Sunday, June 12, 2016
The Faith of #Jesus Is Not A "Mystery." #JesusFollowers
The Ancient Roman and Greek world had many "mystery" religions, faiths that promised to save the souls of those who joined them after undergoing an initiation ritual. Certain "mysteries" were revealed to initiates during this initiation, and thereafter. They were withheld forever from those who were not initiated, and did not join.
But the religion that Jesus taught was NOT a mystery religion. Jesus taught nothing that his disciples were not capable of understanding, nothing mysterious, and nothing needing further explanation. It was, in fact, the duty of his disciples to understand what he was saying.
While we cannot know all that God knows until we go to see our Creator's face in the hereafter, we know all we need to know about Him and His plans for us in this life if we know the teachings of Jesus, who said "EVERYTHING that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." (Matt. 15:15)
Further, Jesus said it should be required of his disciples that they should both hear and understand what he delivered, "Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word." (John 8:43)
We are called by Jesus to love our God with all of our understanding. To love God, says Jesus, "with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." (Mark 12:33) In this, Jesus echoes the Prophet Hosea, to whom God said, "For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD rather than burnt offerings." (Hosea 6:6)
Yet today, we're still told to accept many of the man-made doctrines of the established Church, without either questioning or understanding them, because they are supposedly things we as human beings cannot understand.
But we must resist the urge to give in to the idea that a man-created doctrine or belief is correct because it is contrary to Reason, or because it seems "mysterious" to our minds.
Jesus condemned those who would lock up God's wisdom and the knowledge of God so that others couldn't have it. He said, "Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering." (Luke 11:52)
Jesus alone is sufficient for our understanding. We need to seek out no other man, no other teachings, no other 'interpretations' of Jesus' Gospel to discover how to live as God intends us to live, and how to please God.
Any "mysterious" doctrines that have been taught under the name of Christianity, which we lowly humans are supposedly incapable of understanding, should be rejected, so that we can regain the clear picture Jesus gave us: a plain, simple and powerful Gospel:
Jesus, the one chosen by our creator, God, as His spokesman, calls all people to turn to God and repent of their past misdeeds, seeking instead to live in Godly righteousness, completely motivated by a pure love for God and our fellow human beings. We are to humbly and selflessly perform Good Works on their behalf so that God's Righteous Kingdom will be established here and now on this earth. Jesus lived and died as an example of this path which we are called to follow, just as he did.
It is the duty of every follower of Jesus to oppose and discredit any other doctrines that contradict this simple and profound path. They throw doubt on the validity of Jesus' teachings, make his ministry seem incomplete, and turn his faith into a pagan exercise in mystery, secrets and falsehoods.