An organizational hierarchy can be a valuable asset. An increase in efficiency of the labor output as well as being a vehicle for quick and thorough communication, are just two of the benefits of hierarchy. However, as a member of institutions, we have all experience what happens when the overhead functions of any organizational structure begin to consume more of the energy and resources that were originally identified for the individual members of the organization.
Psalm 24:9-10 (NKJV) Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory
John 15:1, 9-15 (NLT) “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. … 9I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
God, as Trinity and God as Kingdom, values above all else, the maximization of each person in His human family. At the beginning of scripture, we see in the creation story the Trinity of God, each part, being one with the whole, in unity and manifesting the fullness of all existence. It is my belief that every human is invited to participate as a joint heir in the ongoing operation of creation by becoming a member partner with each member of the Trinity in this dance of unity with the Holy. Scripture acknowledges humans as ancient gates and everlasting doors through which the spirit and life of God are communicated to all of creation.
As a Christian, I interpret love to mean, to prefer others before myself. As a fan of Star Trek we find Spock’s quote that “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” a good piece of philosophy. However, I know that only the Kingdom of God is set up to maximize the potential of every individual person. Therefore, only in that type of hierarchical relationship is the sacrifice of the individual a benefit for the whole. When the reverse is true of hierarchy, individual sacrifice is merely a pawn for the good of the collective hierarchy, not for all of ones friends.
In my opinion, no other organization has the maximization of every individual human as its goal. It is also my experience that the sub-institutions of religion; like marriage, family, and spiritual community, are very often corrupted by one member of the relationship for their personal gain above the greater gain of every individual in the relationship. Non-religious organizations operating on a local, state and federal level, as well as the capitalistic and socialistic business models, very rarely state the maximization of every individual as their primary goal.
Therefore, the function of organizational hierarchy is mostly about the maintenance of the organization and the pursuit of its stated goals. In John chapter 15 where scripture talks about the interconnectivity of a branch and vine, it is referring to means by which life, love, and truth are transferred to each individual. In other words, the presence of God’s Spirit is experienced within the Trinity and Kingdom of God. More to the point is that this experience is instantaneously realized in the life of every human that is consciously connected as members of God’s Family and Kingdom.
The Spirit of Christ arises to remove the veil of ignorance that says the Presence of God’s Spirit is separate from the individual. Under Old Testament law and tradition, God’s Presence was organizationally revealed to only be embodied in the office holders of the Prophet, Priest and King of Israel. Many of today’s religious traditions reaffirm that only positions of hierarchy indicate God’s invisible Presence in someone’s life. Heaven on earth is simply that place where we understand and recognize God’s life, love, authority and truth as it freely manifests and operates.
Galatians 3:27-28 (NLT) For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:15-19 (NLT) So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. 18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.
Galatians 4:1-3 (NLT) Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. 2 They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. 3 And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles[a] of this world.
Today there is dawning within the consciousness of humanity that is recognizing the equality of God Presence in all humans. Traditionally, we humans made judgments based on the use of our eyes, ears and other material senses as detectors for the spiritual Presence of God. However, through a more enlightened interpretation of scripture our faith is beginning to understand what science is confirming. That we are more interconnected and the world is less hard-wired by materialistic objects that we traditionally understood.
Quantum Science and Faith practices have a lot in common. They both understand that any attempt to observe the truth and make sense of the expressions in this material world is directly affected by the consciousness of the observer. Also true, is that judgments, concerning things that can’t be observed with the human senses is not something that can be done by using tools and techniques constructed with our material senses.
However, the revealing of God’s possibilities as depicted and interpreted through scripture can enlighten consciousness of the human observer to these invisible relationships. Also, bringing to light, material evidence of the invisible relationships that affect this material world can be consciously understood by everyone in humanity.
Luke 20:1-8 (NKJV) Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him 2 and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?” 3 But He answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me: 4 The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men?” 5 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.” 7 So they answered that they did not know where it was from. 8 And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Hebrews 11:3 (NKJV) By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Hebrews 11:3 (NLT) By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.
My encouragement is that each human finds the freedom and confidence to see and hear the spiritual realities that govern all things in this material realm. Especially, if we consider ourself a Disciple of Jesus, I encourage us to focus on how Jesus is able to demonstrate the reality of God’s realm or God’s Kingdom. My hope is that people will rely less on tradition and become open to perceive the very nature of God’s invisible Presence. It is available to all humans, despite what we currently consider as common sense or believe to be traditional religious or scientific truths.
To start, I suggest we learn to recognize life and the beauty of it in every piece of creation. Assume that everything, that exist, is alive and has a purpose. Embrace life in all its multiplicity of forms and prefer relationships of love over relationships of fear. Finally seek a deeper understanding of our personal relationship with all that exist. With that, let’s begin to see if we can recognize an equality of God Presence in the existence of everything.
The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers Luke 20:9-15 (NLT) Now Jesus turned to the people again and told them this story: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and moved to another country to live for several years. 10 At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers attacked the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed. 11 So the owner sent another servant, but they also insulted him, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 A third man was sent, and they wounded him and chased him away. 13 “‘What will I do?’ the owner asked himself. ‘I know! I’ll send my cherished son. Surely they will respect him.’14 “But when the tenant farmers saw his son, they said to each other, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ 15 So they dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him.