Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Hope from those who are not against us!
I find whenever I want to Spiritually include people of differing belief systems, or perhaps no set belief system; If I or others want to talk of us all Spiritually being One, being United, being The Same.
Some people do not like that.
Often, it's Christians.
This idea is usually viewed by many Christians as something called "Heresy". Which, by the way, has been defined as "A belief or opinion that does not agree with the official belief or opinion of a particular religion". So, I'm pretty sure we're ALL heretics in one way or another! And that's the NICE thing they might call you! False Teacher, Wolf, Being led by the Devil; those are just a few of the the other terms they may think or say about you. I am someone who was ostracized for asking the wrong questions and having ideas that didn't fit in. So, I guess I figure I'm not going to stop there!
When the idea of everyone Belonging gets discussed, I've often heard statements like,
"Jesus said he was the ONLY way" or, "people who don't have Jesus are empty, lost or worldly" or "The bible says that only Jesus is Lord!" or "people who don't believe in Jesus do not have eternal life".
I understand how they feel compelled to say these things. Believe me, after studying for a year in a conservative bible school and 25 years of being a pretty hard-core Evangelical, I DO understand. I remember feeling the need that I had to "Stick up for Jesus!" Because we all know, he needs our help! That was me.
I personally believe that A Presence has most certainly been there throughout my life. One that I recognized as Peace and Help and Grace and Beauty and Love at a very young age. Because of how I was raised, I called that presence, Jesus.
Then I grew up and got religion and thought I knew EXACTLY how to define that name and I had a whole bunch of theologians to back me up! Then, I got older and started to let go of a lot of my dogma. Which, by the way, is not an easy thing to do! Now, I still call that presence Jesus. No matter how many people may want me to feel I don't get to have that privilege anymore.
You see, to me there are a couple problems that come up with some of those aforementioned statements of why we need to exclude people.
First of all, most of them are essentially declaring that everyone who doesn't have "Jesus" has an empty, worldly or sinful life. Yet, why do some my friends who may not include the "Jesus" language in their life, really appear to me to be some of the most "full" and UN-worldly and kind and loving people I know? I guess that's because Satan is misleading them and he wants to trick us all by giving those people great lives and wonderful personalities. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But I've actually believed a version of this myself at one time. Many do.
Don't even get me started on how Christianity has practically made up a whole religion on "Satan or the Devil" the term is not used the way the Hebrews used it. Christian devil mythology has stolen more from the Greeks to make up this idea of a single entity hard at work, than how the term was actually used in the Old Testament. Do your own research. But enough with blaming some Devil when something scares you or makes you think outside the box. That's why "witches" got burned... and who burned them?? Oh yeah, Christians.
My main question, when people get on the subject of having, believing or following Jesus... or not;
is the fact that they need to let us know which "Jesus" they are talking about? The Catholic Jesus? The Lutheran one? Perhaps the Westboro Baptist Jesus? Mormon, Jehovah's Witnesses? There are over 30,000 "Christian" denominations who have defined Jesus. Not to mention the religions who are not Christian but DO have Jesus as a part of their "religion"... Like the Jewish people and the Muslim people and the Hindus. Google "Did Buddha prophesy about Jesus?" and see what you come up with!
It's pretty dang interesting.
So at least be honest enough to admit that you are talking about your own religion, your own dogma, not Jesus. Because that subject is pretty impossible to nail down.
Whoa! Seriously, no pun intended there, sorry Jesus!
When claiming people have "no eternity" without "Jesus"; we ALL know what that language means... "It's Hell for those folks".
Do not pass go and no "get out of Hell free" card for you!! Unless, of course, you accept my Jesus some time before you die, then you're good, you're one of us! Yay you!
Yes, this was definitely what I was trained to fervently believe in and tell others about. So much so, that I found it often seemed of more importance in my Christianity than the things Jesus actually DID spend time talking about! Like LOVING others. He talked about that A LOT.
One of the things that frustrates me the most is how many people make their main Jesus/Christianity platform based on Who goes to Heaven and Who goes to Hell.
Oh WHY can't we get beyond this worthless waste of time?? Even the denominations who don't come out and preach fire and brimstone, or turn or burn sermons... It's there, hidden, yet loud and clear. If you are not for us you are against us! You are out!
Actually, Jesus sort of said the opposite of this. I'll get to that.
I won't even pretend to act like I know exactly what happens when we leave this world. But please, you don't either. No matter how fervently you believe you do or how loud you are about what you do believe. You really don't know. Also, you are focusing on EXCLUDING others as your way of following Jesus. I've read the Gospels tons of times. Jesus did the OPPOSITE of excluding people. Except the Pharisees, Jesus often let them know that their way of excluding and putting down others was not INCLUDED in the Kingdom that Jesus talked about.
Matter of fact, I believe he called them "sons of Hell".
Well, that's my take on the bible anyway. One in about a billion out there! Take it or leave it. But if you leave it, I won't condemn you to Hell in my heart or in my words, because, I don't think that's a nice thing to do!
I love Jesus' conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. First off, the Jews despised the Samaritans. They were worse than Pagans in their eyes. Samaritans once were Jews who intermarried with "Pagans" and that made them worse in the eyes of Jewish culture than merely just being a Pagan.
Please note that when the bible talks about "Pagans" it's talking about a people who would worship their gods by having sex with young boys, or sacrificing their children or other nifty little worship practices. Not what we see with Paganism today. Which is basically seeing the Divine in everything, especially nature.
Yet, here Jesus seeks out a Samaritan and a Woman no less and chats her up on Spiritual issues. Does he describe exactly what she is to believe?? Nope! He talks about her getting "Living Water," and "Worshiping in Spirit and in Truth".
Does he define what these things mean exactly? Nope, and she doesn't make any sort of "decision" either. But we all know she ran off and joined the correct Christian denomination right? Ha.
That Jesus was sort of a wishy washy New Age type wasn't he? He didn't even tell her she needed to get her life right and marry that guy she was fornicating with!
Instead, Jesus told her what he hid from almost everyone else. He usually told the people who figured it out, to keep it to themselves! He told her he was the Christ, the, Anointed One. He told HER! That little harlot, that Pagan/Jewish hybrid WOMAN! What is wrong with Jesus including people like that!???
You hear what I'm saying? I do hope so.
A story I have always respected from scripture (and now means even more to me) is from Luke 9
The disciples are arguing about which one of them will be the "greatest". This just cracks me up because it's like they're already trying to form their own little religious denominations right there! After Jesus sets them straight about what dorks they were being, they started to tell him about some guy who was "driving out demons in Jesus' name". The disciples wanted to tell the dude to knock it off! They didn't like that this guy was not "one of them" moving in on their territory! (Okay, this is my version, read your bible if you want the exact wording!) But does any of this sound familiar to what goes on today??
What did Jesus say?
"Don't stop him!
Because whoever is not against you is for you!"
I find it funny that when I don't feel I need to talk about a Jesus who is sending certain people to Heaven and others to Hell, or a Jesus who has to be defined and accepted in a certain way. Or a Jesus who demands worship from you or who wants to point out all the horrible things about you...
But instead talk about the Jesus who Loved and Included and Defended the weak and Helped the downcast and hung out with the wrong people and helped people who would have been considered his enemies and died on a cross for speaking up for Love. I get the most kindred feeling of "Spirit and Truth" from many people who may not have a need or made some sort of decision of defining Jesus. They are "not against me or the things I may believe".
Probably because me and my "Jesus" are not against them!
I personally believe this need to exclude others is something we as Christians have failed miserably in. You can get all the bible verses you want to prove me wrong. I have no desire to prove anything by the bible or any other means. Heck, I'm still trying to figure it all out and trying to just simply love others is more than enough to fill a lifetime.
I have Hope in those who are not against us.
Thank you for being a good example to Christians!