Sunday, November 11, 2012

The End Days?

Are these the End Days of which the Old and New Testament authors (and other traditions) spoke?  The turmoil of today's world is something we often speak about and question in our house, as it seems many others around the world do also.

Last evening Patrick brought home a video series given him by a friend who is 'deeply into' the ideas expressed in them.  Patrick was also excited, wanting to share, and so we sat together and watched the videos.

I will not state what the series was, nor speak against it - that is not my way.  Each person comes to their understanding in their own way.  I trust in the Source of us all, of which we are all a part, to lead each one to that.

However I will state what I have come to understand as my way and how I strive to live my life.

I call myself Christian - not because I believe in any of the established Christian churches - I personally do not, nor do I wish to be associated with most of them, because of what they have become.

I state this emphatically because the dogma of man & his churches quite often leads people astray from the true message of Christ.

Yes, read your Bible and attend your church if you wish - but beyond that - sincerely ask to know Christ - and He will reveal himself to you.   If you truly believe in Christ and believe that He did not die, then you know that He is alive within this world and beyond this world, has always been, and will always be.  Being alive, He is available to you in a miriad of ways.

I have been on a spiritual journey my whole life - as I believe we all are.  I have not been afraid to question the established norms and ideas.  I have explored many many ideas & teachings of what 'God' is and how we should live our lives.

For me, it all comes down to the Christ - what was taught by the man Jesus - and what continues to be shown me by the Christ Spirit/Consciousness.  (Jesus was the man - the Christ is the consciousness in which he dwells and that we can all aspire to.)

So this morning I looked through my Bible to find some of the passages upon which I base my beliefs.

I found it in Matthew 22:34-40
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.  Then one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him, and saying:  'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?'  Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  The second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments hang all the laws and the Prophets.'
 The answers to much of the questioning that goes on today is given in these verses.  The Pharisees and Sadducees were the two main sects of the established Jewish church.  From my studies, the essential difference is that one believed in Ressurection/Reincarnation, the other did not.  Both taught Jewish tradition/belief based upon the Torah and laws handed down from their history.

If you read Matthew and other books of the New Testament you will find that Jesus questioned and criticized both the Pharisees and Sadducees often, and they him.  Think about it:  if some man came today and said he was from God, that he fulfilled all the prophesies, and that you should listen to him on a new way of living your life and your religion, would you blindly follow him and believe him or would you question and have confusion because of all you had been taught your whole life?  (Sound like anything that's going on today?)

Jesus said he didn't come to tear down the law (their established ways) but he also said he 'came with a sword' and would set father against son, sister against brother - meaning to me that what he taught would and should make us question all that we had previously 'known'.  Jesus said we should not live by the 'letter of the law' but by our questioning to God in our hearts of what it meant.

If you read throughout Matthew you will find that the established church quite often tried to indict Jesus for the places where he seemed to act against their established  law.  The church today continues to do that to people.

In my studies of the various churches and new isms and thought structures that are alive today, I find it curious that they often grab and focus upon literal interpretations and unyielding requirements of living from and by old dogma, ceremonies, ideas.

I believe that Jesus gave answer to old beliefs and dogma in his answer above.  On these two commandments hang all the laws and the Prophets. 

Again, if you read through Matthew you will find many stories of how the established church attempted to discredit Jesus by pointing out the places where he seemed to go against established law.  His response was usually that the ultimate law is of God, our Father, whom we have direct connection to, if we will seek within our hearts and mind to establish it.  He taught that God is not the old idea of a judge that will condemn you to death, but a loving father (Abba) that will forgive you always.

I live my life by establishing and staying connected to my Source and my brother, Jesus the Christ, through love and the Christ consciousness.  I do not worry nor strive to live by the laws of any established or new doctrine, yet honor the truth that resides within them all, in those places where the truth is taught.

I live my life by the two greatest commandments given by the Christ upon which all others are fulfilled:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Are these the End Days of which the Old and New Testament authors (and other traditions) spoke?

For myself I do not worry.  (Well sometimes I do, and sometimes I fall short of all this - but that is what forgiveness is for, and another story).  When I return (work to  stay connected within my heart) through love, to my Source -  I know that all is well and will continue to be.  Heart based living through Love is the answer for me.


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