Friday, August 19, 2005

Jesus' message vs scripture

There are choices to be made with regard to Scripture and with regard to one's life. With regard to Scripture, there are many choices to be made because "in my view" it is inconsistent and just plain misguided (... okay okay, wrong) in so many cases. I do not adhere to the concept of Bible inerrancy. One can use Scripture to support any cause. Unfortunately, this has been the case throughout history, and millions of people have suffered and died because something was considered to be "biblical".

With regard to the manner in which we live our lives, there are also many choices to be made. No question about that. In my opinion, however, there are two basic choices. There are choices that bring you closer to the Source of all creation and thus closer to each other. And there are choices that create distance between you and the Source of all creation and thus greater separation between us. The first set of choices bring us closer to realizing the true Kingdom of God (... salvation, enlightenment). The second set prevents us from doing so.

Many assume that all of Scripture provides keys to the Kingdom of God. I do not subscribe to this assumption. I do not believe that all Scripture is inspired by God.

I believe that the teachings of Jesus were/area inspired by the Holy Spirit. I believe they hold the key to Truth. I believe that the power and the beauty of Jesus' message of love and inclusion is its simplicity. I believe that the sad part of Christianity is that its leaders and its masses have consistently paid only lip service to the message because it runs so contrary to our ego-based tendencies. Chrisitianity all too often uses Scripture to find "loopholes" to side step the full implementation of Jesus' message, teachings. That is why humanity, at its core, has not evolved very much.

We still do not love unconditionally. We still do not forgive completely. We still practice hatred. We still seek revenge. We still judge each other. We still use religion and the Bible to condemn
things that we are uncomfortable with or fearful of. We still use religion and the Bible to validate those things we find familiar and comfortable.

Most of my choices in life are based on the simple question... "What would Jesus do?" If the answer I receive seems to run counter to certain verses in the Hebrew Scriptures or something written by one or more of the faith communities that wrote the Gospels known as Mark, Matthew, Luke and John or one of Paul of Tarsus' letters to some of the early followers of The Way, then the choice is easy.

In all honesty, the idea of "pleasing God" is not even a consideration for me. My primary motivator is being One with God. I would imagine that that closeness is "pleasing" to the Creator because that is the most natural state of being... in my view. I do not see following a set of behavorial do's and do not's written 2,000 to 3,500 years ago by Jewish communities as a prerequisite to pleasing God.

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