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Posts Tagged ‘Love’

The revelation that God is a verb, as laid out in the 14th chapter of “The Shack,” and evidently based on a quote by Buckminster Fuller, lends new meaning to the famous opening phrase of the Gospel of John, “In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1). Incidentally, in the Spanish version, the phrase uses the term “Verbo,” as in “verb,” instead of the more modern word, “palabra,” (and I remember frowning on that years ago, because of its implication that God was a Verb, instead of a Noun).

But it makes sense in the light of the reference to God’s old and Hebrew name (Jehova, Jahwe or Jah) meaning “I am,” (“I am that I am,” or “I will be,” etc.). which in many languages is simply the verb of “being” in the first form or person… (i.e. “soy,” Spanish for “I am,” “sono,” Italian…)

Naturally, as the book points out, we humans are more fascinated by nouns, and more specifically, things we chase after all our lives in our pursuit of (the nouns) happiness, money, fame… you name it.

Most of the 10 things the Ten Commandments forbid or tell us we shouldn’t do, are things that we do in pursuit of those nouns (things) we think will make us happy: We steal, kill, lie, covet our neighbor’s goods and wife and then make idols out of them and worship them, (by spending an infinitely greater amount of time on their pursuit than in our relationship with our Maker), instead of the One Who alone deserves to be worshiped, (taking His name in vain whenever we don’t get enough of them), and since we hardly ever stop voluntarily in our perpetual pursuit of those nouns, God slapped the commandment to keep the Sabbath in there, to make sure that we’ll give it a break at least one day per week…

It also lends all the more sense to why Jesus told His disciples, “I give you a new commandment: to love one another.” In other words, “If you keep that one, you won’t need all the other “don’ts” anymore…

If you just do the right thing, the thing that God by nature does all the time (God is love – another Verb), then you’ll be alright.

Perhaps He had to show us first how to do it by His own life, before we would ever understand it, (hence first the 10 “don’ts”), and if there’s one thing we can gather from Jesus’ earthly life, it is the fact that it was most certainly not a life lived in pursuit of things (or nouns) at all.

All He did was do and say things that would evoke processes and actions (verbs) in our lives that would cause us to revolute, turn around and live and love and even die happily ever after, because the way He did and does all those things are simply divine.

(I just hope that none of the disciples of Richard Dawkins are going to find this blog entry, or I’ll be swamped by insulting comments about the lack of sense I’m making as far as they’re concerned…
But as some insignificant little songwriter once put it: “Love doesn’t care what people say…”)

Maybe that’s the reason why so many people who claim to be Christians or believers lack all the evidence of their discipleship in their sample: they don’t do God. They lack the doing part of God. They may think they have God wrapped up in a neat little package like one of those Christmas presents under their trees, and the concept of God all figured out in the cube on top of their necks, and keep Him tightly locked up inside that big house they built for Him for 25.000.000 bucks, but the rest of the world still refuses to believe one word they’re saying when they open their mouths and talk about God, because talking seems to be the only action and verb in their religion…

They don’t do or practice the verb that God is.

They haven’t even yet begun to love.

I – as a person whose principal and arch enemy is the sin of laziness – must admit that it isn’t necessarily always easy to do God.

Likewise, our other human core weaknesses – our anger, pride, our tendencies to lie, our envy, avarice, fears, hedonistic streaks and desire for power – these all strive in us to stop us from doing the God-thing, the verb, the action that is God.

Our natural inclinations are to do the things that are good for ourselves, that give us big bellies, stuffed pockets, lots of zeroes behind the digits on our bank accounts, friends on MySpace or whatever, but the action of doing God and what God does is sort of alien to most of us, and it’s almost as if we have to lose our own selfish lives first before we can find life the way Love intended…

Besides, doing God is so dreadfully unpopular in our world…
Anything else in our world may be popular, except that one single activity.

Doing God comes across as corny, if not totally uncool or downright outrageous to most of our fellowmen who follow the examples of our Hollywood icons that we tend to shape our lives after, rather than the sad figure hanging on the cross in the building we visit on Sundays.

Well, perhaps that’s precisely one of the points the author(s) of “The Shack” wanted to bring across, and what some of their publications refer to as thinking outside the box:

God is not something you can stick in a box and say, “It’s MINE!” It’s something you either do or… forget it!

It’s what determines whether our lives are a foretaste of Heaven, or a selfish, Sisyphus-like existence of hell on earth.
God is the Action that’s making everything happen, even if He may temporarily do most of it hidden from our view and from behind the scenes, letting us live under the impression that we’re the ones doing everything – only until the curtain will be removed and it shall be revealed just how much the Great Director and His staff were actually involved in the making of this Big Picture

Coincidentally, even the original meaning of the word “church” (ecclesia) is based on a verb. God is calling all of us out and away from our materialistic, greedy ways of thinking, to a new world, where His happy children dance around in a huge circle, calling out to anyone who will hear: “C’mon, let’s do some God together!”

 

(Related podcast:)

http://www.bigcontact.com/mcdozer/the-hideous-god-of-christianity

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Oct.13 ‘07

In my treatize on “Bible Verses Most Christians Choose to Ignore” I’ve brought out some of the advantages and reasons that make me stick to my Family, even after 27 years of ups and downs, constant spiritual revolution and the accompanying controversy that’s bound to appear as a side affect…

But I think I left out one – probably the most important factor.

Nearly every church or congregation has a verse that they choose as their dogma, their highest commandment: for the 7th Day Adventists, it’s the commandment to keep the Sabbath. For the Pentecostals, it’s the gift of tongues. For most Catholics it’s probably just being catholic. For Baptists, as for Mormons, it’s the water. And then there are those red-white & blue flag waving patriots and warmongers who still seem to be clinging to the Old Testament dogma of “an eye for an eye…” (Not to mention those cunning politicians and leaders who pose as Christians, when in reality subscribing to the god of this world. You can recognize them by a very devout dedication to the 10 commandments: “Thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not covet; thou shalt not lie, etc., except that they always omit the word “not” from each phrase.)

Now, the highest, greatest, and yes, even only commandment the Family adheres to, above all, and which has been the gist of our message from the very beginning, is the very same one which Jesus Himself described as the fulfilment of all the laws and the prophets (Matthew 22:37-40), namely, to love God and our fellowman.

As our leader and shepherdess wrote, “The only thing that matters is love.”

In other words, our religion is love, and as one nature-born sucker for love, I can only say that that’s the only religion, in my opinion, ever worthy of subscribing to.

For most Christians, love is probably not enough. They need buildings, rituals, certain amounts of physically visible success as manifested in the abundance of the things they possess, but you can keep all that, if it makes you happy.

As for me, I’ll choose love any day above that. After all, if God IS love, as the Bible tells us clearly, then what higher thing could there ever be to strive for?

When love becomes your religion, it becomes more than that. Most Christians keep their religion tucked away well hidden from everybody else, in some neat little corner in their lives they reserve for God: that hour on Sunday mornings, or that brief devotional reading or prayer sometime during the day, which I don’t want to minimize or put down.

But when you truly seek to adhere to the first and great Commandment of Love, it becomes part of every facet of your life. And I think that’s precisely what Jesus was trying to teach us. He was precisely trying to convey to us the opposite of the “separation of religion and state” of our minds and affairs. He was saying, if it’s the Real Thing, you can’t keep it separate. After all, re-legio(n) is about putting things together, not taking them apart.

So, anything less than love is not enough (true) religion for me. Anything else is at best a cheap imitation.

How does your faith manifest itself in your life? How does your religion come across in your interaction with others every day? How much do you express your love for God and others on a daily basis? How real is what you believe in?

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