Tag Archives: Justice

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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Where Our Loyalty is, There We Will Find Our Evidence

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Where is your loyalty? I am sure we have all been in situations where this question required us to give an answer or made us wonder it about others. The answer to this question is more a geographic issue than we might think. Also arriving at this answer has plenty to do with our navigation skills. Loyalty is spiritual evidence, and it is about the substance that lies at the core of our being.

We humans have devised many forms of organized relationships such as marriage, friendships, business relationships, team sports, work, and small and large communities. On a global scale, we are members of nations or states, sovereign kingdoms, and multi-national corporations.  In addition, and just over the horizon more of us will enter relationships through user collectives of global telecommunications apps and other virtual products like Second Life and Bitcoin.

Every human enters this world via a family relationship. Some families are biological and others are social in nature. From there, the layers of relatedness such as gender, race and a host of genetic characteristics make us part of various social groups. Christians baptize themselves, some at birth others later in life as a sign to others of their membership as part of a spiritual community. Likewise, other people perform ceremonial acts to celebrate and signify their relationship to others and of their membership in one of the various spiritual communities of the world.

Developing a hierarchy of loyalties (ex. God, family, work and country) is a way to help navigate our many relationships. However, loyalties can still become confused. For example, we can be loyal to our relationship with our religious community and at the same time we can betray our relationship with God. We can also be loyal to a political or military objective of one group and betray our loyalty to other groups like our race, gender, family or humanity.

We each have also inherited the awareness of the many cultures connected to us. At every moment of every day, we knowingly make decisions that help one of our entangled relationships often at the betrayal of another interwoven relationship. However, as ambassadors of God our loyalty is really a manifestation of God’s loyalty. Therefore, when we experience breaches in trust they should not be personal to us because in every relationship we are representatives of God.

Luke 7:47 (NLT) “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”

Luke 17:3-4 (NLT) So watch yourselves! “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”

Forgiveness, grace and mercy are the tools God uses to restore relationships. The sole mission of Jesus was to help all humans understand that their relationship with God is whole and therefore, living in unity with God is available and possible. It is a bad religious point of view to see humanity today as separated from God. The purpose of the gospel or good news is that any person can live a life in unity with God. Therefore, as we re-present God, when betrayal happens, we have the opportunity to die to self and forgive like the One we represent.

It is my encouragement that we understand the source of our loyalty. Only God, is good, and if we are open and sensitive to His Presence within, He can live through us. It is God’s desire for the entirety of humanity to understand that His forgiveness, grace and mercy have already made every human relationship with Him whole. In all relationships that we are the party to, we should likewise have this same goal when we perceive betrayal of trust. And that goal is to love and make every relationship whole.

If we can let go of the false belief that we never betray others and that others only betray us, we have a chance at peace on earth. Our false beliefs result in unreal expectations, which put others under undue pressure to live up to our unreal expectations. Our loyalty is a manifestation of God’s love and loyalty every time we forgive and extend grace and mercy.

Jeremiah 3131-33 (NLT) “The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 32 This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the Lord. 33 “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel after those days,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Therefore, our initial question remains standing. Where is your loyalty? Is our loyalty rooted in false beliefs? No! The true substance of our loyalty is embedded in love, forgiveness, mercy and grace. God gives these inherited traits to every human child. At the core of every relationship we are involved in, if we are actively aware, is the very Presence of God. It is there, where we shall find a treasure of evidence proving the existence of God.

Mark 10:2-9 (NLT) Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife?” Jesus answered them with a question: “What did Moses say in the law about divorce?” “Well, he permitted it,” they replied. “He said a man can give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away.” But Jesus responded, “He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts. But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”

Luke 12:33-34 (NIV) Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

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Is There Sufficient Evidence That We Are Living Justly?

10-12-2013_1034093_12351166Am I living justly? Most people would not incriminate themselves and would answer to the affirmative if this question was posed to them. We as Christians have this notion that if and when our life is called to be examined we would appear before our Father in heaven with Jesus as our advocate and Satan would play the role of accuser of the brethren. But who has imagined that they would be called as witnesses or to give testimony about the events and the people in their lives? What would the witnesses of our lives say if perjury before God is not an option?

 Psalm 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face

As Americans citizens we pledge to live as one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Scripture also states that justice is foundational to God’s Kingdom. Therefore I pose these questions to all of us. Is there sufficient evidence that we are living justly? This should immediately cause us to ask, what proof could I offer to substantiate that I do indeed live a just life?

Psalm 82:2-4 How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.

Psalm 82 calls to all humans to live justly.  It also reveals that as children of God it is in the capacity of humans to be just to one another. As humans we are all members to various ethnic, cultural and religious groupings. But as humans we are all the same and aware that we are children of Adam and Eve. However also dawning on our consciousness is the understanding that we are also children of God. This makes us heirs to some remarkable human capabilities and living justly is one of them.

 Galatians 4:1 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,

Our lives as members of the Kingdom of God (KoG) should be showing forth the evidence of justice because it is foundational to our Father’s Kingdom. In August of 2013 we Americans celebrated some transformational victories in the laws that made our culture more just for some of its citizens.  But the KoG is about the transformation of our hearts. So. after 50 years we can watch the constraints of laws being removed as we wonder about the conditions of the heart. Has the heart of the American citizen been transformed to where it does not need external laws or will it revert back to living unjust as it did prior the restraints put in place by laws?

Justice for others will always be a big test, a private test that each of us will continually take. As circumstances change will we do justly to one another or will we seek to fulfill the desire of our lust. Justice’s call requires that we constantly evaluate for every “neighbor” in our society and defend those who need help.  Each of us has this call and God’s design and perspective will be measure by which we are held to account.

 If I am unjust to someone because he or she is not a part of my religious, ethnic, social order then I am missing the point of Kingdom living. I want to encourage us all to remain aware of others around us and judge our attitudes, emotions, and feelings we have towards others. Then we must examine the use of our resources, our affiliations and the motives and outcomes of our votes for political and social issues.

This blog is about the evidence of our lives. Does it reflect the spiritual values of the King of our Kingdom? Or does it reflect the material values of the social order and traditions of our culture and religious associations? Is our field of “neighbors” expanding or are we still limited by the legal definition of American citizenship or the denominational lines of our Christian membership. Is justice applicable to all humans equally? Is God’s Kingdom open to all humans universally?

As Americans we believe that before the law all citizens are indivisible with liberty and that we all get equal justice. We also know however that this is a work in progress. But as members of God’s Kingdom do we attempt to live from His perfection or are we satisfied the imperfection of our social order? We are truly Disciples of Jesus and children of God therefore by faith I believe that our lives are capable and do show forth the evidence of our just living.

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Luke 18: 1-8 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man,5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’” 6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

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Whose DNA Do We Carry?

2013-01-07_606388_72402014I would like to explore the subject of DNA so we can have a better understanding of the evidence that we gather. Since the days of J. Edgar Hoover there has been a move by the justice community in America to use more scientific testimony. Since it has been proven that eyewitness testimony ca be unreliable and subjective to the political influence our judicial system continues work to prevent a miscarriage of justice.

DNA analysis is a tool used to accurately identify an individual but even this process can cause a miscarriage of Justice. If a person receives a bone marrow transplant he or she will produce blood with DNA for the donor. Yet if you check the DNA from a mouth swab of the person receiving the transplant the analysis would indicate their original DNA.

In Christendom the testimony or confession is given as credentials of citizenship in the Kingdom. But now that we know that testimony can be corrupted we in this day also look for a more accurate ways to identify followers of Christ.

2 Tim 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

One of the unique things about Jesus was His conception as a human. Jesus the second Adam like the first Adam also did not have an earthly Father. One of the reasons I believe Jesus in scripture (Mat 23:9) asks us not to call any man on earth our Father is because He wants us to be aware that God alone is our Father. However due too temporal effects on our conscience the purpose and calling of our lives becomes diffused and the memory of original intent for being can actually become lost.

Because we carry the DNA of Jesus we can reproduce the DNA of God. This is one way to we can see God our Father and the effect of His original intent. God has always desired man to freely want to be in intimate fellowship with Him and to help us He recorded His law of fellowship on our heart. The exercise of human free will has rarely worked in concert with the will of God. So time and time again we see recorded in biblical history where God manifested His Presence to impact our conscience for the benefit of mankind.

Today there is an emergence in religious theology and practice trying to better express an understanding of what was revealed by Christ as it relates to God our Father and His fellowship with humans. As humans become aware that they carry inside themselves the Spiritual life force of God they will begin to express that which supernaturally feeds them. Jesus during an encounter with a woman who was considered an outcast of the religious complex of that day, was ask by His disciples if He was hungry and Jesus replied that he eats a spiritual meat which was is invivible in this temporal realm.

My encouragement is for us to continue to seek this spiritual realm known as God’s Kingdom. It is my hope that we learn to cut off our earthly Fathers and connect with our true spiritual Father. I hope that even while we still exist in this material realm we learn to do more than simply acknowledge the existence of the spiritual realm. To live in the Kingdom of God implies that we have the understanding and skill to be sustained from a place that is not seen or understood in this material reality.

Jesus not only demonstrated that it was possible but He made available to us after He cleansed our temples so the very Presence of our Father’s Holy Spirit could live in us. Peter a disciple of Jesus experienced this. While in a trance he saw a vision of religiously unclean animals and he heard a voice say to him kill and eat. However Peter resisted the spiritual instruction and argued defending the status quo of his religious training. Scripture (Acts 10:15) also records that this vision happened three times during the trance and each time a voice in the vision also said “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” This is the second time the bible records Peter denial of spiritual truth for religious tradition.

John 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.”

Likewise today we face the same challenge. Do we remain living in the material world resisting revelation of true spiritual reality and continuew to call sinners unclean, or do we forgive. We have been given the authority to forgive sin and in the name of Christ, declare clean what the material world says is unclean. If we become aware of our true spiritual condition we can become strong sanctifying agents for God’s Kingdom.

God continues to make aware His intention to cultivate deep fellowship with humankind. His eyes roam the earth looking for partners to aid in the knowledge of Himself and our relationship with Him. So the question remains, whose DNA do we carry? When we execute our free will we answer this question. Our actions speak volumes as to which world we are aware of and whose will we desire to see manifest.

…His Kingdom shall have no end.

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