of an infinite number of circles of varying widths that whirl about each other always maintaining the globe as the perfect circle. Which microscopic dot on one of the circle lines are we, now, at this time? We are all at once someone’s future and someone’s past.
Time travel is perhaps just locating a spot on a globe of circles that roll within itself, a huge globe beyond our conception. The other side of time may, in fact, be an arms length through the globe. Then, what is beyond the globe?
Whooooo,, so deep for a simple guy.
Do not worry about the future, Jesus says, God will take care of the future, the present day has enough concerns of its own.
What a good time to gather that stone together and allow it to minister to me.
Just some thoughts.
IN HEAVEN AS IT IS ON EARTH
Jesus said: When you pray, pray this way:
“Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done
ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN” …..
I have always been intrigued by this prayer offered up by Jesus. Over all the years I have heard so many threats about what can happen as a result of having been born. As an example: The mysterious ‘they’ mentioned to Jesus that it would be better not to marry than to risk sin and damnation should it not quite pan out the way it was originally intended.
I have heard so many sermons and ‘Bible’ studies of losing favor with GOD and being subjected to ‘HELL’ for being the ‘wrong’ faith persuasion and being subjected to eternal damnation as a result.
There are actually an estimated 2.2 Billion people who proclaim Christianity as their faith.
Major religious groups
- Christianity (31.2%)
- Islam (24.1%)
- Hinduism (15.1%)
- Buddhism (6.9%)
- Folk religions (5.7%)
- Sikhism (0.29%)
- Judaism (0.18%)
“As of 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31 percent) of all 6.9 billion people on Earth,” the Pew report says. “Islam was second, with 1.6 billion adherents, or 24 percent of the global population.” Apr 2, 2015
Interestingly enough, Judaism, which is the foundational faith of Jesus, is very much outnumbered by the others. I point out again:
“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will will be done, ON EARTH as it is in HEAVEN.”
Why would there be such an emphasis ON EARTH when many professing Christians live their lives worried about living on EARTH while waiting to enjoy life in HEAVEN. Living ON EARTH as it is in HEAVEN, which was created by GOD for some purpose to be enjoyed at the very beginning. Jesus prayed for EARTH to measure up to HEAVEN. If HEAVEN on EARTH was such a priority to JESUS I would have to ask why it is not a priority for mankind which has 31% of the entire population as adherents?
Earth is certainly a flawed location. WAR is an industry on EARTH. Illness is a part of world history. As of today no one in the world should be ignorant of the suffering of a pandemic, not just now but throughout world history. Politics plays to a select crowd of the wealthy and select voters. The priority of business conglomerates seems to take advantage of as many humans as possible to create income, chasing money, money and more money. Nations rebuild the armies of other nations to fight more wars to make more money. Is this truly our answer to the prayer of Jesus, whom 2.2 billion people profess to follow?
“ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN”. It is pointed out that it will be more difficult for a rich person to enter Heaven then a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. Many of the world’s wealthy profess to be Christian to get elected throughout the world and yet “ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN” is either a mistaken prayer by Jesus for Heaven would not be my cup of tea if they reflect each other.
So let’s take it a step further. One dies. I could take myself. What have I done to make the world a world that reflects Heaven? What have I done to make HEAVEN like a reflection of myself in a mirror?
What are you going to take to Heaven with you when it is your time. When you walk through the pearly gates what do you expect to bring to the table? Will you debate which religion is right? Will you enter Heaven as a Baptist, or a Catholic, or a Methodist, or a Mormon. The entire religion of Jesus was Jewish, will you accept Heaven with a Jewish background? Will you follow your political leader’s leads into Heaven, behaving just like they are here on EARTH? Will you look for the purple robe that you feel you should be given because of all the good that you have done? What sort of a Heaven will you be creating when you get there? Will it be socialist, a democracy, or an anarchy or a Communist?
IN HEAVEN AS IT IS ON EARTH?
There is an answer. Two thieves were crucified with Jesus. One lobbied for Jesus to save himself and both of the thieves. The other said “What we have done was our doing, what He has done was nothing wrong. We deserve what we get, He does not deserve this for what He has done.” What did Jesus reply to the second thief? “Today you will be be with me in Paradise.” No question from Jesus of his faith, if he had any or not, no color, no tribe, no particular affiliation that Jesus was even concerned about. What did that thief do to have the opportunity to be taken to Heaven by an itinerant Rabbi named Jesus? He believed in what Jesus said about how to live your life ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. It is a difficult door to walk through. You must walk through the door to HEAVEN believing that ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN is the prayer and the purpose. Jesus and this thief were GOD’S examples of how to accomplish the dream.
In your own corner of the world try to make “ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN”. That is the prayer of JESUS and the prayer of GOD.
We need that prayer now more than at any time in the history of the world.
I pray this for all of us.
THE MANUAL IS MISSING
There was a day, many years ago, when my daughter first entered my sphere. She was 5 months old and came via delivery on an airplane from Korea. There were many who gathered with us at the gateway entrance at the airport. The traveling companion stewardess brought her out and gave her to me. They also gave us a bag full of essentials to take with for a 5 month old girl. She had diapers, an extra set of clothes, a small hairbrush and wipes. As she was passed around among the crowd, I went off to a corner and began looking at just what the bag contained. I looked through it again. I couldn’t find it. I looked again.
THE MANUAL WAS MISSING
When I bought my first car I looked in the glove compartment and there I found a manual on how to figure out how the mechanicals worked. How to turn the lights on, the windshield wipers, the interior lights and how to work the radio. As well as dimensions and what kind of fuel to use. And so much more. Certainly a child must come with a Manual. How to be a dad, how to raise a little girl, how to teach. I was a bit overwhelmed.
I didn’t come with a Manual either, at least not at the beginning.
How many of us find ourselves lost, not prepared for the things of life as things happen? Today more than ever. What is a pandemic? Why can’t I just go get a vaccine and call it a day. Why is there politic, why don’t churches all believe the same thing. In Sunday school as a fourth grader I asked my teacher, “Why didn’t GOD just make good people?” I learned that that question was not discussed. Yet I wanted to know why. I have always wanted to know why. Why are things the way they are with an all knowing, all loving GOD?
When I was done with Sunday School I was given a concordance Bible. A Bible where what Jesus said was written in red. I sat down and read the Red Print. Then I read the Old and New Testament. I had found the Manual.
Certainly it was not that easy. When I was reading Proverbs, or Wisdom, or the Psalms, a parable from Jesus, or an apostle’s comment I recognized similar events or challenges that I had seen in the neighborhood, or a story on TV, or behavior that I recognized in my peer group. I read a simple set of rules that were put down by GOD.
- Thou shalt have no other gods before me
- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
- Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
- Honour thy father and thy mother
- Thou shalt not murder
- Thou shalt not commit adultery
- Thou shalt not steal
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour
- Thou shalt not covet
These are a good start. If you find life being challenging do not refuse the Bible because it is “religious”. Look at it as an owners manual. A touch of history where when certain people did this or that their actions caused reactions. There is a story in the books that are about your challenge, both causes and corrections. Too many have their Manual sitting on a shelf covered in dust when it can be the start of a knowledgeable life that can make more sense or make pre-planning a norm and not reaction.
Have a wonderful experience when you sit down with the Manual and the one who wrote it. dw
A lot of evil has been attributed to Satan, a fallen angel of Judaism. I have a somewhat different view.
I see SATAN as an instinct that needs to be confronted in ones life for one to move on into the promise of LOVE on Earth. If GOD is LOVE, then Satan is the opposite of LOVE, the yang to LOVE’S yin. I have never been able to ascribe any kind of humanity or divinity to SATAN. I don’t see SATAN as a controlling angel, I see SATAN as a controlling attitude.
We people adore developing acronyms. I have such an achronym for SATAN. Success AT ANother’s expense.
Oh how we humans are so adept at doing this. If LOVE is created out of a bond of equality, caring, sharing and mutuality of affection, then SATAN is the manifestation of trying to take out of a relationship or circumstance a disproportionate measure of energy than ‘one’ has invested in ‘it (the relationship or circumstance)’.
The SATAN attitude draws resources out of a relationship for personal gain, satisfaction or security but does not invest a similar contribution into the relationship.
The measure of a relationship may simply be that it is either a friendship where LOVE becomes manifested through its participants, or it falls into the realm of “what’s in it for me?” Only GOD seems to be capable of bringing this LOVE attitude to relationships.
Satan, on the other hand, is a poor administrator of relationships, whether they be among individuals, groups, states or nations. The challenge is turning away from the survivalist mentality and embracing the LOVE mentality, that is the whole challenge of the Christ. Often humans ascribe to GOD a belligerence born out of preference. Then they extract a license from that attitude. Religion is from man, GOD is LOVE. One needs only LOVE, one does not need religion, per se, to LOVE. What one can use are examples of what LOVE is when manifested as a human entity. For the Christian, JESUS becomes this example. For others the journey may be different. We are not the judges.
I believe the KINGDOM on EARTH will only be born out of this LOVE and we must be careful not to taint the religion to use it for personal control of people and personal power, and personal satisfaction. Even Jesus ascribed HIS own ‘power’ to one greater than HE, and often thanked that power of LOVE for its intercession in His own life. We will be wise to do the same and judge much less.
LOVE causes us to care and share and reach out and give a hand up. GUILT should never be our motivation, and personal reward makes the giving quite shallow indeed. LOVE is the destination, not Success AT ANothers expense. The choice will always be ours. Our affiliation to either attitude will always be our choice. I would offer up to you the example of Jesus.
GOD blesses. GOD bless you, this day. (originally written 2-22-2005)