World Thinking

The case for world unity. It is time to think on a global perspective. Science shows humanity is but one family

Do We Follow the Spirit of Christ or a Church of Man?

Posted by David on February 9, 2013

Some Fundamental Questions:

Whatever your beliefs might be, surely it is a good thing to ask yourself fundamental questions and openly think about issues such as:

Why does being a follower of the Light of Christ seem to also demand a certain presumption of Bible inerrancy? Is this a requirement of Jesus or the church? What does “thinking Biblically” entail? What are the implications of such thinking on our thought processes? Why is this church encouraged thinking important for salvation or morality?

Verses within the Christian Bible, Islamic Quran, Jewish Torah, Hindu Bhagavad-Gita etc. are read and studied, in their respective faiths, as an “only source” offering the most complete exclusively inerrant truth of the “Word”; whereas ethnologically similar mystery “faith foundation” teachings and legends from other “outside” sources are passed by simply as “myths” of little value, Why?

Why are ancient ancestral beliefs of faith, often imposing an inflexible rigid unquestioning “certainty principle” upon modern minds, seen as a necessary means of attaining salvation? Why is sincere reason and questioning often deemed “inappropriate in God’s House”? Is religion a positive or negative force? Why?

What is the impact on modern science and reason? How about questions of international law or morality; social concerns of modern technology finding, in many cases, ancient wisdom to be inadequate and obsolete; being unable to give clear guidance for our time.

Are all scientists considered “on the wrong path” simply because they see solid evidence refuting Biblical literal interpretation, i.e. believing the earth to be no more than ten thousand years old? Would a loving God provide the means and instill the desire; giving us cognitive capability enabling us to observe, discover and discern; then turn around and admonish,” this I give unto you as a means of deception through which you will be encouraged to follow false paths leading to eternal separation”? Would you, as a loving father, put your child into such a predicament?

History is replete with “godless deeds done in the name of God”. Humanity seems to have a penchant for making places “holy” and claiming them as their own. Indeed, many invading people representing a multitude faiths throughout history conveniently believed that it was their “God given right” to occupy desired land; declaring,” This land was “given to us by God and is ours by manifest destiny”. Examples of such thinking are found from the time and place of Moses to United States history, from modern Palestine and Israel to the Crusades…. We hear from the victors; what about the vanquished?

What is the role of the Church, clergy and preachers in all of this?

“If Christians of all denominations and divisions should investigate reality, the foundations of His Holiness Christ would unite them. No enmity or hatred will remain for they will all be under the one guidance of reality itself. Likewise in the wider field, if all the existing religious systems will turn away from ancestral imitations and investigate the reality, seeking the real meanings of the Holy Books, they will unite and agree upon the same foundation, the reality itself. As long as they follow counterfeit doctrines or imitations instead of reality, animosity and discord will exist and increase. “(Compilations, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 331)

For an independent Bible study with controversial questions and answers that might surprise you check out http://church.onenessbecomesus.com

Posted in Christian Orthodox Viewpoint, Christianity, culture, education, faith, interfaith, issues, philosophy, religion, society, The Case For Cooperation, The Case For World Unity, thoughts, tolerance, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Evolution v. Creation: Is there an Alternative to this either/or Thinking?

Posted by David on July 15, 2011

Might science and religion, reason and faith be seen as twin guideposts serving the advancement of knowledge, discernment, wisdom and spiritual understanding?

“Evolution and natural Order could simply be a part of an ongoing Creative Process; wherein (possibly, even Directed by some, ever hidden, inscrutable predestined Design factor,) pre-existent probability possibilities are continually rendered by energized motion into actual outcomes and happenings.”

Note: This subject of evolution vs. creation, leading to so much controversy and contention, appears to be symptomatic of a much larger deeper malady afflicting the wellbeing of mankind as a whole. Unless we can, somehow, get away from the mode of,” self righteous exclusive favored-by-god inerrant text-truth rigid literal dogmatic-based-assumption thinking,” the enlightened state of  worldwide universal amity through spiritual unity, a heaven on earth, can never be realized. The divisive sectarianism of nationalism, racism, religious intolerance and dogmatic judgment will remain, becoming ever more virulent, as media and the internet catapult us daily into increasingly intimate awareness of global tensions, conflicts, fanaticisms and varied socially deemed “correct” pathways towards the Divine. As worldwide communication advances, we must spiritually grow; learning to utilize and apply our new God given knowledge in a lovingly responsible productive yet humble sustainable way, conducive to ever advancing and uniting all people everywhere.

Evolution, and how this theory of science stacks up against the Holy Bible, has remained a central point of contention among many. Lectures. seminars, writings and blogs abound as believers seek to resolve  modern thought with teachings held as authoritative for ages. A 2009 Gallup Poll, (see P 15) shows well less than half the US general population believes in Evolution, with only 55% having a basic understanding of, the Theory.

Religion, as a whole, seems to encourage unquestioning unwavering certainty through a personal subjective faith. Obedience and belief provides Joy, comfort, solace and foundation in our lives. Many find a deep abiding personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. Seekers invite Divinity into their heart and, if it is valid in the eyes of God, they are indeed transformed and “born again”.

The Scientific Method of discovery depends on open, doubting, questioning, ever searching  objective critical experiment. This includes observation, discovery, sharing, hypothesizing and theorizing. Science based reasoning fosters growth and fuels an ever advancing shared knowledge base. Observed phenomena is recorded, hypothesis are published and theories are gradually formulated. Products testifying to the validity of applying scientific reason abound in the technological modern lifestyle surrounding us.

Evolution is also a long term tested hypothesized formulated theory. It proposes all forms of life have evolved and changed over vast stretches of time as seen and verified in the fossil record. This concept is also directly observable in microcosm throughDarwin’s Finches and present day domestic bred strains of livestock.

Much anti-evolution argument seems to revolve around whether humanity is animal or a  spiritual being, a “man or a monkey”. Evolution, as seen by many Christians, is often brought up as an either/or proposition. Either God created the heavens and the earth and man, as he is today, or the cosmos is more of a godless chaos where a blind directionless trial and error governs an existence so full of beauty, bestowal and seeming significance! From a faith based spiritually centered viewpoint, Evolution must be categorically presumed wrong if it implies we are nothing more than an animal.

Texts of sacred books, long held as revealing Divine Truth, proclaim “the reality of humanity is fundamentally different than that of the animal”. We are extolled as a being of more worth than simply that of an over-intelligent hominid ape. We are blessed with a light of being, endless in its fruits, divine in its nature and reality.

Teachings found in the great Masters and Founders of world faiths have given us awareness of this divine reality within ourselves. It is our destiny and calling to rise unto the fullness of being, as ordained by a Supreme Reality above the mortal minds of men to grasp, and seek the pearls of wisdom hidden deep within the ocean of enlightened knowledge and salvation.

Conversely, the working methods of science, observation, postulates and theory are devoted to questions, experiments and findings which can be verified, tested and retested in a controlled environment.  Nothing is ever deemed as inerrant absolute truth.  Any scientific discovery or explanation is subject to continual updating or modification. A theory may be found in error at any time. In fact, much scientific testing is deliberately designed to retest and expose possible flaws in current thinking and interpretation. In this way, knowledge and understanding is allowed to move forward.

Archeological findings, contextual observation and the ever expanding fossil record is continually bringing to light additional solid evidence showing transitional forms of life. Fossils substantiating links between  “fish to amphibians” (see Tiktaalik  below), a possible, but debated, “dinosaurs to birds” relationship and “upright walking hominids to mankind” all changing through time (also see below); clearly reveals a formative gradually unfolding proliferating tree of life. Also, new techniques used through understanding and application of micro and molecular biology, DNA and epigenetics, continually and consistently support the Theory of Evolution in increasingly greater detail.

For more on the complete treatise, as continued on P3,  please go to   http://onenessbecomesus.com/evolution_religion.pdf

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Arduous Lifestyles: A Cecropia Moth Metamorphosis Life Story

Posted by David on July 12, 2010

Insect complete metamorphosis can be used as a metaphor illustrating the need for spiritual transformation within our own selves. It is good to independently investigate truth for ourselves and not rely exclusively on habit and tradition.
The lifecycle of a Hylaphora cecropia moth is given through story and videos. Questions are presented dealing with natural phenomona and life lessons for us as well. To read and see this journey go to: <a href=http://moth.onenessbecomesus.com title=””>

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Holy Communion Or Eucharist Issues And Concerns

Posted by David on November 6, 2009

 

Holy Communion or Eucharist Issues and Concerns.

The question:

Is the Eucharist rite, as performed today, tailored towards serving the true “bread of life” claimed by Jesus as his body and blood? Or, has much meaning been lost to Church-lead liturgical rhetoric and multigenerational habitual acceptance?

 The rite of Holy Communion is a standard fare of Christian congregations world wide. As a child going to church with my parents it was difficult to understand just how participants believed or related to what was going on.  When attending the Eucharist and listening to the text involved, it seemed the focus revolved around a “sacrifice of blood and body shed for remission of the sins of the world”. The words,” Take, eat; this is my Body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And, “Drink ye all of this; for this is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins. Do this, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me. would be droned forth as an expression of habit with seemingly little meaning or mystery ascribed to them. This was just something you did because your parents performed the act. There was little discussion of why the traditions were the way they were. As a matter of fact, questions of reason exposing faith assumptions were openly discouraged.  “Just having faith” itself was emphasized. Challenging ideas were often responded to as “not showing respect in God’s House”.

 So what was a seeker of truth to do? The outward form of the Eucharist, taken literally as rendered by liturgical verse, seemed, in itself, to symbolize some sort of bloodthirsty rite of cannibalism! Some Christian sects consecrated the wine and bread believing both were thus somehow magically changed or “transubstantiated” into the actual blood and fleshly body of Jesus. Other churches “blessed” the elements and, by their own self appointed authority, assumed they now had a “holy” God given potency to represent the biological body of Jesus.

 It was time to independently investigate Bible passages these rites are based on. It was time to see, in the context of the Gospels themselves, what Jesus might have hinted as to what he really meant when he said,” And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  Matthew 26:26-28

 What then, is the inner meaning of Jesus’ words? Why did Jesus emphasize the “eating of his body” when he knew full well the gut reactions generated in his audience by voicing such stark controversial symbolism?

 Church liturgies often use short simple excerpts from scripture in their services. The often used quote “Take, eat, this is my Body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. as taken by itself, could easily be literally interpreted as a physical body to be eaten as flesh and blood.  Yet, when taken in full context with other Biblical writers such as John 6:48 quoting Jesus as also saying,” I am that bread of life,”  and in John 6:51 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world”,  it is clear Jesus is revealing a truth easily missed in the standard communion service.

 Sometimes even one word in a phrase can represent a foundation for faith, even though, that same word is missing in other Gospels telling the same story. A good example is seen in scriptures of Matthew, Luke, Mark and Corinthians. In Matthew 26:28 we read,” For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

 Some believers claim that the word” remission” here refers to the “physical washing away of sins by the blood of Jesus”. But the other three versions of the same story use different words to describe the enlightened message or inner meaning alluded to here.  Mark, 14:24 “And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many,” Luke 22:17-19,” And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves… And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me,” and Corinthians 11:24-25,” And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”

  Upon examination the word” remission” (see above) is only found in Matthew’s account.  All renditions are somewhat different. The main consistent phrase is, “this is the blood of/in the new testament”.

 “Blood of the new testament, which is shed for many” may certainly refer to the suffering of Jesus for the sins of the world as he fulfilled the ancient Jewish Law. But if the word “blood” is read as a Hebrew term for “life;  “The life of the soul or the personality, of any being is in its blood.”  it also can be seen as a description of submitting his personal will to the Will of God, sacrificing his life “blood” enabling the giving of the  bread of life to many.  

 Jesus was seen, in his time, as breaking an ancient prohibition against drinking the blood of animals. He was very deliberatly and bluntly providing his Jewish audience with a choice; is your allegiance bound to ancient customs or will you open your heart and follow me?

 Yet through it all, the overriding message meant for the world at large; Jews, Gentiles, Samaritans and Pharisees; is the all important “born again” transformation experience; salvation through “Bread Of Life” awareness of the Word offered through his teaching.

 The word “broken” seen in Corinthians is often used in argument that Jesus suffered broken bones upon his death. Yet, none of the other accounts seem to support this claim. Instead words such as “divide it among yourselves”; “given for you” he broke it” etc. would seem to suggest the act of portioning out bread to guests at a table.

 Indeed, when all complete accounts are read, the evidence of wonderful symbolism invoking the need to adopt, “take in” or “eat” the “body” of the enlightened transforming awareness the Christ bestows into one’s personal life, actions, inner realization and soul is compelling.

 As the scriptures quoted and the studies in this treatise makes clear, it is not enough to pick a “favorite” word, verse or passage and adopt it as proof of some favored orthodox traditional  view or accepted rite practice. The ancient writers were recalling from their own memories the stories Jesus told. Therefore it stands to reason; each rendition will be a little different.  

 Thus the actual words Jesus uttered are lost in the sands of time. Thankfully, we do have many of the same events recorded by different authors. We must be careful however not to slip into the ideology of believing every word written by the many Bible writers are themselves revealed inerrant word by word accounts of what Jesus said.

 The best we can do or hope for, to  come closest to the meanings Jesus possibly had in mind,  is, through an attitude of prayerful open-minded search, to line up and compare similar stories as found in the Gospels and see how they back each other up while looking for their central meanings. (Then, of course, there are various translation and editing issues turning up as modern day scholars do thorough investigations on the subject.)

 When entering a church and listening to the dialogue perpetuated as the actual words of Jesus containing the complete meaning of the “Last Supper”; I ask” How can this be? It seems much of the rendition has been edited out to conform to the convenience and necessities of a ritualized Rite within the confines of a standardized structured church service.

I give you a sample of clergy advising clergy on matters of meaning within the Bible and majority thinking within a typical church congregation. The source is the Rev. Ken Collins’ Web Site at  http://www.kencollins.com/pray-32.htm

 “  Do not misquote Jesus.

Jesus said, “This is my body,” not “This represents my body,” or “This symbolizes my body.” You can lose credibility or even parishioners if they perceive you as creatively misquoting Jesus—even if they agree with your interpretive intent. For the purposes of a church rite, it doesn’t really matter what the meaning of “is” is. Save that discussion for Sunday School or the sermon.

  Do not say “this is my body, broken for you.”

That is a poorly attested variant reading of 1 Corinthians 11:24. The gospel writers go to a lot of trouble to assure us that Jesus’ bones were not broken. The Passover lamb, and thus also the Lamb of God, would be disqualified by any broken bones. I know a pastor who got a tongue-lashing from a biblically literate parishioner over this.

The word “broken” appears in the King James Version because it is in the Majority Text, which was compiled without proper textual-critical methods. The current speculation is that “broken” was inserted by a scribe who was thinking of the Eucharist. “This” could refer to the bread, not the body. Nevertheless, it’s best to avoid that wording, because most people interpret it as meaning that Jesus’ body was broken, which is not true.”

Question: Are not churches doing a real disservice to their congregations by fostering beliefs based, not on what Jesus meant and often made clear in his complete dissertations, but rather, on what the church itself has edited and placed in a different context within their own contrived methodologies and traditions? Perhaps we should leave the rites and rituals of a traditionalized worship service and focus on study, praise and worship of God. Let us honor the Word of God by perusing and comparing the complete texts, and with open mind and heart, be accepting of the possibility of greater perspective, wider insight and deeper appreciation, wisdom and love. Let us stop picking “favorite fragments” as a basis of faith.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus clearly and logically explains the allegorical relationship between the nourishment of God’s Word, which will never leave you in hunger or thirst, partaking of the bread and wine and the eating of his body. Although this Gospel does not contain the actual “Last Supper” story, it may well be prudent to examine what Jesus is recorded as saying for in his words lie greater understandings and meanings of what Jesus true intent may have been as he addressed those in the temple.

 John includes a very lucid explanation given by Jesus regarding the true inner spiritual meaning of the symbols of his body and the bread of life.

 The reasoning goes something like this:

 1. I (Jesus) decree I bring to you everlasting life. (article of faith assumption)

2. I (Jesus) decree I am that bread of life. (article of faith assumption)

3. Former generations ate grain based bread but are now dead.

4. But those who eat the bread I offer gain everlasting life, they will not die.

5. Therefore, since the results are different, the bread in each case is different.  One comes down from heaven and is “living”; the other is baked in an oven and is dead.

6. I myself am the living bread from heaven. (Another name for the bread of life.)

7. Thus the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

8. As this bread gives eternal life; to receive it, you must partake of my flesh and blood.

9. For he who eats and drinks of my body will have eternal life.

10. The Living Father sent me, and I live by the Father; so he who eats me lives by me.

 Both the logic and the required faith to accept the assumptions of truthfulness in this claim are unmistakable. No wonder many who heard this highly unusual teaching, offering mystic everlasting union through what they were deliberately led to perceive was a heinous act of cannibalism, left the premises in disgust. It seems Jesus was testing the understanding and faith of many. Jesus even said as they were leaving,” That no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father”.

 The Christ, the Word of God that has been from the beginning as dwelling in Jesus, is of eternal spirit. As it is spirit of enlightenment it stands to reason its gifts bestowed to mankind are also of the enlightened spirit.  The body referred to here is also of the non-corporal spirit. Thus, if you receive the Word into your heart; eat and ingest into your soul,  you are obtaining inner radiance and light; not blood and flesh. 

 It seems clear then that the rather misleading ancient rituals of Holy Communion requiring some form of transubstantiation or other means of identifying food items, as representing the physical body of Jesus of Nazareth, are not correct. The entire point is missed. The casual churchgoer, who takes  Holy Communion activities as representing the fleshly body of Jesus, are, in a sense, in nearly the same league as those who left the synagogue so long ago.

 Here are the complete unabridged words of Jesus as seen in John 6: 47-66 Read for yourself the full explanation and follow the logic inherent in this lesson by the Master. (The verses where Jesus presents this and the lesson involved are separated for easier study.)

 6:47- Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

 6:48 I am that bread of life.

 6:49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

 6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

 6:59-66 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 

(King James Bible, John 6:47-66)

 

Here are three famous renditions of the “Last Supper” as told by Matthew, Mark and Luke.

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

 (King James Bible, Matthew 26: 26-29)

 

And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.

And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?

And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.

The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.

And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.

And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

  (King James Bible, Mark 14: 18-26)

 

 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.

And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:

For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

            (King James Bible, Luke 22:14-20)

Corinthians is full of lessons and insight regarding the “Last Supper”.

 11:20-22: Mentions the eating of food when one is hungry which is not praiseworthy.

 11:24-27: is the “Last Supper” story.

 11:28-30: One must examine oneself to discern the Lord’s body. “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” In other words. The eyes of many are not open to discern the true meaning of the Lord’s body. They perform rites in blind acceptance without thought. True transformation and meaning has eluded them.

 11:31-32: For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged” We must stand in unworthiness before God and God, in His mercy, will grant what will enable us to overcome the anxieties and tribulations of this world.

11:20-22: When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

 11:24-27: For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

11:28-30: But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

 11:31-32: For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

11:33-34 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.

And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

(King James Bible, 1 Corinthians 11:20-34)

 

Yet, in spite of the strong evidence presented in the Bible itself of the symbolic meaning of the body and blood of Jesus representing the “Bread of Life”; the various liturgical texts continually dwell on the “sacrifice of his body given for you”,  and “This is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.´ There is no mention of the “Bread of Life” in any form, nor are passages such as,” This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.” And “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world,” rarely, if ever, heard in a Communion Service.

 To make this point, two examples of Eucharist Liturgy are given. The first is a Methodist Church service, the second is excerpted from a Catholic Mass.

Methodist Communion Liturgy

 On the night in which he gave himself up for us,
Our Lord Jesus took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread
gave it to his disciples, and said:
“Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

Likewise, when the supper was over, he took the cup,
gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:
“Drink from this, all of you,
this is my blood of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Christ has died;
Christ is risen;
Christ will come again

And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving
as a holy and living sacrifice,
in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of faith:

The original Catholic liturgy read as a central premise from which the Holy Eucharist is designed seems to vaguely acknowledge the reality, the symbolism of the body of Jesus as a metaphor for the Word of God but the central emphasis is on “our unworthiness in manifold sin” and Jesus’ blood and body given as a sacrifice to cleanse the sins of the world. Three Eucharist Masses are excerpted here.

Holy Eucharist I

“ disciples, saying, “Take, eat, this is my Body, which is given 
for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Likewise, after supper, he took the cup; and when he had
given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink ye all of this;
for this is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for
you, and for many, for the remission of sins. Do this, as oft as
ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me.”

…And we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to
hear us; and, of thy almighty goodness, vouchsafe to bless
and sanctify, with thy Word and Holy Spirit, these thy gifts
and creatures of bread and wine; that we, receiving them
according to thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ’s holy institution,
in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers
of his most blessed Body and Blood.

And we earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness mercifully to
accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most
humbly beseeching thee to grant that, by the merits and
death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood,
we, and all thy whole Church, may obtain remission of our
sins, and all other benefits of his passion.

 Holy Eucharist I     335

And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be reasonable, holy, and living
sacrifice unto thee; humbly beseeching thee that we, and all
others who shall be partakers of this Holy Communion, may
worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son
Jesus Christ, be filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction,
and made one body with him, that he may dwell in us, and
we in him.

And although we are unworthy, through our manifold sins,
to offer unto thee any sacrifice, yet we beseech thee to accept 
this our bounden duty and service, not weighing our merits, 
but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord;

By whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
all honor and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world
without end. AMEN.

336    Holy Eucharist

…. Grant us therefore,
gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ,
and to drink his blood, that we may evermore dwell in him,
and he in us. Amen.

The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee,
preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat
this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on
him in thy heart by faith, with thanksgiving.

The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee,
preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Drink this in
remembrance that Christ’s Blood was shed for thee, and be
thankful.

or with these words

The Body (Blood) of our Lord Jesus Christ keep you in
everlasting life. [Amen.]

or with these words

The Body of Christ, the bread of heaven. [Amen.]
The Blood of Christ, the cup of salvation. [Amen.]

Almighty and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee
for that thou dost feed us, in these holy mysteries, with the
spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy
Son our Savior Jesus Christ; and dost assure us thereby of
thy favor and goodness towards us; and that we are very
members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, the
blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs,
through hope, of thy everlasting kingdom. And we humbly
beseech thee, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy
grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship, and do
all such good works as thou hast prepared for us to walk in;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the
Holy Ghost, be all honor and glory, world without end.
Amen.

The Bishop when present, or the Priest, gives the blessing

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep
your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of
God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be
amongst you, and remain with you always. Amen.

The Deacon, or the Celebrant, may dismiss the people with these words

                 Let us go forth in the name of Christ.
People         Thanks be to God.”

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Church Authority Judged By Its Fruits

Posted by David on October 20, 2009

Criteria Of Fruits: “By their fruits ye shall know them”.

A Response when asked if I have “accepted Jesus as my personal savior”?

 I am sure you are a most gracious loving soul; that indeed you have been transformed (reborn) by the love of God in your life through what you truly believe is a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” whom you proclaim as your “Lord and Savior”. I am happy for you to have found; through active prayer, study and meditation; your indwelling personal relationship with the Father ,  of doing that which we were all created for,” to recognize, know and to worship God”.

Certainly, many have found a “personal relationship with God” within the fabric of Christian pastoral guidance counsel, Baptism or Holy Communion. The issue “of fruits” is not whether it is possible for someone to be transformed within the context of a church fostered Christian belief and experience a true life changing event. To make that claim would be, in itself, putting a limit upon how God operates, of placing parameters upon the inscrutable Wisdom of the Almighty! Rather, the question of ” by its fruits” refers to the organized Church, how the institution of men is truly serving humanity as a whole, how its actions and history compare with the teachings of love and acceptance extolled by Jesus as applied in the world wide arena.

 Again, individuals may come to God within the confines of liturgical based awareness and thinking; rather, should I say: God, in his Mercy and Grace, may enlighten, through the living waters of the Holy Spirit, the soul of the seeker; allowing the chosen to partake of the elixir of astonishment; the soul enraptured beyond what mere words can convey; seeing true meaning far beyond that expressed within a mere church service!

However, notice a principle reiterated here of an “indwelling personal relationship with the Father” as “found through active prayer, study and meditation”.  Stated within the “Hidden Words” of the Baha’i Faith we read,” Love Me [God] that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant.” This is an important consideration. The love of God can not enter and transform unless the heart is open to receive the blessing and the heart can not be opened unless it be cleansed from worldly afflictions. The big question is how much worldly affliction is brought about by social order, State…and the Church itself? In the Bible, Matthew in Chapter 7 warns, “Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day,’ Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly,’ I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers”!”

  Clearly, without open minded searching one can never find the truth, be it of worldly matters or transforming rebirth in one’s inner self. Without independent investigation, one is left with creeds and dictates requiring assumptions of blind faith in ancestral beliefs and ancient practices preached as the only allowable symbolic representation or embodiment of a covenantal relationship between God and mankind. Of course accepting ordained authority figures, as truly “called by God” into service and thus gifted with divinely inspired Biblical understanding, is part of the scenario of this doctrine centered, creed based relationship with God.

Faith based on such assumptions provides, in itself, questionable nourishment for widening horizons, of fostering an ever deepening scope of continual development. No foundation is laid for extending the hand of true love and appreciation, recognizing validity in those worshipping God in different ways with different names. There is little inner wisdom or real “spiritual growth” involvement Not much “Bread of Life” has been ingested; Just habitual acceptance without question, direction borne of status quo rather than true fulfilling rebirth. The inner eye is not open to receive the light of truth from whatever source it may be found. It remains closed in slumber lulled in the sleep of tradition and satisfaction.

 How much of our perceptual belief is framed by “conditioned response” and “formulated anticipation”? Are we limited by “blinders”, not allowing us to freely see, hear or be aware of discoveries, observations or philosophies deemed outside authoritarian imposed proscribed criteria; not looking beyond the road ahead as set forth by organized salvation/membership strategies? Do we not end up confining the Almighty within a “box” walled in by human design and expectation; possibly confusing the very love of God we seek with doctrinally determined experiences; a planned entertaining good time to be had by all; a congregational euphoria; becoming obsessed with vain imaginings of our own dreams and desires; caught up in the veils, trapped within our own walls, residing in a phantom of fantasy; categorically denying all but what we are conditioned to accept as valid and true?

 In the Bible, in Matthew 7:7, we are encouraged to,” search and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened”. In Matthew 7:16 we read,” By their fruits ye shall know them, A good tree cannot bear bad fruit nor a bad tree bring forth good fruit”. Using these guidelines I have searched for the “good fruit” i.e.: bearing greater knowledge, understanding, appreciation, acceptance and unity; uniting hearts and souls in laying the foundation of an ever-advancing world civilization; battling the demons of ignorance and superstition while promoting the Kingdom of God on Earth as it is in heaven.

Many Church-Christians cautioned me not to search, look or even question what was taught by authoritarian orthodox Christian teaching, that to do so was “tempting deception by Satan”; “you will be led astray”…etc. Well, I followed the advice of Matthew and looked, studied, prayed and searched. I attempted to cleanse myself of all forms of life-long social and doctrinal man-made “accepted” fashions and truths. I looked to science, astronomy, archeology, philosophy, anthropology, biology, art, music and, last but not least, read and meditated on the writings of other cultural faith traditions. In so doing, my inner appreciation and awareness of “the Beyond” was greatly enhanced.

 When looked at through the criteria of universal humanitarian needs of fellowship, understanding, love, inner and outer peace, unity, spirituality and Communion with God; while cutting through the decadent mire of man-made traditions, dogmas, interpretations, literal thinking and more; it became apparent the pearls of knowledge, as taught by all the great teachers of the past, have become clouded, altered or very misunderstood by authority figures; have been rearranged to suit short-term social goals; have been edited and re-prioritized by popularity and fashion.

 Friendships can be threatened, misunderstandings nurtured and understanding itself limited due to a misdirected misapplied church-fed fear of “being lead astray”. People often “parrot” back common clichés so often preached as street corner ministries proclaim,” Only in the name of Jesus can you be saved”. Only by the blood of Jesus…Jesus was a ransom sacrifice…your sins are paid for by His blood…only God knows what Hell is…you will be caste into the eternal lake of Fire!”. And so it goes on; the fear, narrow-minded thinking; shrinking back into a well of superstition, denying all but the Bible (itself Canonized by the church) as a resource of Truth and turning away from all that is preached as “Satanic delusion”…which is most everything outside of the Bible-only, Jesus-only paradigm.

 Thus when I look at their fruits, I see little in the church that attracts me. A short study will reveal organized church history is not a pleasant one. Great atrocities and torture have been done in the name of Jesus.

Yes, it is true. Many fine individuals can be found within the church gathered in fellowship and love nurtured within a common spiritually uplifting circle of faith. It is also true much wisdom can be learned from what may be presented in the sermons and studies of certain teachers and preachers. But overall; when viewed from the outside through the eye of world wide multicultural appreciation of art, science, literature, learning and historical perspective; I see Church orthodoxy as bearing the fruits of divisiveness, animosity, racism, misunderstanding, conquest of “soulless savages” as a divine right and even war.

Indeed, I do consider myself a Christian. I am a follower of the Christos, the Christ Spirit through which Jesus was anointed and instructed by God the words he was to say. Jesus gave us the Bread of Life; the same eternal truths seen in the Bhagavad-Gita, Quran, Zend-Avesta and other Holy revealed Writings. Jesus indeed gave his life; He submitted his will to the Will of his Father in Heaven. He lived the 1st Commandment which is to” Love the Lord thy God with all your heart and all your soul”. Jesus was a perfect Muslim, a perfect Buddha. The word “Islam” means “submission to the will of God”. Buddha means “Enlightened one”.

As such, I find the truths, guidance and wisdom extolled by Jesus is not confined to only the church and to Christian held sources. The very concepts of “believer- non-believer, sinner-saved, Christian, non-Christian; any form of classification, stereotyping, prejudicial assumption, conjecture or judgment must be put aside. Instead let us look at humanity as the flowers of one garden; to appreciate different hues and styles of humanity world wide as one would view the myriad colors and shapes crafted together as designed by a master gardener; to be as waves of one sea, united in the ocean of God’s love.

We desire but the good of the world and the happiness of the nations — that all nations should become one in faith and all men as brothers; that all bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease and differences of race be annulled — and so it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away and the most great peace shall come. Is not this that which Christ foretold? Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind.” (Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 10) Baha’i

I leave you with these words from the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita, “The Song Of God”.  Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all sentient beings, I still appear in every millennium in My original transcendental form. Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice and a predominant rise of irreligion–at that time I descend Myself. In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium”. Bhagavad-Gita Chap 4:6-8

And this: “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the laws and the prophets”. ((Matthew: 22:36-40 KJB.)

And again,”And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, [God] and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. [God] That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they!  They have taken as lords beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One God. There is no God save Him. Be He Glorified from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)! 32 Fain would they put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah disdaineth (aught) save that He shall perfect His light, however much the disbelievers are averse. 33 He it is Who hath sent His messenger with the guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religion, however much the idolaters may be averse”. Quran: Sura 9 “Repentence Islam

Study and peruse with an open mind and spirit the many distinguished books and verses of Divine Will and understanding bequeathed to us from the Source of the Word, that very Word John refers to when he says,”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not”. (King James Bible, John 1:1)

David

For more issues and interfaith studies see http://onenessbecomesus.com

 

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Apostic Paradox: A Case Of Dualism

Posted by David on October 7, 2008

Apostic Paradox

A Case Of Dualism

 Tainted by superstition, immersed in vain imaginings;

Conditioned, positioned; pruned public rendition.

Church, Holy Order, Creed, ritual;

Dogma, doctrine, addiction so habitual;

On their missions driven by suppositions,

Darkened souls myopic vision.

Shriveled death, crooked stature,

Pulpit wizards, words  enrapture.

Man-made rhetoric preaching sin,

Hypocrites to God within

Proud apostate, near agnostic;

“Sinner”! “Heathen”! sounds so caustic.

Heresy is judged to be

found in those somewhat like me.

Condemn the heretic to the fire!

Atrocities mount; the deeds are dire.

Crusades, Inquisitions, KKK

Exterminate all its just “our way”.

“Foreigners, aliens don’t belong.”

“Get out before you do us wrong.”

Yet… Might we soar above tumultuous bitterness and hate?

Let winter storms of strife within our consciousness abate.

As rain from on High refreshes the Earth,

Let us join the spring chorus, sing a song of rebirth.

New vistas illumined clear light of the Sun,

Evolution, revolution; the time sure will come.

The stage now is ready, the props set in place,

Planet Earth viewed as one in the vastness of Space.

The scene is upon us, the curtain is drawn.

An eastern horizon portends a new dawn.

A Kingdom is coming in fullness and light

In world awareness rejoice with delight.

As flowers in springtime the gardener plans,

Its time to see all as the fruit of His hands.

For more on the dualistic nature of humanity and the presence of God on Earth see http://onenessbecomesus.com

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Conditioned Delights: Compliments of the Debt Czars.

Posted by David on August 3, 2008

Banks of deals, contracts midst deceptive gestures of good will; all done in the name of good business.

Ranks of vendors, peddlers, stores and credit cards; all vying for your money.

Such intrusion; minute by minute interruptions; commercials blaring at you from the radio and TV.

Signs glaring at you in scenic obscenity at home and abroad.

Cluttering the highway of life; imposing ever more frequent insistent promises of “success,” “satisfaction” and “happiness” as marketing media relentlessly pounds on our senses, pounds on our being, strives to control our psyche, even grapples with our soul!

It seems the whole world is trying to make a profit from you:

Commercials set out sweet as honey, entrapping consumers in delicious desire.

Congested roadways, imprinted masses, ingrained conditioned delight,

purchases made, no end in sight.

For more on the case for world unity and global thinking visit http://onenessbecomesus.com

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Mystery of Restlessness

Posted by David on July 30, 2008

Restless Seeking:

Not knowing what’s to find or even where to find it.

Not knowing how to look or how we might define it.

Restless Questioning:

Why do we even ask or even wonder?

Why do we think, sit and ponder?

Restless Searching:

Of what truth is life?

Of what reality in space and time are we composed?

To what limitations and biases are we disposed?

Deceptive Instincts:

Within cocoons, wrapped false security,

protected comfort, fetal immaturity.

Shroud of senses spun through evolution’s way’

Survival of the fittest brings us where we are today.

Deceptive Passions:

Imprinted attachment to truths held dear,

Perceived opposites shunned in fear.

Sentenced to the prison of self we be,

Our world of deception won’t let us be free.

Illumined In Knowledge:

Yet, a speck of dust floating in a sea of immensity,

forges within such uniqueness and intensity.

Arts, crafts, science; new knowledge and will,

Shared common destiny will surely be fulfilled.

Reborn In Love:

Path of guidance in gracious love is sent.,

Tarry not, we must get around the bend.

Growth in inner wisdom bidden see with inner sight,

Eternal Truth beyond, bringing knowledge and new light.

Too see more on the spiritual dawning of a new day go to http://onenessbecomesus.com

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A CAGED BIRD (Our Human Spirit)

Posted by David on July 23, 2008

Flutter here, flitter there, back and forth without a care.

Up and down, hop about; day by day the same throughout.

Perch to perch the pattern churns, round about in endless turns.

Snug secure artificial life, a world of fashion, of man-made delights.

Caged for comfort, caged for show, caged for spectators to behold.

Bred for class and pleasing song, conformed by rules to men belong.

Ageless evolution’s trust, breeds we prize reshaped by us.

Consumerism points the way, imagined need, it seems okay.

Thus you may sing but cannot fly, from the cage where is the sky?

Barred from being as was meant, searching in bewilderment.

Perch to perch, the daily grind, from home to work commuting time.

Snug secure in our bank-owned homes, a world of finance, possessions adorn.

Safety, comfort, pride so dear, hide from the neighbors we’re taught to fear.

Go to church in class and style, looking for love in Sunday’s smile.

Confined by doctrine the priests will teach, walled in by traditions authorities preach.

From the cage where is the sky? Wings are clipped you cannot fly.

The ageless Word of God we trust, in spite of truths reshaped by us.

Man-made doctrine is not okay, unblemished Truth must free the way.

So: O bird of spirit; Created by God in the image of God!

You are the soul of mankind freed from the bondage of rusted chains, of outmoded superstition and obsolete reasoning.

Free the bonds.

Spread your wings.

Soar unto the realms on high!

Sing the song of the Nightingale Of Paradise as it warbles its sweet melody upon the trees of eternity!

http://onenessbecomesus.com

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Enduring Legacy

Posted by David on July 16, 2008

Cutlery carves Mother Earth.

The plate nears “empty”,

our glutinous feast is over;

Resources consumed…

The legacy of our species,

Short term profit motive increases.

What we do for instant gain

in a million years may still remain.

Carve the Earth, pollute the sky,

A time of change is drawing nigh.

So is this our legacy?

Are we ready?

For more on this subject see http://speakingoutworld.com

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