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Anthony Gifford

'Sharing' as being the proof of 'The Kingdom of God'

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There's so much talk about what we believe. Who cares? I'm not a Christian and couldn't care less if any others are or aren't. What does matter is life and love. The best teacher of that in my life has been Jesus of Nazareth. He talked and walked in love. He formed real communities of real people, really  living lives based on love. For him, this was the presence of God, God's Kingdom. What these groups all shared, more than religion and culture, was love. They really did share. Everything. That was what was got them attention, good and bad. If we are not really sharing, building up communities of faith that really share (homes, lives, cars, etc.) we have nothing worth talking about. If you think that 'believing' anything gets you into any heaven or sets you apart in any way that is positive, don't take the time to reply. If you'd like to share and search for ways to share and to find others with which to share, I'd be honoured to spend time and energy with you. Thanks.  anthonygifford42@gmail.com

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Welcome Anthony.

The scientist in me rails at the title of your thread. Science does not deal in proof. It looks for corroborating evidence and when enough has been found we might treat it as a tentative truth. I can't say that Jesus has been the best teacher in my life. Life itself has been a teacher ... and of course I can point to various people that I have shared a path at times as teachers.

The best teacher of that in my life has been Jesus of Nazareth

Pointing to a single almost mythical character in an ancient text and saying it was the best, I suspect misses out those that have shaped your life and also events that have shaped your life. All the best.

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Anthony, 

Belief impacts action: you hail Jesus as your best teacher because you believe, based on the Christian NT, something about Jesus - that he talked and walked in love. So obviously you care (about belief) so you can't fault others who also care about what they believe. Now, if the argument is against belief without action, I agree. 

Plus there is a tension in how the Kingdom is understood: here yet coming. You are the second person this week (in separate websites) who has said that Jesus believed that living a life of love was the Kingdom of God. This is what we might believe but there is more to it for Jesus. He was preparing people to 'be ready' because God was about to overcome the forces of evil and establish his Kingdom. It seems to be the action of God, not men that establishes the Kingdom. It appears we have a bit of a different take on it than Jesus did - and that is okay.

You have made a call for those who agree with you but dismiss those who are not yet there or simply disagree. So much for love.

Edited by thormas

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HI Anthony

I understand your frustration with some people's focus on statements of belief that seem to close doors, instead of striving to connect in a meaningful way with the people around us.

But I notice your frustration is causing you to intentionally block connections with those who don't see things the same way you do, and that is not love. I don't believe you intend to dismiss others - just that you don't want get into discussions on what you believe or don't believe.

You're new here by the looks of it, and so am I. I'm thinking maybe you are bringing with you frustration from other forums. I get that. Perhaps spend some time exploring how this community shares and communicates first. Personally, I'm hopeful that this will not be another of the same.

For what it's worth, I may not be in a position to share my life, my home or my car with you, but I don't think that leaves us with nothing worth talking about. On forums such as these, we can only share words and they are prone to misinterpretation. But that doesn't mean we can't strive to love through the words we choose.

Peace, hope and joy to you.

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On 7/19/2017 at 12:37 PM, Anthony Gifford said:

If you think that 'believing' anything gets you into any heaven or sets you apart in any way that is positive, don't take the time to reply.

Hello Anthony!

From some writing I am currently doing:

"... let’s aim to figure out what Jesus may and may not have actually meant when he said things like “I  am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6), and “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47), the implication of that being that one wouldn’t or at least might not (have such life) if one didn’t (believe so). Many, interpreting such words literally, simply think that just believing without any doubt that Jesus was/is (literally!) the singularly Godly ‘son’ of our singularly Godly ‘father’, and therefore unreservedly accepting and embracing him as (literally!) being their personal ‘Lord and Master'** and so just thinking and doing as he instructed (including asking for and receiving his ‘forgiveness’ whenever they didn’t), will surely result in their (literally!) being personally ‘resurrected’ after their bodies die and thereafter forevermore ecstatically living with said Father-God and Son-Jesus in the absolutely blissful (completely suffering-free) heavenly locale where they project He and Jesus eternally reside, and wherefrom an enthroned King Jesus personally decides who will and who won’t be admitted and allowed to join them therein.

** Jesus did express himself using such figures of speech which those around him were familiar with and could meaningfully relate to (as elucidated in Chapter 1), but his focus was always primarily on attempting to alter people’s sense of what were and weren’t desirable, Love and Joy augmentative attitudes and service-functions between people regardless of any differences in social role and power status between them, as for instance in: “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.” (John 13:13-16)

Notwithstanding the number of the absolutely-believing promoters and guarantors of the fore-referenced belief and expectation scheme, and though I too acknowledge and frequently extol the miraculous-seeming power of mentally focused thoughts (beliefs, etc.) and emotionally embraced attitudes (expectations, etc.), I submit for logical consideration the proposition that the probability that anyone may thereby ensure such kind of ‘heavenly’ forever-after can really be no greater than the probability that believing and  expecting, even without any doubt whatsoever, that any personally subscribed to belief-and-expectation-system related talisman, mantra, prayer, ritual behavior or combination thereof can and will ensure that any of one’s  desires will be fulfilled as desired or that one will be ‘saved’ from experiencing anything one wishes not to as wished.

Why? Because, though it is indeed amazingly ‘elastic’ (in the sense of being able to parallelly☺ accommodate a wide range of alternative probabilities), which fact allows for it to be locally pattern-shifted for periods of time, the matrixial ‘fabric’ of the stream of Life  which one’s (that is, everyone’s!) experience and expression is part of  is flow-woven together by much more than the power of any one person’s or subgroup’s effect-generating belief and expectation ‘weavings’. Besides, such kind of super-power dispensed postmortem ‘salvation’ and heavenly union-with-God ‘reward’ (or their opposites: hellish separation-from-God ‘punishment’ and ‘perdition’) scenarios may only be temporarily experienced in the context of a personally encapsulating astral realm movie-script, not in super-eminent, actually forever-ongoing, Love and Joy based Reality. Why? (1) Because, as sussed out in the preceding chapter, The Source (or ‘Father’) which sustains our personal existences and The Entity of Creation (or ‘Son’, which Jesus mentally and emotionally completely identified with and so actively represented and spoke in the ‘name’ of ) which flows therefrom (i.e. from ‘the Father’) and contains us are not persons (per se) but actually transpersonal features and aspects of LiIFE; (2) because ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ actually reference spiritual states of heart and mind not spatio-temporal environments; and (3) because the ‘nature’ of the ‘spirit’ of Love and Joy, a/k/a LIFE, is ever evolving, such that no (personal or transpersonal) gestalt of ITs Being-n-Doing ever lasts in the same ‘form’ or ‘state’ (in or out ‘worldly’ contexts) forever!"

:)

Edited by Davidsun

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