“Paul offers a wisdom not to Jews or pagans, but to both Jews AND pagans, whom he calls to see things through wisdom eyes.
Conversion, therefore, is not joining a different group, but seeing with the eyes of the crucified. The cross is Paul’s philosopher’s stone or “code breaker” for any lasting spiritual liberation. God can save sincere people of faith inside of any system or religion, if only they can be patient, trusting, and compassionate in the presence of human misery or failure, especially their own. This is life’s journey. These trustful ones have surrendered to Christ, very often without needing to use the precise word “Christ” at all ( Matthew 7:21). It is the doing not the saying that matters.”
Richard Rohr, Eager to Love.
My note: There are many verses that imply exactly this(it not being about a belief system ..what we call belief at least),yet they are regularly ignored.
Would not the Spirit of Christ, transcend human words and perceptions? Working through people on levels far above all that we are able to define?
Because He is for people. Not systems.
Not sides or tribes.
He has been Christ for eternity.
WE have needed ways to describe, define, and reach him.
He, in the Person of Jesus, showed us He is available to all:
The condemned, the hell bound lawless Samaritan, the harlot, and vain man. The greedy and needy man.
All who see their need for change of heart. A better way.
Following “in His name”, was a way, not a theory. It was/is deeper than the intellect. First Century Jewish/Greek society thought more abstract than we are accustomed to, and would have got this: That doing something in someone’s name, was, simply living by their example.
The way shown.
Man I fear the flurry of furry in heaven on the day many Christians will claim it must be said as EXACTLY this way or that….Jesus, not Yeshua, or Joshua, or the other names Jesus can be translated into. And vice versa
Kind of like the King James translation idolatry. Like, really?
We have mistaken form for substance.
This is how literal people take certain verses that are meant to be possibly deeper.
See, it’s more than just a name. It’s the content…of that Name.
Jesus pointed out more than anything, people acting out God like qualities. And likewise, those deeply human moments that He showed were actually holy, and not to be rebuked like they took great religious pride in doing(keeping people in order).
Just look at the woman crying at his feet, the man praying in the temple next to the proud saint, the lepers, sinners. It was their attitudes and responses Jesus called righteous or not.
It’s the same today. These messages are messages that transcend time and space. It’s pointing to human attitudes and wrong thinking..it’s not just religious format.
Jesus whom we say we follow was more concerned with people, not their exact doctrine.
There was and is a deeper message we are meant to get. He pointed back to their ideas and beliefs in order to bring light to Himself. The Message in the flesh.
God is love, being that message.
The ultimate question throughout human history being peeled down to exactly that: Who are you God? Who is God? What is God?
We can describe love.
But, we struggle to manifest it.
Same with our beliefs.
We favor names and titles, descriptions and the right way to think about it all..more than the core message itself.
It was always the other that Jesus seemed to acknowledge doing the Christ like thing too: Walking in a loving way. Which is, Christ like, in essence. Not in word, or creed. But at it’s core. It’s reality. At it’s content.
It’s not about how one explains their experience of the content. But, it lies in the content itself. Is the content, which is beyond form..legit? And how, does that content express itself through form?
Love is the content. Self-denying love, if we were to follow Jesus and many others who have followed this path of love for the other before self.
It is what transcends all beliefs, ethnic groups, tribes, tongues, and nations. But, we always seem to bring it all back to earth. Our tribe. Our tongue or nation.
Even though, with or without words, He still IS and is THE WORD.
And maybe even in a thousand tongues. He still is. This love.
No creed or box can you stuff “Him” into.
A Kingdom of…all Nations right?
Nations of men,, that will be judged based on their treatment of the other(Matthew 25:32)?
We as humans need walls for some reason? To feel secure? In our minds as well! We like separateness. It gives us an identity to cling to. We hold tight to all the names, titles, tribes, and allegiances we’ve been given.
Yet, God is.
God is Spirit.
He is Spirit.
And, so are we, when all the earthly things are stripped away.
And beyond all imagination and intelligence.
God is. He still is.
We do get glimpses, yes! And try to fathom Him!
But, why is it so hard to believe? That God is beyond all this word play of men? This babbel?
You see, what we DO find common among men, is the drive to have this ultimate assurance and truth.
But, we search for it in man’s terms…earthly words. We need our rational minds to attain it, we think.
Which is fine in and of itself, to some extent.
Until you make it ultimate.
We have our own pride wrapped up in it: which is definitely an earthly mentalitiy.
WE are RIGHT!
OUR inheritance, land, nation, culture!
Yet still, in His essence..He is love.
The Bible which people put precedence over Jesus many times, says this.
That God is love.
Jesus says this. Commands it. The New Way.
Our innocence knows it.
Countless accounts of near death experiences will attest to it.
He is love. In essence. And it’s so hard to embrace that.
This notion of destiny, being the chosen, having been given that one mission, the correct truth or way; ownership of the Holy Land… (in the West, we see this being found in intellectual arguments more than anything)…is our thing. Our collective human thing that consumes each nation and generation .
We-want- to-be- IT.
And we can’t all be the answer.
We just can’t.
And those that say they have found it, yet strive to comprehend it more than live it out;
Might just be the most delusional?
Why fight to figure out, what you say to have found?
We can find a few verses on study (usually written to teachers and leaders, not laymen); in contrast to the plethora of verses on..Go, and Do likewise..in love.
My point here being, how much we study what is irrelevant, and to the detriment of people. We choose it or place it, before people.
Our time and resources.
Look to Christ and do likewise.
People are hurting and the walls of churches are full of people sitting and researching..what?
Christ? Have you found Him already?
Now go! Please get out and bring Heaven to Earth already!
People are so hungry for the experience of God. So we find people and organizations charging for it: Classes and schools, and going to this place or that.
Are you serious?
Self indulgence of God?
Ok, it’s great, it’s wanted, it’s good. But, He’s here and now. Found!
We say we are spiritual?
Yet we are looking for Him who is Found!
And that is all not to say Jesus Christ is not who He says He was: God in the flesh here to save us from something bigger than we can quite get possibly?
Yet maybe we also over complicate it all, to the gospels detriment?
But it is to say, Christ has always been, and is, much bigger than all this and that, at the same time. He was working before He was Jesus, or came as Christ incarnate in Jesus.
My point being, He just might be more influential in the lives of those we think aren’t “saved” or walking and talking and thinking in terms just like us; that is all I’m saying.
He might have really meant that the veil is torn and the temple won’t be rebuit or an alter needed?
He might have meant people CAN actually find Him, because He is closer than we think(Paul?), and seeking Him in Spirit (not earthly wisdom), and truth(maybe sincerity rather than certainties?) is where HE IS?
Many can discern physical things: The natural world, the body language of others. They can toss about very good arguments and rhetoric. Memorized verses and laws.
But you don’t find many people able to see beyond what the physical senses or the intellect can comprehend, which is primarily indoctrinated already.
We have to look beyond. And understand the content.
Not just how people define the content. Words change with time. Ways of expressing reality evolves. But content doesn’t.
There are A LOT of people out here FULL of the Spirit of Christ. And it manifests!
But like the lesson(content) and not the carrier of that lesson(what we tend to focus on); we like the Jews might just miss Christ working and moving in Spirit, due to our ideas of what He is supposed to look and sound like within the context of our world views and teachings.
Again, looking through man made ideas, definitions and expressions of things; rather than spiritual.
Prime example being, look at how often people insist others are healed through THEIR lens or worldview, even within Christian theology; rather than wanting people made whole and well in general?
Now the SPIRIT of Christ in an individual, one would think, would be wanting people made whole at whatever cost, for the sake of that person being whole or well, right?
But, it is more about teaching and the means to the end that is the focus, not the person or the end…
Freedom now, being the end. Hope now. Love now.
Do we want freedom for people?
Or do we want them to believe like us?
Christ is MOVING in the Spirit, are you aware of Him?
Things are being done IN HIS NAME, just maybe not through word, but content.
I pray anyone who reads this will meet God in Christ, in an unexpected person or place.
For The Kingdom of God is, righteousness, peace and joy IN the Holy Ghost(Spirit of God). You can feel that off people if you pay attention!! And they’re not always like you and your own thinking.
But you will know them by their fruits.