Tag Archives: humanity

National Forgiveness

 

2016-08-06_splash-3-1190007This may seem to be a crazy concept; however, God dropped it into my spirit a few weeks ago. It is staying in the forefront of my mind quite possibly because we are in this political season. As I pondered the concept, I imagined it to be a fully developed doctrine plucked out of the rubble of our current civilization by some futuristic civilization. What my mind can’t imagine is this concept ever being acted on by the human subcultures that exist in the world today.

The act of forgiveness would necessitate a clear violation of sovereignty. Rarely do we think of ourselves as sovereign or relate to other individuals as sovereign beings. The term is relegated to members of royal families and the stuff they own as part of their kingdom. Yet that is exactly what we all are, members of God’s royal family.

Notwithstanding, we live in a reality, that is defined by our awareness of secularized social authority. These various forms include authority of family, of persons over 18 year of age, religious organizations, state and local governments, and their delegated officers. When these various entities exercise their form of authority quite often they come into conflict, and we appeal to a higher authority such as the Federal Government and God.  Therefore, it is that within the reality of our social structure, violations happen and forgiveness is needed. Many judicial proceedings are held every day to keep in-check the lines of authority and to recognize the boundaries of individual rights or what could be described as personal sovereignty.

A violation of national sovereignty could rise to the level of an act of war or a simple snub in diplomatic relations between two nations. Depending on the severity of the violation, what is required is for the collective ego of the violated nation to absorbed the incursion to its sovereignty and be willing to forgive.

What this is not, is an overlooking of an accident between allies, or an act of insurgency by one of it colonized states. What I am talking about is an unprovoked unilateral attacked on the national sovereignty by a nation with lesser or equal strategic power. What makes the situations more difficult is when the offense is witnessed by other sovereign nations. This is where a national ego arises and asserts it standing among its fellow members of nation states.

The reason I cannot imagine the concept of National Forgiveness being executed at this moment in human history is because the individual collective egos (you and me) within a nation-state are very fragile. We live in a world where the love of God for us is constantly in question by every human child. In other words, every child still requires a constant demonstration by God that they are loved. In the face of a foreign sovereign nation’s violation, the collective of individuals turn to God for justification and an overt act to save face and comfort their fragile ego. God on the other hand is looking for mature individuals, people who recognize His presence within, having the strength of spirit to absorb offense and a heart willing to forgive.

The roots of the Judaeo-Christian religion has created a system of beliefs, popular today in humanity, that God chooses to love one child more than others for the benefit of all His human children. Therefore, everyone wants blessing so they can be the path through which humanity is saved.  Everyone desires to be so enriched that others around them can’t help but notice the hand of God in their lives.  If that is not reality, wars are fought to change the status quo. It is within this traditional framework that makes forgiveness between individuals very difficult and the concept of National Forgiveness a pie in the sky fairy-tale. Can this be changed? Does hope exist?

When we examine the roots of traditional scriptural interpretation and the resulting human beliefs today, we can see some areas available for re-evaluation. Again, in the Judaeo-Christian religion three early historical stories (Cain/Able, Jacob/Esau, Ishmael/Isaac) are caught up in this dynamic of who will get God’s blessing. Even the most popular parable of Jesus, the story of the lost or prodigal son has its traditional interpretation trapped in this paradigm of blessing one and not the other.

Luke 11:13 (NKJV)  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

The belief that a parent chooses to love one child over another child may be an experiential reality, from the point of view of human interaction, however it is a misinterpretation of scripture and of God’s nature to think that God would bless one child over another. This definition of dysfunctional love, even though traditional, is a gross injustice and has been used to justify one group of humans mistreating another group.

Humanity is evolving by dropping outdated traditions and beliefs that tend to keep the status quo and serve only portions of humanity. Jesus died for all and scriptural interpretation is growing in the light of what “all” means today. Concepts like National Forgiveness are on the horizon for the nation states within humanity. More and more human children are learning to recognize God’s presence within “all” and His love for “all”. Therefore, as His children mature, humanity’s evolution continues to advance.

The infinite-ness of God is clearly seen in scripture. However, the human inability to contemplate the infinite-ness of God or the infinite-ness within our personal being has causes us to hoard wealth and display it like a badge of honor creating a false reality of God’s blessings. Individual human identity has shifted its roots from the relationship with God, to its relationship with wealth, traditionally interpreted as God’s blessing. Our ability to discern God’s presence is therefore limited to the wealth we perceive.

God loves us all and God is within us all, individually and collectively.  The awareness of that truth makes individual forgiveness and national forgiveness possible.

Luke 15:28-32 (NKJV) “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ 31 “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.’”

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Living Unconditional Love, Is Easier Than We Think

 

2016-04-30_water-1502135-640x480When we think about the term unconditional love, we think about God. From our human point of view, unconditional love seems impossible as a way of life. However, we as humans are also children of God and emulating our Heavenly Father is possible if we choose it as so. As sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, we can only make excuses for not living up to our potential as children of God.

God continually demonstrates unconditional love with His human children. If there is such a thing as a “God hack” for loving unconditionally here it is. Do not focus on the other person, but focus on the legal instrument of our relationship. At the core of every relationship between two persons is the will of each. Will, indicates choice and the declaration of ones will is a legally binding instrument.

The human point of view is dualistic, with our will acting as the subject and in this case, the will of the other person, acts as the object. In this scenario, what we humans usually say is that I will love you as long as you love me. We make our will to love others conditional on their will to love us. When we give love, we demand an acknowledgement and an accurate accounting of what was given. If we do not receive, the honor and thanks we believe we deserve for that gift, then we become measured and even withdrawn in our giving of love. In fact, most relationships are built on looking for evidence from the object of our love to determine if we will remain subject to our declared love.

God on the other hand (here is the God hack again) declared His love with five covenants for humanity and has never broken any of them or withdrawn any of His infinite being from us. In fact, every subsequent covenant lavishes a greater understanding to us of His desire to be one with us. God ultimately wants a state of non-duality, or unity in perfect freedom with every human.

The human point of view cannot comprehend love this intimate, so collectively and individually we test the limits of God’s love offering by exploiting, abusing, enslaving, torturing, and killing other objects of His love. We slap His cheek and in the same breathe we ask him do you still love us? What parent would not have a broken heart, if one of their children asked for the power and permission to kill their brother or sister? Yet he continues to love us.

God declared five covenants with humanity. Forget all the earthly definitions of what a covenant is. Even the best human reproduction pales in comparison to how God uses these five declarations to convince us of His unconditional love for all His children. Trust me, every earthly covenant you could study will be conditional and thus moot for this conversation. God’s five covenants as historically recorded in scripture, were made with, witness by, and named after five humans; 1) Adam, 2) Noah, 3) Abraham, 4) David, and 5) Jesus.

At the core of these covenant relationships is the will of God and the will of humanity. God declares His love focuses His action toward the legal instrument. (Are you recognizing the God hack?) In every case, we humans have walked away from our side of the covenant to pursue our personal will.

John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, ….

Romans 8:31-32 (NKJV)  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

We as children of God can likewise begin to love unconditionally when we recognize and focus on the legal instruments of our relationships and not on the subjective will of others. Here are a few examples of relationships:  family, boyfriend/girlfriend, marriage, citizens of communities, company employee, parent/child, citizen of a nations, citizen of humanity, and citizen of earth. For each relationship listed, has a legal instrument such as, a passport, a driver license, or a marriage license. For every legal document you possess there is a person, or ten thousand people, or millions of people on the other side of the relationship. This is the same with God’s 5 covenants.

It is easy for children of God to declare love.  This is evidenced by the many legal instruments of relationships in our material world. In the same way, loving unconditionally can be just as easy if we focus our giving toward the instruments of our relationships and not the willingness of others to respond in kind. Remember, It is only when others fail to uphold their side do we evidence unconditional love. Love is kind and does not envy. Unconditional love for a child of God simply declares itself and lives out that love through eternity.

This is what heaven on earth looks like and it is fundamental to the operation of God’s Kingdom. For any person who aspires to hold the office of ambassador with the Kingdom of God, unconditional love is the reconciling structure of the covenants our Father has established with all of humanity. Imagine a world where 10 billion people choose to demonstrate unconditional love towards each other. In this type of world people do not think more highly of themselves but remain aware of the equality of every person to freely exercise their will.

As we focus on the many instruments in our relationships and give willingly expecting nothing in return, we will begin to see what God see’s in His human children. Giving is contagious, even if our giving is rebuffed we turn the other cheek and freely give again. Especially for those who reject or mishandle our gifts we simply pray “Father, forgive them because they do not yet understand what they are doing”.   The Kingdom of God is here now, and we walk in it, as we love unconditionally. We humans are children of God and unconditionally loving our brothers and sisters is easier than we thought possible.

Matthew 26:26-29 (NKJV)  And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

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Celebrity-ism Leads to Cultures of Religious and Secular Hierarchy

2015-08-09_small_rippleAs members of society, we are part of both spiritual and secular cultures and hopefully our desire is for every person to reach their maximum human potential. If that statement is true then you are doing your part to help human evolution. However, I sense  a negative reverberation flowing contrary to the progressive evolutionary process taking place in human society today. I could be wrong, but  I am perceiving in my global connections that there is an ever-increasing part of our human population that are feeling marginalized, losing hope, having low expectation of evolving forward and worse they have an even lower expectation for their children and the generations that will follow. I believe this reverberation is a direct reflection of the value systems with in our various cultures.

We have reached a point in America’s history where its secular and spiritual cultures are beginning to recite a mantra of thought that says to 99% of its citizens that only 1% of it people have a chance to live out the American dream. But the crazy thing is how this 1% is worshiped by the 99% and thus cultural hierarchy is formed.  In other words, 1% of our human brothers and sisters have achieved celebrity status. Our cultural systems have become so perverted  that it only values, the best actor, best musician, largest net worth, the prettiest looks, the fastest runner, the team with the most wins, the pastor with the most followers, the guy with the best job, or the coolest car, or the family with medical benefits.

Phil 2:7-8 (NLT)  Instead he gave up his privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

The original purpose of competition was to bring out the best in everyone. However the effects of over honoring the success of winners creates what I call celebrity-ism and results in hierarchical structures in our secular and spiritual cultures. Examples of this can be seen in reality TV and in the Mega Churches.

If the goal is to convince every human that they are in fact a Child of God then an evaluation of the outcomes needs another review. Well-meaning television shows that try to help people lose weight, dress better or fix their business, in the end only help a few and quickly move their focus to the star of the show for ratings. The same is true for ministries. Likewise, the goal of helping everyone walking through the door of the church quickly becomes all about the tithe to keep the ministry afloat.

Jesus had a way of empowering everyone He met. He was always trying to get each person to look at their life situations from the spiritual perspective as opposed to the material perspective. In Luke 15 Jesus tells three parables about the rejoicing that takes place when something that is lost becomes found. This is the true celebrating that is needed today.

The truth that every person is loved by God, is the heart of what Jesus came to reveal. Humanity perceives itself to be separated from God and so it lavishes affection on the so-called best and brightest among us. We create our celebrity’s or demigods among ourselves so we can create a feeling that we are winners.  Even our electoral process causes us to reveal our feelings openly to the point we feel we must destroy the opponents of our choice. Fixing the competition with the focus on winning and losing is missing the point. Regardless of the last victory or lost we need to recreate our cultures so that everyone enjoys trying to overcome tougher and tougher challenges as a way of life.

Celebrity-ism has become the default perspective of the materialist. Even worst the spiritual perspective that elevates the totality of humanity to a place of equality is lost to many of our spiritual cultures. In the end these hierarchical and celebrity oriented cultures can only motivate out a sense of  jealously.  Today the children of America and the world are spiraling in their need to feel love (like winners) within their own cultures. For most cultures the only way to create this feeling of love is to impart shame and ridicule on others not in their sub-culture. If ever, any love was showed to another by one’s own culture, it would be treated as an act of betrayal.

Therefore competition has become a tool for choosing of winners and losers by many secular and spiritual sub-cultures to express love on its membership.  Our spiritual and secular cultures today desperately need a renewed vision if we are to make winners of all in humanity. Our definition of winning must not remain defaulted to “not losing”, but instead the fulfillment of overcoming the obstacles set before us. Jesus rightly brings out this point in the last part of the parable of the lost son.

Luke 15:31-32  “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 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’”

So let us go forth and celebrate everyone equally.

 

 

 

 

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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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Is Your Evidence a Call to All?

13-05-19_120649_4980If there is an example of the perfect human I would say it was Jesus. Buddha Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Father Joe are all great examples of humans that have made a difference, but for me Jesus stands above them all. So much so I have chosen to be His disciple. Therefore from that moment of decision until now or at any time in the future if you were to conduct a forensic examination of my life it should indicate that I am a disciple of Jesus.

1John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Jesus speaking to God our Father:

John 17:23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

Luke 6:40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.

It is my belief that every human has a call and it is to attain human perfection. So what is perfection and is it possible? If we understand the components of the human through scripture we see that we are three-part-beings. First and at our core is a spiritual being (the little “I” of our existence).  Secondly is our soul which have capacities of intellect, will and emotions that take a lifetime to develop and understand. Thirdly our spirit and soul are contained in a physical body that allows us to operate and relate to others and the objects of this material realm. 

Together and more importantly, human perfection is about the capacity of our being to carry or host the Spiritual Presence of God (the big “I” of our existence). As we become aware of that aspect of our human make-up, it starts to happen that we develop a soulish-understanding that our spirit is in God and God’s spirit is in us forming human perfection. This is the good news that the divine and the common are once again in unity. Bringing and demonstrating that truth is the ministry of Jesus. His prayer was simply “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one”.

To me Jesus was perfect because He had this understanding (the mind of Christ). His mission, the reason He was sent, was to make clear to humanity that this state of being is available to all. In my opinion a lot of our religious activity is distracting because it is not reinforcing this main point. Do this in remembrance of me were Jesus words. So what about Jesus should we be remembering?

Matthew 28:19 Go thereforeand make disciples of all the nations…

Matthew 20:21-23 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

When we awake to the fact of our call as humans we become activated to the purpose of our mission. We have been given citizenship into our Father’s Kingdom, and authority to accomplish the mission in this earth realm. The call on our lives and our mission are simple; become perfect and awake others. As disciples we enter a student-master relationship to become like Master Jesus pledging to follow only His example. The Lord is our Shepard and He alone leads us. When we make other disciples we point them to Jesus as well.

The big problem I see with Christian religion of which I take responsibility because I remain a part of organizational leadership is that we got distracted. We started to follow and train ourselves to the traditions of men and lost sight of perfection. I lost sight of Jesus and more importantly I and our institutions have pointed others in a direction that was not developing their student-master relationship. So now I pray, hope and work with the grace of God to restore vision and I repent often for those that I misled, that they find their way toward Jesus again.

I believe our call is worth the effort. More importantly the object of our call, He is worth our attention. Jesus actions was for all of humanity and the reason I say we have been distracted is sometimes the evidence of our call is not aimed at all humans. Sometimes we interpret scripture and feel justified to pre-judge who will answer the call. Our call is to become perfect and become like Jesus and part of fulfilling that call is to go and make disciples of all the nations.

Isaiah 11:3 …And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;

Galatians 3:28 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. 

Our call is to all humans and not political systems, geographical regions, national borders, or cultural groups. Jesus executed His ministry with none of these distinctions in mind. He saw the possibility for all of mankind to be one with our Father. I encourage us to remember that we are sent by our Father to reconcile all humans to God and His Kingdom. We fail our call if we fail to call all. Whatever door we stand at we have the privilege to activate the awareness of God’s Presence that dwells within them. However if we fail to see God with our spiritual eyes on the inside of other people then the evidence of our call is far short of human perfection. The evidence of our call must be to all.

Luke 10:4-6 But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. 

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