Religion and Love
I guess, with the political clamor in our nation and in fact around the globe, and the divisive religious conversations now occurring, yes even on Facebook, I tend to read scripture differently than ever before. I saw a Facebook post this a.m. that read “Muslims Need Jesus, get equipped.” Not sure what will be offered but I trust it is an exercise in loving those that come from quite a different experience than the majority of Americans.
Only true love, not hate or fear affords the conversational openness to share the transformation that occurs when one truly comes to know Christ.
This morning as I read from Philippians, though a friend recently cautioned me about seeing Jesus through Paul, I noticed how much his perspective had changed as he aged.
Credibility for me comes when I consider the radical change that occurred in this man, who once boasted of those imprisoned and even killed Christians on behalf of God, though well-schooled in his Theology. Yet, here in Philippians, he refers to his former peers still in Judaism as “mutilators of the flesh” when referencing circumcision. What was the radical change that occurred in Paul’s life? BTW, it was post-ascension, which gives me hope of escaping religion as well.
The entire Biblical narrative, both Old and New Testaments seems packed with ongoing revelation as the people of God mature generationally, though not without struggle. This killing in the name of God seems to be one of the last bastions of sin to fall, fostered by an “us and them” perspective that so many religious people seem to feed upon.
Jesus, who professed to be God in the flesh said, “come unto me all that are heavy laden and I will give you rest”…not power, prosperity nor a mandate to kill, but peace and a radical concern for others!
As I read further, even into John’s writings, this seasoned disciple who spent time with Christ, also reflects a new perspective now near ninety years of age. Timne and a relationship with God seem to be releasing the old religious bias that caused so much turmoil over the actual city of Jerusalem as the place where God would eventually reign, thus validating Israel as the chosen of God. Now perhaps more non-religious than ever before, he writes, “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.” Something new was in his spirit.
As I age, I have to wonder at the mystery of scripture, and how mankind, even those most in love with God, have captured so much of their own bias, while still miraculously delivering such a powerful and ongoing revelation of the Father!
Apparently there is more to come than any one religion has yet to phantom from this loving God, whose desire it is that none perish! I guess age causes one to wonder more than in the former days when youth convinced us that we knew it all!