C'est Important!

Ken Glasziou, Australia

    "Jesus does not require his disciples to believe in him but rather to believe with him, believe in the reality of the love of God and in full confidence accept the security of the assurance of sonship with the heavenly Father. The Master desires that all his followers should fully share his transcendent faith. Jesus most touchingly challenged his followers, not only to believe what he believed, but also to believe as he believed. This is the full significance of his one supreme requirement, 'Follow me.'" (2089)

    For those who aspire to attempt the task set on p. 43, "The religious challenge of this age is to those far-seeing men and women of spiritual insight who will dare to construct  a new and appealing philosophy of living…(that) will attract all that is good in the mind of man and challenge the best in the human soul," this statement that Jesus does not require us to believe in him  but rather to believe with him is of the utmost significance.

    In particular, it is important if we are to take Jesus' message to intensely monotheistic groups such as the Jews and those who follow Islam. In the foreseeable future, there is little likelihood that such people will accept our view of Jesus as Son of God, ruler of our universe, and, effectively, God to our universe.

    Fortunately this is not required. What is to be transmitted is the recognition that "God is love" and the assurance that all people of all faiths and creeds, or even no faith and creed, are all children in the one beloved family of one heavenly Father.

    And that will be a difficult enough task, for the "chosen people" syndrome is widespread, a probable remnant in our psyche of the tribalism of our ancestors that is still strong enough to cause the chaos now seen in Africa, the Balkans, Ireland, etc.

    The task is of course immense. We have to somehow convince people who have no desire to be convinced. Many, mostly male, far prefer to hate and to fight than to bow their heads in humility to a God of love, mercy, and compassion.

  What kind of mind is it that can cheerfully participate in the destruction of their fellows on the grounds that God loves Protestants and hates Catholics? Or the reverse? It is not that they really believe their slogans, simply that they need a cover for their guilt.

    At the base of all this are our animalistic herd instincts of dominance and territorialism. The hope that they can be overcome lies in our faith that our indwelling spirit presences can ensure that love is more contagious than hate.

    Probably there is only one possible way in which the virus of love can dominate that of hate, and that is through its demonstrated presence in the personal lives of those who have chosen to follow Jesus.

    But even this latter hope cannot work unless the God that becomes the focus of our lives is the Father-God of Jesus. Only a remnant of that God shows forth in the lives of most Christians. And even dedicated Urantia Book readers have yet to learn to shift their focal point from the book to become God-centered.

    But let not faith be overcome. Rather let this assurance prevail: "Love is infectious, and when human devotion is intelligent and wise, love is more catching than hate. But only genuine and unselfish love is truly contagious. If each mortal could only become a focus of dynamic affection, this benign virus of love would soon pervade the sentimental emotion-stream of humanity to such an extent that all civilization would be encompassed by love, and that would be the realization of the brotherhood of man." (1098)

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