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The Love Of Jesus


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You know I have to agree with End here, The Bible says time and time again that we are to have no other gods, or false idols, and put them in place of God.

How is it even possible to have other gods if supposedly there are no other gods to have?

 

And how can an idol be false if not true idols exist?

 

If God fulfills more and is more than anything else, how can a person ever put anything there instead of God, unless God is a mere symbol of an idea that can potentially be replaced with another symbol for the same idea?

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Well Han Solo, that gets into the thought of free will. God doesn't command our love, He asks for it. Thus there is a constant battle to choose God or to choose something else. That something else, when it replaces God becomes a false god (one that doesn't exist yet takes our love away from God). I would suggest that we are our only false gods. Anything that we put in the way of God is due to our own selfishness. Once we realize that it is God who deserves all that we have then we truly realize how "real" He truly is. Let me put it this way: Just because we don't value something doesn't cause it to cease to exist (nor does it conclude that it never existed in the first place). There are plenty of things that I don't value that exists just as much as you and me. Make sense?

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Well Han Solo, that gets into the thought of free will. God doesn't command our love, He asks for it. Thus there is a constant battle to choose God or to choose something else. That something else, when it replaces God becomes a false god (one that doesn't exist yet takes our love away from God). I would suggest that we are our only false gods. Anything that we put in the way of God is due to our own selfishness. Once we realize that it is God who deserves all that we have then we truly realize how "real" He truly is. Let me put it this way: Just because we don't value something doesn't cause it to cease to exist (nor does it conclude that it never existed in the first place). There are plenty of things that I don't value that exists just as much as you and me. Make sense?

Not quite.

 

I'm trying to look at it from the point of definitions.

 

Lets make some analogies.

 

Would you ever consider a law valid which would tell you "Don't replace your head with another head"? You probably wouldn't because you know it is impossible.

 

But could you have a law saying "Don't drive another car than Ford Escort 1998"? Sure, that you could do, but it also means that it is possible to drive another car.

 

What I'm getting at is that if it is possible to replace YHWH God with some other God, lets call it Brocko (in lack of anything better), it would mean that the treatment, actions involving, and attitude are all transferable to Brocko. A person's connection and relationship with YHWH is on the same level and comparable to the connection and relationship the person can have with Brocko. If not, the person would immediately be able to tell the difference and know something was amiss. But since a person can't tell the difference, doesn't it reveal some flaws in the person's relationship with YHWH to begin with? Does it suggest that the person never really was a believer, or does it propose the possible answer that a relationship can't be deeper than how a relationship with Brocko would be?

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The Bible says time and time again that we are to have no other gods, or false idols, and put them in place of God.

 

Right. That's why I rejected the false xtian gawd in preference of The Holy Trinity: Reason, Logic, Pragmatism.

 

As the scripture (paraphrased) says:

 

και γνωσεσθε την αληθειαν και η αληθεια ελευθερωσει υμας

 

εαν ουν διαλογιζεσθαι υμας ελευθερωση οντως ελευθεροι εσεσθε

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Han Solo,

You would be right if you worked under the premise that you're working with: that all "Gods" are basically the same. Yet, let me throw this at you: What if there was someone who was so against God that he did everything in his power to trick people into thinking that they were following the same God when in fact they were not? That would throw a wrench in the works of your argument, would it not?

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No I'm not. Oneness does not mean the grass is God. I am not a pantheist. I don't believe nature is God. Oneness means it is all interconnected and is all assumed into ONE and comes out from ONE, it proceeds from ONE and returns to ONE - Source and Summit. Beginning and End. Manifestation is not the Source itself, but is Expression of It. So therefore, the second you put a name on it - Jesus - that is Manifestation. Even the Bible declares explicitly, not implicitly, that Logos is Manifestation. Messiah if you wish, is also Manifestation. Jesus is called the Son of God, (not God the Son). Manifestation of God.

 

Regardless, you are saying that Jesus is no different than an average manifestation....that we can all be Jesus in this sense. There would then be no need for Jesus, or the Cross, nor the New Covenant.

My goodness. I'm a little befuddled that my words just aren't understood. You come up with responses that show you don't have much comprehension of what I've said. Whose fault that is, I can't say. Perhaps I assume that because I understand it, it should be easily grasped when I lay it out. I don't know. It's probably because it's concepts are not as familiar. I'll try harder to communicate better.

 

"Average manifestation", you say? I've never said, nor suggested, nor implied that. In fact, I will draw your attention to some key words I said a few posts ago:

But people do experience the same thing. So either Jesus is the Source and, and is no respecter of religions, manifesting in Krishna and Buddha, etc, or Jesus is an Expression of Love, and that the Source is seen in the various Forms: Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, my child, your wife, me, etc
are all manifestations of it in one form, and
to one degree or another
. We are participate within it.

I am fairly meticulous in my word choices, and you will notice in the original post I had italicized that, "To one degree or another". There is a very specific, reaching reason why I did. How you get that I said Logos is just some "average manifestation" utterly escapes me. Strawman fallacy?? You put words into my mouth because it makes what I am saying overall easier for you to reject?? I don't get it. How did you hear that in anything I said? That is totally your words. Allow me to explain in clear detail what I mean.

 

Everything manifests "God", but it's not a flat, one dimensional world. Come back to my earlier example of the pyramid shape with cross sections all the way from the bottom to the top. The lower levels have greater span, covering more area. Each higher level is built on the lower level, and incorporates that level into its own depth (note the italics). But that level has less span horizontally, but greater depth vertically. Now add a layer going up. Greater depth, less span, all lower levels part of its own depth. Add another layer, and another layer, and another layer. Higher has greater and greater depth, but less and less span, fewer and fewer in numbers. Starting to see the picture yet?

 

Now, up at the top, at the peak, you have One, that incorporates all the lower levels, and its depth goes all the way down, and all the way up. But the entire thing, is manifestation - even the Peak itself. The Peak is the Expression into the Whole of Manifestation, from the Source of Manifestation. Everything from the bottom to the top; from the lowest more simplistic form - atoms spanning the lowest layers through the whole foundation, the entire cosmos, up to molecules, up to cells, up to organs, up to bodies, up to mind, up to... fewer and fewer, deeper and deeper, higher and higher, expressions of the Manifestation.

 

A blade of grass manifests Spirit, but you as a biological being with mind and consciousness manifest it more. much, much more. And on up. Higher levels of consciousness, greater awareness of depth of Spirit running from the foundation to the Peak. So to speak of "Logos" as the Face of God, is hardly to put it on the simpler levels of the expression of the Divine in human consciousness at this point, on average. Your misrepresentation of my views cleanly misses the target entirely.

 

So what then of Logos? Is the Christian interpretation of it - the only and only correct way to understand that 'First Cause', that Expression?

 

Again, you and Pastor both have yet to address head on the core point of this discussion. What Oddbird said, and I highlighted. Do I need to repeat it?

 

You can argue symbols, or Source and any other theology you want, but you have not address the reality of the experience of other outside Christianity with the Divine. I assert you can't because there is too much of a marriage to the religious symbols, and not enough of a connection with the Spirit to see beyond it. "Having ears to hear..."

 

Sorry if that offends, but this point has been raised since page one of these 22 pages and no answer yet offered that begins to approach speaking to the depths that others outside Christianity, as well as within Christianity, have and do continue to experience Transcendent Love that you and Pastor seem behold to deny them.

 

In Spirit there is Unity. You don't accept outside your beliefs. Therefore there is not Unity. And isn't that as I said, 'doing violence to Spirit'?

 

I'm sure you are attempting to make a joke. I didn't say dis-respecter. Do you honestly believe God is made ill by other religions besides Christianity? At least I hope you're joking.

 

No, watered down Christianity is like watered down milk.....bleeehaaahuuuck.

So... you're saying all religions not you're own are sick step children, and even the less than hard-core Christianites are not True Christians™, and that you've turned your life over to xenophobic, socio-centric, rejectors of all that don't conform to your human ideas of the Divine - that Spirit is found through rigid adherence to doctrine?

 

Crap. You really have lost touch with your experience, haven't you?

 

 

Love. Do you have it?

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On that note, why do you tend to say that we are closed-minded (never actually said, but implied many times)?

What I tend to say is that you are not answering the question, "What does this love of Jesus encompass that does not have a corresponding, experiential reality in non-Christian systems of belief?"

 

I think this dialog is drifting off the topic quite a bit. All your descriptions of the "love of Jesus," as much as I can recall have been answered with corresponding deep, fulfilling , exhilarating and humbling experiences as attested to by non-Christians.

 

In answer to the lament, "how [can] the love of Jesus be missed by so many people." that inspired this thread, I would say, "It is not being missed." In fact, it's being experienced everyday by people who have discarded the cloak and mask of Christianity and decided to enjoy the " higher qualities of life in its higher qualities, wonder, awe, love, community, ideals, etc." without the trappings of entrenched, oppressive ideology and religiosity. They may choose another set of symbols with which to approach the wonder of life and being, but that choice will be made from a position of openness and selectivity.

 

Like I said in a previous post, if immersing yourself in the Christian faith brings you peace and fulfillment, then more power to you. But, I maintain that the love of Jesus isn't being missed. It's being experienced every day by non-Christians in a variety of ways.

 

At least, based on how the "love of Jesus" has been described, it is not being missed.

 

Do any of the Christians on this thread care to answer the question in blue?

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Han Solo,

You would be right if you worked under the premise that you're working with: that all "Gods" are basically the same. Yet, let me throw this at you: What if there was someone who was so against God that he did everything in his power to trick people into thinking that they were following the same God when in fact they were not? That would throw a wrench in the works of your argument, would it not?

I think I covered that, but let me lay it out further.

 

That would mean that the experience of believing in the false God or true God would be the same. In other words, there is no difference in experience or belief. A person could believe in the false God and believe that this is the true belief in the true God. And if a person first believed in the true God but then was fooled to believe in the false God, it would mean there is no distinction in the person's experience or feelings. He or she would not be able to tell the difference. So how can God hold people responsible for knowing which belief is true, and which God is the true one?

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You know I have to agree with End here, The Bible says time and time again that we are to have no other gods, or false idols, and put them in place of God. You see we're not putting God into a box we are freely exposing God for He truly is. Wouldn't you agree that we are all looking for truth in one form or another? Yet, when a group of people find that truth you call them wrong.

 

On that note, why do you tend to say that we are closed-minded (never actually said, but implied many times)?

 

<snip>

Christians must say these things or they are not Christians, plain and simple. We believe in Jesus Christ as the ONLY SOURCE, not one of many, to a full relationship and realization of God.

 

So End, well done. Thank you for your posts and your willingness to defend our faith in Jesus.

 

Peace, Love, and Soul

Larry

That is the problem. The Christian meme, in order to survive, requires that the Christian religion be the only one, the only way, and, just as importantly, any other ways sought are the wrong ways and will be punished for all eternity in torment beyond belief (unless you are one of those that doesn't believe in hell).

 

This belief is based on the Bible, which was written to support the Christian meme. It's completely circular.

 

Believe in the Bible because the Bible says that the Bible describes the Only way.

 

Believe otherwise, and you aren't a Christian, aren't going to heaven and in FACT, you are... [fill in the blank].

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Han Solo,

You would be right if you worked under the premise that you're working with: that all "Gods" are basically the same. Yet, let me throw this at you: What if there was someone who was so against God that he did everything in his power to trick people into thinking that they were following the same God when in fact they were not? That would throw a wrench in the works of your argument, would it not?

You certainly couldn't blame the poor human for having been fooled by a supernatural being (i.e. a god), now could you?

 

When every single discipline that humans can study show there is no god, and every "proof" of gods existence is faulty or non-existent, and the whole thing boils down to "faith" without reason, then the invisible, immaterial and undetectable is reasonably dismissed.

 

Even the gods that you propose as the ones "tricking" people don't seem to exist - except in the Christian's mind.

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My goodness. I'm a little befuddled that my words just aren't understood. You come up with responses that show you don't have much comprehension of what I've said. Whose fault that is, I can't say. Perhaps I assume that because I understand it, it should be easily grasped when I lay it out. I don't know. It's probably because it's concepts are not as familiar. I'll try harder to communicate better.

 

"Average manifestation", you say? I've never said, nor suggested, nor implied that. In fact, I will draw your attention to some key words I said a few posts ago:

But people do experience the same thing. So either Jesus is the Source and, and is no respecter of religions, manifesting in Krishna and Buddha, etc, or Jesus is an Expression of Love, and that the Source is seen in the various Forms: Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, my child, your wife, me, etc
are all manifestations of it in one form, and
to one degree or another
. We are participate within it.

I am fairly meticulous in my word choices, and you will notice in the original post I had italicized that, "To one degree or another". There is a very specific, reaching reason why I did. How you get that I said Logos is just some "average manifestation" utterly escapes me. Strawman fallacy?? You put words into my mouth because it makes what I am saying overall easier for you to reject?? I don't get it. How did you hear that in anything I said? That is totally your words. Allow me to explain in clear detail what I mean.

 

Everything manifests "God", but it's not a flat, one dimensional world. Come back to my earlier example of the pyramid shape with cross sections all the way from the bottom to the top. The lower levels have greater span, covering more area. Each higher level is built on the lower level, and incorporates that level into its own depth (note the italics). But that level has less span horizontally, but greater depth vertically. Now add a layer going up. Greater depth, less span, all lower levels part of its own depth. Add another layer, and another layer, and another layer. Higher has greater and greater depth, but less and less span, fewer and fewer in numbers. Starting to see the picture yet?

 

Now, up at the top, at the peak, you have One, that incorporates all the lower levels, and its depth goes all the way down, and all the way up. But the entire thing, is manifestation - even the Peak itself. The Peak is the Expression into the Whole of Manifestation, from the Source of Manifestation. Everything from the bottom to the top; from the lowest more simplistic form - atoms spanning the lowest layers through the whole foundation, the entire cosmos, up to molecules, up to cells, up to organs, up to bodies, up to mind, up to... fewer and fewer, deeper and deeper, higher and higher, expressions of the Manifestation.

 

A blade of grass manifests Spirit, but you as a biological being with mind and consciousness manifest it more. much, much more. And on up. Higher levels of consciousness, greater awareness of depth of Spirit running from the foundation to the Peak. So to speak of "Logos" as the Face of God, is hardly to put it on the simpler levels of the expression of the Divine in human consciousness at this point, on average. Your misrepresentation of my views cleanly misses the target entirely.

 

So what then of Logos? Is the Christian interpretation of it - the only and only correct way to understand that 'First Cause', that Expression?

 

Again, you and Pastor both have yet to address head on the core point of this discussion. What Oddbird said, and I highlighted. Do I need to repeat it?

 

You can argue symbols, or Source and any other theology you want, but you have not address the reality of the experience of other outside Christianity with the Divine. I assert you can't because there is too much of a marriage to the religious symbols, and not enough of a connection with the Spirit to see beyond it. "Having ears to hear..."

 

Sorry if that offends, but this point has been raised since page one of these 22 pages and no answer yet offered that begins to approach speaking to the depths that others outside Christianity, as well as within Christianity, have and do continue to experience Transcendent Love that you and Pastor seem behold to deny them.

 

In Spirit there is Unity. You don't accept outside your beliefs. Therefore there is not Unity. And isn't that as I said, 'doing violence to Spirit'?

 

I'm sure you are attempting to make a joke. I didn't say dis-respecter. Do you honestly believe God is made ill by other religions besides Christianity? At least I hope you're joking.

 

No, watered down Christianity is like watered down milk.....bleeehaaahuuuck.

So... you're saying all religions not you're own are sick step children, and even the less than hard-core Christianites are not True Christians, and that you've turned your life over to xenophobic, socio-centric, rejectors of all that don't conform to your human ideas of the Divine - that Spirit is found through rigid adherence to doctrine?

 

Crap. You really have lost touch with your experience, haven't you?

 

 

Love. Do you have it?

 

As an aside question:

Let me ask you....as I think Christ let the Father go on the Cross, where is Jesus and the Father in your life today Keith?

 

Moving on:

What I am hearing you say is there is Spirit responsible for manifestation, and no religion nor symbol is that Spirit. In your mind, this Spirit can be accessed by finding or seeing the top of the pyramid, or even stepping beyond the apex into the Source itself? How am I doing so far?

 

Now, as a Christian, I believe in the Christ Jesus and the following Scripture:

 

1Jo 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

 

I believe this because I feel as though I have been given the Spirit through faith in the Son....an experience.

 

You and NBB are, to my understanding, placing Jesus in the "deny" category by saying that there is no need for His Presence in your lives, as you may find the apex or step outside the pyramid at any time on your own accord.

 

This is contrary to my believe and my faith that this is the Truth.

 

It is by default in my mind and faith that you, Keith, cannot access the Spirit unless God has already bestowed the Holy Spirit upon you as a former Christian, or sovereignly makes Himself known outside of this time of belief in your life. I had stated that in an earlier post.

 

Now, to the question at hand, the objective end.....is the Love that I share for each of you here. Is the fact that I am unyielding in my belief in Christ, the Author that has healed the pain in my life, the wanting to share this, not a testimony to the Love that I have for people here....is not our conflict the best testimony?

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On that note, why do you tend to say that we are closed-minded (never actually said, but implied many times)?

What I tend to say is that you are not answering the question, "What does this love of Jesus encompass that does not have a corresponding, experiential reality in non-Christian systems of belief?"

 

I think this dialog is drifting off the topic quite a bit. All your descriptions of the "love of Jesus," as much as I can recall have been answered with corresponding deep, fulfilling , exhilarating and humbling experiences as attested to by non-Christians.

 

In answer to the lament, "how [can] the love of Jesus be missed by so many people." that inspired this thread, I would say, "It is not being missed." In fact, it's being experienced everyday by people who have discarded the cloak and mask of Christianity and decided to enjoy the " higher qualities of life in its higher qualities, wonder, awe, love, community, ideals, etc." without the trappings of entrenched, oppressive ideology and religiosity. They may choose another set of symbols with which to approach the wonder of life and being, but that choice will be made from a position of openness and selectivity.

 

Like I said in a previous post, if immersing yourself in the Christian faith brings you peace and fulfillment, then more power to you. But, I maintain that the love of Jesus isn't being missed. It's being experienced every day by non-Christians in a variety of ways.

 

At least, based on how the "love of Jesus" has been described, it is not being missed.

 

Do any of the Christians on this thread care to answer the question in blue?

 

Yes, I do. The Love of Jesus is specific to faith in Jesus as Christ. As I was saying to AM, unless God circumvents this methodology to access, or you were given it during your stint as a Christian, then regardless of my account, which is subjective, you won't understand the Love of Jesus.

 

You are saying by comparative accounts that there is no difference. I am saying there is, but you won't know unless you subscribe, and then still might not know.

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Yes, I do. The Love of Jesus is specific to faith in Jesus as Christ. As I was saying to AM, unless God circumvents this methodology to access, or you were given it during your stint as a Christian, then regardless of my account, which is subjective, you won't understand the Love of Jesus.

 

You are saying by comparative accounts that there is no difference. I am saying there is, but you won't know unless you subscribe, and then still might not know.

Then you don't know that my experience isn't genuine. And since I experience indescribably vivid Joy and Love in the grip of a sense of oneness with the universe, then I really don't need this esoteric , elusive Love of Jesus. What I have is what it is and it's Awesome! I sure hope you have what I have.

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In light of all of that, my thought for all of you is this: In regards to the love of Christ, how much do we hold against Jesus for the institution of Christianity and how much do we misunderstand due to the institution? The Love of Christ is something that is great and wonderful, but what has the institution done to destroy that image? What has the institution done to mar Jesus Christ to the point where He is unrecognizable...

 

Hi Larry,

 

The experiences that I would call the Love of Christ that I personally have felt in the past, including during one point when I looked into other forms of Christianity (ones I hadn't grown up with) after deconverting, were so different from what I saw in the "official" teachings about Jesus in almost any of the denominations I looked into, and so different from his portrayal in the bible, that it's my opinion now that the marring you speak of was done way back during the formation and codification of the religion itself.

 

If you are interested in a perspective on the Love of Jesus which does match my experience and which came close to bringing me back to Christianity after my deconversion, then you might be interested in a little essay I found in Appendix C of a book called Growing up Holy and Wholly: Understanding and Hope for Adult Children of Evangelicals by Donald Sloat, Ph.D. It's called "God's Grace: The Radical Option" and was excerpted from a lecture given by Dr. J. Harold Ellens. It's about radical Divine grace of a kind I have rarely seen actually practiced or even really talked about in Christian churches.

 

Here are the final two paragraphs of the essay which sum up the general idea, though it still may be worth reading the whole thing:

The history of religion has been a patch job, a patch job in orthodox problem solving. The tragedy of it is that orthodoxy is always merely the posture of the arrogance of the elite, the security system of the chosen, the self-certifying and self-justifying system of the in-group. It is an idol substituted for God and his truth. Orthodoxy is always the enemy of truth; it is always the compulsive and formalistic enemy of grace. Grace urges egalitarian solidarity with the whole, flawed humanity for whom God is unconditionally in favor.

 

Theology which implies that I'm okay if I go through the correct motions and measure up is pagan. Conditional grace is no grace at all. In that kind of posture we are people who come crawling to God with a rusty cup in our cramped fist. Grace means that we are invited to run in reckless abandon to him with yawning buckets and gaping hearts.

 

Although the author contrasts unconditional grace with a conditional kind of "love" that he considers to be "pagan," I have personally found more of this kind of unconditional grace in the practice of modern Paganism than elsewhere.

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Bird Lady, I will be getting to your post in a minute but first I must respond to OddBird and AM:

 

So let me get this straight, I have yet to answer the question? What a Short term Memory y'all have. Allow me to quote myself from page one of this post:

 

 

"I would agree that the Love of Jesus, or what is meant by it, is a expression of human experience; however, as you would expect, this expression is not something humans can create. Now, I will be the first to admit that I see tons of people, who do not believe, who are genuinely loving and caring people. I have many friends who don't believe in Christ and they are people who share the same values as I do. So, at the least, I would suggest that the Love of Christ is not something that is shown in our higher morals or values; it is only something that we experience from God."

 

You go on by saying this:

 

"How is it that one person's not tying this to a symbolic figure "Jesus" means that they don't share the same truth? And of greater importance, how is it that the one who claims an embrace of truth by holding up a religious symbol, "Jesus", in this case, is unable to see it in others? How is it that because they hear someone challenge or dismiss the system of religious mythologies of gods and sacrifices of appeasement, that they leap to the conclusion that we don't know the nature of love?"

 

 

Whether or not you believe in Jesus is the measuring stick of what I see as truth. If you don't believe in Jesus, how can you believe in the truth that He teaches? My truth (or I see it everyone's truth) cannot be truth without Jesus Christ at the center. It's not that I don't think non-Christians are unable to know the nature of love, I just think (and don't be offended) that you cannot experience the fullness of that nature without the truth of Jesus Christ."

 

If you would have remembered that post you would have seen that I did answer your question: perhaps you misunderstood me. Allow me to explain myself a bit further and more bluntly:

 

"What does this love of Jesus encompass that does not have a corresponding, experiential reality in non-Christian systems of belief?"

 

The answer for the Christian is simple: You don't know Christ you don't know God. Allow me to quote Jesus:

 

"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on, you know him, and have seen him."

 

 

Taking that argument a little further:

1 John 4:7-21

7. Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

8. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

9. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

10. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

11. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

12. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

14. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

15. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.

16. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

17. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.

18. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19. We love because he first loved us.

20. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

21. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

 

You see you cannot escape tying Jesus Christ into the Love of God. Therefore if you don't know Jesus, the Son of God, then God doesn't live within you. If God doesn't live within you then Love does not live within you. If Love doesn't live within you, then you can't experience the fullness of love that only Christians can possess

 

Now do not try to take this and say that anyone who "loves" has God within them, notice how that this passage ties Jesus Christ with God living inside of you.

 

So what do I have that you don't? What do I possess that a non-Christian doesn't? Perfect Love (see verse 18 above). It's as simple as that. You cannot possess love in it's perfect sense if you don't believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior.

 

 

As I've said before (see first quote above) I know you can experience love and feel that love for one another, but you do not have the ability to possess the fullness of that love until Jesus, that is God, enters you and takes residence. It is only through this means that we can possess the fullness of love. Plain and Simple

 

 

Peace, Love, and Soul

 

Larry

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Larry,

 

I suspect that you have no experience of the exclusive love of Jesus to relate, or you would relate it in words.

 

Instead, you merely hide behind flat text and, in essence, cry "You don't have what I have unless you do what I say this text says!"

 

Relate this experience of the love of Jesus to us. Communicate it. What is the love of Jesus that only you and other Christians have?

 

How do you know I don't already have it? Maybe God doesn't agree with you. Maybe he's just letting you believe what the flat text of a book says because he knows that's all you can handle. Maybe he knows that you couldn't handle the freedom that I've found to experience the grip of the Ultimate, the Love that comes from knowing the Oneness of all Things.

 

Like I've been saying, if it works for you and end3, then I am truly happy for you. But, I sure hope you have what I have!

 

But you know, I would think that if the "love of Jesus" is truly something worth having and if the "love of Jesus" is something that I can't have without Jesus, it would seem like you would find the words to explain what this "love of Jesus" is, especially since you yourself have stated that you cannot believe so many of us are missing it.

 

So c'mon, Larry. Describe it. Describe this thing that I cannot have without Jesus. How will I know that you are right and I am wrong if you don't do the work of describing this elusive, exclusive Reality that you enjoy so well?

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This is not a cop out:

 

To explain what I experience is to explain God Himself. It is inexpressible yet the most enjoyable thing I have encountered in my entire life. You say I hide behind a flat text: to you maybe, but to me this text jumps out and speaks to my soul. It is what helps me describe what I feel and experience, so not flat at all. The Word of God is vibrant and alive in my heart as it is the basis of my experience.

 

Now with that said let me try to explain what I have that Non-Christians cannot:

 

It is a rush of emotion and enlightenment that has truly allowed me to see myself and others for what we truly are.

It is a sense of hope and joy that goes beyond all understanding. Issues arise and I rest in the fact that I do not need to worry because God is in control.

I feel a closeness to God that I have never felt before. Since Jesus lives within me I interact with His Spirit on a daily basis. That relationship alone and the experience that goes with it is good enough of an explanation as to what I experience that you simply cannot.

 

Now I know what you'll say: "Larry I do experience though things." Yet this is will always be a circular argument between the both of us because you cannot measure the type of love that we are referencing. I know what I say is true because I have felt God, experience God, through the source - Jesus Christ. I know that what you say is not because you do not experience God, currently, through Jesus Christ. Again, Plain and Simple.

 

Peace, Love, and Soul

 

Larry

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I don't think we will get through. They may be right where they are supposed to be.

What does my signature say? "What we are, that only can we see." It's not a judgment, but an understanding.

Indeed, yet I always have a little lingering hope inside me because it happened for me with a force that had me looking like a mad-woman. I was laughing out loud with tears streaming down my face. That realization...that shock...that breath-taking switch of understanding was amazing to say the least.

 

Okay - NBBTL, is there a testimony page on you? Gotta' hear about what has left you with "a little lingering hope inside me". :thanks:

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I know that what you say is not because you do not experience God, currently, through Jesus Christ. Again, Plain and Simple.

 

Larry,

 

Thanks for responding. I really feel like you and end3 have addressed the crux of the issue of this entire thread.

 

I appreciate the fact that you recognize that in all the experience that you relate, we non-believers experience feelings and thoughts that are very powerful.

 

Please let me clarify one thing, however. I don't doubt that you receive sensations and experiences that are alive and vibrant to your heart through your scriptures. I recall those same sensations as a believer as I would study the scriptures. When I referred to hiding behind flat text, I was not referring to your experiences as you studied scripture. What I was referring to by saying that was the attitude of exclusivity - - that based on mere dogma you believe you can evaluate the validity of my experiences and the experiences of other non-Christians.

 

With the recognition of our intense experiences, your statement about knowing that we don't experience God is telling. Based on dogma you claim a knowledge about our personal experiences. This isn't real knowledge. You can't possibly know about our experiences. It is a hopefulness. You hope that we are wrong and that you are experiencing something more real than we are. And that is really nothing to hope for. One's intellect, emotions and writing skills could better be spent on more noble pursuits.

 

Rather than accept that other people can have experiences that approach, and possibly exceed, your own in terms of depth ,intensity and transforming power, you cling to the exclusive claims of your dogma. Somehow, I think that because I don't throw this exclusive wet blanket on the fires of your experience ( I accept your experience, though I reject your exclusivity) my experience may be freer, livelier and more powerful than yours. But I don't insist that it is true. I suspect it, however.

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quick response before I address some specifics later:

 

"A number of blind men came to an elephant. Somebody told them that it was an elephant. The blind men asked, ‘What is the elephant like?’ and they began to touch its body. One of them said: 'It is like a pillar.' This blind man had only touched its leg. Another man said, ‘The elephant is like a husking basket.’ This person had only touched its ears. Similarly, he who touched its trunk or its belly talked of it differently. In the same way, he who has seen the Lord in a particular way limits the Lord to that alone and thinks that He is nothing else."

 

Here

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I'm going to form a more proper response later over the next few days as time allows for some thoughts I'm having. But for right now, some clarifications are in order:

 

What I am hearing you say is there is Spirit responsible for manifestation, and no religion nor symbol is that Spirit. In your mind, this Spirit can be accessed by finding or seeing the top of the pyramid, or even stepping beyond the apex into the Source itself? How am I doing so far?

Not quite. Spirit can be seen and experienced through symbols, through forms, through expressions, just as you can experience and see my spirit through my words, through my expressions, through my music. But I am not my music. I am more than my music.

 

Accessing the Spirit is not in seeing or finding the top of the pyramid, so to speak. It is accessed at every single level all the way up and all the way down. It is access by going within. How deep you go is what the question is. I believe we are capable of evolving to very high levels and greater depths of the Divine within. But at every point you are touching it, accessing it.

 

And that, End, is what currently distinguishes you and I. I believe you are accessing it, where you are at. You deny everyone else, and I consider that short-sighted and immature, like the adolescent who thinks adults aren’t all that smart, since he’s got it all figured out. All I'm doing is pointing out your immaturity, not denying you access to Spirit. That's what you are doing to us. And that fact, is what is the first telling shortcoming of that approach. You are unable to Unite.

 

So how are you doing so far? Not really grasping how I actually see things very well.

 

 

Bird Lady, I will be getting to your post in a minute but first I must respond to OddBird and AM:

 

So let me get this straight, I have yet to answer the question? What a Short term Memory y'all have. Allow me to quote myself from page one of this post:

Again, to the fact that I actually include these details in most of my posts that answers this before you even said it, which you missed:

 

Sorry if that offends, but this point has been raised since page one of these 22 pages and no answer yet offered
that begins to approach
speaking to the depths that others outside Christianity, as well as within Christianity
, have and do continue to experience Transcendent Love that you and Pastor seem behold to
deny
them.

 

 

In Spirit there is Unity. You don't accept outside your beliefs. Therefore there is not Unity. And isn't that as I said, 'doing violence to Spirit'?

Please note my careful word choices I’ve underscored here? I didn’t say you didn’t answer, I said it didn’t come close to even actually speaking to this. My response to you about you isolating the experience of love within the objects of your devotion to the exclusion of others, such as saying I don’t know love because it’s not with your wife, illustrated how that was no answer at all. You failed to offer a rebuttal of that, and why my comments, that you created a Straw man out of, were stated by me. “No answer yet offered that begins to approach speaking to the depths that others outside Christianity,” continue to experience Transcendent Love (which is the same as saying the Love of Jesus - it's the love of the Divine, and I don't accept a quibble about it being specifically the Nazarene here - we're speaking the "Glorified Christ" or the Divine).

 

And to End, if God is making special exceptions to the rule, He’s making an awful lot of them which seems to encourage people to continue in their other religions and not convert. Been doing that since before Christianity, and ever since. Maybe there’s a larger picture than those who are assessing the whole Elephant by feeling the trunk without the benefit of sight??

 

My larger response to come over the next few days.

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What and why? Why does it have to be some sort of ego trip for Jesus? I'm really having a hard time understanding why this exclusive title is pasted onto Jesus. Why would Krishna, Buddha, et al be like step-parents? They are saying the same thing as Jesus and there are still people out there that are just as enlightened as Jesus was. Jesus wasn't the "Father" (in a literal/external sense) so why would the others be step-fathers?

 

I'm sorry, I'm getting a little frustrated...

 

I think my answer to this is tied to the response I gave AM. I am not ignoring you NB, but it really is about the jealous love of a father.

I'm backing out for now because, as I said, I'm a little frustated that God, which is greater than all stories and religions, is being stuffed in a box and labeled. Every so often, the box is opened and worshiped, along with all the qualities that are listed on the label (such as jealous), then closed again with a red sticker that says..."Warning! Private Property!"

 

Idolatry at its finest.

 

This is really a pretty rude statement. If you would like to discuss it, then step back up and let's talk about the hard stuff.

Yes, it was a rude statement, but you know what? I care for you end but throughout this entire thread, I have listened to Larry and you tell me (and others) that what we experienced doesn't have the depth and "Love" that a Christian can experience. Is that not rude also? I said I was getting frustrated and I do have a breaking point and when AM and I were discussing my experience and the poem he posted, my heart was about to burst. Then you talk about how our understanding of Christianity and it's symbols tastes like watered down milk. Yes, I spoke my mind and this is what I see the "Religious" doing...boxing God up and hoarding "It" like they own "It". I know they don't, but the arrogance it takes to think something like this just tears me up. And I guess it bothers me more with you than Larry because every so often, I "see" that understanding come out in you and then you pull back. It's heartbreaking...

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And I guess it bothers me more with you than Larry because every so often, I "see" that understanding come out in you and then you pull back. It's heartbreaking...

That is an observation of mine as well...

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I'm going to form a more proper response later over the next few days as time allows for some thoughts I'm having. But for right now, some clarifications are in order:

 

What I am hearing you say is there is Spirit responsible for manifestation, and no religion nor symbol is that Spirit. In your mind, this Spirit can be accessed by finding or seeing the top of the pyramid, or even stepping beyond the apex into the Source itself? How am I doing so far?

Not quite. Spirit can be seen and experienced through symbols, through forms, through expressions, just as you can experience and see my spirit through my words, through my expressions, through my music. But I am not my music. I am more than my music.

 

Accessing the Spirit is not in seeing or finding the top of the pyramid, so to speak. It is accessed at every single level all the way up and all the way down. It is access by going within. How deep you go is what the question is. I believe we are capable of evolving to very high levels and greater depths of the Divine within. But at every point you are touching it, accessing it.

 

And that, End, is what currently distinguishes you and I. I believe you are accessing it, where you are at. You deny everyone else, and I consider that short-sighted and immature, like the adolescent who thinks adults aren’t all that smart, since he’s got it all figured out. All I'm doing is pointing out your immaturity, not denying you access to Spirit. That's what you are doing to us. And that fact, is what is the first telling shortcoming of that approach. You are unable to Unite.

 

So how are you doing so far? Not really grasping how I actually see things very well.

 

 

Bird Lady, I will be getting to your post in a minute but first I must respond to OddBird and AM:

 

So let me get this straight, I have yet to answer the question? What a Short term Memory y'all have. Allow me to quote myself from page one of this post:

Again, to the fact that I actually include these details in most of my posts that answers this before you even said it, which you missed:

 

Sorry if that offends, but this point has been raised since page one of these 22 pages and no answer yet offered
that begins to approach
speaking to the depths that others outside Christianity, as well as within Christianity
, have and do continue to experience Transcendent Love that you and Pastor seem behold to
deny
them.

 

 

In Spirit there is Unity. You don't accept outside your beliefs. Therefore there is not Unity. And isn't that as I said, 'doing violence to Spirit'?

Please note my careful word choices I’ve underscored here? I didn’t say you didn’t answer, I said it didn’t come close to even actually speaking to this. My response to you about you isolating the experience of love within the objects of your devotion to the exclusion of others, such as saying I don’t know love because it’s not with your wife, illustrated how that was no answer at all. You failed to offer a rebuttal of that, and why my comments, that you created a Straw man out of, were stated by me. “No answer yet offered that begins to approach speaking to the depths that others outside Christianity,” continue to experience Transcendent Love (which is the same as saying the Love of Jesus - it's the love of the Divine, and I don't accept a quibble about it being specifically the Nazarene here - we're speaking the "Glorified Christ" or the Divine).

 

And to End, if God is making special exceptions to the rule, He’s making an awful lot of them which seems to encourage people to continue in their other religions and not convert. Been doing that since before Christianity, and ever since. Maybe there’s a larger picture than those who are assessing the whole Elephant by feeling the trunk without the benefit of sight??

 

My larger response to come over the next few days.

 

Maybe I am just slow....I have been accused of that many times in my lifetime, but I can see what appears to be fundamental differences in our beliefs. And that, coupled with conviction.....I don't know that there is a good end to this discussion.

 

I am not going back through our similarities as truthfully, I believe we have little common ground there.

 

What I would suggest is that to facilitate better understanding and edification of others, you might take the time to carefully choose your words so that they might identify that which you so adamently defend. You have lost me on more than one occasion by saying it's "this" and then later saying it's "that" (Please note Phanta's parody). I know of only One, and that was my experience that I have already shared.

 

I have noticed that you and those that appear to agree with you seem to share more of an earthly/universal/nature, and an overwhelming unity with that than any form of Christianity. I do find this interesting as well as what I see to be a very real profession, even seemingly physiological difference between believers vs. non.

 

I have enjoyed our discussion.

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I don't think we will get through. They may be right where they are supposed to be.

What does my signature say? "What we are, that only can we see." It's not a judgment, but an understanding.

Indeed, yet I always have a little lingering hope inside me because it happened for me with a force that had me looking like a mad-woman. I was laughing out loud with tears streaming down my face. That realization...that shock...that breath-taking switch of understanding was amazing to say the least.

 

Okay - NBBTL, is there a testimony page on you? Gotta' hear about what has left you with "a little lingering hope inside me". :thanks:

No, I have never done a testimony. I'm glad I didn't, because I was a strict atheist when I first arrived here. All I can say is that after my mother died, a friend set me on a path of openness (not Christianity or any religion). I began reading and listening to people speak about God and I questioned all of it. I would read something, wanting to understand, and it sounded foreign to me (like it does with end and Larry). Then, by the Grace of God (so to speak) something inside me shifted. I understood all at once! I jumped up, lauged out loud and bawled chanting Oh my God! Oh my God! That is what "It" is! I changed the note under my avatar to "I can see!" because I now can understand. My eyes were opened and my ears were cleared. Jesus made so much more sense (between the ignorance in there).

 

Birdlady made a wonderful post that is showing how even Christians are recognizing what they are doing. If Christianity took a turn back to what is hidden in the bible, I would go back. But, I will not "search the scriptures daily because in them you think you have found eternal life." Never again, because it isn't in the words (symbols)! They do just what Jesus didn't want to be done and worship the rules that was built up around who the authors wanted him to be. The religion about Jesus...not the religion of Jesus.

 

Oh, I need to stop because I'm derailing the thread again! :HaHa:

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