Rules are meant to give us a structure within which a great many people can live together in reasonable peace and safety. We understand that fact in the civic sense, and we know that until humankind has managed to do a lot more spiritual development there will be a need for civic authorities and their rules. But religious rules are another matter! Religions are just human-made efforts to make some sense of the greater reality and alleviate our fears of the unknown, and we know now based on abundant evidence that no religion gets reality right. None of them gets Godright, either. All of that is not surprising, since every significant religion has been co-opted by human authorities and turned into what is primarily a method for better controlling the people. In our leaders’ efforts to control us all, fear-based rules are essential! And when those rules were first said to emanate from and carry the enforcement of a powerful god, the human-made concept of “sin” was born.
Last week we took a quick look at the history of religions and at the Gospel words of Jesus in an effort to understand how the genuine Godhead views the whole idea of sin. We saw that the Godhead does indeed have a point of view! We learned that:
From earliest prehistory, God has been sending emissaries who each brought the divine revelation of some version of the love-based Golden Rule, around which their clueless listeners then generally built another fear-based religion; and
Two thousand years ago Jesus came to the Jews from the highest aspect of the Godhead to free us from the need for religions by teaching us how to relate to God directly.
The genuine Godhead has never given us any rule beyond the exhortation that we love God and love one another. As Jesus put it, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (MT 22:37-40).
During most of human history, people likely saw no harm in the fact that the gods they worshiped were scary and demanding. But we know better now! We understand how essential it is that all of us rid ourselves of every kind of fear-based thinking, since we come to earth primarily to raise our consciousness vibrations away from fear and toward more perfect love. Therefore anything that introduces into our lives additional fear in any form works directly against the divinely-ordained primary purpose of our lives on earth.
So if we intend to follow the Jesus of the Gospels, we must abandon every religious rule and even the very notion of sin. We also must begin to know and to follow the genuine God as Jesus introduced God to us in the Gospels! He told us the following things about the Godhead, and about His own essential role:
“The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work” (JN 14:10). This is an extremely important point! We know now that Jesus came from the highest aspect of the Godhead. What He said was the Word of God as nothing else ever said or written by anyone can be called the Word of God!
“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (JN 4:24). The notion of a trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – was established late in the third century C.E. It did not come from Jesus! According to Him, God is only Spirit, so the Trinitarian Christian god that was depicted by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel as an old guy with a beard is human-made.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (MT 7:7-8). The genuine Godhead invites us to seek, to inquire, and to probe ever deeper. God wants us to always be learning and growing! So the god who imposes dogmas on us – unsupported old beliefs that we must not question, and that we must believe entirely on faith – also is a false and fear-based god.
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (MT 11:29-30) Unlike all those scary human-made gods, the genuine Godhead is gentle and humble. There never is any reason to fear God!
When you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (MT 6:6). God does not need nor want mass worship. From the perspective of the genuine Godhead, the important one in your relationship with God is not God. It’s you.
“Why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?… You hypocrites! Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (MT 15:3-9). God rejects our religious traditions altogether. God insists that we give up the man-made rules and dogmas that underlie all our religions, and urges us instead to seek to ever better know and love the genuine God.
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit (MT 7:15-17). This is a very important point! Organized religions by their very nature tend to become increasingly distorted. Their dogmas become more and more fear-based, and the result is more damage inflicted on the faithful. We need only look at the widespread child abuse by Catholic priests, the judgment and rejection of people based on Old Testament sexual rules, and the splintering of Christianity into thousands of versions to see that the religion is by now producing an overabundance of thistles.
“For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father” (JN 5:22-23). So God never judges us? Really? Then the god who is said to have demanded that Jesus die for our sins is another false god. Without a concept of sin and without the judgment of God, there was no need for Jesus to die for our sins; and to make that explicit, before His death Jesus pre-emptively threw the much-later Christian doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement out the window!
“If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world” (JN 12:47). So Jesus doesn’t judge us either! But what did Jesus come to save us from? Certainly not from God’s judgment, since He has already told us God does not judge us. When we take all His Gospel words together, it is clear that what Jesus came to save us from was all the false and fear-based religious doctrines that had been coming between us and the genuine God.
“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”(MT 5:48). Here is the Lord’s summary definition of the Godhead, which we are now given to understand is a Collective of perfected beings so advanced spiritually that they are… Perfect.
For what is likely to be the first time in your life, behold now the genuine God as God is revealed to you by the words of Jesus! I read these ten points over again and smile. God is indeed a loving and doting Parent, just as Jesus told us God is! All those fear-based rules whose violations clergymen insisted are “sins” so they can badger and shame us with them are for the Genuine God like a treasured infant’s spilling of a little milk on the carpet. Don’t believe any theologian’s ideas about God!Jesus knew the truth. He told us the truth, because He is the truth. And as He said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (JN 8:31-32).
The only Godhead is infinitely powerful, infinitely loving, eternally perfect Spirit. The dead say that God never appears in human form. God never judges us. God’s only law is the law of love that Jesus reveals to us in the Gospels. This understanding of God is not new. It was given to us by Jesus when He walked the earth, so it is centuries older than Christianity itself.
This vision of God that comes straight from Jesus is the only acceptable understanding of God for any professed Christian to hold. The fact that nearly all who call themselves Christians accept lots of fear-based human ideas about God is a shame that one day more enlightened generations will puzzle over. Christians call the whole Bible the Inspired Word of God, when only limited parts of just four Biblical Books can claim that distinction!
For us to live as genuine followers of Jesus in the world being created by the genuine God will require that we pretty radically change the way that we relate to God. For example, we now know that:
We have no truly private space. When I first understood that our minds are part of the Mind of God, I kind of shrugged and imagined opening the top of my head and inviting God inside. Now I assume that my every thought is being shared directly with God. And wow, have I cleaned up my act!
There are no God-made laws or commandments. Even what Jesus called the “commandments” that we love God and also love others as we love ourselves are not commandments in the usual sense. Jesus used the term just in responding to a questioner who had used it. We are here to learn to love ever more completely, and love is something that not even God can command. God urges us toward love, but God demands nothing of us!
God does not want us to hold any compulsory Christian beliefs. Everything that Christians are told to believe that is not outlined in the ten points Jesus gave us above is just a human-made dogma. And even where those ten points are concerned, God wants us to question everything!
There is no such thing as sin. Jesus made a point of breaking religious laws – He plucked grain and performing healings on the Sabbath – but most of our decisions are so complex that it is hard to find a moral compass for some of them. For example, here is an amazing woman who broke every religious law there is in her effort to fight the Nazis. We’ll talk about this sort of dilemma next week.
Fear is indeed our only enemy. And the more fear-based a being is, the weaker it is, while the more love-based a being is, the more powerful it is. So we know now for sure that Our Daddy can beat every other daddy on the playground. We are perfectly safe and forever loved in Everlasting Arms. When I tell you on Seek Reality each week that you are the most beloved being in the universe, just see yourself tenderly held in those Arms and know an absolute freedom from fear that is new in all the history of humankind.
How are we to live in a world with no fear-based religions remaining, and with no gods but the genuine God that Jesus came to introduce to us? Let’s begin to talk about that next week….
Isaiah new things photo credit: Sapphire Dream Photography <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/87199074@N05/8103388720″>Isaiah 43:18-19a</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Isaiah time photo credit: Sapphire Dream Photography <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/87199074@N05/8135464892″>Isaiah 44:7</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Fruit of the spirit photo credit: Scripture As Art <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/126581270@N08/16313154151″>Fruit of the Spirit</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Psalm Lord loves photo credit: Sapphire Dream Photography <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/87199074@N05/8134901984″>Psalm 33:5</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>
First commandment photo credit: Scripture As Art <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/126581270@N08/15286560239″>Mark 12:30</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Love neighbor photo credit: Scripture As Art <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/126581270@N08/15450363276″>Mark 12:31</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Lord is refuge photo credit: Lisa Hall-Wilson <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/83246984@N07/8663049059″>Psalm 9:9</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Righteousness photo credit: Scripture As Art <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/126581270@N08/15456786056″>Matthew 5:6</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
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40 thoughts on “Life Without Sin – Part Two”
All I can say in response to this thoughtful and beautiful discourse is, “Sigh! It’s that easy to live happily, fearlessly, and carefree!” As I walked this morning my thoughts lingered on the religion of my youth and that of my parents and grandparents. Three generations of hearing, “IF you believe…IF you pay 10% of your income to the church…IF you obey the commandments…IF you marry in the temple…IF you attend church weekly…IF you serve a two year proselyting mission…then you will be worthy in God’s eyes and receive His blessings and eternal life.” I decided to rename my former religion, “The Church of IF.” It’s indescribable to be finally FREE of any man-made dogma! I think I’ll go dance a jig! 😉
Oh my dear Kitty, how beautifully said! You have captured the core problem with our religions, which is that they are all about the religious organization controlling and subjugating people using fear and guilt, and they really have nothing to do with God. They are the very antithesis of what Jesus taught!!
We have been told for all our lives that God loves us, but there always is that gigantic BUT (Or IF, as you put it here). I grew up in a different Christian sect, and I was always unusually religious. A child who wanted to go to church every Sunday, and at the age of eight wanted to listen to the sermon upstairs instead of coloring and listening to stories downstairs was an oddity indeed! I was devoted to God, but even when we were singing “Jesus Loves Me” I never felt loved. We were made to understand that God had given us life and this beautiful world to live in, so we owed God a debt that we never could repay, no matter how devoted we were, how much we tried to be good, how much we put in the plate. And yet, for all that time the truth about God was right there in the Gospels, if we only had looked!
I loved Christianity! I was sure until I met and married my Catholic husband that I was going to be a minister. But in view of the truth about the genuine God, and the truth about the historical Jesus Who came to us from the highest aspect of the Godhead to lead us out of all religions and into God’s waiting Arms, I understand now that we can have Christianity, or we can have the freedom to be forever safe in the perfect love of the genuine Godhead. When religions are the very antithesis of the God Who is only perfect love, there really is no choice, is there?
Happy Sunday everybody! The Gospel lines Roberta quotes regarding seeking and finding captivated me since I was a child. Despite my Catholic school upbringing that regimented my “finding” to whatever was revealed through the sermons in church and our religious classes (I was an altar boy but, still, I never knew until I was in high school that the Gospels actually tell a story with a beginning, a middle and an end, and transitions in between), despite this, upbringing, the call to “seek” and “ask” simply felt right to me. But it is after reading this blog entry this week that I got curious again and went back to read the lines from Mathew in which the Master lays out the most important commandment. And sure enough, the transition into this part of the story is that Jesus was being asked by the Pharisees to tell them the greatest commandment. They were, the intro to these words tell us, “trying to trick him.”
We 2,000 years later, having “studied” Jesus’ teachings and learned the history of “His” church, don’t quite get how radical He was in that time and place. We like to call him a radical, but the term is watered down and dampened by what we perceive as a culture of familiarity with Christianity. His answer to the Pharisees to a question posed by “one who was an expert in the law” would have angered them. It was so non-responsive — as they were likely expecting him to give them a discourse on Leviticus or some such — that they didn’t know what to say. Just before that in the previous chapter, He had just told another Group that we all are eternally alive! The crowds were “astonished.”
We should be too.
Oh my dear Mike, we should be astonished indeed! It was only in doing the research and writing for this week that I finally put together all of what Jesus was telling us is true about God, and just how radical it really was. He was quite literally throwing out the very idea of religions! The Jews of His day were the first true monotheists. So now that we had monotheists, all we had to do was to get rid of all the human-made religious ideas, help people get free of the very idea of religions, have everyone’s guides reach out so they could start to work with God individually, and then help them grow spiritually from there! It is all so clear in the Gospels, but it is so breathtakingly different from what we have always believed that I am still getting my mind around it!
If Jesus had no intention of starting a church in his name, then why did he say to his disciple Peter “Upon this rock I shall build my church’? Is the word “church” a misinterpretation due to translation issues? If he actually wanted to start a church, I don’t understand why he didn’t seem to mention it more often. If he did want to start one, it was many years after his death when Constantine was in charge, and we all know how that ended up! I tried to look it up, but once again, there are many different answers given, so clearly bible scholars are mystified by this as well.
Lola, I am not a scholar but my brother was schooled at Notre Dam University by Jesuits. He tells me there are many words in the Gospels that we know Jesus could not or would not have said. The evidence has a range of provenance that we don’t have room to get into, but your example is probably something He didn’t say. For starters, it is a play on words in Greek. Jesus and especially His fishermen disciples did not speak Greek. The vernacular was Aramaic. Maybe someone else has more detail.
Hi Mike: I kind of figured that might be the case. It could have even been interjected into the bible later on to support the notion that Jesus wanted a fear based religion, as establishing a church would automatically lead to rules and regulations brought about by whoever was in power at the time. As Roberta recently said, any religion that wasn’t fear based was not destined to last very long.
Dear Lola, Jesus never spoke about starting a religion. He spoke about sending His disciples out to teach the world all that He had taught them, which included the fact that it was time to end all religions and begin to relate to God individually. And that was what they did for the first century or so, but since to the people of that day, God = religion (this is true even today), as I say in my four-part series on the Kingdom of God on earth linked in this post, the Roman emperors took the Lord’s movement over and made of it just one more religion. And when they did that, they added to it a LOT that Jesus never said about End Times, church-building, sheep-and-goats, and so on, all of which directly contradicts what the Lord did say. When you know what you are looking for, it is glaringly obvious.
The first Appendix to Liberating Jesus shows you how to pick out the coal from among the diamonds, and it has this to say about the passage you quote:
“It is important to be alert for terms that are anachronistic, erroneous, or doctrinal. In the passage quoted below, we notice the anachronistic reference to a ‘church’, the erroneous reference to a gated Hades, the impossible reference to handing ‘the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven’ to a human being, the notion of ‘binding’ on earth being in any way applicable to heaven, and of course the fact that this passage is exactly what the church-builders would have wanted Jesus to say. Here is the most blatant later addition of them all: ‘I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven’ (MT 16:18-19).”
I didn’t even mention the biggest clue in this passage that proves that Jesus never said it! Mike alludes to this in his response. The Greek word for “rock” is “petros” (English spelling), so this passage is a pun in Greek, which was the language of the early Church. Peter is the rock on which he will build his church! Get it? Clever!! But… Jesus spoke and taught in Aramaic ;-).
All the problems of what Jesus said and didn’t say seem to have started long after his death when government control was using religion for its own benefit, It’s no secret that the Vatican became enormously wealthy, and that couldn’t have happened if people were told that they didn’t need churches and fear based rules. The Vatican became wealthy for one reason,. and that was fear. So it is probably safe to say that anything Jesus was alleged to have said that resulted in fear is almost certainly not something he actually did say.
Dear Lola, all of this is very well said!
Right on again, and again. Since for a long time now my memory isn’t what it used to be I’ve pretty much boiled what I follow down to to short sentences. I equate LOVE to allowing… and the second… too.. Do whatever you want; however harm no one…
Short sweet and to the point; however, if everyone followed these two directions the world would be a lot like Jesus envisioned…
Dear Skip, if everyone followed what you suggest, then Heaven on earth would be at hand! It’s the Golden Rule. That turns out to be all that you really need!
Roberta, two questions.
“Here is the Lord’s summary definition of the Godhead, which we are now given to understand is a Collective of perfected beings so advanced spiritually that they are… Perfect.”
I hope you are not saying there was no Godhead before some souls were able to achieve perfection. I can understand that is the ultimate goal, to rest eternally in the perfection of the Godhead.
“The dead say that God never appears in human form.” Does that include Jesus?
I have had the same question as Lola, no satisfactory answer, lots of discussion.
Dear Jean, of course there always was a God, a Supreme Being, the highest aspect of the consciousness which is all that exists. But since all of us are aspects of that Godhead, why do we even need to grow spiritually?
The only remotely sensible explanation that I have ever found is the one given by A Course in Miracles, which tells us that the whole illusory reality in which we think we are is essentially a mistake. Consciousness is infinitely creative, and consciousness thought of the possibility of separation, so at once that separation happened. Instantaneously it was ended, but within that bit of separated consciousness were created matter, time, and space, so we were stuck out here and a rescue mission began…. and it carries on. There being no time, this whole illusory reality is created instant-by-instant, and as we have gradually perfected ourselves and joined the Godhead within this separated bit, as we have become more curious about what “came before,” a past – then a Big Bang – became part of what we ‘know.” And so on. I have written about this elsewhere.
So, yes, there was always a far greater God than our present Godhead, and that greater God remains! Mikey Morgan tells us there never is an end to our spiritual growth, and it goes on even above the Godhead! What else could that mean?
So, no, we never “rest in the perfection of the Godhead.” We keep on keeping on! Otherwise, think how bored we soon would be.
And Jesus didn’t “appear in human form,” but rather a being from the highest aspect of the Godhead went through the whole process of being born and living and teaching as a human being and then dying… as a gift to us beyond price. He even re-animated that dead body – “Ta-DA!” – as a further gift to us. Amazing.
I also love the Golden Rule, and little did I know for the longest time that in its simple truth, it is all that really matters. I once believed it was a just a humanistic viewpoint, not rooted in spirituality. I have to say the hardest thing to know is how our actions or words harm others. Living in a capitalistic society, sometimes things we buy harm people on the other side of the globe, or the way we live creates climate change which might devastate other people’s lives. I think maybe the key is knowing, and then changing our behavior once we know. Probably the biggest challenge is that most actions create a ripple effect, both good and bad, and impossible to know ahead of time.
Dear Timothy, please don’t fret about the possibility of harming others inadvertently! That way lies madness: there is a sect in India where people wear face masks so they won’t breathe in and kill a bug. Instead, as Jesus said, the essence of the Golden Rule – and the next step up from it – is to do everything out of love. It’s your having only love as a motive that matters! Then you will tread lightly and kindly on the earth and be happy all your days, and others will learn from your beautiful example to do the same.
So true – the Lord’s prayer says “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
We do not always know what our debts are or who we should forgive, so we forgive all and ask them the same. Everything goes back to Love and forgiveness. T.
I think the religious group you refer to from India is the Jains. They even went out of their way to build their homes on top of hills so they wouldn’t step on the ants and sand fleas living down at the bottom of the hills.
That is so helpful Roberta! Thank you!
Thank you Roberta for an inspiring essay. It was pretty funny that when I finished reading your post last night, the George Michael song “Freedom” started running through my mind. I couldn’t get rid of it until I almost danced off to bed and fell asleep. I’m guessing spirit put it there – part of their MO. He was singing about more worldly things, but when I looked the lyrics up today, they were oddly appropriate just the same. Isn’t freedom what Jesus came to give us in the end? With free and open minds and hearts, as he teaches us, we eventually become clear channels for God’s Spirit and perfect Love. Then we have achieved liberation from this world, and we don’t need earth school anymore, though we are free to come to help others if we wish, like Jesus did. ♥️
My dear Scott, Jesus did indeed come to free us. From religions, from fear, from false notions of God, and from anything that is not true. As He said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (JN 8:31-32).
The phrase “the truth will set you free” kind of sums it all up. If the truth consisted of a lot of dogma, rules that are almost impossible to live by, and a wrathful God to fear, the truth couldn’t set us free. Instead, it would bind us and trap us in a harsh illusory reality. I think he meant it would set us free from all of that
Yes, dear Lola! And it’s a pity that Christians in their billions quote just the second line, and not the first. They think He said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” meaning that their bogus human-made dogmas were the truth that He was referencing.
What He actually said was altogether different! He said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (JN 8:31-32).
But Christians ignore His teachings. Few Christians actually ever read the Gospels, being either too lazy or perhaps afraid to see everything that Jesus is quoted there as having said. But these sentences before and after the quotations that the religion has chosen to pluck out and use are so very important!
You hit the nail on the head, Roberta. Most are too lazy to research the real meaning behind Jesus’ words. Some of these people are pastors of churches, and I feel they preach scary sermons so people will keep returning (and filling the collection plates).
Maybe the closer we are to people, or the more we love them, the less we feel like charging them with a debt. Somehow, when we raise kids, or we are moved by people’s need, or by their adversity, we just forget about the cost and help them.
I mean, mum and dad just love their kids. They don’t charge them a sum for the cost of their upbringing, calculated over time. And it is the love of these children that ultimately takes care of their aging parents, whatever the effort or cost involved. With love, there is no need to keep accounts. Mutual care, empathy and closeness just happens. Once there is love.
There are many kinds of love, even between strangers. When we hear of a terrible disaster, be it natural or man made, we are moved to help those afflicted out of empathy and concern for the well being of people we’ve never met. Volunteering and disaster relief is a kind of love, really, if you think about it.
And so many of us are concerned about the kind of world we are going to leave ‘our’ kids and grandkids. Whether we are parents of six kids, two, one or none. Somehow the lives of people we may never fully see, matters. And we try to make that world better, so that we do NOT leave a terrible mess, a vast intergenerational debt, to clean up.
Then Roberta, if that’s what human’s do – imagine how much more God does! God is not going to demand that His Son be killed to pay our debt of sin. He is just going to love us, free us and bring us home. Nor is the Divine waiting to drop some of us into a hell, as soon as we ‘sin’ significantly. A truly loving Parent would just want us to be okay and become ever closer.
So if we ask in our heart what God does, we can get the actual answer. It’s kind of simple and clear there. And as Love is the answer, it shows that blame, fear of sin, guilt and debt are an illusion. Perhaps it’s better to ask in our heart than to just consider every word in the Bible to be true.
My dear, I’ve seen current affair reports lately that are full of highly personal criticism, resentment, blame and constant reiteration of debts owed. Of course Roberta, I’m referring to our (collective) interest in the doings of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan.
I’m not sure how this drama plays out in the USA, but in Australia it’s big news. In short, please know how sad it makes me that so many pundits, from an assortment of countries, comment on and criticize this royal couple in every conceivable way and at ever turn. Among other things, the detractors talk of duty and debt. Why can’t people just wish Meghan, Harry and baby Archie well? Would that onlookers could see without judging and just give them some space to work out their young lives in peace. Instead of disapproval, people could send thoughts of love, helpful angels and ultimately Divine guidance. Sometimes it seems as though the media and the modern world has forgotten the need for humanity.
Well said Efrem. To me, the love between strangers is the most meaningful. I think this is the most beautiful love there can be. I think this kind of love must raise our vibrations enormously. After all, what’s in it for anyone except the opportunity to help one another with nothing expected in return
Jesus said something like, “As you unto the least of these you do unto me.” The person, whatever person, next to you should be no different than yourself, or Jesus for that matter. The sweetness of his love was amazing. The Rastafarians have a saying that I have always loved, which is “I and I,” as opposed to you and I. These days, I like to think of of as “I and I, and I, and I, …..” 🙂
Hey Scott, I didn’t know that the Rastafarians say ‘I and I’ instead of ‘you and I’. That’s very interesting and it’s worth remembering.
And I have always found your quote of Jesus here, extremely moving. The profundity of his love is awesome (in the true sense of the word).
I guess in this blog we are all coming to the conclusion that love beats tradition, doctrine, modern culture and every ‘ism’ hands down. 🙂🕊
One Love mon!
Dear Lola, what you have said is spot on. You are right I think, when you say that the love between strangers is the most beautiful. (What a way to see things.) I guess this kind of love doesn’t have any aspect of self gain attached to it. So love is the whole point here.
I hope you are right that it raises our vibes greatly. Sometimes it’s things that you don’t expect that can raise one’s vibrations. Then you might get the situation where someone does a big, public act of beneficence that is less loving than another’s small, unseen act of kindness. ❣️🕊
Right on, Efrem. Every act of kindness is important, but the ones that mean the most are the ones done from the heart with nothing expected in return (similar to that wonderful nun you mentioned here a couple of months ago).
This is beautifully written, dear Efrem! It is pretty much the way I see things as well, the simple fact that the way love works in families is a mimic of what should go on in the world. And I believe we will get there, once we are freer of the false and useless ballast of religious negativity. I’ve just written the post that follows this one, which is a thought-experiment about the kind of morality that will be possible, once there are no more religions and all of us really are more loving. I’ll be curious to see what you think of that!
St. Thomas Aquinas is best known for his writings termed “The Summa Theologica” which remains the backbone of Catholic theological teachings to this day. Apparently he received some revelation near the end of his life which led him to state that none of it really meant anything. It seems he compared it to straw which as we know is little more than a cylinder filled with air. He was so bothered by this new perspective that he was unwilling to complete what was considered through the ages a great work in the field of Theology. I thought this might be of interest to the participants in our ongoing discussion.
Dear Tom, it has been a long time since I studied Medieval Catholicism, so I wonder as well what was going on in his mind. From my perspective the central Catholic doctrine that Jesus died for our sins never did make sense once I had my own children, even while I continued to faithfully Lector each Sunday! So naturally, my first thought is that perhaps the poor bloke suffered the same revelation I did, that the religion’s core teaching was nonsense.
Wow. I can’t help but wonder what happened to make him do such a complete turn around.
I think Jesus show us what true love is here, and how the Father feels about his Son, yet when you look at the older son, you see why the Church has become the way it is. I call them sheriffs for Jesus, God Bless those who return to Him with open arms. The Church say if God is not going to punish, I will. It is sad that they think like this and that is what love is not. God forgives and so should we.
We should rejoice with the Father when the sons and daughter come to their senses and return, not act as the older bother who I am sure made it a living hell for the younger one…
Luke 15:11-32 New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Dear Rockey, I think the reason this parable so thorough resonates with people is that indeed this is how parents are with their children, so naturally it must be the way God thinks as well! Parents don’t balance scales of love, but rather a parent’s love for each child is infinite. We know in our hearts that must be the way God would be, don’t we? When we step back just a bit from wishing and pretending that Christian teachings are solid and true, the distinction between the love-based teachings of Jesus and the ugly tit-for-tat of the fear-based Christian dogmas is so glaringly obvious!
In the light of this week’s blog discussion, the magnificently loving parable you have chosen to relay here is beyond perfect.
This example of God’s love is truly awesome (‘awesome’ in the true sense of the word). It really touches the heart. Thank you man. 👍🙏🏼🌅
Beautifully said as always, dear wonderful Efrem!
Rockey, thank you for this magnificent parable of God’s love. In the light of what we are looking at in this week’s blog, this quote is more than perfect.
How the manifest love within the words of Our Lord touches our hearts! Bullseye 🎯