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

shawn

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taijasi:
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 see these stories as metaphors and symbols.
My answer is that we will only be able to assist in ushering in any "kingdom of heaven" into our earth by first connecting with it inside ourselves.
Only then will we have more than the vaguest clue as to what to do from there.
Plus, until people actually make that connection they will not really care enough to do anything significant.

Once a person develops "a heart of flesh" as opposed to one of stone, then they find that they actually do care, they care about a great many things.
Caring is the first step.
 

Godtears

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I do have a question for both you, and Marsh, and anyone else who hasn't addressed it yet. 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?
Taijasi, Jesus said that we have to be "born again".
What does that mean ? Why do we have to born again ?
The bible also says that at one time we died (the human fall) and humanity fell into ignorance
Today we see that culturally, Christians as a whole are not doing better in terms of family break down, all types of sins etc. When we look at other parts of the world where different religions are practiced, we see also many kinds of problems.
I believe the starting point is to understand why it means, "we died", what Jesus meant " to be reborn" and why still 2000 years after his coming, the world is still hell in many ways

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.
That is a very good question. The Kingdom was at hand, it was here. It did not happened. Why ?

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 like to respond with a question. What is true love ?
 

shawn

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Godtears:
That is a very good question. The Kingdom was at hand, it was here. It did not happened. Why ?
It has always been here.
It has never left.
All these misconceptions occur as true christianity (which was Gnostic) was usurped long ago so as to make christianity into a religion which would assist with controlling the empire.
They still talk about the stories, but for the most part haven't a clue as to what they really mean.
So it has become a dead religion all caught up in form (law and rituals...the dead letter), but far from the spirit which was the original intent.
Small wonder we haven't seen any really significant improvements in our collective experience from its influence.
 

Godtears

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It has always been here.
It has never left.
All these misconceptions occur as true christianity (which was Gnostic) was usurped long ago so as to make christianity into a religion which would assist with controlling the empire.
They still talk about the stories, but for the most part haven't a clue as to what they really mean.
So it has become a dead religion all caught up in form (law and rituals...the dead letter), but far from the spirit which was the original intent.
Small wonder we haven't seen any really significant improvements in our collective experience from its influence.
The fact that Jesus, its leader was killed may be a much bigger reason. Dont you think so ?
 

shawn

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The fact that Jesus, its leader was killed may be a much bigger reason. Dont you think so ?
No.
The kingdom of which he spoke was not what you think it is (or was).
It is just christian propaganda which claims that Jesus is the king of this kingdom, they make it out to be a tangible political system with a flesh and blood figure-head.
They wait in vain for a kingdom which we are to build based upon the symbolic "kingdom" which Jesus talked about as being inside of us.
This would be referring to people connecting with God within, our higher Self.
When people connect with the Source, they then do not require a teacher.....or a king.
 

taijasi

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My answer is that we will only be able to assist in ushering in any "kingdom of heaven" into our earth by first connecting with it inside ourselves.
Agreed. Makes perfect sense to me.

shawn said:
Once a person develops "a heart of flesh" as opposed to one of stone, then they find that they actually do care, they care about a great many things.
Caring is the first step.
Excellent point. Apathy is one of the greatest holdups to progress when it comes to externalizing the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

Godtears said:
Taijasi, Jesus said that we have to be "born again".
What does that mean ? Why do we have to born again ?
Being "born again" refers to the Birth of the Christ within the human heart. This was symbolized 2000 years ago in the coming into incarnation of Jesus of Nazareth. Although Jesus was a man, and certainly a human being like the rest of us (otherwise your opportunity to identify and make a connection with him is moot), he chose an incarnation which would symbolize this Universal occurrence.

The Christ exists within every human heart. This can be said to be true from the very beginning, or from the point of our entrance into the Kingdom of Humanity. The moment we take this step upon Jacob's Ladder, the Christ already exists, just waiting for the right Magic to kindle it into activity. This is like striking flint against steel, and the steel symbolizes sufficient experience in the Human Kingdom ... while the flint is the Christ Spirit which is sleeping within the Human heart.

Why must the Christ awaken? Because until then, we remain largely self-centered. We remain caught up in the concerns of the flesh, which are perfectly natural, right and proper ... at an early stage of the evolutionary experience. We progress, but we still remain caught up in emotional concerns and personal desires ... which are again, right and proper and natural for an earlier stage of our evolution. Many upon our planet are still stuck in some of these earlier stages.

But our purpose here includes a growth beyond the separate, isolated sense of self and identity. Our mental nature begins to awaken, and for a long time, we find ourselves on the path of searching. We will remain on this path through the various stages of discipleship, perhaps to the point where Christ Himself was - 2000 years ago. Meanwhile, our spiritual growth is largely individual, but is definitely progressing into Group Awareness, and is even touching upon the truly Planetary.

There are Kingdoms above and beyond (transcendent of) the `Kingdom of Heaven,' and these can be studied in the Bible as well as in other literature, both Christian and non-Christian. It does, of course, require an open mind and a spiritual readiness. The Christ must be reborn within us, which is something that is happening today on a wide scale, across the planet, both individually and within Group format. The current Era is that of Group Discipleship. The older, Piscean phase of Guru-Shishya devotion is no more. The new method of approach requires cooperation and Group Work. Christ foresaw this, Christ knew full well what was involved ... and He gave the Apostles hints regarding this change, as Witnessed in Scripture. See Luke 22:10 and Mark 14:13 ...

So the global awakening that has occurred upon the intellectual (mental) levels is a very positive thing. It has been affecting Humanity since well before the Scientific Revolution, and this stage of awakening plus the Renaissance means that new energies are now conditioning Humanity on a GLOBAL scale, rather than just an individual or a regional level. Humanity is finally at a stage in its growth where we are able to respond, en masse, to some of these new conditioning energies. The energies in & of themselves may be neutral (intended to stimulate the best within our Nature, in fact), yet they are also, some of them, Impersonal. This has nothing to do with one's ideals and choice (based upon Soul Nature) to visualize Deity in a personal form ... or to recognize the Christ Nature in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

But what we do have is the opportunity to recognize why it is that Jesus was able to receive the Christ. It was not because he was `special' and singled out by God for some important work. This could be said to be the case, but only with caveats and a careful explanation. Jesus was required to undergo the same process of spiritual evolution (growth and development) as the rest of us. That is the Hope that Christ holds for each of us ... that we might "all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).

The path of Discipleship, whose precursor is the path of Aspiration (the pledge of Discipleship), leads us eventually to the Path of Initiation, and the first stage of that, more formal path is the Birth of the Christ within the Human Heart. Christ clarified that NO PERSON can come to the Father except via the Christ because without the Birth of the Christ, we are like 1st graders trying to learn advanced calculus. No Teacher would waste his time trying to teach such a thing to such unprepared students. Instead, he knows that there are perfectly qualified teachers (Initiates of various degrees) who can teach the young ones what they need for their level.

St. Paul makes reference to this, using the analogy of feeding the young Christian congregations with milk until they became ready for the meat. Many are still in the stage of being fed with milk. Others are now ready for the meat. And of course, this was a simple metaphor, since many of those he was - and is - speaking to ... are the ones requiring milk. A more complicated explanation would have been - and often still is - lost on them.

Further, for the pearls of Wisdom that are presented, notice the reward. When a teacher goes to the trouble of sharing something, he must be certain that his audience is ready to receive it. He must be careful - VERY careful - just what he is saying, and to whom ... under what circumstances ... and of course, although we know that a true Teacher is fully cable and has the Authority to Teach, we should remember that he must choose to share what is of benefit to the SOUL - and not primarily the personality.

Many today are curious, some are genuinely hungry for Spiritual Truth (and these need to be fed more so than any other group), but others are only seeking to amass intellectual knowledge and decorate their proverbial plumage. This is a dangerous stage, but it is most dangerous for the individual, because a head full of knowledge does us no good if we are not ready, willing and able to APPLY what we have gleaned in Service on the Spiritual Path. Right now that means Service to Humanity. If Christ could gather every member of every Church that any one of you might belong to, and include every person that passes through these forums during the stages of their Spiritual search and Journey, His message would include an earnest appeal to you to BE OF SERVICE to others.

He would ask that you set aside your differences, petty squabbles and externalities ... and He would ask that you find endeavors which Unite you in Service to the Whole. The reason for this is that Christ does not work with individuals; He works with Groups. This is true of all of the Masters at this point. The person who has truly been "born again" will not question this, or find anything wrong with the statement that Jesus would like to see us all working together. And if that person could look to Jesus in the moment, s/he might see the finger at his lips ... for arguments, fallings out, hard feelings, and pedantic disagreements or displays only serve to accentuate our shortcomings.

Every single human being has the capacity to strive toward, to aspire toward, the VIRTUE which is already planted within his or heart ... as latent possibility. Ours is the task of seeing to it that we cultivate these Virtues, and we can certainly help each other to do this - in varying degree - no matter WHO the "each other" may happen to be. It can be people we know, people we don't know, family and friends, our national leaders, members of our religious communities, and so on. The other thing that we can do, for ourselves and for others, is to seek to diminish vice - or, our shortcomings.

Sure we may know that our friend, or family member, has a certain problem. These may be addictions, personal issues, marriage problems, or what-have-you. It does not matter. If you speak ill of that person, and dwell upon their problems - especially through gossip or loose talk - you are doing them the worst service possible. That is a deadly sin, and one day these things will all have to be faced. Within ourselves, we know there is a great deal of imperfection, but for every shortcoming, personal problem or vice that we have, there is an undeveloped Virtue which is the Heavenly Complement.

The Catholics have their Seven Cardinal Virtues, and when these are paired with the Seven Deadly Sins, we can see just what it is that God intends for us. Our is the path of Transmutation ... and it was walked by Jesus before us, long before He reached the Transfiguration experience, which is like a higher parallel and culminating event in relation to the more gradual process of transmutation.

Christ Jesus has proven that we can tread this path, and He did his best to get us to realize that THIS is why we have been given the circumstances of our lives ... including friends, family, teachers and leaders, support and encouragement on every side - just waiting for us to call upon and use this support network for spiritual growth. But that growth is not for self alone, and this is why the stages AFTER the Birth of the Christ are also important. The Journey does not STOP with the 2nd Birth; it only begins there.

Thus, Jesus of Nazareth went on to receive his Baptism, to become Transfigured spiritually ... and even to make the higher sacrifices that are necessary to "come into Christ" in a way that one day, we too shall understand and experience. He symbolized for us the stage that follows upon that Renunciation, and this we have preserved in the account of the Resurrection and Ascension. Here are the Five Stages of the Journey which we are all called to experience ... following, as it were, in Christ's FOOTSTEPS ...

... although, as has been pointed out, it is far easier simply to worship, adore and objectify the person of Christ Jesus, even to the point of largely disregarding precisely what it is that he asked us to do.
 

taijasi

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Jesus asked us to:
LOVE ONE ANOTHER ...

- and anyone that has been Born Again will do just that, seeing no boundaries, no exclusivities, no difference between self and other.

There are such people, but they are not all Christians, and not all Christians are born again.

When the Christian (average) can accept that people WORLD WIDE are working for the Reappearance of the Christ, s/he will find that there is a far greater Strength and Presence already active upon this planet ... working for the CAUSE of the Kingdom of Heaven ... than s/he has yet realized or imagined.

This has ALWAYS been the case. We do not SEE the forces which surround and bathe our planet in Love and Light, yet They have always been present. The Bible tells you so ... although that is certainly not the reason you should believe it. Believe it because you have experienced it; believe it because your HEART tells you so. And, as shawn tells you, your "heart of flesh," rather than a heart of stone. A heart of stone is not open to these things - or to others.

If you have yet to meet a non-Christian who nevertheless radiates, just POURS forth the Love and the Light and the Strength of Christ and of Heaven, then you need to get out more. Christ's Presence and Christ's approach is honored and assisted EVERY time we go out into the world seeking to do GOOD ... and Good, not for Christ's sake, but simply because it is right. Do it for Christ if that helps you as a motivation, but recognize that Good must be done for its OWN sake, and not simply to please another, not even God in the Highest. Only then, shall we one day hear, "It is pleasing to me."

Otherwise, in whose NAME do you suppose Jesus the Christ was doing all that Good stuff? His own? Hmmm. God's?

And what is that NAME? THINK, folks, THINK

So much concern for sillyness like the Tetragrammaton, Yahweh and Jehovah, yet an utter failure to recognize that God is not the least bit concerned whether you call God Bill or Pete or Ted or Jeff or Horowitz or Finklestein.

You would be better off to forget about God, just go forth and DO GOOD WORKS ... and let the natural process take its course. For God has designed this planet, and the Human being and the Human heart ... and CERTAINLY Christed Jesus ... such that in the course of time and inevitably, the Human Family will all reach the Goal as summarized in Ephesians 4:13.

Work not mechanically, or because you know it will bring you a reward, but work because you have a genuine desire to help others ... and to prove to them that the Kingdom of God knows no boundaries.

Or, you can argue with the Bible, and quibble and squabble amongst yourselves, you can pick apart the scriptures and chase away anyone who dares to speak to you about such things ... and you can keep your folds as isolated and well defined as they are today. This is not the future of Christ's Church; this is not the way Christ would like to see his followers getting along ... with Christian and NON-Christian alike.

If you must, be like the Buddhists, CONVERT and meditate upon Compassion. Or, if you feel the resonance with Christ Jesus, then at least remember the man's message. He did preach True Love. And he asked that we PRACTICE it.

When Christians persecute gays more than any other group that I can presently call to mind, I say you have failed in your charge. When Christians slaughter the `heathen' because they dare to believe different, I say you have prepared a very poor feast table to sit at with your Lord. When Christians find themselves splintering into tens of thousands of different groups, scattering your focus and energies into all various quarters of the planet instead of pooling your resources ... I say you have failed to show the UNITY which Christ Jesus taught and exemplified.

The Apostles were not perfect, and there were the same squabbles from time to time even amongst the Twelve, let alone the 70 and the 500. Do you think Jesus would have continued His Ministry if He had no Hope, no Faith and no KNOWLEDGE that these differences could be worked out?

Christ was able to foresee what would happen during the medieval era, knowing full well the bloodshed and unnecessary suffering, the Inquisition and endless torture, the persecution that would occur in His name ... for at least this much must surely have crossed His mind at Gethsemane. He had His own Will, and that would have been for us to avoid this foolishness. God had a higher Plan in mind, however, a greater Vision. And thus, Christ yielded. He was SHOWN that Plan, and He knew that is was the Way.

And I don't put it past Christ Jesus to have foreseen what horrors would befall the Gay community today, as such belligerence, hate and persecution have spewed forth from the mouths of "christians" (these not being Christians after Christ, worthy of that title in NAME only, as they fit Matthew 25:12 to the `T') ... all because they cannot fathom that Christ meant to love the Gays, too.

I tell you, Christ meant ESPECIALLY the gay community. Love them, or you do the Master a disservice. I will not judge you, nor even Christ Jesus. But I bet I know someone Who will.

What is the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth like? What is TRUE LOVE?

It is that condition in which Gays are SAFE upon this planet, in this (American) or any other society, not because we see them as DIFFERENT and feel that we must somehow go out of our way to PROTECT them or give them special treatment.

When the Kingdom has manifested or Externalized for all to see, there will be no difference in how one person is treated vs. another.

It is a long time coming and will not be here for many ages. Many thousands of years will surely pass, because as has been pointed out, this is not something that will happen overnight, suddenly transforming everything and everyone into cartoon-land with bunnies and flowers and chirping birds and streets of gold with feast tables and Jesus floating about for everyone to worship and feel happy and good about.

If part of that helps you to smile, then wonderful. That's important. Smiling can be the first step. And maybe you like the birds part, or the bunnies, or the very idea of the Presence of Jesus. After all, what is wrong with any of that? It certainly makes me happy to think about. :)

But I think the notion that the Kingdom of Heaven has FAILED, that Jesus did not help to anchor that Kingdom upon planet Earth 2000 years ago, is a mistaken one. Not that we greated him with a warm welcome, and not that it was an entirely successful Ministry. After all, it was cut short after just 3 years ... and Goodness knows what might have eventuated otherwise.

Jesus was killed because the priesthood of the day refused to acquiesce and to yield their Authority to some newcomer ... and not simply because he was young and had a few radical ideas. The Sanhedrin could see FULL WELL what it was that Jesus intended, and they knew PERFECTLY WELL that He was indeed the awaited Messiah. Worst of all, they had enough insight into His modus operandi, his Ministry and His intentions, that they did not expect a political leader to overthrow Rome, as some felt and fought for with such Zeal.

The Sanhedrin felt a threat to their OWN power, they recognized that they would be displaced if Jesus were allowed to continue His Ministry ... and - sadly - they really had no clear understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth that he was attempting to help establish.

Had things been different, had the Sanhedrin yielded and supported the Ministry, we might have a different planet today, but it would STILL not be a perfect place to live, without any crime or greed or religious persecution or suffering ... but it would be BETTER.

And this is why, as the Reappearance and Externalization gain momentum, with so many of the major setbacks behind us, we can just catch a glimpse of a true, GOLDEN ERA ahead ... perhaps decades off and even centuries, but not without plenty to get excited about in the here and now - and not without a lifetime of devoted Service and sacrifice that is expected, certainly possible, from all of us.

For Friends, I can tell you because I Know ... Jesus expects no less.
And there will be Rest, there will be Celebration,
and at the Heart of it all, there is Love and there is Joy.

In Service,
~Andrew
 

Godtears

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When Christians persecute gays more than any other group that I can presently call to mind, I say you have failed in your charge. And I don't put it past Christ Jesus to have foreseen what horrors would befall the Gay community today, as such belligerence, hate and persecution have spewed forth from the mouths of "christians" (these not being Christians after Christ, worthy of that title in NAME only, as they fit Matthew 25:12 to the `T') ... all because they cannot fathom that Christ meant to love the Gays, too.

I tell you, Christ meant ESPECIALLY the gay community. Love them, or you do the Master a disservice. I will not judge you, nor even Christ Jesus. But I bet I know someone Who will.

What is the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth like? What is TRUE LOVE?

It is that condition in which Gays are SAFE upon this planet, in this (American) or any other society, not because we see them as DIFFERENT and feel that we must somehow go out of our way to PROTECT them or give them special treatment.

When the Kingdom has manifested or Externalized for all to see, there will be no difference in how one person is treated vs. another.

It is a long time coming and will not be here for many ages. Many thousands of years will surely pass, because as has been pointed out, this is not something that will happen overnight, suddenly transforming everything and everyone into cartoon-land with bunnies and flowers and chirping birds and streets of gold with feast tables and Jesus floating about for everyone to worship and feel happy and good about.

If part of that helps you to smile, then wonderful. That's important. Smiling can be the first step. And maybe you like the birds part, or the bunnies, or the very idea of the Presence of Jesus. After all, what is wrong with any of that? It certainly makes me happy to think about. :)
Taijasi. I am surprised that you put so much emphasis on the mistreatment and persecution of Gays by Christians. It seems the other way around when I see what is happening in our society today.
Do you think that there are characteristics of homosexuality in God or in the Jesus's words ? Like God, Jesus could not have been more clear on thar subject.
Homosexuality is anti-biblical. It is a source of many conflicts on the public square. Disagreement is often interpreted as hate by the other side. Every body wants to be loved. That does not mean that you should agree with someone just to avoid conflict. True friends will correct you because they care.
 

Marsh

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Not in the Kingdom... yet.
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....We are one people (A collective whole) and we each play our part in the fate of all.

That's beautiful. Too bad it's not true. Of course, it's what we all want to believe, right up there with "you can do anything if you put your mind to it." But it just ain't true.

Before his death, Jesus prayed that we would be one. Right now, we are many, and as divided as the day that the contractors stopped work on the Tower of Babylon. The only way that humanity will ever become one is through Christ-- literally, but not figuratively.

See, it's a sort of Christian bombast to think that we can bring the world together through Christianity. Hell, do you even know one church where there aren't divisions in the congregation? I've never been in one, because they don't exist. The only force powerful enough to truly unite people across the world is Jesus Christ in the flesh, returning from heaven in a flash of glory for all the world to see. In comparison to that, all of our best-laid plans will become utterly meaningless, and we'll consider ourselves to be fools for trying to go it alone.

GK, I know that you've got a good heart and admirable intentions, but be serious for a moment: do you really think that your actions will reach the Congo? Or Mongolia? Or Peru? If they do, won't your negative actions do the same? Won't every time you swear at someone for cutting you off in traffic, or every time you yell at your kids, or every time that you cut a corner or bend a rule-- won't that stuff reach across the world too?

My relationship with God is much less impressive this-- much less earthshaking, and much more intimate. I do good because it's the right thing to do, and I try to avoid bad because I know it's bad, and I pray for forgiveness when I've done something wrong, and that's the extent of my motives. There will be wars, and there will be thefts, and there will be injustice, but I'll be no part of it, and I'll try to have my affairs in order when the King returns. And that's as far as it goes. It's wonderful to think that this modest little life of mine could have profound effects on the entire world, but such thinking is vain, as Ecclesiastes would say; though we'd like to think we're more enlightened, there really is nothing new under the sun.
 

Godtears

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Agreed. Makes perfect sense to me.
Excellent point. Apathy is one of the greatest holdups to progress when it comes to externalizing the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

Being "born again" refers to the Birth of the Christ within the human heart. This was symbolized 2000 years ago in the coming into incarnation of Jesus of Nazareth. Although Jesus was a man, and certainly a human being like the rest of us (otherwise your opportunity to identify and make a connection with him is moot), he chose an incarnation which would symbolize this Universal occurrence.

The Christ exists within every human heart. This can be said to be true from the very beginning, or from the point of our entrance into the Kingdom of Humanity. The moment we take this step upon Jacob's Ladder, the Christ already exists, just waiting for the right Magic to kindle it into activity. This is like striking flint against steel, and the steel symbolizes sufficient experience in the Human Kingdom ... while the flint is the Christ Spirit which is sleeping within the Human heart.

Why must the Christ awaken? Because until then, we remain largely self-centered. We remain caught up in the concerns of the flesh, which are perfectly natural, right and proper ... at an early stage of the evolutionary experience. We progress, but we still remain caught up in emotional concerns and personal desires ... which are again, right and proper and natural for an earlier stage of our evolution. Many upon our planet are still stuck in some of these earlier stages.

But our purpose here includes a growth beyond the separate, isolated sense of self and identity. Our mental nature begins to awaken, and for a long time, we find ourselves on the path of searching. We will remain on this path through the various stages of discipleship, perhaps to the point where Christ Himself was - 2000 years ago. Meanwhile, our spiritual growth is largely individual, but is definitely progressing into Group Awareness, and is even touching upon the truly Planetary.

There are Kingdoms above and beyond (transcendent of) the `Kingdom of Heaven,' and these can be studied in the Bible as well as in other literature, both Christian and non-Christian. It does, of course, require an open mind and a spiritual readiness. The Christ must be reborn within us, which is something that is happening today on a wide scale, across the planet, both individually and within Group format. The current Era is that of Group Discipleship. The older, Piscean phase of Guru-Shishya devotion is no more. The new method of approach requires cooperation and Group Work. Christ foresaw this, Christ knew full well what was involved ... and He gave the Apostles hints regarding this change, as Witnessed in Scripture. See Luke 22:10 and Mark 14:13 ...

So the global awakening that has occurred upon the intellectual (mental) levels is a very positive thing. It has been affecting Humanity since well before the Scientific Revolution, and this stage of awakening plus the Renaissance means that new energies are now conditioning Humanity on a GLOBAL scale, rather than just an individual or a regional level. Humanity is finally at a stage in its growth where we are able to respond, en masse, to some of these new conditioning energies. The energies in & of themselves may be neutral (intended to stimulate the best within our Nature, in fact), yet they are also, some of them, Impersonal. This has nothing to do with one's ideals and choice (based upon Soul Nature) to visualize Deity in a personal form ... or to recognize the Christ Nature in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.
But what we do have is the opportunity to recognize why it is that Jesus was able to receive the Christ. It was not because he was `special' and singled out by God for some important work. This could be said to be the case, but only with caveats and a careful explanation. Jesus was required to undergo the same process of spiritual evolution (growth and development) as the rest of us. That is the Hope that Christ holds for each of us ... that we might "all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).
The path of Discipleship, whose precursor is the path of Aspiration (the pledge of Discipleship), leads us eventually to the Path of Initiation, and the first stage of that, more formal path is the Birth of the Christ within the Human Heart. Christ clarified that NO PERSON can come to the Father except via the Christ because without the Birth of the Christ, we are like 1st graders trying to learn advanced calculus. No Teacher would waste his time trying to teach such a thing to such unprepared students. Instead, he knows that there are perfectly qualified teachers (Initiates of various degrees) who can teach the young ones what they need for their level.
St. Paul makes reference to this, using the analogy of feeding the young Christian congregations with milk until they became ready for the meat. Many are still in the stage of being fed with milk. Others are now ready for the meat. And of course, this was a simple metaphor, since many of those he was - and is - speaking to ... are the ones requiring milk. A more complicated explanation would have been - and often still is - lost on them.
Further, for the pearls of Wisdom that are presented, notice the reward. When a teacher goes to the trouble of sharing something, he must be certain that his audience is ready to receive it. He must be careful - VERY careful - just what he is saying, and to whom ... under what circumstances ... and of course, although we know that a true Teacher is fully cable and has the Authority to Teach, we should remember that he must choose to share what is of benefit to the SOUL - and not primarily the personality.
Many today are curious, some are genuinely hungry for Spiritual Truth (and these need to be fed more so than any other group), but others are only seeking to amass intellectual knowledge and decorate their proverbial plumage. This is a dangerous stage, but it is most dangerous for the individual, because a head full of knowledge does us no good if we are not ready, willing and able to APPLY what we have gleaned in Service on the Spiritual Path. Right now that means Service to Humanity. If Christ could gather every member of every Church that any one of you might belong to, and include every person that passes through these forums during the stages of their Spiritual search and Journey, His message would include an earnest appeal to you to BE OF SERVICE to others.
He would ask that you set aside your differences, petty squabbles and externalities ... and He would ask that you find endeavors which Unite you in Service to the Whole. The reason for this is that Christ does not work with individuals; He works with Groups. This is true of all of the Masters at this point. The person who has truly been "born again" will not question this, or find anything wrong with the statement that Jesus would like to see us all working together. And if that person could look to Jesus in the moment, s/he might see the finger at his lips ... for arguments, fallings out, hard feelings, and pedantic disagreements or displays only serve to accentuate our shortcomings.
Every single human being has the capacity to strive toward, to aspire toward, the VIRTUE which is already planted within his or heart ... as latent possibility. Ours is the task of seeing to it that we cultivate these Virtues, and we can certainly help each other to do this - in varying degree - no matter WHO the "each other" may happen to be. It can be people we know, people we don't know, family and friends, our national leaders, members of our religious communities, and so on. The other thing that we can do, for ourselves and for others, is to seek to diminish vice - or, our shortcomings.
Sure we may know that our friend, or family member, has a certain problem. These may be addictions, personal issues, marriage problems, or what-have-you. It does not matter. If you speak ill of that person, and dwell upon their problems - especially through gossip or loose talk - you are doing them the worst service possible. That is a deadly sin, and one day these things will all have to be faced. Within ourselves, we know there is a great deal of imperfection, but for every shortcoming, personal problem or vice that we have, there is an undeveloped Virtue which is the Heavenly Complement.
The Catholics have their Seven Cardinal Virtues, and when these are paired with the Seven Deadly Sins, we can see just what it is that God intends for us. Our is the path of Transmutation ... and it was walked by Jesus before us, long before He reached the Transfiguration experience, which is like a higher parallel and culminating event in relation to the more gradual process of transmutation.
Christ Jesus has proven that we can tread this path, and He did his best to get us to realize that THIS is why we have been given the circumstances of our lives ... including friends, family, teachers and leaders, support and encouragement on every side - just waiting for us to call upon and use this support network for spiritual growth. But that growth is not for self alone, and this is why the stages AFTER the Birth of the Christ are also important. The Journey does not STOP with the 2nd Birth; it only begins there.
Thus, Jesus of Nazareth went on to receive his Baptism, to become Transfigured spiritually ... and even to make the higher sacrifices that are necessary to "come into Christ" in a way that one day, we too shall understand and experience. He symbolized for us the stage that follows upon that Renunciation, and this we have preserved in the account of the Resurrection and Ascension. Here are the Five Stages of the Journey which we are all called to experience ... following, as it were, in Christ's FOOTSTEPS ...
... although, as has been pointed out, it is far easier simply to worship, adore and objectify the person of Christ Jesus, even to the point of largely disregarding precisely what it is that he asked us to do.
taijasi, I sent a response to one part of your lengthy post but I got a message that it would be monitored for approval and it was never published. I do not know why. Anyway, good luck
 

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That's beautiful. Too bad it's not true. Of course, it's what we all want to believe, right up there with "you can do anything if you put your mind to it." But it just ain't true.

Our every action effects the whole in one form or another. You don't have to believe it, but it is true just the same. This applies for our good deeds as well as for our bad deeds. It's much like throwing a stone in a lake. The ripples eventually reach the edges of the entire lake. The effects of the stone may not be as pronounced when they reach the edges, but the edges are effected by that little stone just the same.

Before his death, Jesus prayed that we would be one. Right now, we are many, and as divided as the day that the contractors stopped work on the Tower of Babylon. The only way that humanity will ever become one is through Christ-- literally, but not figuratively.
We are one peoples

See, it's a sort of Christian bombast to think that we can bring the world together through Christianity. Hell, do you even know one church where there aren't divisions in the congregation? I've never been in one, because they don't exist.
It's not through Christianity that the world will unite, it will be under a common Spirit shared among all people. I believe this uniting Spirit to be the very same Spirit Christ lived through.

The only force powerful enough to truly unite people across the world is Jesus Christ in the flesh, returning from heaven in a flash of glory for all the world to see.
Believe what you will, but it is up to us (Mankind to make the change). Christs Spirit resides in the flesh of those who have embraced it. We represent His body on earth (Both Christian and non Christian alike).

In comparison to that, all of our best-laid plans will become utterly meaningless, and we'll consider ourselves to be fools for trying to go it alone.
"He who dwells in me is greater than He who is in the world." (We are never alone).

GK, I know that you've got a good heart and admirable intentions, but be serious for a moment: do you really think that your actions will reach the Congo? Or Mongolia? Or Peru? If they do, won't your negative actions do the same?
Yup (In one form or another)

Won't every time you swear at someone for cutting you off in traffic, or every time you yell at your kids, or every time that you cut a corner or bend a rule-- won't that stuff reach across the world too?
Yup (In one form or another)

My relationship with God is much less impressive this-- much less earthshaking, and much more intimate. I do good because it's the right thing to do, and I try to avoid bad because I know it's bad, and I pray for forgiveness when I've done something wrong, and that's the extent of my motives.
Good! Now if you could understand your charge as a Christian, and as a member of the body of Christ.

There will be wars, and there will be thefts, and there will be injustice, but I'll be no part of it, and I'll try to have my affairs in order when the King returns. And that's as far as it goes.
The king rules in the heart of man, and it will be man who helps usher in the kingdom through the Spirit of our Lord (This much I do know).

It's wonderful to think that this modest little life of mine could have profound effects on the entire world, but such thinking is vain, as Ecclesiastes would say; though we'd like to think we're more enlightened, there really is nothing new under the sun.
It has always been this way, Marsh .... When Adam sinned it effected [us] all (Even to this day).

I don't expect you to believe what I believe (You want your king) but its true. Christ came and passed the buck to us. ;) He has given us of His Spirit; it is up to us to live through it.

GK
 

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Our every action effects the whole in one form or another. You don't have to believe it, but it is true just the same. This applies for our good deeds as well as for our bad deeds. It's much like throwing a stone in a lake. The ripples eventually reach the edges of the entire lake. The effects of the stone may not be as pronounced when they reach the edges, but the edges are effected by that little stone just the same.

The problem with analogies is that they are never quite perfect. Again, your picture of a pebble thrown into a lake seems to make sense, but the world is much larger and much more complicated than a lake. Throw that pebble into the ocean; will it's ripples reach to the ends of the earth?

Your ideas sound good, but they are much too idealized to be true. This concept of having a charge as a member of the body of Christ smacks of churchy sensationalism (TM); it's meant to motivate a congregation, because people seem to think that the measure of how good one's church is is based on how much stuff they do. We do more stuff than you, so we're taking our charge more seriously.

It really is a bunch of BS, because the motivation is to win a victory that's already been won. Jesus never gave us the charge to go out there and change the world! Show me where he said that, or even implied that. Jesus said that his apostles (messengers) were to carry the gospel around the world, AND THEN THE END WILL COME.

This is it. This is the last order of business: let all people know who Jesus is, and then make the decision whether to believe in him, or not. That's all.

But that makes the role of the church seem so much less important, doesn't it? So much less glamourous, now that they're not in charge of saving the world. So, they pretend like they are; they pretend like the fate of humanity hangs in the balance of THEIR decisions, and THEIR work. And do you want to know why they believe that? Because, whether they want to admit it or not, they want a better and more prominant seat at the table of the feast when Christ returns.

And so they preach in such a way as to give us all a part in this grand plan to save the world, as if it needed to be saved again. That's why we're taught that we have this... charge, as Christians. As if God intended us for anything greater than to just be good to one another. As if getting married and having kids and enjoying life is a small thing.

Whew.... guess I had that bottled up for a while, didn't I?
 

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I'm still waiting for your explanation, for those of us who are out of the loop (or your loop, at any rate), of just what the Kingdom of Heaven is going to look like once it arrives, Marsh ... and Godtears. Who will be `in' this Kingdom? Who won't be? How will this be decided? What will things be like for our planet? For the other species here, besides the human?

How will this Kingdom come about? What do WE need to do to advance that? If nothing, then what should we do in the meantime? Are we just killing time? What is God waiting for, after all? Have you not given him the signal yet? What are YOU waiting for? I mean, come on, let's get the show on the road!

All I see is detraction, detraction, detraction. Or maybe I should say, distraction.

For you see, I have already seen that there are others who understand what Christ meant by `the Kingdom of Heaven' ... whether they were there when He said it, or whether they have practiced it enough to come to an understanding on their own (intimately, personally, in their spiritual relationship with the Christ).

But I see no evidence whatsoever that you have the slightest conception of what the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth is - or will be - like. All I see, is deflection ... and I'm wondering if you'll ever get around to answering my questions.

Don't worry, Godtears is there in that boat with you. All Godtears was able to do was reply to my questions with additional questions. And I answered them.

Do I have all the answers?

Certainly not. But some things, just as others have said, I do know. And this makes it awfully difficult to try and meet people, where they're at, when it seems that about .0001% of what they seem to believe about the Kingdom of Heaven bears any resemblance to fact.

Fact? Oh yes. I did say that. I think I'm about done with this topic. If a couple of you folks here can't even agree upon the most BASIC of Christ's teachings about the Kingdom that ALREADY EXISTS (gee, where did THAT idea come from?) ... if you can't take an idea like LOVE THY NEIGHBOR and try and work with, I mean really RUN with it ... if you can't get it straight just what it was Christ was asking us to do - and at least ACKNOWLEDGE it, even if you do not choose, or prefer to refuse to PRACTICE it ...

... then forget it. End of discussion. GAME OVER man, GAME OVER

I'd say you will do just fine warming those pews, repeating those prayers, reading and studying your Bibles, and remaining confident that you have it all figured out - and/or that you're doing just whatever it is that Christ WANTS you to do ... to help Him in His Work.

What that is, God only knows, because Marsh, you and Godtears sure as heck aren't telling the rest of us. You aren't letting us know any of your SECRETS, so whatever it is that has gotten you into Heaven (that IS what really matters anyway, now isn't it) ... we will just have to grope around here in the dark, searching blindly, without the benefit of your - or Christ's - good guidance. :rolleyes:

Man, I think I've about had it. I've had enough of the rending, and I admire others who are brave enough to post on this forum, and show their Love and their Patience, even while their Pearls remain pretty damn well completely UNRECOGNIZED ... for truly, we have the proof here, that Christ can walk in your very midst - and some WILL NOT KNOW HIM.

Perhaps there can be discussions elsewhere, where folks are willing to THINK, to answer questions, to do something other than just detract, detract, detract.

Playing Socrates just doesn't seem to be cuttin' it ... and God knows, I TRIED.

To borrow a line from one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's best known plays ...
HEAL YOURSELVES!!!
 

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Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will the blind and confused be able to see in such short order as one would like.
It may take years or decades or more.....maybe centuries.
Frustrating, but what else is one to do....?
Cry about it?
That won't solve any problems m8.
 

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The problem with analogies is that they are never quite perfect. Again, your picture of a pebble thrown into a lake seems to make sense, but the world is much larger and much more complicated than a lake. Throw that pebble into the ocean; will it's ripples reach to the ends of the earth?

Your ideas sound good, but they are much too idealized to be true. This concept of having a charge as a member of the body of Christ smacks of churchy sensationalism (TM); it's meant to motivate a congregation, because people seem to think that the measure of how good one's church is is based on how much stuff they do. We do more stuff than you, so we're taking our charge more seriously.

It really is a bunch of BS, because the motivation is to win a victory that's already been won. Jesus never gave us the charge to go out there and change the world! Show me where he said that, or even implied that. Jesus said that his apostles (messengers) were to carry the gospel around the world, AND THEN THE END WILL COME.

This is it. This is the last order of business: let all people know who Jesus is, and then make the decision whether to believe in him, or not. That's all.

But that makes the role of the church seem so much less important, doesn't it? So much less glamourous, now that they're not in charge of saving the world. So, they pretend like they are; they pretend like the fate of humanity hangs in the balance of THEIR decisions, and THEIR work. And do you want to know why they believe that? Because, whether they want to admit it or not, they want a better and more prominant seat at the table of the feast when Christ returns.

And so they preach in such a way as to give us all a part in this grand plan to save the world, as if it needed to be saved again. That's why we're taught that we have this... charge, as Christians. As if God intended us for anything greater than to just be good to one another. As if getting married and having kids and enjoying life is a small thing.

Whew.... guess I had that bottled up for a while, didn't I?

Let me ask you this: When Jesus returns what do you think he'll do? What will it take for Him to establish His kingdom? Will He get rid of the bad guys? Destroy His enemies? Who are His enemies? Who are His elect for that matter? Who are the goats and who are the sheep?

At what point will you be willing to be used as a vessel, and do your part to help Him establish the Kingdom? There comes a point in our lives that we need to realize our purpose on this earth. We are to be caretakers of all the world, utilizing the Spirit in all we do.

I'm not trying to get you to believe that Jesus will not return. I do however, wish for you to realize that He has already returned in the hearts of those who follow His ways. His Spirit lives in the hearts of many (Even non Christians) thus many already experience elements of the Kingdom.

Whats the hold up, Marsh? Does He delay His coming for you? Not at all - He is here among us, His Spirit dwelling in the hearts of man. The problem is that many (Like you) wish to continue waiting, all while missing out on what already is, and a life lived in service to our Lord.

GK
 

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Save Me by: Dave Matthews

Not sure if there's a point to this song, but I like it! :D

[youtube]J-ImSpdQb8Y[/youtube]

I'm driving through the desert I, met a man
Who told me of his crazy plan
He'd been walking there for 20 days
He was going to walk on
For 20 more
Said "How about a drink or a bite to eat?"
He said "No, my faith is all I need"
So then, save me
Save me mister walking man
If you can

You don't need to prove a thing to me
Just give me faith, make me believe
Come on, save me
Save me Mister walking man
If you can
Come on, save me
Save me Mister stranger
If you please save me
Save me
Stranger, if you please
Or am I too far gone
I see to get back home
To get back home

How about you take a ride with me
We could kill some time, shoot the breeze
He said "every whispering wind and second counts"
Oh, maybe if you walk, but you should drive around

Save me
Save me
Mr walking man, if you can
Come on, save me
Save me Mr stranger, if you please
Save me, save me
Stranger, if you please
Or am I too far gone
To get back home
To get back home
I don't need you to stop the sunshine, no
I don't need you to turn water into wine, no
I don't need you to, to fly
I'm just asking you to save me

(You might try savin' yourself)
I'm gonna save me
(You might try savin' yourself)
I swear those lips shine
(You might try savin' yourself)
As it, the moon, the moon it shines
(You might try savin' yourself)
Why don't you, save me
(You might try savin' yourself)
Come on and save me
(You might try savin' yourself)
 

Marsh

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I'm still waiting for your explanation, for those of us who are out of the loop (or your loop, at any rate), of just what the Kingdom of Heaven is going to look like once it arrives, Marsh ... and Godtears. Who will be `in' this Kingdom? Who won't be? How will this be decided? What will things be like for our planet? For the other species here, besides the human?

How will this Kingdom come about? What do WE need to do to advance that? If nothing, then what should we do in the meantime? Are we just killing time? What is God waiting for, after all? Have you not given him the signal yet? What are YOU waiting for? I mean, come on, let's get the show on the road!

All I see is detraction, detraction, detraction. Or maybe I should say, distraction.

But I see no evidence whatsoever that you have the slightest conception of what the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth is - or will be - like. All I see, is deflection ... and I'm wondering if you'll ever get around to answering my questions.

I didn't say anything, because I assumed you all knew. I mean, it's spelled out pretty clearly in the Bible, isn't it? You've read the Revelation of Jesus Christ, haven't you? I assumed you had, but maybe I shouldn't have.

Revelation 21 said:
1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

This is the Kingdom of Heaven. I know that because it's a Kingdom, and it comes down out of Heaven.

Revelation 21 said:
25On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.

This is who gets to be in the Kingdom of Heaven: the Goodies. Are you a Goody? It's easy to check. Look in the mirror, and if you see something evil, then you're not; you're a Baddy. But if you see someone who tries to be good, then you are (or rather, will be).

Having a two year old son has helped me to see how easy this distinction really is :)

Matthew 24 said:
4Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,[a]' and will deceive many. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains.

9"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

This is when it will happen. I wish I could give you an exact date, but I'm afraid even Jesus didn't know per se. That must be because the date depends on us:

Revelation 6 said:
9When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" 11Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.

Compare the parts that are in dark red. See, the Goodies are all going to be searched out and killed by the Baddies, because that's what Baddies do. And when the Goodies are all killed, Jesus will return.

Revelation 19 said:
11I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter."[a] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Pretty hard to have the Kingdom of Heaven without having the King first, I think. That army isn't an army like we know it; it's the Kingdom, following the King to establish itself on Earth, where it will remain for one thousand years. In that thousand years, the gates will be continually open, and anyone who wants to be a Goody can enter it. Those who don't like Goodies will choose not to enter it. Then Satan will emerge at the end of one thousand years, round up the Baddies, and try to storm the Kingdom, and then they'll all be destroyed because God will have given them EVERY CHANCE to be good, but in the end God's son is the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS and therefore owns the whole shabang, so if he doesn't want Baddies in his Kingdom, too bad for the Baddies. They'll get the chance to remain in the Lake of Fire and suffer, or to choose to be destroyed completely and be as if they never existed. Either way, sin will finally be removed from mankind, and we will all be Goodies.

Now, this isn't conjecture; I can Biblically reference each of the statements that I've made in this post, but too much reference on a Friday is a drag.

Does this answer your question?
 

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Man, I think I've about had it. I've had enough of the rending, and I admire others who are brave enough to post on this forum, and show their Love and their Patience, even while their Pearls remain pretty damn well completely UNRECOGNIZED ... for truly, we have the proof here, that Christ can walk in your very midst - and some WILL NOT KNOW HIM.

An additional thought: Have you ever considered that you might be wrong? I mean, you're assuming that what you are contributing are pearls of wisdom, and you're assuming that those who argue are arguing because they aren't sharp enough to see the Christ in your words. Have you ever considered that Christ might not be in your words?

Now, before you react, please note that my thoughts here are completely hypothetical, and in no way am I claiming that you are speaking BS. I have read what you have written, and I don't agree, but it's not because I don't agree with YOU; I just don't agree with your words.

Although I probably come across as being a hardliner in my thinking, unwilling to consider the other sides of the issue, that is entirely untrue; that's just my writing style. I am aware that God has not appointed me as spokesperson; my thoughts are my own. When I am wrong, I do admit it-- but only when I'm sure I'm wrong. And when somebody says something true, I listen-- but only if I'm sure it's true; otherwise, I argue. But don't get discouraged because you find me constantly arguing with you; as metal sharpens metal, so too does one man sharpen another (from Proverbs).
 

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Whats the hold up, Marsh? Does He delay His coming for you? Not at all - He is here among us, His Spirit dwelling in the hearts of man. The problem is that many (Like you) wish to continue waiting, all while missing out on what already is, and a life lived in service to our Lord.

Here's a surprise: I disagree :)

My life is lived in service to the Lord. When I was 22, I was on top of the world: I had 2 university degrees, a high-paying job in a city on the other side of the world where money can buy you just about anything, I was in the best shape of my life and had all the confidence needed to get out there and cause some damage, so to speak. But I chose to get married, to settle down, to have children. This IS my life of service: to devote my life to being a good husband and a good father. It's not a great achievement, per se; it won't get me into any history books, and it certainly won't cause me to be recognized by church leadership, and recruited for the next grand plan to save the world. But it's not a small thing either, and it's something that I know I can do. These plans of going out and "saving the world"... they're just speculation.

Ever notice that a lot of children of pastors end up turning their back on the faith? Maybe that's because they grow up thinking that their father/mother cares more about people they don't know than the ones living in their own house...

Come on, GK: you know your Bible. What did Jesus say he was going to build on Simon Peter? His Kingdom? No, his church, and there's a difference, but the problem is that there is arrogance within churches, because they'd rather be the Kingdom; it's more glorious.
 

Gatekeeper

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Here's a surprise: I disagree :)

No surprise at all. :)

My life is lived in service to the Lord. When I was 22, I was on top of the world: I had 2 university degrees, a high-paying job in a city on the other side of the world where money can buy you just about anything, I was in the best shape of my life and had all the confidence needed to get out there and cause some damage, so to speak. But I chose to get married, to settle down, to have children. This IS my life of service: to devote my life to being a good husband and a good father. It's not a great achievement, per se; it won't get me into any history books, and it certainly won't cause me to be recognized by church leadership, and recruited for the next grand plan to save the world. But it's not a small thing either, and it's something that I know I can do. These plans of going out and "saving the world"... they're just speculation.
We each play our role, Marsh. You may not be as motivated as some, but I'm sure you will teach your children the importance of service to our fellow man .... Such was the way of Christ. I can't say I do much more than yourself, either. I do my little part to make the world better by being a good citizen, and by helping others when I can. Those who can do more should, those who can't do as much should do what they can. It won't be a quick fix by no means, but I do my part, and I pass the buck to my kid. Hopefully he we follow suit.

Ever notice that a lot of children of pastors end up turning their back on the faith? Maybe that's because they grow up thinking that their father/mother cares more about people they don't know than the ones living in their own house...
Who knows? My son is the most important person in my life and he knows it (Without question), but he also knows my passion when it comes to walking the strait and narrow, and doing my part to help others when I am able.

Come on, GK: you know your Bible. What did Jesus say he was going to build on Simon Peter? His Kingdom? No, his church, and there's a difference, but the problem is that there is arrogance within churches, because they'd rather be the Kingdom; it's more glorious.
You never answered my questions, and yes I know scripture enough to know what is expected of those who follow Christ. It may very well take a few hundred more years to awaken others to our purpose, but isn't that our charge, Marsh. to teach of the coming kingdom. Surely you don't expect to inherit something you are unwilling to work for in this life. Say it ain't so!!

I like you Marsh, but read between lines, and look at the bigger picture, bro. No matter how small our blessings may seem, they are large enough to share with others, whereby we ourselves become the blessing. Do you honestly believe that we are to sit idle and simply wait for something better? Again, Do you really expect to inherit something you aren't willing to work for today?
 
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