Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

What are Some Key Similarities between Christianity and Islam?

August 18, 2013

bridges

Article Title: What are Some Key Similarities between Christianity and Islam?
Shared by: Craig Lock

Category (key words): Christianity, Islam, religion, faith, beliefs, peace, spiritual, spiritual unity, breaking down barriers, building bridges

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html and http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com http://religiousunity.wordpress.com

www.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)

Publishing Guidelines:
All my writings may be freely published, electronically or in print.
# #


WHAT ARE SOME KEY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM?

Submitter’s Note:
Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to find ‘common ground’/principles/ and as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others) regarding ‘eternal and universal truths.’ These notes form part of Craig’s new novel set in the Middle East, titled ‘A New Dawn: Let the Journey Begin’. Hope this piece may be of interest to you too.
*
INTRODUCTION

The issue of RELIGION throughout history of mankind and today evermore plays a vital part in many conflicts around the world. Religion is (and was) often blamed as the cause of the conflicts; whereas it is/was people misusing religion for their own ends (often taking particular and significant interpretations out of context) that have shaped societies and cultures. I truly believe it’s critically important to emphasize the common values shared by different religions to drastically reduce tensions around the globe. So that religion (and it’s beliefs) can be turned around from being part of the conflict to be part of the SOLUTION. Instead of focusing on the differences between people, in this ‘battle of ideas/ideologies” we should focus far more on what we have in common.

So what are the foundations, what is the frame-work of the respective beliefs?

Most religions of the world espouse (nice word, eh!) good moral values as a code of conduct: the virtues of passion for liberalism, tolerance, compassion, decency and generous ideals. However, there is a fundamental doctrinal incompatibility between the major faiths of Islam and Christianity (though together with the Jews, they worship the God of Abraham). These three major religions share the common truth of the Old Testament, having many prophets in common and consequently have many “shared values” that have shaped societies over the past two millennia.

Whilst there are some major differences between Islam and Christianity, from my research (fascinating and mainly online) some of the fundamental similarities in beliefs between these two main religions (as well as Judaism) are as follows:

ISLAM

The main beliefs:

* There is only One True God: the Sovereign Ruler of the universe…
and has full control over our lives (and will meet all of our needs)

* God (Allah) is the Creator of everything and central to Muslims lives. Allah is simply beyond human thought and understanding.

* True believers are not to worship any other gods

* Allah’s goodness and benevolence is seen everywhere, because He is compassionate and merciful.

* Many Old Testament prophets were from God (ie. were sent by God as messengers to the world)

* Jesus’s strong sense of mission, unity and sense of purpose.
He was sent by God to serve humanity and being divinely inspired was a great moral teacher and prophet.

* God gave the Torah, the prophets, the Koran and the Gospel to guide our lives. ( I don’t know enough about Mohamed and his “divine destiny” to pass comment on his “mission”).

* We are to obey God’s words (as in the first five books of the Old Testament, the ‘Pentitukes’- spelling?)

* We should surrender/sacrifice ourselves fully to God
(in fact, the word ‘Islam” means ‘full submission to God’s will’)

* Jesus will return to earth one day (though in which form is uncertain). Though Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah…
and I’m not sure on that point with Islam.

* Humans have free will and exercise a choice between doing good or evil in their daily lives.

* Humans only live once on this earth, then face judgment:
One day there will be a day of Judgment for how we’ve lived our lives.

* Believers who die will go to ‘heaven’ and live forever (though the concept of heaven is not precisely defined).

* Disbelievers will go to ‘hell’ (or suffer torment, which is ‘separation from God’ forever). Heaven or hell are written about in the Qur’an in poetic terms, ie. symbolic rather than actual places.

* It is important to pray to God frequently (Muslims do it five times a day) and attend a congregation at least once a week (usually mid-day on Fridays)

* We should have a spirit of charity and help the poor and those in a less fortunate position to ourselves (with money and/or works)

* A person’s allotted time on earth is predestined.

* All people are equal before the law.

and finally

* We should respect our differences and Christians, Jews, and Muslims should never be killed purely on account of their faith.

#
CHRISTIANITY

Christianity and Islam are both missionary religions. Both faiths believe they have a monopoly over the truth. Both want to share their version of truth with others and both compete in seeking converts. I am motivated to share these “truths” with others, so people may benefit and enhance their lives in a meaningful way…if they so CHOOSE.

There IS a significant difference from Islam: Christianity exists solely on the basis that Jesus Christ is the ‘son of God’ (ie. the fact is taken literally); whereas the faith of Islam exists purely on the basis that God dictated his laws to Mohammed and that the Koran contains God’s actual words. Most “informed” Christians, however, do not believe the Koran is the un-intermediated word of God. Most followers of Christ know very little about Mohammed being perceived as a ‘messenger of God.’ They can, therefore, only think that Mohammed was deluded, if not a liar. (Of course, most Christians are far too polite to say such a thing!).

The Bible teaches that Jesus is the son of God/God incarnate (“the human face of God”) and that he dies on a cross to reconcile mankind and God. Then he was resurrected after three days and now lives in heaven. The gospel message teaches that reconciliation with God is to be found through the redemptive work of Jesus only.

Good works as “entry” to heaven count for nothing, in the absence of acceptance of Jesus.

And as regards Christianity, it’s the notion of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one), which rationalists find to be the most implausible aspect of Christianity. If Jesus was not the Son of God, then he too was deluded, crazy … or perhaps even a “liar”. And if he – as opposed to He – was either of those things, then the Resurrection is also a lie and Christianity, as a faith rather than as a philosophy is utterly null and void.

Christianity is based on the concept of FAITH and God’s Infinite Grace. We are “saved for eternity” (so our soul lives on) through our faith in Jesus and are not solely judged for the ‘hereafter’ by our good works during our lifetime. (And these good works are inspired by our faith and the ‘divine spirit’ at work through God’s Infinite Grace). This is a battle of ideas. Cardinal Ratzenberger: “Islam simply does not have the separation of the political and religious spheres which Christianity had from the very beginning. The Koran… insists that the whole order of life be Islamic (ie. no separation of religion/church and state). One must understand that Islam is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society.”

True Muslims cannot accept either the separation of powers or the freedom under the law (ie. “democracy”), which are the hallmarks of Western civilization.

* extracted from an article (excellent) in ‘The Independent’ by Dominic Lawson.

As we are what we believe yourself to be (You are what YOU believe), I believe that Jesus genuinely believed himself to be a ‘Son of God’, divinely ordained with a specific mission, a unique purpose which he CHOSE to fulfil in his short life. Christians say that the tradition of Jesus of Nazareth points us to a new life and new thoughts, as well as new possibilities… as a community and as a nation. Still you may or may not CHOOSE to believe in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings as YOUR pathway to connect to God, a Higher Power, ‘the Ground of all Being, the Essence of Existence’, your spiritual self.
#

Whilst we can celebrate our differences, we should love God (whatever we understand the concept to be) with all our hearts, minds and souls and our neighbour as we love ourselves (common teachings from both faiths of Islam and Christianity). Simple, eh!

It’s not such a matter of conflicting ideologies, the great ‘battle of civilizations’ is it?

So
Isn’t WHAT UNITES US IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT DIVIDES US!

and

God’s greatest gift to us is allowing us to find, then choose to follow our own truths.

Craig Lock

Former Archbishop in South Africa Desmond Tutu: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”

“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.”
– J.Nehru, first Prime Minister of India

“It is time for people of good will from every faith, culture and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside the partisan bickering between nations and join together to confront the danger that lies before us. Let us seek common ground between peoples around the globe…
because what unites us is far more important than what divides us.

In our own little ways in our individual lives we can touch so many others and share our common humanity. And in so doing we can illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity. We must offer a compelling alternate vision for the world: a bright future of justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values and especially a vision of goodness and hope fuelled by the flame of love – one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged.”
– craig (as inspired by and adapted from the words of Abdurahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia)

“What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”

“What we believe is not nearly as important as how we relate, interact with each other… and how we live. Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being, and second a Jew, Muslim, Shi’ite, a Sunni, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu ,or a Sikh…’ will we progress and break down barriers between peoples, nations and cultures, both east and west. Let not our beliefs , but our shared humanity (ALL of us) define who we really are. “

“Let us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Rather than borders, let us look at distant horizons together…in the common spirit of the value and dignity of a shared personhood – our common humanity as citizens of planet earth.”

– craig

“God’s greatest gift to us is allowing us to find, then choose to follow our own truths.”

“Let not our different beliefs set us apart as human beings, but rather let our shared humanity be what defines and unites us as common citizens of our planet.”

– me

About the submitter:
Craig is “a passionate ‘extremist’ about respect for religious tolerance and moderation”. In his various writings little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul, one small step at a time, Craig hopes to promote better understanding across countries and cultures, striving in some small way to break down economic, social, cultural, religious and political barriers. He truly believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.
http://www.craiglockbooks.comhttp://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html

Craig’s new manuscript ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: In it he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.

Craig’s booklet ‘Jesus Meets Muhammad’ is available at http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Meets-Muhammad-Real-ebook/dp/B005H86TPU/

The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” (including his books on Jesus and his numerous e-books on “the spiritual journey”) are available at:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html

www.lulu.com/craiglock and http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstores”

“A good book should take you from your everyday life to another place entirely.”

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com http://religiousunity.wordpress.com

www.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better and brighter future.

THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED, electronically or in print

Peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
– author unknown

PPS

“Whilst we can celebrate our differences, let not our varying beliefs divide us, but let the Spirit of our shared humanity define and unite us.”

WAINUI beach sunrise

What are Some Key Similarities between Christianity and Islam?

April 23, 2013

WAINUI beach sunrise

Article Title: What are Some Key Similarities between Christianity and Islam?
Shared by: Craig Lock

Category (key words): Christianity, Islam, religion, faith, beliefs, peace, spiritual, spiritual unity, breaking down barriers, building bridges

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 http://goo.gl/vTpjk http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.htmland http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com http://religiousunity.wordpress.com

www.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)

Publishing Guidelines:
All my writings may be freely published, electronically or in print.
# #


WHAT ARE SOME KEY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM?

Submitter’s Note:
Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to find ‘common ground’/principles/ and as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others) regarding ‘eternal and universal truths.’ These notes form part of Craig’s new novel set in the Middle East, titled ‘A New Dawn: Let the Journey Begin’. Hope this piece may be of interest to you too.
*
INTRODUCTION

The issue of RELIGION throughout history of mankind and today evermore plays a vital part in many conflicts around the world. Religion is (and was) often blamed as the cause of the conflicts; whereas it is/was people misusing religion for their own ends (often taking particular and significant interpretations out of context) that have shaped societies and cultures. I truly believe it’s critically important to emphasize the common values shared by different religions to drastically reduce tensions around the globe. So that religion (and it’s beliefs) can be turned around from being part of the conflict to be part of the SOLUTION. Instead of focusing on the differences between people, in this ‘battle of ideas/ideologies” we should focus far more on what we have in common.

So what are the foundations, what is the frame-work of the respective beliefs?

Most religions of the world espouse (nice word, eh!) good moral values as a code of conduct: the virtues of passion for liberalism, tolerance, compassion, decency and generous ideals. However, there is a fundamental doctrinal incompatibility between the major faiths of Islam and Christianity (though together with the Jews, they worship the God of Abraham). These three major religions share the common truth of the Old Testament, having many prophets in common and consequently have many “shared values” that have shaped societies over the past two millennia.

Whilst there are some major differences between Islam and Christianity, from my research (fascinating and mainly online) some of the fundamental similarities in beliefs between these two main religions (as well as Judaism) are as follows:

ISLAM

The main beliefs:

* There is only One True God: the Sovereign Ruler of the universe…
and has full control over our lives (and will meet all of our needs)

* God (Allah) is the Creator of everything and central to Muslims lives. Allah is simply beyond human thought and understanding.

* True believers are not to worship any other gods

* Allah’s goodness and benevolence is seen everywhere, because He is compassionate and merciful.

* Many Old Testament prophets were from God (ie. were sent by God as messengers to the world)

* Jesus’s strong sense of mission, unity and sense of purpose.
He was sent by God to serve humanity and being divinely inspired was a great moral teacher and prophet.

* God gave the Torah, the prophets, the Koran and the Gospel to guide our lives. ( I don’t know enough about Mohamed and his “divine destiny” to pass comment on his “mission”).

* We are to obey God’s words (as in the first five books of the Old Testament, the ‘Pentitukes’- spelling?)

* We should surrender/sacrifice ourselves fully to God
(in fact, the word ‘Islam” means ‘full submission to God’s will’)

* Jesus will return to earth one day (though in which form is uncertain). Though Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah…
and I’m not sure on that point with Islam.

* Humans have free will and exercise a choice between doing good or evil in their daily lives.

* Humans only live once on this earth, then face judgment:
One day there will be a day of Judgment for how we’ve lived our lives.

* Believers who die will go to ‘heaven’ and live forever (though the concept of heaven is not precisely defined).

* Disbelievers will go to ‘hell’ (or suffer torment, which is ‘separation from God’ forever). Heaven or hell are written about in the Qur’an in poetic terms, ie. symbolic rather than actual places.

* It is important to pray to God frequently (Muslims do it five times a day) and attend a congregation at least once a week (usually mid-day on Fridays)

* We should have a spirit of charity and help the poor and those in a less fortunate position to ourselves (with money and/or works)

* A person’s allotted time on earth is predestined.

* All people are equal before the law.

and finally

* We should respect our differences and Christians, Jews, and Muslims should never be killed purely on account of their faith.

#
CHRISTIANITY

Christianity and Islam are both missionary religions. Both faiths believe they have a monopoly over the truth. Both want to share their version of truth with others and both compete in seeking converts. I am motivated to share these “truths” with others, so people may benefit and enhance their lives in a meaningful way…if they so CHOOSE.

There IS a significant difference from Islam: Christianity exists solely on the basis that Jesus Christ is the ‘son of God’ (ie. the fact is taken literally); whereas the faith of Islam exists purely on the basis that God dictated his laws to Mohammed and that the Koran contains God’s actual words. Most “informed” Christians, however, do not believe the Koran is the un-intermediated word of God. Most followers of Christ know very little about Mohammed being perceived as a ‘messenger of God.’ They can, therefore, only think that Mohammed was deluded, if not a liar. (Of course, most Christians are far too polite to say such a thing!).

The Bible teaches that Jesus is the son of God/God incarnate (“the human face of God”) and that he dies on a cross to reconcile mankind and God. Then he was resurrected after three days and now lives in heaven. The gospel message teaches that reconciliation with God is to be found through the redemptive work of Jesus only.

Good works as “entry” to heaven count for nothing, in the absence of acceptance of Jesus.

And as regards Christianity, it’s the notion of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one), which rationalists find to be the most implausible aspect of Christianity. If Jesus was not the Son of God, then he too was deluded, crazy … or perhaps even a “liar”. And if he – as opposed to He – was either of those things, then the Resurrection is also a lie and Christianity, as a faith rather than as a philosophy is utterly null and void.

Christianity is based on the concept of FAITH and God’s Infinite Grace. We are “saved for eternity” (so our soul lives on) through our faith in Jesus and are not solely judged for the ‘hereafter’ by our good works during our lifetime. (And these good works are inspired by our faith and the ‘divine spirit’ at work through God’s Infinite Grace). This is a battle of ideas. Cardinal Ratzenberger: “Islam simply does not have the separation of the political and religious spheres which Christianity had from the very beginning. The Koran… insists that the whole order of life be Islamic (ie. no separation of religion/church and state). One must understand that Islam is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society.”

True Muslims cannot accept either the separation of powers or the freedom under the law (ie. “democracy”), which are the hallmarks of Western civilization.

* extracted from an article (excellent) in ‘The Independent’ by Dominic Lawson.

As we are what we believe yourself to be (You are what YOU believe), I believe that Jesus genuinely believed himself to be a ‘Son of God’, divinely ordained with a specific mission, a unique purpose which he CHOSE to fulfil in his short life. Christians say that the tradition of Jesus of Nazareth points us to a new life and new thoughts, as well as new possibilities… as a community and as a nation. Still you may or may not CHOOSE to believe in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings as YOUR pathway to connect to God, a Higher Power, ‘the Ground of all Being, the Essence of Existence’, your spiritual self.
#

Whilst we can celebrate our differences, we should love God (whatever we understand the concept to be) with all our hearts, minds and souls and our neighbour as we love ourselves (common teachings from both faiths of Islam and Christianity). Simple, eh!

It’s not such a matter of conflicting ideologies, the great ‘battle of civilizations’ is it?

So
Isn’t WHAT UNITES US IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT DIVIDES US!

and

God’s greatest gift to us is allowing us to find, then choose to follow our own truths.

Craig Lock

Former Archbishop in South Africa Desmond Tutu: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”

“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.”
– J.Nehru, first Prime Minister of India

“It is time for people of good will from every faith, culture and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside the partisan bickering between nations and join together to confront the danger that lies before us. Let us seek common ground between peoples around the globe…
because what unites us is far more important than what divides us.

In our own little ways in our individual lives we can touch so many others and share our common humanity. And in so doing we can illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity. We must offer a compelling alternate vision for the world: a bright future of justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values and especially a vision of goodness and hope fuelled by the flame of love – one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged.”
– craig (as inspired by and adapted from the words of Abdurahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia)

“What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”

“What we believe is not nearly as important as how we relate, interact with each other… and how we live. Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being, and second a Jew, Muslim, Shi’ite, a Sunni, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu ,or a Sikh…’ will we progress and break down barriers between peoples, nations and cultures, both east and west. Let not our beliefs , but our shared humanity (ALL of us) define who we really are. “

“Let us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Rather than borders, let us look at distant horizons together…in the common spirit of the value and dignity of a shared personhood – our common humanity as citizens of planet earth.”

– craig

“God’s greatest gift to us is allowing us to find, then choose to follow our own truths.”

“Let not our different beliefs set us apart as human beings, but rather let our shared humanity be what defines and unites us as common citizens of our planet.”

– me

About the submitter:
Craig is “a passionate ‘extremist’ about respect for religious tolerance and moderation”. In his various writings little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul, one small step at a time, Craig hopes to promote better understanding across countries and cultures, striving in some small way to break down economic, social, cultural, religious and political barriers. He truly believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.
http://www.craiglockbooks.comhttp://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html

Craig’s new manuscript ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: In it he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.

Craig’s booklet ‘Jesus Meets Muhammad’ is available at http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Meets-Muhammad-Real-ebook/dp/B005H86TPU/

The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” (including his books on Jesus and his numerous e-books on “the spiritual journey”) are available at:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4http://goo.gl/vTpjkhttp://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.htmlandhttp://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

“A good book should take you from your everyday life to another place entirely.”

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com http://religiousunity.wordpress.com

www.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better and brighter future.

THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED, electronically or in print

Peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
– author unknown

STOP EVANGELIZING: INSTEAD OF PUTTING UP WALLS START BUILDING BRIDGES

November 17, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STOP EVANGELIZING:  INSTEAD OF PUTTING UP WALLS  START BUILDING BRIDGES

Key words (tags):  Jesus, Jesus Christ, Muslims, Islam, Christianity, Carl Medearis, books, ‘Islam, Christianity and Jesus’, ‘Jesus Meets Muhammad’, evangelicals, evangelism, CNN, building bridges, breaking down barriers, religious unity

 

“An obsession with religious identity can and is often destructive…very. In my own life and through my words.  I  was constantly striving to break down walls between Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, men and women, sinners and saints.  And that’s why we have the parable of the Good Samaritan in the Holy Book.  Jews in my day thought of the Samaritans as the violent heretics, much the same way that so many Christians think of Muslims today. It’s just that they are misinformed… as Muslims are about Christians. The idea that a Samaritan could be good was scandalous to first century Jews.

I tried to be a… the ‘master’ of challenging religious prejudice and breaking down sectarian walls. So why do so many Christians want to rebuild those barriers, those walls?

Even the Apostle Paul insisted that it’s faith in me that matters, not converting to a new religion or a new socio-religious identity.

What if my followers today, instead of focusing on ‘evangelizing’ and ‘converting’ people, were to begin to think of me not as someone starting a new religion, but as the central figure of a movement that transcends religious distinctions and identities?

I’d much rather be viewed as a uniter of humanity, not ‘Jesus the divider’. If viewed in this way, how might that change the way humanity looks at others? That would truly be A NEW DAWN …for all humanity!

 

#

 

To elaborate (big word, eh!) further on this idea, this theme. I never said, “Go into the world and convert people to Christianity.” (That term came from my first totally devoted followers). What I said was, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations…’ (as it says in Matthew 28:19)

Encouraging (and perhaps ‘inviting in a friendly way’) anyone and everyone to become an apprentice (a follower) of me, without manipulation, is a more open, dynamic and relational way of helping people who want to become more like me, regardless of their religious identity.

So called ‘evangelicals’ should stop evangelizing; but this doesn’t mean that they should to stop speaking of me.

I’d love more of ‘my ordinary’ followers building relationships among Christian leaders in the West and among Muslim leaders in the Middle East. And that is my message to the world in these uncertain and volatile days (as they have been throughout humanity).

Many Christians may be surprised to learn that Muslims are generally open to studying my life, as a model for leadership and more importantly, for spiritual growth, because they revere me as a prophet, though a major one like Abraham and Moses. And that is in the Quran!

Because there are so many writings about the “real me”, it’s very confusing and complex for most people. So many views, so many misunderstandings which cause antagonism.  And Christianity , like Islam so frequently splitting off into sects, even cults. Sad… because strength lies in unity.  But it, my life and my message is really so SIMPLE! Even today in the years 2011 after my birth. So my followers,  the “thinking” ones at least may find that simply talking about me  will be much easier and far more compelling and effective in breaking down barriers through dispelling misunderstandings… between individuals, between nations, between cultures,  north and South and  especially between East and West.

Whilst the doctrine of the Christian faith is important, it’s not more important than simply following me. ‘Follow me and become a fisher of men’, as it says in Matthew 4:19.

#

HOW to do it?

Just meet people where they ARE. Simply invite people to follow me and God, The Father, The Ultimate Source (no matter what name we may give Him), the Father’s Infinite Power and Grace through the  Holy Spirit will do the rest in transforming people’s hearts and minds. As I said: “Just ASK and it will be given unto you.”

Because inviting people to love, trust, and follow me is something the world can live with in these tumultous times in  the early years of this 21st century… as it has been throughout history  (before and after my birth). This faith, this common ground  linking Islam and Christianity is not about religion, but rather a ‘personal relationship’ with me through a new mind, a new God-consciousness. It’s such a simple message, this new dawn, a possible era of reconciliation. Perhaps we, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and all the rest alike should ALL practice what we preach… in a word LOVE… then the world will be a far better and happier place for everyone, everywhere.”

 

 

Shared by spirit (as inspired by and adapted from a blog)

on the personal beliefs of Carl Medearis.

www.carlmedearis.com

As adapted from  CNN Belief Blog (Filed under: Christianity  Evangelical  Interfaith issues Opinion)

Carl Medearis is an international expert in Arab-American and Muslim-Christian relations and is author of the book  ‘Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism’ and ‘Islam, Christianity and Jesus’.

Sourced from  religion.blogs.cnn.com/…/my-take-why-evangelicals-should-stop-…

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A passionately Jesus-centered approach to life

“Above all, we are followers of Jesus, on a journey with him, following where he leads us. We center our lives on him, not on the religion of Christianity, not on Western civilization, and not on patriotism. Jesus is the great peacemaker. We affirm a Jesus-centered approach to life, because this highlights the treasure of the good news. His life, his teaching,  his death, and his resurrection all describe and illustrate multi-dimensional reconciliation.”

From: http://ricklove.net/?p=917

 

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This is one of my favourite extracts/quotes (and in a nutshell, sums up some of my important beliefs – at the ‘core of my being’)…so thought I’d share

“I had a good chance to meet a yogi who was so spiritual and happy all the time. I wondered how he managed his thinking and I learned a lot from him. I saw him and I thought, ‘This is the way.’ You believe in a God, but not in a religious way. We human beings like to give him names, whether that is Jesus or whatever else. But my view is that God is ONE, whether it is Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, almost anything, and that he is everywhere. He has no colour, no religion, no race, nothing. It’s incredible how close he is to you and to everybody. You just call him and he’s there. That’s it, simple. This is the reality we so often forget.”

– Balbir Singh, former physio-therapist to Michael Schumacher (and student of psychology)

From ‘Overdrive: Formula One in the Zone by Clyde Brolin

Web site: www.overdrivef1.com

 

 

Shared by craig

“It is time for people of good will from every faith, culture and nation to recognise that a
terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside the partisan bickering
between nations and join together to confront the danger that lies before us.
Let us seek common ground between peoples around the globe… because what unites
us is far more important than what divides us.”

“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu,
Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”

“Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us
look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace. Let our leaders look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.”

Let us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Rather than borders,
let us look at distant horizons together…in the common spirit of the value and dignity of a shared personhood – our common humanity as citizens of planet earth.”

– craig

“When people’s hearts are full of love, the world is filled with hope.”

“With passion and purpose in our individual lives we can touch others and in so doing illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity to make a better world (through helping raise the ‘collective consciousness’). Let us encourage our leaders towards an alternate vision for
the world to embrace: one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance
and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged. Each one of us in our own
little ways can offer (and most importantly, LIVE) this compelling new horizon:
a bright future of justness and justice, tolerance, respect for other
traditions and values. Especially a vision of hope and thoughts of peace
fuelled by the eternal flame of love, which can light the darkest night… always.”
– me

“God, The Essence of Life, the Ground of All Being, is leading us to the light. What we
learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”

“Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my
voice I can help the greatest of all cause – goodwill among men and peace on earth.”

– Albert Einstein

“What we believe is not nearly as important as how we relate, interact with each
other… and how we live. Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a
human being, and second a Jew, Muslim, Shi’ite, a Sunni, Buddhist, Christian,
Hindu, or a Sikh …’ will we progress and break down barriers between peoples,
nations and cultures, east and west. Let not our beliefs , but our shared
humanity (ALL of us) define who we really are.”

– craig

About the submitter:

In his various writings, little by little, one mind, one soul, one life at a time, Craig
strives to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through
sharing information and “planting, then watering uplifting ideas and seeds of
hope”. He truly believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what
we share as ‘human beans’ is way more important than what divides us.

Craig’s new manuscript, ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: In it he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. A
passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.

The various books that craig “felt inspired to write” (including A New Dawn’ ) are
available at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4c http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock (ebooks) www.creativekiwis.com/index.php/books/74-craigs-bookswww.lulu.com/craiglock and https://www.xinxii.com/asresults.php?s4=craig+lock&sid=1

Craig’s new book ‘Jesus Meets Muhammad’ is available at

http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Muhammad-Christianity-Spirit-ebook/dp/B0066QLVNC/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1321488683&sr=1-3

The submitter’s
blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new
manuscripts) are at buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com http://religiousunity.wordpress.com/ and http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com

This is my favourite and sums up my message, my life mission…in trying in some small way…one step, one mind, one heart at a time  to break down barriers, walls between people, nations: and cultures: social, cultural, economic and  religious..

“I had a good chance to meet a yogi who was so spiritual and happy all the time. I wondered how he managed his thinking and I learned a lot from him. I saw him and I thought, ‘This is the way.’ You believe in a God, but not in a religious way. We human beings like to give him names, whether that is Jesus

or whatever else. But my view is that God is ONE, whether it is Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, almost anything, and that he is everywhere. He (or she) has (no gender), colour, no religion, no race, nothing. It’s incredible how close he is to you and to everybody. You just call him (her/It) and he’s there. That’s it, simple. This is the reality we so often forget.”

– Balbir Singh, former physio-therapist to Michael Schumacher (and student of psychology). (With my little additional few words in brackets)

from a great book by Clyde Brolin ‘Overdrive: Formula One in the Zone’

www.overdrivef1.com

“Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, today let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a
better and brighter future (for tomorrow)”

 

 

 

 

“TWO CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD”:

December 16, 2010

CHRISTIANITY and ISLAM: “TWO CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD”:

A follower of Islam, Ishmail (I) and Christine (C) a “follower of the teachings of Jesus”

 

The following is a short extract from a new “work” titled ‘BEYOND THE RAINBOW’, that is “virtually writing itself”

Tags (key words): New books, books, “Beyond the Rainbow”, Islam, Christianity, faiths, unity of religions, spiritual growth

*

“Faith is the light that guides you through the darkness“.

– Emmet Fox

Ishail:

“Bismillaah, Chris

* = “welcome in the name of Allah” in Arabic

 

So we agree on most of the above points, especially that there is only ONE God, the Creator of the Universe. “

C: “Sure! But where do we disagree?”

I: “Under Islam every human being must one day face God’s ultimate judgement for how they’ve lived their lives.

C: “So under Islam every human defendant in God’s court must face the ultimate judgement without the help of an advocate.

I: “However, Allah is merciful and will forgive those who deserve forgiveness.”

 

C: “The New Testament in the Bible also warns of hell, but proclaims Jesus as mankind’s sinless mediating redeemer – God incarnate who atoned for the sins of the world at Calvary. Jesus is the One who saves from judgment everyone who confesses his or her sinfulness through Him.

“Christianity consists, not in articles, creeds, or confessions: not in churches, memberships or fellowships: but in a Person.. Also there is the vital element of Grace in my faith.”

Ishmail: “Interesting, but Islam also talks a lot about the Infinite Grace of Allah. I’ll have to ponder that a bit more!”

Chris:

“OK. Now let’s get onto the ‘heavy stuff’…With Christianity Jesus claims indirectly to forgive sins (“Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more”. However, He also says that only God can forgive sins (See the Lord’s Prayer – Luke 11,2: “Our Father in Heaven forgive us our sins (or tresspasses).” However, mainstream Christianity believes Christ died for the sins of the world and His death atones for sin. One just has to ask for forgiveness in His name… and all sins are forgiven. I don’t think Jesus claims this directly; however his disciples (mainly John) do (“here comes the lamb of God, who forgives all sin”. Also the famous Scriptures from John 3:16 and 17.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

* New King James version

Ishmail: “The Koran says that God is not a man. Therefore he cannot have a son. Allah would never stoop to enter our world.”

Chris:

” But where in the Bible does Jesus say directly that He is God. He doesn’t! Jesus refers to himself in many ways, mostly as “Son of Man” and uses great metaphors like “I am the bread of life”, “I am the vine, you are the branches” and so on. However, He sees Himself as a Son of God” in his close, rather intimate relationship with God, the Father. He has a unique relationship in his union with God, continually meditating and asking for God’s help to accomplish things he couldn’t do on his own (“without the Father, I can do nothing”). He uses these terms as a metaphor, I truly believe… just like all of us are “children of God.”

Jesus puts Himself well below God, as He (like us mere mortals is continually asking the Father for help and/or guidance.

And we ALL have access to that Ultimate Source. All we have to do is have FAITH and BELIEVE.

Jesus is a focus for our faith. Something, Someone on which to hand (pin) it on… then go THROUGH him (a channel, a conduit) to God, the Ultimate Source.

As it says ìn James: ”You receive not, because you ASK not.”Ishmail: So can Allah ever be the same as the Christian concept of God?”

Chris: I suppose it’s different concepts and how you see the Creator of the Universe, different paths up the mountain… or perhaps they are different mountains?”

THE RESURRECTION

I: “Aha. This will be interesting… and I was looking forward to learning about this area of your faith, Chris.

The story of Christ’s death reinforces Muslims belief that the Bible has been corrupted over the years.

Allah would never allow such a godly man and great Prophet as Jesus to die in such a dreadful manner on the cross.

The Prophet Mohammed was a perfect example of an honest, just and brave human being. Though he was a man, he was far removed from all evil characteristics and strove solely for the sake of God and his reward in the hereafter. Moreover, in all his actions and dealings, he was ever mindful and fearful of God.”

 

 

 

*

THE TRINITY

C: Yes, I thought you’d say that. This area creates a lot of misunderstanding even within the Christian world. There are so many strands among followers of Jesus and I suppose its similar within the fold of Islam. Sunnis, Shiites and all the other divisions.

I think the key point here is whether you take the scriptures literally or figuratively. Factual or symbolic? I suppose I’d call myself a “thinking, questioning follower of Jesus”, who interprets the stories and teachings figuratively, rather than literally…with an “open mind” (hopefully) to convey a a simple message (or truth). In short, I’d describe my faith as a “spiritual liberal follower of the teachings of Jesus”. In contrast, many Christian fundamentalists take every single word literally… as “pure Gospel”.

 

I: I think it’s great that we have free will in what we choose to believe …like choosing different flavours of an ice-cream.

Thank goodness for free will (of choice)… and no matter, the Bible and the Koran are both excellent guides for living fruitful and good lives… and the Koran is my “moral compass“ for life.”

*

C: “However, I think Jesus would be greatly saddened by the divisions within the church today. Churches bickering about minor differences (“don’t major in minors”) and getting away from the core message of Jesus.

You are probably right, when you say that the Bible has been corrupted over the years. Apparently many writings were omitted through various decrees by rulers… and that is the unfortunate thing about religion being used as a means to control the masses.

(my mother often used to say that to me).

Incidentally, Jesus was not religious… but an extremely spiritual “person”… living in perfect union with God, the Father. He was continually asking the Father for help to accomplish what he could not do Himself. (So on earth he lived as no more than a ‘mere man’. (I think you can relate to that can’t you, Ishmail?).”

Ishmail:

“Like Jesus, Mohammed challenged the religious practices, the rituals and dogmas of the day. Both these ‘prophets’, I don’t think intended to start new religions; but were God’s messengers in history. However, their followers took up their messages and tried to convert the masses.”

C: “Incidentally, the concept of God as Father and having a personal relationship with God is unique to Christianity.”

I: “So this “God” of yours is different to our Allah?”

C: “I guess it’s what you personally conceive and choose HOW you see the Almighty… what the Grand Creator of the Universe, Infinite Spirit, the Ultimate Source means to you…personally! Make God as big, as Infinite as you wish?”

I: “Now to the Trinity, the area of greatest controversy within Islam and I suppose, even Christianity itself…

We Muslims, me especially can’t get around this idea of worshipping three Gods. It’s just like ancient beliefs (and Hindus).

Chris, what do you say to this? There is great variance about this within Christendom itself.”

C: “I think the key here is belief in the divinity of Jesus. Because with belief, you get filled with the Holy Spirit. We just have to ASK and its available to ALL people.

For me, its like seeing you, Ishmail. You are a man with a physical body; then you have a mind; but also a spirit (or a soul). Like the sum total of your persona. So you are three-in-one, made up of different parts, just like water, ice and steam are three manifestations of water (H20).

We humans exist in different dimensions: body, mind and spirit.

We are spiritual beings on an earthly journey

… or something like that. 

Most followers of Jesus believe that His Spirit dwells with us. We just have to have faith and ASK to be filled (I ask for a “triple helping” every day… greedy and hungry!). Doing this keeps me sane and helps me overcome the trials and tribulations of daily life.

So we are not worshipping three Gods, but there is only ONE God, the Ultimate Source of Life… with an Infinite Spirit.”

I: “So you can’t conceive of God, as God is unlimited, then Chris?”

C: “That’s true, which is why I have to go through Jesus as a channel to God, The Father. As Jesus said: ‘No one comes to the Father, except by me.” and “I am the way, the truth and the light.’As ordinary humans we need a conduit to get in touch with our Heavenly Father, as God is inconceivable to us humans.

For me Jesus is a model to aspire to, a hope to pin on, even to cling to, someone on which to pin our highest (supreme) characteristics, the loftiest goals, values and aspirations. In short, the very best in life…the name and spirit of Jesus symbolizes endless possibilities… and each one of us is invited to partake in and share His Infinite Spirit.

 

 

I: “After all this, I see that we have quite a bit in common – far more than I thought. Both our great faiths, religions can co-exist peacefully. What we share is not nearly as great as what we think divides us… Muslims and Christians.

Thanks for sharing and I can now understand a lot more about your faith, Chris.

“Allah -Akbar” (Allah is great)”

C: “And same here. And God IS blessing you too, Ishmail”

 

*

“My belief is in the God who gives us responsibility for our own actions, who I see in Jesus Christ, who stated and showed in his own life that His purpose was to give quality of life.”- Michael Templer, Te Pahu (in a letter to the New Zealand Herald)

 

 

“What we believe is not nearly as important as how we relate, interact with each other… and how we live. Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being, and second a Jew, Muslim, Shi’ite, a Sunni, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu ,or a Sikh…’ will we progress and break down barriers between peoples, nations and cultures, both east and west. Let not our beliefs , but our shared humanity (ALL of us) define who we really are. ”

 

Can Muslims Follow the Biblical Christ and Still Be Muslim?

December 6, 2010

 

Can Muslims Follow the Biblical Christ and Still Be Muslim?

by

Aaron Taylor08-10-2010

http://blog.sojo.net/2010/08/10/can-muslims-follow-the-biblical-christ-and-still-be-muslim/]

Theology

biblical, biblical faith, blood of jesus, Christ, Christianity, Christians, evangelist, followers of jesus, forgiveness of sins, Gospel, heretics, holy war, Islam, Jesus, koran, Matthew, Messiah, Ministry, missionary, Movement, Muslim, muslim followers, muslims, New Testament, old testament, Peter, prophet, prophets, reform, reformation, Religion, religions, Sojourners, Stories, synoptic gospels, Theology, tradition, what it means to be a christian, what it means to be a muslim, word of god

THE HIDDEN JESUS by Robert Beckford

February 17, 2010

THE HIDDEN JESUS by Robert Beckford

Tags: The Hidden Jesus, Robert Beckford, Jesus, Jesus Christ,  Christianity, Buddha, Islam, Mahatma (Mohandas) Gandhi, spiritual unity

Submitter’s Note:

These are the notes I took from Robert Beckford’s excellent TV documentary seen here in New Zealand; so am sharing with you. I hope, I trust that Robert’s personal thoughts and beliefs on the “person” and life of Jesus may be as uplifting, empowering and perhaps even inspirational to you, as they are to me.

craig

BUDDHA, JESUS, ISLAM and GANDHI:

Christianity has some common spiritual values with other spiritual traditions and religions (and some of the ‘miracles’ are not unique to Christianity).

Some Common Spiritual Values:
* Be humble
* Keep doors open
* Love as a powerful driving force
* a divine inner light that banishes all darkness and ignorance

Buddhism (along with other Eastern religions) has many common strains of teaching. Buddha taught ‘dharma’, a right way of living. The Buddha too was “visited and tempted” by the devil and performed miracles (similar to Jesus, like walking on water).
People simply want to be happy – the teachings of both Jesus and the Buddha. Buddhism is a guide to personal transformation, remarkably similar to Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount.

Attempting to attain some objective and live with righteousness.

Here are some of the main guiding principles:
* Do good to those that hate you.
* Overcome anger with love.
* Overcome evil by doing good.
* Replace lies with truth.

The teachings of Jesus were similar to those of the Buddha: peace, justice and wanting people to have a good life.

Jesus taught people to follow the right path: that of equality, morality and justice.
Jesus challenged the religious authority of the day and their symbols of opression.
He challenged societies problems and religious dogmas… in a common search for truth and how to engage it.

*
ISLAM

Jesus is one of the prophets who performed miracles, a pre-curser to Mohammed, the LAST Prophet revealing Allah’s word to the people.

Muslims believe that there will be a day of judgment in everyone’s life.

Jesus will return, but only God knows WHEN.
Then he will live for 40 years and will be buried at Medina  (present day Saudi Arabia) in a tomb next to Muhammad

Muslims believe that Jesus will save humanity from injustice (ie. he is a messiah). That he preached eternal truths and is one of the great prophets of Islam.

*
MAHATMA (MOHANDAS) GANDHI

Like Jesus, Gandhi was a man of action, who wanted to change his country and so the world… through non-violence or passive  resistance. Gandhi was greatly influenced and inspired by the Sermon on the Mount (“Christ gave me the message” and “I love Christ; but I’m not so keen on his followers”.

Gandhi pondered the deep question: ‘Do I have the capacity not to hate?’
His teachings: Active non-violent resistance, transformed into non-violent resistance.
Like Jesus, Gandhi invoked major confrontation with the authorities (the Salt March has a parallel with Jesus entering Jerusalem on his donkey).

“My life is my message.”
– Mohandas Gandhi

It is PRACTICAL faith in ACTION:
Live the faith
Live the idealism
This involves a concern for human rights… as evident in the quote:
“Live simply, so that others may simply live.”

Great figures like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Lech Walensa (former leader of the Solidarity movement in Poland) were largely influenced by the teachings of Jesus. This is  evidenced by their concern for human rights and fighting for the rights of the marginalised of society, the opressed people living in their countries.

*

The core elements of Jesus’s story.
(as per the Coptic Museum in Cairo)
*

HOW DO I SEE JESUS?
WHAT DOES HE MEAN TO ME TODAY?

The teachings of Jesus are vitally important. But HOW to put them into action… today?

Doing this requires commitment, ie active participation to be a worker for reconciliation, a peace-maker and this involves taking risks.

Yet
“Those who work for peace will reap a rich harvest” (or something  like that)

I believe to fully understand the “person” that was Jesus, we have to strip away much of the dogma of religion, even of Christianity. Jesus was not only a new Jewish teacher, who challenged the tyranny and opression of the Roman empire of his day.

His simple teachings are still vitally important 2000 years after his death: His messages of justice (and opposing injustice with all ones means/”might”) and human rights for all.

Jesus wanted people to experience the Kingdom of God by whatever means is best for them???

The life of Jesus revealed what it means to serve God with all ones heart and soul, together with love (for oneself as well as one’s neighbour), as a powerful driving force for ALL humanity. His spirit is a divine inner light that banishes all ignorance and forces of darkness.

And we the “ordinary little” people are invited to claim a portion of His Immense Spirit. All we need do is ASK!

For me the simple message of Jesus Christ was: IF we follow the teachings of Christ and fully trust Him, we can all lead happier and more fulfilled lives going down this path. And in shining our own “little” lights we can change the world for the better.

Shared by craig

“Those whom you seek to change, you must first love.”
– Dr Martin Luther King, Jnr

“We can all be great; because we can all serve.”
– Martin Luther King, Jnr

“Many small (yet significant) steps by many ‘ordinary, little’ people will eventually reach their destination.
Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds for a brighter future ”

*           *