What Kind of Place is the Kingdom of Heaven on earth ?

shawn

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This illustrates the problem with christian philosophy in that there is very little regard for this world.
It is viewed as a sort of sorting ground/practice world where the only thing that really matters is who a person has faith in.

God will send the messiah and set all to right and a kingdom of heaven on earth will then be built.

So don't worry about those things which you could solve today as it doesn't really matter in the final analysis.
Just make sure you place your bet...er...faith on the winning entity.

I have no respect for this kind of thinking anymore.
I once embraced christian doctrine and thought it was true/real.
I see it now (at least a huge portion of it) as being counterproductive to the goal of building a better world now.

Therefore I suggest it be changed:D.
It is just an idea after all.
 

taijasi

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The last couple of posts on this thread are encouraging; they bring a smile to my face.

Others ... make me a little angry, since I see how much work is left to be done. Mostly though, they just make me feel sad. :(

Not that I disagree with what you're saying, Q. Your point is well taken, and I think most would agree with the gist (as the same discussion is taking place on the thread on Democratic religion and spiritual democracy).

Let's see, the Hebrew prophets are a smaller subset of visionaries ... at least in my book (this book being a smaller subset of God's). But they definitely were aware of some of the struggles, even the tremendous challenges that Humanity was - and is - destined to face in our future.

Shangri-La, if you don't mean this in the strict Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Shambhala, is sort of a colloquialism for this same sort of Utopia ... but as we know, More's Utopia and Bacon's Atlantis were presented somewhat differently. More wrote in 1516, Bacon 107 years later. In the esoteric tradition that I study, both men have gone on to become Masters of the Wisdom ... and that may be neither here nor there for most Christians, yet in my book this is a fairly important point to consider. What it means is that both men were able to share a unique spiritual vision with us, much as St. John the Beloved was able to do so in giving us the Book of Revelation.

The visions that were shared were 15 or 16 centuries newer than that of St. John. The social and political climate of 16th and 17th century Europe was very different than that of Palestine 15 centuries earlier. And, it should be born in mind, neither St. John - nor Bacon, nor More - were simply describing the likely course of events, or things to come in future centuries. They were also showing us, allegorically or metaphorically - even in deeply veiled symbolical form - certain relationships between God and man.

I realize that some individuals believe God and man are separate ... or have been separated. Consider, this gives them a totally different starting point in looking at this question about the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

Since I do not accept that man was kicked out of the Garden of Eden - unless you take this in its symbolical, allegorical, mythical sense - I will also not accept that man and God are fundamentally, irreconcilably separate. And plenty of Christians will agree on each of these points.

I simply cannot avoid believing that the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth will come about, and that eventually (though no time soon) it will involve what we understand now as Perfection - just as Christ was Perfect ... even as the FATHER is Perfect! For this, and no less, is in Christian Scriptures (New Testament) - and the Teaching is clear.

Yes, there are forces which oppose the establishment of this Kingdom, precisely because it threatens their own choice and ability to live unto themselves. But consider, the very PREMISE, the very sticking point which such groups and individuals make, is that they have the right and the prerogative to REMAIN separate.

How dare you ask me to cooperate, to get along, to make minor (let alone Great) sacrifices ... and to become something better, or more, than I currently am! This - is their defiant attitude. And I think anything more sinister is better left to the imagination, as the problem is a very real one, and is surely one that the Christ (and His Church) are already dealing with in Their own way. (And thank God for that!)

What can we do?

Let's see, we can be a part of the Forces of Light, those who work for GOOD.

Or we can consciously choose evil, meaning greed, selfishness and separatism.

It may not always be entirely easy to live up to our own model for Good, or our Ideals ... yet making the choice seems to me to be pretty simple and straightforward. It is a daily choice ("I die daily"), and it requires renewing our commitment and promises to God, instead of resting on our laurels. It means being open to whatever God has in store for us (individually, one by one, as well as together, as a people, as a planet) around the next bend.

Let's remember - or consider - if there were prophets 2500 years ago and before, why wouldn't there be such individuals amongst us now? Why in the world should we think that God is without plenty of able-bodied as well as intellectually gifted men and women, here in the world with us today, who are more than capable of helping us to share the Vision (God's Vision) of what it is that God wishes for us - TODAY, and in the days to come?

Perhaps there are such Visionaries, perhaps there are already great Teachers among us ... and maybe, just maybe, the Kingdom is - once again/already/still - even closer, or just as close, as it was 2000 years ago. How can that which has always been here - arrive? Isn't it more likely that WE simply do not behold it, as Christ indicated?

And, if we can see such apparent differences (as some claim) between how it is that we think God wishes for us to live ... and how we are presently living ... then shouldn't we be asking ourselves, "What can I do (different, better) to help prepare the Way? To help establish the Kingdom?"

Personally, I'm not asking maybe, I'm not wondering perhaps ... I'm not asking whether, and I'm not even concerned with when. I know that it is now, whether I can "see" it or not, and I know we are all, already `there' - even if there isn't a where at all. You don't have to die to get to Heaven, you don't have to look anywhere `out there' ... but what was that part about recognizing the Christ in one's fellow man?

In the Kingdom of Heaven, do you really think you won't be able to see a bit of the Divine in everyone, in every being, you meet?

Still waiting for God to sort 'em out? If so, I think you're gonna wait a long, long time ... :eek:
 

taijasi

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I think it comes down to the kind of people we are.
Do we laugh at other people's misfortunes? Do we enjoy seeing other people make mistakes (on whatever scale)?
Or do we look for places to be helpful, to be of service, and seek to apply what we have learned, and what we know from treading life's path?
Do we take every opportunity as it is afforded us, handed to us as a gift, and seek to make the best of it? Even while adversities may face us, do we feel ready to accept the responsibility for them - vs. seeking a scapegoat - and deal with it? It, being the situation, *them* being those adversities. For while they may come in human form, from time to time, the only ones we really need to be worried about, are right here with us all along. They do not leave, they are - as some remind us - part of us ... just not the *only* part. :)

Our values, morals, ideals and role models remind us of - what?
And, this has to do with the Kingdom of Heaven, because ___ ...
 

Marsh

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Not in the Kingdom... yet.
What if we were speaking figuratively? What I mean is - Would you give up a life of selfishness to do your part in ushering in the kingdom so all humanity might benefit from your actions?

But I'm not living a life of selfishness.

The black and white terms of the last few points made on this thread are sadly amusing. It seems that if I don't put my faith in the ability of humanity to solve its own problems, it's assumed that I am being uncooperative. Actually, I am an extremely cooperative guy, and I care about the world, and I'm doing my bit to trim down my ecological footprint, and to work in a field where I can make a positive difference in teenagers' lives, and to raise my kids to be nice to others, and so on. But I really-- and maybe I'm mistaken here-- really get the feeling that there's a bandwagon being pulled through this discussion. And it's assumed that if you really care about others, you must jump on the bandwagon. That's what I got out of Shawn's post, anyways; that since I choose not to get on the humanist bandwagon, I have little regard for the world. And that's not true; I care, but in a realistic way. I'm not expecting all of humanity to benefit from my actions; just the few people whose lives are connected to mine. And I think that anyone who thinks that all of humanity will benefit from their actions is being a bit overdramatic.
 

shawn

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But I really-- and maybe I'm mistaken here-- really get the feeling that there's a bandwagon being pulled through this discussion. And it's assumed that if you really care about others, you must jump on the bandwagon. That's what I got out of Shawn's post, anyways; that since I choose not to get on the humanist bandwagon, I have little regard for the world.
Indeed...you are mistaken.
I am not "on a bandwagon" and I don't mean to imply that you should be either.

That is the problem with these kinds of discussions....many incorrect assumptions about others are made.....we all do it.

We type out what is on our mind, looking at what we are saying from the context that is so obvious internally.
Yet when another reads what has been written, it is seen from the perspective of that person, who may have no idea about the context or may get hung up by the way the idea was phrased.
Often I have seen several people having a go at each other over quite minor differences which amount to saying the same thing but just in a different fashion.

Also, having no (or limited) background info on the person who wrote the post, some (I have observed) jump to conclusions as they are seeing a similar stream of thought which they have encountered elsewhere and they respond to the poster as if they were the same person they encountered elsewhere.
It is a common occurrence in forums.

So how do we get around that without having to spend excessive amounts of time.
 

taijasi

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Hmm, Think Globally, Act Locally ... I like that, Marsh.

It doesn't mean that some people can't or won't be able to act on a much larger scale than the average Joe. That's one of the things that makes some folks stand out - and in a positive way! We need more role models like that, whether these be in the field of science, politics, economics or religion.

But we also need people who are ready, willing and able to step up to the plate, to do their part without calling attention to themselves, and who know and trust that - as has been said - "we work not alone." :)

As for bandwagons, why not look for a good seat in the orchestra? Personally, band practice never did much for me, but I do enjoy the symphony ... on occasion. Sure takes a lot of hard work and constant practice to get all those parts sounding so good together, but man what a beautiful experience when the Conductor raises his baton and the music starts to flow!

Why, it's just like Magic! :)

I wonder if people could ever learn to live together, tune their proverbial instruments to such a fine degree, and cooperate in the playing of several pieces of real-life, magical music ... like we can experience at the symphony. I'll bet we can. In fact, I will stake my LIFE on it.

Seems like as long as we're on the same page, and willing to put the Greater Good first, that's all that really matters. After all, there are many different sections in this orchestra, and even the clarinets may have different parts, at times. How pointless for the timpani to try and play the bassoon part, or for the french horns to insist that the harpists conform and play their part instead! I agree ... that would be ridiculous! :p

If we are in step, and doing our best to keep time - whether seated in the orchestra or marching in the band - I'll bet the performance will come off top-notch. What? You say this is the real deal? This isn't just a dress rehearsal!?!

Well Good! Who wants to just practice for all eternity, anyway? I'm sure as heck more interested in this Kingdom we were supposed to be talking about.

What's it like again?
 

Marsh

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Indeed...you are mistaken.
I am not "on a bandwagon" and I don't mean to imply that you should be either.

I know. I just said that that was what I got out of your post. I wasn't really making any assumptions, but I can see where you'd think that I was, and thus, I apologize.

The bandwagon does exist, though. And whether or not it was intentionally invited to this discussion, it is here nonetheless.

IF WE WORK TOGETHER, WE CAN ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING!

Stirring statement, isn't it? I mean, it's downright inspirational when you think about it: humanity putting their differences aside, and uniting together in the spirit of peace and cooperation, achieving goals that far surpass our individual imaginations. But it's propaganda-- an intentionally misleading statement made to motivate the general public to a specified end.

Anyone else here like The Matrix? There's a classic line by a character known as the Merovingian: Choice is an illusion created by those who have power, to control those who do not. Although I don't agree with the substance of this quotation, I certainly agree with the context, because as far as I can see, this is exactly how powerful people think.

(Directed to nobody in particular) Stop being naive; there's a reason why God plans to establish the Kingdom itself, and it's not because he's a glory-hog.
 

shawn

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Thing is, we people as a whole tend to be impatient and want utopia or heaven now, in our lifetimes.
So we need to balance that with the fact that whatever God is, He works according to His own timeline.
But there is nothing wrong with the idea that we should, as a species, put our differences aside and work together in the spirit of peace and unity to make our lot better.
Sure beats fighting and killing each other.......Right?
Perhaps we might find that we don't need some god to rescue us and establish a "kingdom" which is wonderful to live in as we can make this ourselves.
Once we realize that we are all One and have this God already inside each of us this shouldn't be a problem.
God is not external, and not just internal either, rather God is both.
Our whole universe is like a small appendage of God....a wee fragment.
 

Godtears

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Thing is, we people as a whole tend to be impatient and want utopia or heaven now, in our lifetimes.
After so many 1000s of years and so much suffering , how can you say that we are impatient

So we need to balance that with the fact that whatever God is, He works according to His own timeline.
I think that He is waiting for us otherwise He would be a cruel God

But there is nothing wrong with the idea that we should, as a species, put our differences aside and work together in the spirit of peace and unity to make our lot better.Sure beats fighting and killing each other.......Right?
I agree
Perhaps we might find that we don't need some god to rescue us and establish a "kingdom" which is wonderful to live in as we can make this ourselves.Once we realize that we are all One and have this God already inside each of us this shouldn't be a problem.
Until we can be ONE as an individual or even as an individual family, how can you have all the people of the world become one?
 

shawn

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After so many 1000s of years and so much suffering , how can you say that we are impatient

I think that He is waiting for us otherwise He would be a cruel God

Until we can be ONE as an individual or even as an individual family, how can you have all the people of the world become one?
We can-not anthropomorphize God.
And,
What is our time? What is thousands of our years?
Measured by the revolution of our planet around our very small sun, which is one of trillions of others.
We are not the time-piece of the universe.
But in our arrogance we have even liked to believe that the Universe revolves around us, and that it was created for us as if we were the crowning glory of all creation.
This is part of the problem we have.
We think far more highly of ourselves than is prudent, or even healthy.

And how can we judge God to say if he is cruel or kind.
We cannot even justly govern ourselves as history reveals....even the daily news clearly speaks this rather loudly.

The ideal of us becoming united as a species is, in spite of its apparent impossibility, the only hope which we have.
It is in our very essence to become such.
And so it will be.
When?, ............. that is another matter entirely.
If we would but work on ourselves then this would draw nearer.

But how many really desire this.....to make peace with their enemy?
Or would they rather take solace in revenge and harbor the little foxes of spite and envy?
 

Gatekeeper

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But I'm not living a life of selfishness.

The black and white terms of the last few points made on this thread are sadly amusing. It seems that if I don't put my faith in the ability of humanity to solve its own problems, it's assumed that I am being uncooperative. Actually, I am an extremely cooperative guy, and I care about the world, and I'm doing my bit to trim down my ecological footprint, and to work in a field where I can make a positive difference in teenagers' lives, and to raise my kids to be nice to others, and so on. But I really-- and maybe I'm mistaken here-- really get the feeling that there's a bandwagon being pulled through this discussion. And it's assumed that if you really care about others, you must jump on the bandwagon. That's what I got out of Shawn's post, anyways; that since I choose not to get on the humanist bandwagon, I have little regard for the world. And that's not true; I care, but in a realistic way. I'm not expecting all of humanity to benefit from my actions; just the few people whose lives are connected to mine. And I think that anyone who thinks that all of humanity will benefit from their actions is being a bit overdramatic.

Believe it or not, our actions reach across the globe in one way or another. What we do either effects the whole positively or negatively. Also, I didn't mean to imply that [You] were selfish. I'm sure you do your part to make the world a better place. It just seems that you have very little faith in humanity.

Jesus will be using us to usher in the Kingdom. We are His body after all. Why do you think repentance is so important? Why do you think we are called to live through the Spirit? We are one people (A collective whole) and we each play our part in the fate of all.
 

Godtears

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We can-not anthropomorphize God.
If He created us in His image why cant we ?

What is our time? What is thousands of our years? Measured by the revolution of our planet around our very small sun, which is one of trillions of others.We are not the time-piece of the universe.But in our arrogance we have even liked to believe that the Universe revolves around us, and that it was created for us as if we were the crowning glory of all creation.
God created us as His own children. I would call that the crowing of his creation.
 

taijasi

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Beautiful post, Gatekeeper. I think the last line says it all:
Gatekeeper said:
We are one people (A collective whole) and we each play our part in the fate of all.

Godtears said:
If He created us in His image why cant we?
We do ... every day. It's just that your images may differ from mine, and mine may differ from the next guy's. (`Mileage may vary' :))
“If God created us in His image we have certainly returned the compliment.” ~Voltaire

And how do you think extra-terrestrial civilizations will visualize or conceive of Deity as they have known God?

We are given pointers, indications, examples. Now it's up to us to apply what we've learned ... what we learn and observe every single day. We have plenty of guidance, too. Do we not?

Godtears said:
God created us as His own children. I would call that the crowing of his creation.
And again, this is a matter of perspective ... and relative. Some would say that there are spiritual Kingdoms (like the Kingdom of Heaven) which are already in existence, right here, upon planet Earth. And in that Kingdom, there are plenty who are ahead of us. Some may be human, some angelic, and please, let's not forget about the other civilizations out there. We aren't "It"; I assure you.

This is also leaving completely aside the vast angelic hosts which have brought all that we see, and touch, and can know (or imagine) into Being. Consult your Bible; besides Genesis, see Acts ch. 17, v. 28. In Whom do we "live and move and have our being"? What is the nature of this being in whom and which we live?

What is our relationship to this being ... ? Consult the preceding verse, if helpful (Acts 17:27).
 

Godtears

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And how do you think extra-terrestrial civilizations will visualize or conceive of Deity as they have known God?

We are given pointers, indications, examples. Now it's up to us to apply what we've learned ... what we learn and observe every single day. We have plenty of guidance, too. Do we not?

And again, this is a matter of perspective ... and relative. Some would say that there are spiritual Kingdoms (like the Kingdom of Heaven) which are already in existence, right here, upon planet Earth. And in that Kingdom, there are plenty who are ahead of us. Some may be human, some angelic, and please, let's not forget about the other civilizations out there. We aren't "It"; I assure you.

I do not believe in extra-terrestials.Sorry
 

17th Angel

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A thought, we're made in a god's image? And a Kingdom on Earth would be created by Humans.... This song sums it up well..

[youtube]eoFFPc31s9c[/youtube]


[/COLOR]
I do not believe in extra-terrestials.Sorry

But you believe in angels and gods? lol.... Sure you don't believe in ET's uh huh.....
 

17th Angel

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Have you seen the little piggies crawling in the d
Native: :) Indeed he was freaking awesome! lol. May he rest and live forever with his music.

And yes, if you believe in a god be it YHWH or Allah or Ra or Bishnu(sp) whoever... jewish god, christian god.... They -are- ET's as in not of this world... They are from out there.... *nods in direction to the heavens*

And if you believe in ET's.... As in aliens... I can dig that.... The maleovent speices being demons the benevolent being angels.... Ships and whatnot lol... Signs visions of a god... Divine power from the skies...

Either way it's an ET.


-EDIT-

Then again there are those that claim we're ET's to this planet lol.
 

Godtears

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A thought, we're made in a god's image? And a Kingdom on Earth would be created by Humans.... This song sums it up well..[youtube]eoFFPc31s9c[/youtube]
God created us in his image with the potential and the freedom to grow and become one with Him.
Unfortunately, our ancestors did not follow God's advice and went off course. The video is correct. This is the world we created. Not God.
It says in the bible that we need to be reborn. Unless we do, the world will continue to be dominated by evil. Jesus said that we are doing the will of our father, satan. He is running this world, not God.

But you believe in angels and gods? lol.... Sure you don't believe in ET's uh huh.....
I believe in God not in gods and I know that Angels exist. I do not believe in ET's
 

taijasi

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My theological differences are significant enough from yours, Godtears, that I should avoid addressing any particular points in the post you just made. But I do have a question for both you, and Marsh, and anyone else who hasn't addressed it yet. Some already have.

I think this is a good question because it may tell me - and hopefully others - something about the differing understandings we all have of what it is we should be working toward.

So, in short, what is that? What should we be working toward? Just what is our role in helping to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth? What do you understand Jesus to have taught regarding these responsibilities?

I am going on the assumption that we would all agree that Christ had the foresight and the insight into human nature - and into our greatest, highest potential(s) - to have a picture of what God's Kingdom, once manifested on Earth, would be like. How will things change; how will things improve? How will they be different?

I'm wondering if the Bible actually says anything directly about what the interaction will be like, between people, between governments, and between God and Humanity ... as the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth approaches and comes into full expression.

CERTAINLY we are expressing our opinions, views, partial understandings and interpretations. That is always the case, but it's also helpful to state, since I'm not `fishing' here ...

... err, okay, scratch that. I am always fishing. I cannot help that. What I trying to do, however, is be Socratic. I know the Vision exists. And I think plenty of other folks do too. That is not in question. What interests me at this time, is what we can figure out together, if anything, about what we can be doing, and people we know can be doing, to help bring about the K. of H. on E.

And to explore this, I find it helpful to begin to talk about practicals. Real life. The circumstances of our planet, of Humanity, of our environment, of our world government(s), and so forth ... as we transform into what it is we are called by God to transform into. A Beautiful Butterfly from the cocoon we've been spinning?

Yes, I like that. Imagery can be helpful, positive, uplifting and encouraging. All things I remember from my years in Sunday school, as well as from many Sundays spent in church.

Now I want to hear more about the Kingdom that is to come, the Kingdom that was already here 2000 years ago ... for those with ears to hear and eyes to see.

Tell me something. Can you SEE Love?
Why or Why not? If so, could you give me some examples?
And while I might want to connect some dots and talk about Agape in the Kingdom of Heaven, I'm not sure I have the authority to speak on that subject ... just now.

I have known, and know, plenty who do. I would like to hear ... more. :)
 
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