This morning I am reading about two theologies, both from long ago Christians. It is the story of two, mutually exclusive viewpoints.
Augustine looked to the past. He created the view that we come from original sin. The story of Adam and Eve, he decided, shows us that humanity is sinful to the core, and we must be redeemed or we suffer forever in some horrid place.
Ireneous, in the other hand looked to the future. He saw us as works in progress. Earth is not a paradise with humanity as divine robots. It is a place to develop our souls, to find moral ways, to be refined and to choose God and goodness. We have the opportunity to grow toward our maker. If we listen and hear the call, we choose ways that make us more and more like our Maker.
For Augustine, what Jesus lived and taught was less important than he died for us to appease a blood thirsty God who wanted sacrifice. Maybe, if we did what the church said we must do, we might be saved from the fate worse than death.
For Ireneous, Jesus was a person through whom the experience of God was felt and known. He knew the way and called us to walk in His Way so we could be more and more refined until others could experience God through us too.
I'm my opinion, in general, Christianity has gone down the false and nutty path of original sin way too long. I call us to turn to the saner and more viable path that comes from Ireneous and others who know us to be in process and also in freedom to choose God.
It seems urgent to me. The mess in the world can be solved and healed by sincere God seekers living morally and lovingly, in process of letting the inner light shine.
I couldn't agree more! We'll never become more loving and compassionate humans by seeing ourselves as sinners. Like the child who is called "bad" by his parents and teachers, that only leads to our acting that way! We can become more God-like by recognizing our true identity as sons and daughters of God, made in God's image.
It's interesting to compare and contrast different spiritual teachings. I practice Zen meditation and in that school of thought, God is not mentioned. Instead, Buddhists use the concept of "emptiness." When we empty ourselves of all concepts and beliefs (including beliefs about God) we discover our true nature. The emptiness is the Source of all things and in that sense it is what I think of as God.
I find value in integrating and synthesizing different systems of thought. A concept like God is too vast to be the domain of any single religion or spiritual path. I believe that's what Ernest Holmes did in developing his ideas about Religious Science. He took some ideas from Eastern thought and brilliantly integrated them with Christianity. Would you agree?
Yes, I concur. I used to sit Zen. Ernest was greatly influenced by Sri Aurobindo. I also spent a week with the Dali Lama, some time with Muktananda and Satchidananda. Buddhism is nontheistic.ReplyDelete