Tag Archives: Family

Family Style Love

2016-3-28_ripples-ii-1162684-1279x850The Lord is my Shepard I shall not want.  Dysfunctional families have the pathologies of abuse and false expectations. The reason we make the statement that nobody is perfect, is because we acknowledge that dysfunction is inherent within all families. Jesus however came to reveal a family that includes all humans and this family has no dysfunction. Looking out across the earth realm, it would seem impossible for such a family to exist, nevertheless it is does.

Jesus is an acceptable sacrifice for any person to become part of the God – human relationship going forward. There has always been a God – child relationship with all humans, but for most of human history, we humans have been blind to the nature of our true relationship with God. The many religions of the world including Christianity, is the evidence that humans lack understanding of God’s universal love for all of His children. On the other hand, the various religions of the world provide hints to this truth.  Deep within every person in every culture, there is a sense that we each are interconnected and we are all part of something bigger and something hidden.

The greatest dysfunction we humans suffer is the sense that “I am not loved”. If every person had an internal confidence, they are loved the world would be dramatically different. Within every culture of the world, there are stories of its members seeking love and successfully finding it. Also included in those stories is the obtaining of love at the expense of other cultures. The Judeo-Christian culture is founded on one son tricking his brother out of his birthright or blessing. That is because we humans view love as an object that is finite. Even before the story of Jacob and Esau there is the story of Abraham son’s Isaac and Ishmael, one is considered the son of promise the other is written out of his culture. However if we change our point of view to God’s perspective we can begin to see His love shining on all humans equally, because God’s love is infinite just like God’s nature.

John 8:58 (NKJV) Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

God being infinite which is the understanding of Jesus the “Last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45), do humans begin to see the potential of God’s love. It is very short lived and Rabbi Paul all but resets human understanding of love and family back on the path from Jesus to the understanding of Rabbi Moses. Western human thought does not deal with the infinite paradigm. Today’s western thought is lastly derived from the Greek philosophy and tied closely with scientific materialism. There is a strong mythology and ideology from a human perspective and that point of view guides scriptural interpretation to justify a social order based on inequalities.

There is a truth from God’s point of view and it is that God loves every human equally. Even the greatest nation on earth acknowledged this truth and declared as much in its documents of independence.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”. However, the National Constitution created laws to justify a social order based on inequalities. We also need to upgrade our terms to recognize all humans and not just “men”.

Luke 15:31 (NKJV) “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.

Quantum science is beginning to shift the materialistic, and finite human mindset to a quantum state that includes all possibilities. Today however the default mindset is very dualistic. As evidence of our dualistic biased interpretation of scripture, let us look at a family described in one of Jesus’ parables culturally titled “The Lost Son”. A simple family but only three member are depicted a father, and two sons. My question is simple. Based on all of the interpretations you have heard which son is lost? The first thing to notice is that the common title of the parable implies that only one son is lost. When I make the statement, that the scriptural interpretation is used to justify inequality in our social order, this is a great example.

From God’s point of view or from the point of view of the father in the story his loved for both of his sons is equal. The majority of orthodox ministers need us to stay members of their flock so the lost son is always the one that leaves his father home. So what is the point of the story? Both sons needed their father to prove that they were loved. The giving of material wealth and sustenance is what every human uses to measure the depth for which they are loved.  Yet this does not end there. Humans also require that wealth and sustenance be taken from or no longer given to the other. In other words God cannot love both, only me.

Galatians 3:28 (NKJV) 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.

If human social order is ever to evolve into a human family, we must begin to perceive and experience a unity of love. A single child in a family is the center of attention and is seldom accustom to sharing the love of their parents. These same dynamics happen on a cultural level. As the nations of the world grow, we all are noticing that we are living in communities with multiple sub-cultures.

Like children, the sub-cultures are expecting to receive expressions of love from their parents. Also true is that the dominate sub-culture may for the first time have to share the love and attention. This is where justifying inequality in our social order leads to more and more dysfunction. Nevertheless, this is also the point for a paradigm shift in or human mindset. I hope that as children we all mature and begin to realize the nature of family and love.

Is it possible for each child to know and experience loved? Even if for a moment in time while love is flowing towards another it does not mean that they are loved less. My encouragement is for us to see as individuals and as members of sub-cultures the interconnections that make us all family. If we are family then we are equally loved by our Father in heaven.

Even if one of our family members is declared lost, written off or cast off, our prayer is for them to return from the dead. We live in a dysfunctional family and a world that justifies inequalities in the fabric of our social order. Only the revelation brought on by love can shift the mindset of our family members. Love alone defines the style of our human family.

John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world…

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Delivering Evidence of God’s Unity with All

2014-09-07_795754_54710131God’s love for all humans equally, can be understood in many ways. One way is through the words in scripture which testifies of His actions and hope for humanity. The story of the prodigal son is an allegory which is being lived out in our current times today. Before I show examples of how this is happening I want to remind us of how the story ends. Spoiler alert!

Luke 15:31-32 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

The jealously between humans could be dissolved if we keep active in our mind and heart, the above thought. From the first murder till now the understanding of this scripture is lost evidence to most humans. The understanding of this evidence alone could quell fears, end all wars and bring about the equal distribution of all earthly resources that God has provided for all His human family.

Today in Christianity and in most areas of human society we are experiencing an emergence that is taking place throughout every institution in our modern society. We are witnessing it in the governance of the nation-states of the world, in the social–media changes moving through our global communications, in the restructuring and accountability in world financial markets, we are also beginning to see  joint exploration between the traditions of science and religion.

In this post however, I want to focus on the emergence that is happening within Christianity. When Protestantism was formed, this same world transformation was happening as well. The two sons of this allegory were at it again, and during that time Catholicism was the son that stayed behind. This time it is the Emergent Church that is the son leaving with its inheritance with the belief that it can make a better impact in the world.

The traditional interpretation of the  story referred to as the “Prodigal Son” in Luke chapter 15, only recognizes one son to have an incorrect world view. It was the son who left his father’s home with ideas that he could make life better without his Father, but in the end he squandered his inheritance and returned home defeated. However what is overlooked by the orthodox interpretation is that the jealous son who faithfully remained in his Father’ home also had an incorrect world view in which he thought he alone would inherit everything left behind after his brother went out for his adventure. This is evidenced by his reaction of jealousy when his father begins to give his brother some of his perceived material wealth when his brother returned.

Both cases reveal that both sons were entertaining thoughts of living a life without their father as they enjoyed the spoils of their inheritance. The sole purpose of Jesus telling this allegory was to put an end to the human concept of life without God our heavenly Father. The sole purpose of Rabbi Jesus prayers, teachings and demonstrations was to communicate to humanity that it is possible to be one with God and enjoy the spoils of inheritance during our life here on earth.

John 17:20-22 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:

I have heard it said that love is the dissolution of separation between to people and beauty is the dissolution of separation between objects. When people fall in love we become one with another person or community and when we walk in nature or move within a city built by humans we become one with the sights, sounds and smells of our environment.

If we Emergent’s leave the fold, in our desire to expand the Kingdom, and do it without our true inheritance we will fail to carry God and His loving message to our lost family and we will return home defeated. It is true that traditional Christianity has added baggage to the idea that God is a loving Father that loves all His children equally. This is why Jesus became the demonstration of God’s love that has the power to establish loving relationships between God and each member of humanity.

Likewise if the traditional Christians fears that adding the world to the Kingdom will change or diminish the Kingdom of God then we truly need to question our understanding of an infinite God who took away our sins in this world. If our sins have not destroyed the Kingdom and His grace and glory is sufficient for us, then surely His grace and glory is enough to cover the sins of the world.

In this story both children are lost and hold a wrong understanding of the resources of their father. When Jesus spoke this allegory he told it in hopes that both audiences would hear and see the errors of their materialistic thinking. Life without God is separatist thinking and is the opposite of love and beauty. The idea that we can establish anything new or maintain any tradition without our Father in heaven is just bad theology.

My encouragement is to us all, regardless if we are emerging from long-held traditions or if we are the supporters of existing traditional institutions. This allegory of Jesus is to get us to hold a world view of a loving God as a Father to all who are willing to share His infinite resources with everyone equally. Jesus was sent by our Father to change our mindset so we can see all members of the human family as members of His family and that He loves each member equally and has no favorites. Today this is not our human experience of family but it is the spiritual experience of the Kingdom of God.

If we are the ones who go out and help awake our fellow humans too their membership in God’s Kingdom, or if we take on the responsibility to stay behind and work for greater understanding of family and Kingdom within our existing religious traditions we must always share the substance of God’s equallity toward all, as our evidence. The evidence is the love and beauty that has the transforming power to make all things new. And by new I mean awakening to the reality that any person or thing, is already one with God. In God’s Kingdom there is only unity and the very Presence of God permeates all. God is love and It is the evidence of His Kingdom.

Gal 4:1-6 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Philippians 2:5-7 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

 

 

 

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