What Could Have Resulted from 2,000 Years of Teaching Tolerance, Love, and Compassion
Had the last 2,000 years been dominated by Yeshua's teachings that focus on tolerance, love, and compassion, our culture might be quite different today. Norms in a culture are built slowly, over time. The norms in Western culture today have been built by Pauline intolerance. Had Yeshua's teachings predominated, our culture today would have been built by the millions of faithful following the teachings that would have created a loving, tolerant, compassionate society. Today, we would have had 2,000 years of people looking for ways to demonstrate their love for one another. The rules would not have dominated church activity. Instead, expressions of love, rewards for loving acts, and encouraging learning ways to show love would be the common content of Church teachings and practice.
People would be reaching out to other groups they don't understand with tolerance and hope for understanding. The Church would be at the forefront of showing people how to follow Yeshua's lead in accepting all people, regardless of their station, beliefs, or practices. He illustrated the importance of tolerance by embracing the abhorred Roman tax collectors, adulterers, the homeless, Samaritans, and all others who were ostracized from Jewish society. In this world based on Yeshua's teachings of tolerance and compassion, no one would be intolerant of others. All those who are different would belong.
People would care for one another and give all they have to help others to be comfortable. There would be no competition, backbiting, gossiping, and efforts to destroy other people. The Church wouldn't condone it. The 2,000 years of living Yeshua's teaching would have resulted in a compassionate culture.
All would be encouraged to find God and commune with God in their own ways. The lessons they learned as they commune with God would be valued, and would teach others as they found their own individual relationship with God. The inner self, prayer, meditation, and direct communion with God, would be the norm. No external intercession by others between man and God would be necessary or tolerated.
Other beliefs would be understood and accepted. The religions all agree that God is the originator of love and that God wants man to live in harmony and peace with other men. The differences come in the manners in which people want to enjoy their relationships with God. Some bow to Mecca five times a day; some light candles; some set objects afloat on a river; some eat bread and drink wine to symbolize the body and blood of their leader; some dance around stones in the middle of a field; some walk through a forest.
The manner in which people approach God tells us about the people, not God. That seems so obvious in the face of the thousands of religions that exist that I am incredulous that anyone could claim that there is only one right, true manner of communing with God that is sanctioned by the One God--and it's mine.
The One God is shared by all faiths who approach God through a great variety of practices. The problem comes when someone demands that everyone participate in his practice, saying God has told him his is the only one God accepts, and condemns all of the other practices. What arrogance! In the face of thousands of different ways of approaching God, some claim theirs is the only right one and all of the rest are delusions. And in the process, they fly into rages that diminish their love for man that is the primary injunction in virtually all of these religions.
The Pauline church is remarkably intolerant of religious practices, even among the followers of Yeshua, and enforces separation of man from man.
When we have 2,000 years of following the guidance from God in us, as taught by Yeshua and others, then the guidance from God in us will result in a moral consciousness that will transcend all of the ego-centricism and violence we see in the world today. Where can we hide from ethics and morality when God is One with us?
Our Inner Voice, the Holy Spirit, Teaches Us
The spirit of God in us teaches us. External teachings may help us to understand, but they are only stimulants to help us as we journey on our path toward greater self-understanding, love, and communion with God. The final determiner of Truth is what resonates with our spirits. God is not in a book. God is in us. We are One with God.
That is why our inner voice has always been uncomfortable with some of the teachings of the Church:
that only some people will have eternal life and those God doesn't like will suffer intolerably in Hell for eternity
that some people are not worthy of being accepted as they are and must change their ways before we or God will accept them
that God has such a weak ego that he created people to worship him
that God lives in Heaven, somewhere in outer space, and just comes to visit in church on Sundays
that God made a mistake and created an evil being so powerful that even God can't control him, and consequently God has to powerlessly let Satan prey on God's beloved children
that the God in us isn't as powerful as the God that was in Paul, so we won't get God's message listening to the God in us and we need to listen to Paul instead, or actually, we need to listen to the minister-priest who tells us what Paul really meant because the God in the minister-priest is more powerful than the God that is in us, and we won't understand the God in the book without the minister-priest, but the God in the minister-priest still isn't as powerful as the God that was in Paul, so the minister-priest has to listen to the God in the book so he can tell us what God is telling us
that only one of the many books about God is the right book, and it's my book, and only one interpretation of the book is the right one, and it's my interpretation, and all the rest of the books were created by Satan, and all of those who don't agree with my interpretation are minions of Satan
that God is in the book, not in nature, not in you, and not in me, and that whatever the book says is true while what nature or our hearts tell us about God is lies if it doesn't agree with the book; but I have to interpret the book for you and my interpretation is right even though hundreds of other people reading the same book have different interpretations
that we can only apprehend God in a place where a knowledgeable person can tell us about God, so Sunday morning has to be spent in church, not in nature or with a few loving friends at home, or helping people in the local nursing home, and the seating has to be in a square, with everyone facing the knowledgeable minister/priest speaking while we all listen quietly because we are ignorant and God is in the minister/priest, but not in us
The reason our inner spirit has such difficulty with these teachings of the Church is that they're simply not true. Just as a teenager's body coughs to tell her that first cigarette is not good for her, our spirits cough at these teachings from the Church. Our spirit, God in us, is telling us they're not true.
God isn't in the clouds or the church or the minister-priest. God in us teaches us, independent of the book and the knowledgeable hierarchy of priests and ministers. Yeshua's words resonate with us because they're true. God in us tells us that, not the Bible or the minister/priest.
Unconditional Love and Acceptance
The primary difference between the dogma of the Pauline Church and these teachings is embodied in the concepts of conditional and unconditional love. Pauline Christianity places rigid limitations on acceptance to the fold, which result in a broadening of the limitations by those in the Church with an agenda to exclude others. Depending on the social factors, various groups are accepted or rejected by the Church. Today, homosexuals, Jews, and atheists are the target groups most widely not accepted by the Church. In the recent past, it was rock stars, and before that women, the poor, psychics, free spirits, and people of color.
Among Christian groups, other Christian groups are not tolerated. After Pope John Paul II's death, a Baptist church wrote in its newsletter, "Satan's minion here on Earth, the Pope, head of the largest cult in the world (Catholicism) is finally dead and back home with his father, Lucifer, in Hell." ("Satan Calls Another Pope to Hell," Landover Baptist Church, April 2005). Pope Benedict XVI returned the sentiment by declaring that Catholicism is the "one true church," meaning other Christians are pagans bound for hell (Address to members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith," reported by the National Catholic Reporter, January 31, 2008).
This intolerance comes from placing any conditions on love between God and man and man and man. God's love is unconditional love. There are no limitations; there are no conditions. That is the model for the love man should have for man; love without requirements or expectations.
Having any conditions on loveany conditionsresults in the feeling that other conditions can be placed on love. Unconditional love means just thatwithout conditions! Conditional love teaches the person loved that the love can be withdrawn at any time. It teaches her that she isn't lovable without constraints, that some unknown conditions may be given at any time. And it teaches people, especially children, that we can impose rules on those who will receive our love and we have the right to withhold love if the person doesn't do what we require. That is not unconditional love.
Conditional love leads to judgments and intolerance based on any criteria prominent in the religious group at the time. Unconditional love permits no judgment and intolerance under any conditions. Any teaching that includes some conditions for love and acceptance allows the followers to broaden the intolerance to anything currently unacceptable to them. It teaches them that conditions on love are acceptable.
On the other hand, any teaching that includes unconditional love accepts no intolerance in any form. It teaches people how to be tolerant in all areas.
Yeshua taught unconditional love and acceptance without requirements and expectations. Even the Pharisees knew he not only taught that--he lived it. They were so sure he would accept without conditions that they set up a scene that Yeshua probably had not been involved in before, with an adulteress about to be stoned, knowing he would accept her unconditionally as he must have demonstrated repeatedly, to all, that he would accept anyone unconditionally, without exception.
Yeshua said if you follow me, you must love unconditionally: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
I'm not sure why his followers today don't recognize the central, clearest, most often repeated teaching in his ministry. The Christian churches, throughout history and today, are full of condemnation, bigotry, hate, and intolerance, all in the name of Yeshua.
The Next 2,000 Years
And so, it may be true that these alternative teachings, which I believe to be at the core of Yeshua's teachings, will guide our culture during the next 2,000 years as they have not during the previous 2,000 years. An acceptance of these teachings separated from the Pauline biases and listening to our own sense about the Truth from God within us, will help us as a species evolve into a loving, compassionate, tolerant race that will erase the cruelty, violence, and hate that dominate our culture today.
It will require a rediscovery of the God within us, and of the teachings of Yeshua and the other great teachers. But foremost, it will require that the Church lose its grip on people's spiritual lives.
Yeshua predicted both the corruption of his teachings and the reemergence of them. Read the predictions by clicking here.
A Convergence of Facilitating Factors
We may be experiencing an unprecedented spiritual awakening during our time that was intended to happen in this way. The spiritual evolution of our species may be progressing toward that ideal world that reflects Yeshua's teachings in our time as it was meant to happen. A number of forces are converging that will encourage the development of a culture based on Yeshua's teachings, the wisdom of the other Great Teachers, and foremost, the guidance of God who is One with us.
James' Church in Jerusalem died as the Pauline Church grew to influence the entire world. Today, the Pauline interpretations of Yeshua's teachings are widely accepted, perhaps because of the rigidity of the Pauline interpretations of Yeshua's teachings, single-minded evangelism, and intolerance of alternative interpretations of the Nature of God. It may be true that this widespread acceptance of the Pauline interpretation of Yeshua will make it easier for people to accept the alternative view of Yeshua and Yeshua's teachings today. The world may have needed that single-minded evangelism to be prepared for the alternative teachings of Yeshua.
At the same time, mass communication, especially the Internet, has made it possible for us to share understanding and experiences as it has never been possible in the history of mankind. Understanding the loving, compassionate, tolerant Nature of God will be easier for large numbers of people who will influence the culture more quickly and powerfully.
The mass media also are showing people the Greater Reality in ways that could not have happened prior to this time. Clairvoyance, remote viewing, mediumship, were all seen as oddities because they were isolated and few people experienced them. Now, millions view television shows about miracles and watch John Edward communicate with the spirits of people who have crossed over. Thousands experience remote viewing on the Internet. As a result, there is more widespread acceptance of the Greater Reality and personal access to universal knowledge, independent of the Church. It is calling into question the teachings of a Church that are intolerant of a personal approach to God.
And at the same time, the Internet encourages understanding and communication about the Nature of God and mankind. The Church is not able to remain the sole authority. Information is accessible to all people, and alternative interpretations of the Truth are more easily accessible. Another convergent influence is that evolution into a mobile, separated society where the extended family does not exist and individuals feel isolated from one another is providing an impetus for understanding and embracing the Oneness that overlays our individuality. The physical world seems to be forcing people apart; people are yearning for connectedness.
Finally, political mandates have created an environment that permits people to share alternative views of religion, God, and even Yeshua, without fear they will be burned at the stake. It will be possible for messages about the Church and alternative views of Yeshua to be openly discussed in the mass media as they could not have been discussed prior to the 18th century.
As a result of these forces, it may be the time in the history of mankind for the alternative interpretation of Yeshua's teaching and the wisdom of the other Great Teachers to provide people with a spiritual underpinning allowing them to become more tolerant, compassionate, loving, and knowledgeable about God by approaching God individually, from within. The next 2,000 years of mankind's spiritual growth may result in a tolerant, compassionate, loving society that we can only dream about today.
It may have been meant to happen in this way.
Love and LIGHT