Sep 22, 2015

Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?

We are IN the world and we are OF the world. Religion is faith and action un-separated from actions and occupations.

For traditional Christians in general and the religion of my own childhood, there is more to life than tradition and theology taken literal.

But it occurs to me that we do not live in the past when some momentous theological event occurred.

Nor do we live in the future when - after we have suffered and endured to the end - we shall be justified. What does dogma and doctrine mean by being justified? Traditionally, because of our obedience and our suffering,  we will be worthy of living with a theological king in his theological kingdom.

That is the traditional theological version of reality. It is mostly based on Paul who fabricated [invented] the form of Christianity that became the dominant early catholic way of believing.

But Paul's Jesus is not and never was the truly living and mortal Jesus who taught us about life and an inspired way of living.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me”
I have not been called to join a church or be validated by the formality of an organized sect. 
God, the Eternal Father in Heaven communes with me. His spirit lives in me always. Father has called me and invigorates me through the Spirit. I and the Father are one. And so are each of you.

“He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor.”
Ours is the God of Compassion. The poor are numerous and their poverty is not only a want of bread, but a poverty of spirit. Yet theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. 
The gospel is a living practice of the life of compassion, concern, kindness and advocacy on behalf of the poor.
I am not called to get the poor to join churches, but to love the poor as I myself love the Father.

“He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted.”
Those who mourn will be comforted. The meek will inherit the earth.
He hath not sent me to say ‘Be of good cheer, say your prayers, and God will bless you.’
He hath not sent me to say ‘Take upon yourself my name and declare that I am your redeemer and all will go well with you.’
He hath sent me to cheer the brokenhearted with my own strength and spirit, pray for the brokenhearted as I pray for my own brokenheartedness.
He hath sent me to bring the brokenhearted into my own circle of prayer and bless them by deed more than word.

“To preach deliverance to the captives.”
Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled. The merciful will be shown mercy.  
He hath sent me to teach the captives about their freedom and to work with them to attain freedom. 
He hath sent me to place less value on my own riches and comfort and a greater worth on acts of goodness for the sake of goodness.
He hath not called me to stand in a church, speak from a book, condemn from the pulpit and retire to my mansion.

“And recovering sight to the blind”
He hath not called me to say, ‘Lo, come to my chapel and be saved,’ but to send me out of my chapel and into the darkness with a light of compassion and action. 
Where there is blindness, I come to teach vision, a life led by the Spirit, and knowledge of the God of Compassion. 
I come to urge repentance to wholeness in an absence of blind guilt, sorrow and a sense of condemnation at the hands of those who deem themselves righteous rather than upright. 

“To set at liberty them that are bruised.”
The pure in heart will see God. Peacemakers will be called the children of God. 
And the persecuted? 
Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
He hath not called me to inflict fear, shame nor guilt, but to bandage wounds, pour on oil and wine and carry to the inn and pay from my own sources for the ministrations of healing. 

“To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
A time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. The acceptable year of the Lord is every year, every month, every week, every day as God and Heaven are a living part of every moment.

Sep 21, 2015

Gibran's The Prophet: On Religion

And an old priest said, “Speak to us of Religion.” 

And he said: Have I spoken this day of aught else? 

Is not religion all deeds and all reflection, And that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom? Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?

Who can spread his hours before him, saying, “This for God and this for myself; This for my soul, and this other for my body?” 

All your hours are wings that beat through space from self to self. 

He who wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked. The wind and the sun will tear no holes in his skin. 

And he who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage. The freest song comes not through bars and wires. 

And he to whom worshipping is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn. 

Your daily life is your temple and your religion. Whenever you enter into it take with you your all. Take the plough and the forge and the mallet and the lute, The things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight. 

For in revery you cannot rise above your achievements nor fall lower than your failures. 

And take with you all men: For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair. 

And if you would know God be not therefore a solver of riddles. 
Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children. And look into space; 
you shall see Him walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain. You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.