Religion, faith, spirituality, etc. is about what's on the inside, not what’s on the outside. How many of us have been fooled by what's on the outside? "Those we were taught to trust the most."
From every religion I learn.
The war in which we find ourselves is a spiritual one. It is a war primarily of words, of deceit.
One of the great deceptions of our current war has to do with morality. The bad people say that they are the good ones.
This of course is distressing to the good ones, who keep on trying to defend themselves (even to themselves), because we have a conscience.
The war that we are in requires us to overcome our narrow ideas about which religion God prefers the most.
God does not prefer any religion or any person because God is not man. Even the worst sinner is beloved in God's eyes. Because God sees the wayward child within.
I see in my own religion this idea that our religion is somehow the true one. That's not a very useful construct.
Our religion is true for us. Other people's religions are true for them.
In the Bible we hear over and over and over again: "I am God, I am your God, do not worship idols."
Jesus and Mohammed did not exist yet. God was not talking about Jesus and Mohammed.
Note: I am not suggesting that Jews should convert to another religion, only that God’s focus was on idol worship - serving an inanimate construct - not serving Him. Trying to get power through witchcraft, sorcery, the dark arts - not through faith and good deeds.
The worship of "wood and stone." THINGS which have no power, but which are used as a focus of rituals. Often involving the murder of infants (Ba'al Pe'or) en masse.
Related to this, Iwant to highlight something in the Bible portion from last week.
We are in Deuteronomy Chapter 3.
Moses is about to die. He speaks the entire book of Deuteronomy in the last five weeks of his life.
Moses is telling the Jewish people that he knows the future.
He knows that the Jewish people will become corrupt and worship idols.
Again, we are not talking about Jesus and Mohammed.
How do we know that we are not talking about Jesus and Mohammed?
Because number one, neither were born yet, but idol worship (witchcraft/divination/sorcery) was RAMPANT.
Number two, although Christians consider Jesus to be divine and the Messiah, they do not SUBSTITUTE Jesus for God.
Christianity is a MONOTHEISTIC religion.
The same goes for Islam. MONOTHEISM.
I am always amazed as to why Jews focus so much on preventing each other from becoming Christians or other religions, and NOT on preventing each other from the single most talked about sin in the Bible - which is IDOL WORSHIP.
Idols are essentially ego. Lust. Greed. Worship of the self.
- 3:12 "The Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of the words, but saw no image, just a voice."
- 3:15-16: "And you shall watch yourselves very well, for you did not see any image on the day that the Lord spoke to you....Lest you become corrupt and make for yourselves a graven image, the representation of any form, the likeness of male or female."
- 3:17-18 "the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the heaven, the likeness of anything that crawls on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters, beneath the earth."
- 3:19 "And lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, which the Lord your God assigned to all peoples under the entire heaven, and be drawn away to prostrate yourselves before them and worship them."
If you think about the modern religions today and the wars between them for egotistical reasons. It's literally crazy.
We are all fighting the same thing, idol worship...why are we fighting each other?
Moses is beside himself with grief. And he is beside himself that he knows what is coming. Thus 3:22: “For I will die in this land; I will not cross the Jordan. You, however, will cross, and you will possess this good land.
He knows that the Jews will defile the land WITH IDOLS.
- 3:23 "Beware, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image, the likeness of anything, which the Lord your God has forbidden you."
- 3:25 "When you beget children and children's children, and you will be long established in the land, and you become corrupt and make a graven image, the likeness of anything, and do evil in the eyes of the Lord your God, to provoke Him to anger.”
- 3:26 "I call as witness against you this very day the heaven and the earth, that you will speedily and utterly perish from the land to which you cross the Jordan, to possess; you will not prolong your days upon it, but will be utterly destroyed."
This is not Moses being anti-Semitic. It is Moses saying that the Holy Land will vomit out the evildoers, the idol-worshipers.
3:27-28 "And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will remain few in number among the nations to where the Lord will lead you. And there you will worship gods, man's handiwork, wood and stone, which neither see, hear, eat, nor smell."
That is a pretty good description of...money. Materialism.
3:29-30 "And from there you will seek the Lord your God, & you will find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart & with all your soul. When you are distressed, & all these things happen upon you in the end of days, then you will return to the Lord your God and obey Him."
I know it is very confusing for people to have different faith traditions, each of which cast aspersions on the other, mine included.
But the main thing to remember is that those aspersions are ALWAYS MAN MADE.
And we have the power to reform them.
This is the true meaning of "Where We Go One We Go All." This is the most uplifting message!
We are not supposed to all be the same. We are supposed to all be the same in SUPPORTING EACH OTHER.
At a bare minimum, all we need to do is simply return to God, and in so doing, smash all the idols, like Abraham did.
All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain. Photo via Pixabay.