What if the history of Christianity were one of acceptance and surrender. as Jesus taught and exemplified, instead of a history of factional struggle and division? What if Christianity were truly Catholic (universal) in nature?
Instead of only Matthew, John, Peter, James, Jude, and mostly Paul speaking to us, would we hear from the other elements who were banished and their books burned?
What would that look like? Instead of being an “one way only” religion, would it be more accepting of cultural differences and more open in nature?
I can’t help thinking that most of the doctrines, which were set up as reactions to heresy, might not have been written??? (Where would the church be with out its dogmas….. even my father, a conservative minister, commented on all the various hobbyhorses of the different denominations!) Baptism, no musical instruments, no bling…. I am only mentioning the less offensive ones…..
And would the struggles between Christianity and the other religions look like they do today?
In our “modern” world, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Protestants still cannot agree to on the differences they have between them.
Is the foundation of religion just “differences”, while bringing up “sameness” and “similarities” have a negative shadow cast of “ecumenism” on them? (If not, where is ecumenism now??)
Pity……………… Especially for this religion of Love.
Gospel of Thomas
Jesus said, “I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came
forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the
stone, and you will find me there.”
Perhaps the question needs to be asked, “Was Jesus divisive?” Was he teaching a gospel of criticism? He certainly was not accepting of the religious leaders. It seems he found them to be self – interested, self – important and self – serving.
In Jesus day, (and most days) the church must arrange and manage programs which will guarantee its own existence.
But towards those he was caring for, and teaching, he was never condemning.
So where does the divisive nature come from?
Where is the basis for splits and divisions in today’s churches? Surely we can’t deny this isn’t the case! How may denominations are there in the world? Do they all beleive the same thing? Is that a basis for division and strife?
We couldn’t say that churches, because they are accepting of anyone, are doing this on the basis of love…… isn’t it in order to obtain more members? So they can build an addition on the church?….. So they can keep a “forward” momentum happening? Is a pastor commended because his members are personally more loving, or because his congregation is growing. The churches that are “impressive” are always the ones with the large membership!……. Admit it…..
There will always be division between people, so long as they do not see that hurting another person is hurting themselves.
Human life is like living inside an egg.
We humans, each one of us, live inside an egg. We see the world as if it were a movie on the inside of our eggshell. It is really clear to us… living in our little “egg environment”. We cannot truly see what the inside of someone else’s eggshell looks like, we can only compare it to our own. We can only see the inside of our own eggshell.
We see the inside of our eggshell as the “only true” environment. If someone describes some other environment, we say “no, that is not the case”….. and we begin to argue.
This is true for all of us, myself included.
When we start into an argument of whose eggshell movie is true and whose isn’t, all we can do is to try to get someone to see what is so clear on the inside of our own eggshell… “how is it that you can’t see this, we say ….. it is so clear, right in front of your eyes!”
But how CAN they see the inside of my eggshell? There is only ME inside there!
This is not selfishness, it is simply the truth.
It is so frustrating! How can we possibly talk to each other, understand each other?
How could a Christian egg possibly understand a Muslim egg? Each is seeing the world like a movie on the inside of their eggshell. Each is true and clear. Each is seeing the movie of his DNA (nature) plus his nurture…..
Forget about misunderstandings between two different religions, every human is seeing his own movie.
But the universe is choosing to play out the game of life this way.
Why is that?
Perhaps it is time we asked the question based on what we are seeing in reality.
This is what the Buddha suggests.
Don’t start from a fixed dogma, and then try to make everything fit that dogma.
Start from reality, and work from there, with as few assumptions as possible, to understand what IS. And when you find new assumptions you have been holding, let go of them….. because what you will find will only be reality…… but if you are searching based on assumptions, this is dangerous…….
If this “living inside an eggshell” existence were like a drop of water in the ocean, and each one of us were like a drop of water in the ocean, then we would simply be an ocean full of eggheads! …. ok, pun intended…… we are just a bunch of eggs, banging into each other, in a sea of eggs…..
But is it possible to find an oceanic awareness, where we see all this from a broader perspective? How would we “break out” of our eggshell awareness? What method might we use to begin looking at the ocean from a wider perspective?
Wouldn’t the first step be to realize the true nature of our awareness? That it is naturally enclosed inside an eggshell? Might it be to protect us until we are fully enough developed to break out of the eggshell into a broader environment.