I know today that ego is not the controller. All the labels I use to define me, to describe me, to stroke my sense of self are merely attempts by an ego wanting to be back in control, to preserve its identity. And all the labels I put on others are attempts to put separation between me and fellow humans.
“If we would imitate Jesus in very practical ways, the Christian religion would be made-to-order to grease the wheels of human consciousness toward love, nonviolence, justice, inclusivity, and care for creation.” Richard Rohr
Is your particular denomination, sect, or theology greasing the wheels of human consciousness? Does your particular denomination, sect, or theology emulate the love, nonviolence, justice, inclusivity and care for creation which all of your scriptures attribute to Jesus? No? Then how dare you affirm your interpretation of your holy writings as the inerrant and infallible word of God?
I have never been one of those “in your face” promoters of any particular faith walk. You know who I’m talking about, don’t you? Someone in your church, in your neighborhood, on your media screen? My way is the only way, my way is Biblical, my way is God’s truth. Maybe I’m describing you.
Again I say, “If your faith does not affirm Jesus (or any of the other of God’s messengers who brought us the same message) as a reservoir of love and compassion, then perhaps that faith which demands blind obedience to creeds and tenets is not genuinely Godly. No, I’m not “in your face”, I’m simply posing a question
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
That sword of which Jesus spoke could be a reference for the need then to excise the law-ridden, hypocritical theology of the Jews. We have the same scenario today. Religionists who have abdicated their moral authority to celebrate equality and justice for all of God’s humanity regardless of faith tradition, politicians who have bedded down with those religionists to rein in a sizeable voting bloc, and voters who have transgressed their profession of morality to gain political favor by electing a man who has shown absolutely no moral fiber or integrity….all are destined to fall to the sword Jesus carried into the theology foray.
No, I’m not here to be “in your face”. Having suffered a torturous and humbling journey through the jungles of “Christian fundamentalism” and having survived that journey with a deeper and more sustaining faith than ever in my personal quest, I am here merely to ask questions. Does your church/denomination grease the wheels of human consciousness toward love, nonviolence, justice, inclusivity, and care for the creation?
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” MATTHEW 7:13-14
Many theologians and religionists have attempted to kill the message of Jesus for motives of profit and power. For the most part they have been successful. By attributing our character defects to the realm of sin they have brought countless repentant followers to the confessional booths or the altar railing seeking a reprieve from a condemning God. For some parishioners there is an implied monetary or physical penance.
Imagine the freedom we can achieve if we view Jesus, the man and the teacher, as he truly was. He was not an ascetic punishing himself daily for being human. He thoroughly enjoyed life. He thrived upon being another human amongst a brotherhood of men and women struggling to survive under Roman and Judaic bureaucratic control. He loved a good party. But most importantly, he did not pass judgment based upon the defects inherent in all of mankind. He urged a better way, a self-less way, a way which would lead to personal freedom coming from within.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. JOHN 14:6
Within the powers of reasoning and logic which are God-given, what if we translate this ambiguous verse as follows:
I am the way: I am the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through truth and life.
Religionists and theologians who base the exclusiveness of Christianity as the only “true faith” on John 14:6 obviously will shudder with horror and will refute this translation which would subsequently force them to question the literalism and inerrancy of their scriptures. We all are faced with a personal choice to either accept the teachings and preachings of the church fathers as written in stone or to embrace the freedoms with which our Father endowed us to THINK.
Perhaps we need to visualize the “narrow gate” as a:
“life of simple living, altruism, non-violence, and peacemaking.” https://cac.org/category/daily-meditations/
and not a moralistic, ego-based attitude of religious asceticism.