My Testimony of how I came to Christ

Over 8 years ago I moved way out to the country with Robert (my now former husband) and our daughter Mahriyanna. We were overjoyed to find a spacious old home on eighty acres of land for only $150 a month. It was truly a miracle.

A few months later, as Robert was driving down the county road with a kayak strapped to his car,  Bob Rutz waved him down and asked him where he was going. When Robert informed him that he was going to the river to kayak, Bob told him that he was welcome to use the private lake that was just a few miles from our home for our kayaking pleasure.

This was very exciting for us, because whenever I would pass the lake (which was often) I would think, “Those rich people wouldn’t want us to swim in their lake.” The only houses anyone could see from the road were rather nice looking. Okay, I confess that I was very judgemental!

It ended up that other homes in the neighborhood that we couldn’t see were trailers, smaller homes, and even some people living in an army tent. We ended up meeting many of those people on the very day we visited the lake. After we emerged refreshed from the water on a hot July day,  our new friend Bob was there to greet us. Mahriyanna, in her typical style, said, “I’m hungry!” Bob said that there was some food left over at their weekly Sunday potluck, and he invited us to come over, which we did.

Mahriyanna immediately made friends with a little girl, Holly (who she is still good friends with eight years later!) I immediately somewhat jokingly  told Sandy and Joan that I was not a Christian and did not want to be converted. They laughed and said they would never do such a thing.

We started attending the informal Sunday services and potlucks because the people were loving, passionate about their faith, the music was uplifting, people liked to dance, Mahriyanna got to play with friends, and we enjoyed the conversations with people. Even though we did not share their faith, we accepted them and they accepted us.

A few months after attending the Sunday gatherings, I realized that I was going to need to get off the fence. Either I needed to agree with these folks about Jesus being the only way to God, or I was going to have to decide that he was not the only way to God.

My friend Nancy told me that I did not have to give up my intellect to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  Now that was a unique thought–no one had ever told me that! She offered to lend me the book, MORE THAN A CARPENTER by Josh McDowell.

Reading that book about an agnostic turned Christian started me thinking that I might have had the wrong idea about Christianity.  No one had ever explained logically why Jesus was who he said he was–God.  Reading this book inspired me to read and study others including  atheists turned Christians,  C.S. Lewis and Lee Strobel. I have read their books multiple times, trying to see if I can see any mistakes or fallacies.

One day in December, I was driving home from a cleaning job, and just feeling disgusted with my life. It wasn’t a horrible life–in fact, compared to many, I was very fortunate. I don’t even remember what I was feeling so bad about. But I know there was an emptiness. There was a sadness that I had never felt the kind of peace that passeth understanding that these followers of Jesus I had gotten to know and love professed to experience.  I figured I had nothing to lose. There was enough evidence to show that Jesus was the one who I wanted to follow, and he was possibly even the only way–although I wasn’t ready to go that far.

So I just said to Jesus something like this, “Look, I want to commit my life to you. Nothing else has worked, and I want to give this a try, okay? I can’t really promise anything because I don’t know what I’m getting into.”

Nothing radical happened immediately. In fact, it was many years before I really felt that peace that passeth all understanding. But taking that step of faith was the best thing I have eve done in my life.

Eight years later, after times of doubting and questioning,  I no longer spend my time doubting and questioning. I am still always up for hearing apologetics guys like Ravi Zacharius, Lee Strobel, and even at times Hank Hannegraph. I listen to sermons and testimonies and interview on radio and television every chance I get. I spent several months about five years ago when I really questioned my faith after having some very disappointing experiences with the people who helped bring me into my faith walk.  So I read every book I could get my hands on which tried to refute the Bible and the fact that Jesus was the only way to God.

I continue to come to the conclusion that the evidence overpoweringly indicates that the Bible is true in relating the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith.  I do have a very logical brain. I got an A plus in logic in college–the only class that I took that was easy for me. Robert says I should have been a lawyer.  I also am very skeptical. I like to prove things for myself–not just believe.

I don’t really like spending time defending my faith. I don’t see it has my strength to try to persuade people to follow Jesus. I hope that my life and actions will inspire people to want to know more about my faith. If they were to ask, I would encourage them to read A CASE FOR THE REAL JESUS, THE SHACK, and BLUE LIKE JAZZ.  I would encourage them to be open minded, because most people I know who oppose Christianity seem to be focusing on all the Christians who have exploited Jesus teachings.

Jesus was so clear when he said that the greatest commandments were to love God and love your neighbor (which I interpret to mean–love all people). Everything else in the whole Bible hangs on that.  My relationship with Jesus helps me to have the peace that I have yearned for all my life. My commitment to following Jesus helps me to have a rich life no matter what is happening on the outside.  My increasing desire to live out this grand experiment of being the hands and feet of Jesus has helped me to heal my relationships with family and friends, and to see all people as God’s children who he loves especially and equally.

My study of great Christians such as Corrie Ten Boom, Watchman Nee, Richard Warmbrandt, and Mother Teresa; my study of  Christian apologetics; my personal  experience of Jesus lead me to believe 99% that Jesus is the only way to God; that he was God, and without God, life is hell.  The bible clearly teaches that a person can accept Jesus as his saviour up until the mili-second before he or she dies. Therefore, it is my theory that many of the very good people on this earth who sincerely believe things that are not true, but who really want to do good, will see Jesus as he really is. I believe that people are going to make a choice at some point whether to bow the knee and acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

I also believe in reincarnation I don’t think there is proof enough in the Bible to show that people only have one lifetime.  Therefore, if someone doesn’t “get it” in this life time, they have more chances. There is much emphasis in the Bible that shows that  God being a God of mercy and justice–a God of second chances who wants everyone to be saved. I think hell is reserved for people who choose to be separated from God, and there are people living in hell right now on this earth by choice.

I really don’t like to argue theology, because it just isn’t fun for me. I like to have fun. I like to connect with people where we agree. I have spent countless hours arguing with people trying to show them they were wrong and I was right about various issues. I have discovered that this is not a fruitful use of my time.

My passion is that I can do the work that I believe God wants me to do–to help every house of faith become a 24 community center that reaches out to all the neighbors and friends in order to help them to thrive.  If people choose to accept the faith of that group, so be it. If not, at least people have an opportunity to demonstrate their faith. The worst thing about most faiths is that too many people are not sold out and living it. If all the Muslims, Christians, Hindu’s Buddhists who believe that their path is one of helping their neighbors would do just that–we would have a better world. We would have a world where everyone’s needs were met, and then people could have the time and energy to have intelligent discussions about the truth of the Bible as opposed to the Koran or the Bhagavad Gita or the Buddhist scriptures or other scriptures.

My main concern is that people are suffering and I want to help get to the core of alleviating that suffering. If a child is starving, I am not going to be preaching the fact that Jesus is the only way…I want to give this child comfort and food. As I said before, if the child appreciates my gift, and wants to learn more about my path–I would love to share my faith. But I am not attached to this child accepting my faith. I really just want him or her to be truly happy.

Even Billy Graham, one of the greatest Christian  evangelists of all time said that he couldn’t say if Muslims where all going to hell. Hurray for Billy–for it is clear in the Bible that God is just and he is going to do the right thing.

I am meeting, listening to,  and reading Christians who I really respect. They don’t agree on every jot and tittle of the Bible, and they don’t expect to. I find more and more of them focusing on encouraging us to be Jesus to people rather than shove Jesus down their throats. I hear more and more about how we need to change ourselves rather than try to change others. I hear them teach as Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see happen.” I hear great love, concern, and wisdom. I feel encouraged, for I have seen many changes in the past eight years that I have been following Jesus and tuned into Christian teachings.

People also are teaching how much God loves us, and that he only wants the best for us. Yes, there is justice. There is a kind of karma–what you sow, you will reap. But there is so much grace. I have made so many terrible mistakes in my life, and I really feel God’s forgiveness. I love him so much. He has never let me down, even when I did not believe in his Son. He understood that I had been discouraged in my Christian walk by the very church I attended growing up. He knows about spiritual abuse and about hypocrisy.

Oh, I could write so much more. I wish I could write for hours every day about the way God keeps blessing me and helps me to love–not only my friends and family but even those who seem to want to hurt me. He supplies my every need, and when it seems all is lost, he has been there. My life is rich beyond belief–every day is a miracle. Yes, I get sad–more and more about how others are suffering, and less and less about my suffering. Now that is a miracle! More and more I feel joyful and grateful and hopeful. My prayer life is rich and rewarding, with my goal being to pray unceasingly. My insights about spirituality and what God wants for me keep increasing.My contentment level no matter what is happening is starting to be amazing!

I would like to conclude by requesting of you who are reading this who have doubts about Jesus being the only way to God. Would you just simply ask Jesus to reveal himself to you? I can’t guarantee anything, but there is a great chance that if you are sincere, you will experience Jesus as he really is. And that you will have a wonderful relationship with him as well.

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4 thoughts on “My Testimony of how I came to Christ

  1. Patricia,

    I read your testimony. I have mixed feelings.

    On one hand it seems like you get the main points of what it means to be a christian. You are for real and I think that is beautiful. I think spiritually and morally you are in a pretty great place.

    On the other hand I think your concept of the bible and knowledge of the history and symbolism of other religious ideas are too limited.

    I think you are finding good things in there but I hope you realize that you are picking and choosing.

    I am not just saying this to be an asshole. I think if you learned more about the history of your religion you would see how it is an assimilation of many other religions. This would help you to see the common metaphors and themes through all these religions.

    Religious systems are basically sacred metaphorical languages. Culturally they are different but the underlying message is the same. This could help you to communicate to other people in their sacred languages common themes like unity/the body of christ. buddha consciousness/christ consciousness, the trinity/how to relate to god in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person perspectives, death on the cross/death to the ego/to live for god/unity, heaven and hell/nirvana and samsara, etc.

    I could easily translate your testimony into buddhist. (I speak both symbolic languages fluently.)

    So, point 1: If you don’t understand the history of an idea you don’t understand the idea.

    There is a lot of superstition, not only from religions, but there is also a lot of new age adopting of nonsense without facts, just because people like the sound of the ideas, and they find the concepts interesting.

    The first and most important thing to know, and understand is how to know what is true. Otherwise we will just move from one crazy superstition to another. We don’t want to guess, or just grab an idea we like from here, or there (that we take out of its historical context) and add it to this idea we like over here, because then we are just merging what we think something means (without studying it) to some other idea and we wind up with a fresh new superstition that nobody has ever believed but us.

    Reincarnation for example:

    Problem 1 of 3: The idea of reincarnation was a manipulation to get people to accept the cast system (racism) in india. The Aryans concord india and brought their religion with them and imposed it on the people (basically insuring that one race would always rule over the other) and they got them to accept it by telling them that it was because of karma (their action) that they were born into there cast (slavery) and if they are “good” and accept their cast, and their duty (dharma), then in the next life (as if there was such a thing) they would be born into a higher cast or as a king or a god, but if they didn’t accept their duty (dharma) then they will be reincarnated as a lower form. (basically another religion of faith, fear, guilt, sin, and manipulation)

    Click here to read the rest of my note on reincarnation :
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=39145709859

    Christianity and reincarnation don’t go together. You are inventing your own religion based on what you like. This is not a search for truth. You have abandoned truth for what you think is beautiful and you are worshiping false idols of the mind. It is the truth that sets us free.

    If we don’t understand the historical context of ideas then we don’t understand them.

    Point 2: you say things in your testimony about being logical and having some evidence for jesus. I have seen all of the known “evidence” and found it lacking, and in the light of scientific and historic information just plain debunked.

    What evidence is convincing to you?

    Have you read/watch my note:

    A Brief History Of Abrahamic Religions:
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=143258354859

    Point 3: No logical person is going to “believe” or be convinced based on anyones personal experience.

    A. Personal Experience is limited by perspective.

    Everything we know is based on our experiences of the external environment/reality. You exist in a limited context of time and place.

    Everything we know about how to understand this reality and things within it has been communicated to us by others.

    Any new experience is run through the filter of our personal concepts, and emotions in any given moment. This means not only that our perspective is clouded by our limited concepts of reality, and the emotions associated with them, but also, for most of us, our entire perspective on reality is entirely humansintric. This is part of the reason that when we try and understand “how we got here” we tend to project some humanlike character as an explanation. (we also tend to anthropomorphize everything.)

    Personal experience is not to be trusted. People everywhere deceive themselves into believing all kinds of crazy things. That does not make them true or reliable. We are easily deceived and that is the main reason we must be skeptical, and use the scientific method to know what is true. Probably the most important part of the scientific method is the peer review process, and the reproducibility of results in tests.

    We as animals look for patterns as a way of survival.
    Example: a place we always find food maybe a “magical hunting spot” although there is some logical reason that we don’t know about for there always being food around there. The more we go there and get food the more we believe. (does that mean it’s magical?)

    Animals make 2 types of mistakes when it comes to these patterns.

    1. they fail to detect patterns were there are patterns.

    2. they see a pattern were there are none. (that is superstition)

    Tests have been done on pigeons (by B.F. Skinner in the 60’s) were they are given a treat for pecking a key in its cage. Later the machine was set to reward the birds at random. What happened is that most of the birds developed superstitious behaviors. Example:

    A bird looks over his left shoulder and the reward mechanism randomly gives it a treat, and the bird associates looking over his left shoulder with the reward. So it tries it again. Out of random chance the reward mechanism randomly gives it a treat. The bird is confirmed in it’s superstition by its “Personal Experience” and then becomes a maniac for looking over the left shoulder.

    This, I think, is probably the answer to all of these types of superstitions like psychic abilities, prayer, etc.

    They believe, look for confirmation, and if they get it that confirms it. It’s true. If not they just keep looking. (this is not a valid way to find out what is true.)

    If it sometimes doesn’t work then we have to wonder why.

    Does that sound logical to you? You see this is the main reason we need to openly doubt our ideas all the time. Our perception is ALWAYS flawed by perspective. This is the need for non-bias tests.

    Science starts with something that happens in the real world and tries to figure out why it happens. Often times pseudoscience uses scientific words to try and sound factual. It usually works backwards from a belief to try and support their conclusions, and doesn’t apply the scientific method.

    Science may sound arrogant making truth claims, and insisting that they know what is true, and what is not true, but again, you can say the same thing about religion. Science is open to evidence, and to being proven wrong. Religion, and dogma is not. Scientists also realize (probably more than most people) how little we actually know and understand about the universe, and the nature of reality. For example: If we understand that our ideas about what is true are based on tangible things in reality then we have to realize that the answer to the question about what is beyond or transcends reality (God) is unknowable. Even though we may never know the big T ultimate truth of reality, and the universe, and that is very humbling, when people do make “big T ultimate truth of reality and the universe” claims, science is happy to step up and tell these people why they are stepping over the line into the unknowable.

    B. Perspective Defines Experience.

    We interpret any emotional state in terms of our stage of cognitive development. People will always interpret there feelings/emotions/experiences in terms that they understand. All religions provoke spiritual experiences, and even though the experiences are similar they all interpret them in terms of there cultures symbology, or there cognitive world view. A feeling is a fact, but jesus, buddha, or what ever ideas the experiences are associated with, those are claims made about the material world, and that is were evidence comes in. That is were the falsifiability comes in.

    Its not that these experiences are not real, or valid, or related to divinity, but there is a difference between emotional development (states of consciousness that anyone can experience) and cognitive development (stages of development that anyone can gain by doing research).

    All religions use music, art, and myth to manipulate your emotions, and guided prayer or meditation and preaching from the holy book to manipulate your mind, perspective, and to focus your intentions.

    In the case of christianity fear and guilt are other emotions also used against you. Like in an alter call. They are using these emotions you have to try to get you to be willing to have an experience of being forgiven, born again, and/or given another chance. I’m not saying that evil people are knowingly manipulating you. I don’t think they are evil, They are just doing there best stuck in a primitive outdated world view. (I’m sure they have good intentions and I’m sure the people who want to change have good intentions too.)

    Worship in a church is one of these kinds of provoked experiences of transcendence, joy, bliss, unity, and the experience of the presence of god (holy spirit) “within your heart”. This is of coarse proof of “God”, but is this proof of jesus or buddha or any of the other things supposedly associated with these experiences if they are had in all religions and in all cultures. These experiences are the reason that Muslims know that Allah is real.

    What would you say to me if I said “I meditated, I had an experience of divinity, and so I know that buddha was born out of his mothers heart”? Wouldn’t you say that the one doesn’t prove the other just because the are supposedly related?

    We interpret any emotional state in terms of our stage of cognitive development.

    Both lines of development (emotional and cognitive) are equally important to be well rounded.

    If it is god that all of these people are experiencing within them selves, it is clear that god doesn’t care what you know about it, if you are right, or even if you are good. “God” only cares if you are open to it or not. You can call him what you want or think what you want about it, it will be open to letting you experience it anyway.

    Notice these are feelings within your self. To be christ is to act on behalf of god/unity.

    This is the holy trinity, Mind, body, and spirit. YOU. Your body is a temple. That means the holy ghost in the machine is you/god. All things are divine. Hell is separation from god and orthodox christianity is a religion of exile. Separate from god and nature.

    Every time you speak of god it’s in the 3rd person, but you also talk about being christ and that is 1st person, and seeing the christ in the other that is 2nd person.

    These are all important.

    In conclusion:

    I think you are doing pretty well on the spiritual emotional side, but I think your Philosophy and Logical side has some catching up to do (although it could be much worse). Don’t feel bad about this. I have the opposite problem. We all have work to do. The question is how open are we to criticism and refinement. The truth will set us free, but only if we are open to it.

    Peace and Love, David

  2. David, I am so eager to respond to all your points. They are relevant and valid. I am also eager to get my life in order because if I am not careful I will spread myself so thin that you can see right through me!

    I value all the time that you have taken to share with me your point of view, and in the near future I really look forward to thoughtfully responding to your points.

    I am touched by your concern and passion for truth, and I look forward to seeing how we can co-create a world where everyone can thrive.

    I don’t think you are an ass hole–I am really amazed at how much energy you have for seeking truth, and I see us both as passionate seekers of truth.

    I just want to adjust one assumption that you have made. It seems like you think I have not studied the history of my own faith or others. That is far from true. I traveled in primarily Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu countries (Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, India, and Sri Lanka) when I was 19 (36 years ago). I had direct experience of the people and the culture, and having left my Christian faith at age 16, I was searching all that time (about 28 years) for the spiritual path that I could really sink my teeth into. It was only after studying my Christian roots extensively from all perspectives–free thinkers, athiests, fundamentalists, historians, liberal Christians, scholars, and radical Christians like Shane Claiborne of The Simple Way–that I could totally embrace my path and decide to commit myself to following Jesus.

    I am pretty good at speaking a universal language of spirituality–yet I also want to make it clear that I have certain beliefs, that I do believe there is an absolute truth–yet I respect all beliefs and can condemn no one to hell because of erroneous beliefs. I can’t say 100% that my beliefs are true–even good old Paul (who wrote most of the new testament) wrote that he didn’t know it all!

    I continue to base my beliefs on a balance of facts, knowledge, heart perception, other people’s testimonies, and my own experience.

    I am trusting in a Creator who is totally and utterly good and only wants the best for me. Therefore I trust that because I sincerely want to know the truth, it will be revealed to me.

    OKay, I wrote more than I wanted to, but once again, I welcome your feedback and look forward to responding to specific points.

  3. I read your testimony, and I feel like so many of us, faith is a struggle, we face always one day at a time. I feel Jesus is the greatest way to God, even though there seems many other paths.

    Maybe the following might help, if you choose to read any further, then search for something greater than I have written

    Could the Trinity hang on the greatest commandments?

    When Jesus spent his time on Earth, he would have lived by the greatest commandments, could these commandments be the greatest purpose of both God the Father and the Son?

    Jesus loves God the Father with all his heart, mind, soul and strength.
    Jesus loves each and every one of us as he loves himself.

    God the Father loves Jesus the Son with all his heart, mind, soul and strength.
    The Father loves each and every one of us as he loves himself.

    Before the creation of the universe began, could the greatest commandments possibly describe part of the trinity?

    Is it possible that God’s purpose is for each and every one of us to have this Trinitarian relationship with each other?

    Could the spirit be the power of God’s love; working through the perfection of the greatest commandments?
    1 Samuel 18-1
    Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.
    ———————————————————————————————————————–
    In search of a Greatest or Ultimate Truth for God

    Here is a child like and yet profound way to test the power of the greatest commandments; when looking for a purpose for the creation of the universe and life.

    Did God have a complete plan for the creation of everything, did he think ahead? Were Christ’s life, death and resurrection planned before the creation of the universe began?
    To search for a deeper meaning, was Christ freely given the choice to accept his sacrifice before the creation of the universe began?
    Would it mean that the Father had a purpose for man so great, that creation could not be achieved in any lesser way?
    What purpose can be so great, that it would compel God to create the universe and life, knowing in advance that his son would die?
    Would it be to forgive the sins of mankind, or can there be something greater?

    Challenge your mind to find a greatest good purpose for creation; by searching for answers to three questions.

    What greatest thing can God create?

    God could create all the stars and planets of the universe; he then becomes God the builder.
    God could create a whole variety of life with almost no intelligence like plants; he now becomes God the gardener’
    God could create life with more intelligence but if the knowledge is limited he has now created the animal kingdom. He now becomes God the farmer.
    God could create life in his own image, a life that could understand him. Can God create anything greater than life in his own image, does he now become God the Father.
    Does the greatest thing that God creates, depend on the relationship that he can have with them?

    What greatest purpose can God have to create children in his own image?

    Could love be the greatest reason for God to create children?
    Could the ultimate God be a God who loves in the greatest way?

    God the Father willingly loves all of mankind as he loves HIMSELF.

    Can there be any greater reason to create children, even for God, can God love us more than he loves himself??

    To find a greatest purpose for all God’s children.

    What greatest purpose could God set for humanity? Would it be for everyone to turn to His kind of religion and pray the way that he stipulates, or would it be to banish poverty, gain intellectual superiority, conquer sickness and death, and subdue the universe or is there more?

    If the greatest reason God could have to create mankind, is to love us, as he loves himself, then God could create mankind, with the freedom to return God’s love

    All of mankind to be created with the freedom to love God the creator unconditionally, are we given the greatest commandment as a guide for this very purpose?

    God willingly loves everyone as he loves himself; do we also need this same freedom to love everyone in the same way, so that the truth can be complete for God and mankind.

    All of mankind, to be created with the freedom to love their neighbour; as they love themselves unconditionally; are we given the second greatest commandment as a guide?

    Is this how God wants his children to be one? He wants us to love each other as we love ourselves.

    In a way, God loves us more than he loves himself, because he was willing to do what was good for us but not good for him (send his Son to die). In a sort of contradicting way, God loves himself more than us, because he knows that he is the greatest being in the universe and retains the power of heaven or hell over us.

    When you ask the question; why did Christ say they are the greatest commandment, can it possibly be because God can do nothing greater?

    Could the greatest commandments be a Greatest an Ultimate Truth?

    If our greatest purpose for creation is to live by the greatest commandments, then this freedom to love also gives us the choice to do both good and evil.

    Are the greatest commandments powerful enough, to compel God to create the universe and life, knowing in advance the costs involved?

    We can marvel at the great attention to detail that is evident in everything from the tiniest single cell of life and right up to the giant structures of galaxies. Can you find any greater purpose for all this to exist? Challenge the above statements in your mind in an honest way, test them against any religious beliefs, and test them against any form of logic.

    Before creation began did God want to create us in the greatest good way possible and in doing so Christ had to serve man in the greatest way possible.

    It seems that not only was Christ a servant to his disciples, but he is also a servant to my needs through his resurrection. My search has been to ask why Christ would say the commandments are the greatest things we can do, and to search for a greatest way to use them.

    HOW CAN I AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND WE AS A COMMUNION LOVE GOD THE CREATOR ABOVE ALL ELSE, UNCONDITIONALY?

    HOW CAN I AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND WE AS A COMMUNION, LOVE PEOPLE OF OTHER FAITHS AS WE LOVE OURSELVES, UNCONDITIONALY?

    HOW CAN I AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND WE AS A COMMUNION, LOVE PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT TO US, AS WE LOVE OURSELVES, UNCONDITIONALLY?

    HOW CAN I AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND WE AS A COMMUNION, LOVE ALL OUR NEIGHBOURS AS WE LOVE OURSELVES, UNCONDITIONALY?

    Possibly it is to search for a greater sense of community and unity, I am a Catholic and this makes me as one with a Catholic in China, Brazil and Egypt. But they are not my direct neighbours and I will probably never come into contact with them.

    My neighbours in my town are Baptists, atheist, Anglicans, Catholics, Muslim, Sikh, and many others; we are all created by the same God making us brothers and sisters together in community.

    It is very reassuring to know that I can strive to be as one with a Catholic Community in my town and in any foreign country simply by walking into the church. But how do I strive to be as one with the diversity of God’s creation that exists in my town; with the Sikhs, atheists, Methodist, Muslims, Hindu?

    A caring community supports people in need, the homeless, sick, widows, orphans, disabled, alcoholics. What a wonderful community it would be if a Muslim and a Sikh joined together to help a disabled Catholic. We might look on this kind of a situation as a rarity, but is this simply following in the footsteps of the Good Samaritan and the greatest commandments?

    James 1: 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

    Change has to come from within and start with me

    Could the purpose for the creation of the universe and life Hang on the greatest commandments? Could the greatest commandments be compared to a hook to Hang your coat on; without the hook the coat falls on the floor. Could it possibly be without the greatest commandments there would be no universe as we know it?

    When Christianity fails to Hang on the greatest commandments, Christianity falls, and we have schisms. Would it be reasonable to say that the Bible was written to give us an understanding of the laws and the prophets of God? It may be a task for theologians to try and define all the sections of the Bible that refer to the laws and prophets of God so that we may understand how much of the Bible HANGS on the greatest commandments.

    Can the Gospel of the transfiguration, hang on the greatest commandments?

    Moses is said to represent the law and Elijah is said to represent the prophets. Does all the law and the prophets hang on Jesus, the central figure in the transfiguration?

    Jesus loves God the Father with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength.
    Jesus loves each and every one of us as he loves himself?

    When the people of Jerusalem shouted, crucify him; did Jesus forgive them, in order that he should still love them as he loved himself? When the soldiers scourged him, and nailed him to the cross, did he forgive them?
    It seems that every time Jesus suffered injustice here on Earth, he forgave, in order that he should continue to love the sinners as he loved himself. After his resurrection does the divine nature of Jesus, follow his human nature? When Jesus ascended into heaven, does Jesus still forgive us, in order that he should continue to love each and every one of us as he loves himself?
    At least we know that on the cross Jesus forgave, and if he can forgive the people who had him killed, then it should give us hope that we can be forgiven also. What kind of a burden do we place on Jesus with our sins?

    This is only a collection of words to challenge the mind to think, I do not pretend to understand the meaning, or to make any claims of truth from these words. They are written without any qualifications, authority, or any conscious revelations from God.

    I have sent this to you in the hope that if you should read it, that it may inspire you in some way, then you may also find it worthy to pass onto others who may also pray, meditate on and challenge these words further. My hopes are that they may help to inspire unity, interfaith relations and world peace in some way.
    I do not wish to make any claims for copyright so you are free to rewrite this in any way that has meaning for you, distribute and do with these words, as you may desire.

    God’s blessings and peace be with you

    Eric Hyom,

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