Friday, January 22, 2010

You Must Believe: Part 4- Do No Evil

"Also, you quote Jesus as being a person who influences you. But Jesus didn't teach us to be good people for the heck of it. He told us God himself loves us & is compassionate, and we should be the same towards others because it is the right thing to do, and God dictates this. He wasn't here to teach us to JUST be better people. He was here to reveal God, and he believed in the God of the Bible as presented by the bible, and made some pretty hefty claims." An excerpt from a dialog with fellow blogger Ben at Discovering God's Holy Plan discussing my beliefs.


Is being a good, nice person good enough? The religious authorities of various world faiths would collectively say no, it is not, you must be a good Jew, Muslim, Hindu, etc. I would then ask, good enough for what, the community, ourselves, God? Does God really use the carrot-and-stick to get us to behave? Do we need an outside force to encourage us to behave? Well at least for most of us, yes, I believe so, but we can learn to outgrow the need for using God as a crutch. We should be able to draw our morality from within even with all of our mortal shortcomings.

I believe our various belief systems, although vastly different and tribal, do share a common goal: they state that there is something wrong with humanity and offer a path to change, reformation, and a higher level of consciousness. The core of Christianity is not just to save oneself but to save the whole of humanity, to elevate mankind out of the muck and mire of sin by bringing about the Kingdom of God. Interchange a few words and you can say the same for Islam and Judaism. The East, however, use a different manner of approaching this Utopian ideal for mankind by looking within oneself and discovering the True Reality hidden beneath the illusion of separation from the divine. In my humble opinion, both ways seek to unite the seeker with the sought: man with God, incarnation with Source.

It is movement, always movement, which I seek. To quote C.S. Lewis, I seek to move further up AND further in. We may bicker with one another over the systems we choose and the "pitfalls" other paths may have, but where does that lead us? It brings our individual journeys to a screeching halt and at times takes us back a step or three. How can we judge the Other (our fellow man with the "pagan" beliefs) and say that they're going in the wrong direction when we have not taken their path?

We should do no evil NOT because we are encouraged to do so by an outside source, nor for personal gain (i.e. heaven), but our urge to do no evil must come from that seed of the divine within all of us, the seedling of Love. We must transcend being more than just a good Christian, Atheist, Sikh, or even just a good person. Being faithful to your tribe is fine, but in my opinion it's limited loving. Worshiping at church, embracing and mingling with fellow believers keeps us secluded. It is easy to do no evil to those we are comfortable with in our bubble. The challenge lies in loving those we are uncomfortable being around. And I'm not talking about "hating the sin and loving the sinner" cop-out some Christians use around homosexuals. I'm talking about total embrace and acceptance of their entire being. Are these standards impossible? I don't know but I'm willing to try. We must reach the point where we fully embrace the Other regardless of the path they're on or the mistakes they've made. We should love completely and universally, we must become Love Incarnate.

3 comments:

Chris Ledgerwood said...

"I'm talking about total embrace and acceptance of their entire being. Are these standards impossible? I don't know but I'm willing to try. We must reach the point where we fully embrace the Other regardless of the path they're on or the mistakes they've made. We should love completely and universally, we must become Love Incarnate."

Becoming love incarnate requires, at least I believe it does, transcending the dogma that religion brings to the table. One cannot look at others beliefs objectively if everything is filtered through a set of absolutes dictated by their religious beliefs or affiliation. I'm with you on this. I don't know if it's possible to do such a thing, but I'm willing to try too!

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I like your thought process, and I'm gonna add you to my blog roll. Look forward to reading more of your thoughts.

Chris

Unknown said...

I, as well, look forward to reading your thoughts.

Peace and blessings.

Don said...

Excellent post! We must transcend religion, beliefs, theology, and the like to see the person within. LOVE is a big word. Much deeper and more complex than traditional Christianity, or for that matter, all religion can conceive. And, you are correct, imbracing the Other totally, without reservation, is the goal.

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