WHERE DO YOU STAND IN YOUR SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?
Ok! It’s one of those days I am feeling like bursting into a fury of words. I do usually keep my own opinions unspoken, but sometimes I just have that urge to speak out!
So, I shall start with a reminder in that I have gained the impression and come to the realization over the last decades of how true it is, from some of the commentary on Youtube and other social networking sites that exist these days, that we are all quite capable of drumming up and firing a witch hunt almost similar to that of the Roman Catholic Church’s INQUISITION ERA with an aim to gain total Supremacy over its Papal subjects. Of course we live in a society where freedom of speech is honored and sacred – so long as it is not impacting in a negative way upon our human counterparts either in my humble opinion, as that would be a strong recipe for driving wedges and bringing about yet more division among the nations of Earth already existing in perpetual turmoil and angst.
(Ref. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Catholic_Church#Inquisition). How many have justified those actions of times passed? Need I say more? But I am going to…
I am no longer a Catholic, and of course the pious notions once nurtured to enter the Novitiate after leaving school is now a mere vague nightmare best forgotten and buried. But I am still in dire search for the ‘truth’ and my salvation. However, I admit it is truly much too late now for any Pope to change anything in scripture or the model Lord’s Prayer, which has become so deeply instilled and ingrained in the hearts and minds and has been gliding off the tongue of Christian adherents worldwide over the millenniums. Nevertheless, there is some logic to Francis’ reasoning here, and has much to do with the earlier Bible translations which were far from perfect. If the Pope follows through with this suggestion he may then as well reinstate what they removed long ago – God’s personal and sacred name, (in the form of the Tetragrammaton and the various acceptable versions thereof), which appeared some 7000 times in the Original Hebrew Tongues. That also was perpetrated by the socalled Christian Bible translators. AND SHAME ON THEM! When I bring up this topic sometimes in conversation my respective audience is suddenly tiptoeing around the subject like conspicuous looking peacocks, keeping their heads well below the parapet as they keep themselves well preoccupied while pretense shuffling their claws into the earth in search of grubs, as this topic is almost viewed as a kind of taboo subject. I for one find that very odd, but again humans cannot be blamed and concessions of understanding must be made, as they too were taught by their forebears that there is only one right way and that is their way or the way of their traditional religious beliefs; rather than God’s Way.
So then at least the change will make more sense, as it’s not the Pope at fault here – as he is a mere man imperfect in his fleshly and mortal state (and if I am a good judge of human nature, he’d be the first to agree with that wholeheartedly), but the manifold translations of the scriptures over time from Hebrew and Aramaic and into Greek and all other languages has watered down and wrought its damage to the true meaning of scriptural passage but it is what we’ve inherited and is what is left to us to work with today. I wonder therefore how many of our Christians realize this fact??? No use digging our heads into the sand pretending smugly that we know what we’ve been taught and learned from the Scriptures was fired in concrete with God’s own finger, and is no longer prone to any further changes today or into the far future. That said however, we all know deep down God never changes. He is ever steadfast in his Love and promises for his children, that being us, mankind in general. He is the only constant in life amidst all the confusion, bickering and discontent humans broil and brew for themselves.
What now comes to mind here is also the matter of where commas were placed in the wrong locations of scriptural passages and translations from the Original tongues, which has caused much controversy over time and not least has incurred and generated a ton of division among humankind the world over. Christians are now squabbling over what the Bible teaches on Hellfire, Heaven, Hell, Immortal Soul, and there exist an umpteen variables and interpretations as to what means what, and what is falsehood and what is truth. After all, most wars have stemmed and been generated from religious and cultural differences in their origin and which has catapulted the human race in death and destruction all under the guise of and in the Holy Name of God. Even the foregone Popes of yesteryear blessed the weapons as a cohesive political gesture. So nobody is perfect. I think our Beloved Creator must be looking on with incredulity and much sorrow as His Prodigal Children have lost The Way, despite the fact that His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ came to redeem our bacon by having to endure so much mental suffering and so degrading humiliation. So who knows what is anymore correct, pure and sanctified when it comes to scriptural interpretations by the many so called Christian Church Authorities today as the world moves rapidly towards its judgment.
We need to just strive for perfection by engaging in heartfelt prayer in our personal communications with God and simply talk to Him on a much more personal level, through Jesus Christ, the appointed Mediator between man and God – you know what I mean? The kind of prayer and solitary meditation I am suggestion which is executed in enclosed and private quarters or a quiet room away from the masses in deep contemplation, and without the superficial piousness so many are reflecting in the public arena? We could all start by helping others and oneanother with a genuine show of love and compassion, irrespective of whether they be Christian, Hindu, Islam or Muslim or Buddhist Adherers. Or give a witness of your love for Jesus Christ and God, and to others about God’s great Universal all encompassing Love nurtured for all of mankind – again irrespective of peoples’ religious orientations, and we should be on the right track. I wish I could be so inclined and be usefully engaged in dispensing good deeds myself, and admit I have yet a ways to go in order to graduate and achieve those altruistic aims.
What now comes to mind is RUDYARD KIPLING’S exemplary Poem “IF”. The sentiments of this wise man’s soliloquy was surely my sorely missed and beloved husband’s favorite, and we kept a beautiful antique poster strategically placed upon one of the walls in our home, so our sons could take heed of these sentiments, and which to our mind comes as close to being the perfect guide to the imperfect state of what constitutes the human psyche. A good starting point from which to navigate our direction to perfection (useful to both man and woman and young adults) Rudyard’s “IF”, dare I say it, is as close to representing as a very worthy potential Christian concept which we may all wish to cultivate. As much as is possible to a degree within the context and grasp of our somewhat failing and imperfect humanity and its natural inclinations to do bad, rather than be in the pursuit of doing good, I have to say that my sorely missed and beloved late husband personified (and in spirit still personifies) to a large degree the characteristics reflected in this Poem and fills the description perfectly, but perhaps I am biased because of my great and ongoing love nurtured for him still now and forever shall, until we come together again at some future time.
Below find a copy of Rudyard’s eloquent expression of the ultimate aspiration to cultivating what would in Biblical terms be passed as some of the more altruistic Fruits of the Spirit recited in the Scriptures by the Apostle Paul himself. I bet Rudyard believed in God’s Universal presence and all encompassing Love? I wonder if the Author’s sentiments expressed in his Poem was based on a description of the Christ’s Persona reflected also within the Gospels?
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise; If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with triumph and disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools; If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”; If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch; If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run— Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
But this aspiration for humans to make that loving and transcendent transformation and rise above our human imperfections can only become a Universal goal and achievement if all humans from different religious denominations and particularly within the structure of Christianity could bloody well quit accusing their fellow man of treason and distortion of the scriptures, (pray for me for my rude outburst here, I am only human after all), just because their religious and cultural traditions are not in alignment with their own Christian concepts and belief systems, structured to accommodate their respective church aligned ‘dogmas’ taught. As viewed from our own perspective and pedantic pulpit of religious values these will always generate clashes and unwelcome zealous abuse, unless we can view everything from God’s own perspective. Jesus Christ’s humility is one example we need to follow, when he shared his human existence alongside mankind. If he managed to fulfill his Father’s Will with such obedience and perfection albeit in his mortal fleshly, vulnerable and very emotional human state, then we are also able to follow in Christ’s footsteps. It is not an impossible attainment to elevate us all to a certain degree of perfection acceptable to our Heavenly Father and Protector, and let it grow and increase by the ever enriched blessings from God throughout our personal and ongoing relationship with Him, ought we not to behave much more ‘godlike’ by embracing all our human counterparts while in the same instance remain cognizant of our own imperfections? Why is religious fanaticism doing so much damage, I ask myself? Why is it that only Wars, and catastrophic events drives humans into a brotherly gear? Why does it have to take grief and calamity to raise our compassionate barometers and to bring us to the humble gesture of washing the feet of our enemies in their time of need and wanting, through circumstances beyond their control?
Do you really believe that God would turn a Muslim, Hindu, Shinto adherent or Buddhist away at their day of Reckoning? Or Visa-Versa as seen from their perspective would a Christian adherer of God’s word likewise suffer the same fate? Because although we profess to be Christians by name-bearing status does not make us perfect in deeds, and neither do we without fail become the ‘doers’ of good works as per godly principles laid down in God’s laws, it is a good gauge to keep ourselves in check with a constant reminder that we will never be blemish free, unless it is through our very actions which will speak loudest to God’s Ears. The class of Christians I am describing here (and which constitutes many in number) can only be compared to the many habitual so called Sunday Only Worshipers kind. Who repeatedly go on their own self destructive and self serving habitual meandering paths from Monday’s to Saturday’s). They go through that perpetual cycle of the ‘Confessional’ which must present quite a chore to the residing Priest who has to take it all in week after week, then on Sunday’s they do the ‘eating themselves an ordeal’ by partaking of the Holy Communion providing deliverance from their sins in the hope and sanctification of the Eucharist, and that God will overlook their all too familiar transgression, then start their entire deceptive cycle all over again at the start of the new week. What God requires from us to become clean in His sight, is by taking on a new personality and shed the old corrupt one, once and for all.
I would dare say categorically, that probably deserves a Yes, and this so called Christian approach smacks after hypocrisy in my view. Just as it says in the Holy Book, Matthew 15:8 “These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far removed from me.”
Yet despite all the variables and manner of worship we entertain, it is owing indeed solely to God’s Greatness and Grace that He will still embrace the evil-doer with the same measure of love and affection, irrespective; if only in the hope of turning those wayward individuals around by driving the evil out of them and giving them a chance at changing their lives, or presenting them with the gift of eternal life, rather than condemning them. Such is our Grand Creator with His unchanging love and planned promises for mankind. Sadly our religious institutionalized differences present fuel to create such appalling divides and hatred within the societies of our delicate world? Should our combined universal love for God the Creator of all Things not draw us all closer together under the same heavens? Irrespective of our childhood indoctrination instilled by our forbears we are invariably byproducts of our early youth upbringing, along with its manifold traditional values and which became the molding of us all into what we are expected to become as adults. Family ties and traditions are very strong and generational in essence. A child is taught by its parents as to what belief system he or she is to embrace, and it is only as one matures and takes possession and firm control over one’s own mind and resolve, and cognizance and instincts that we are able to make changes for the better in our personal lives if we feel so inclined that is, and to turn us into our full potential with an aim to ultimately find ways to meet all our personal expectations and needs on a spiritual level. AMEN.
Should the ‘whole truth’ in our understanding of who God is not unite us all? The solution can be found by Christians the world over and those boundless of other believers in a Creator, who have all come from the manifold alternative religious and cultural belief systems different to our own; simply by looking deep into our imperfect hearts. Instead of the continual lashing out of critique and laying blame and ridicule with a vengeance coming from the mouths of every ‘Tom-Dick-and-Harry-know-it-Alls, in that ‘Holier Than Thou Attitude kind of approach”. The growing popularity of freedom of speech and personal expression on social forums on the Net is becoming ever bolder and in your face, which more than often oversteps the boundaries of respect and civility and which threatens to turn into, dare I say it, an insidious form of slander. I guess it is a way of right to expressionism held by the individuals engaging in these past times, if only to let all and sunder know how clever and wise they are and that they must really be the most favored ones in the eyes of God, in their insensitive display of misguided zeal. But doesn’t worshiping in spirit and in truth mean that we should never condemn our other human counterparts for believing in a different set of spiritual beliefs? Because that is is all they know and grew up with, just as we did with ours? Did Jesus not say that there are only 2 commandments on which the entire weight of the law encompassing the 10 commandments hangs. As goes The Parable of the Good Samaritan…..’
Luke 10:26: “What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you read it?” 27: He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28“You have answered correctly,” Jesus said. “Do this and you will live.”…
Many in their religious zeal are unintentionally taking on the role of the Reaper’s cause, allowing themselves to become judge and jury, persecutor and executioner, as they try to imprint their opinions and judgments upon others in the name of God, based on the foundations of their own personal and cultural backgrounds and religious indoctrination and set their standards by that measure. There never is, and there never shall be a simple answer or solution to these differences, however only a genuine show and gesture of LOVE ultimately is the one common element we and all those who believe in the same God have had their disposal, and only that shall conquer all our differences. IT HAS BEEN PROVEN to work, and LOVE is surely missing still at the very root of all our human problems combined, in the world today.
Written on WW1 Armistice Centennial, November 11, 2018, at the 11th hour…