Sunday, 8 April 2007

On the subject of "BEING a 'Christian' "

If Jesus of Nazareth, the man, was alive today, I would probably be a follower, if not a disciple. However I am less inclined to follow any of the various groups or leaders who claim to understand and disseminate his message currently - who claim to have "direct experience" of God or Jesus. I believe many of them are misguided and ignorant, and even antithetical to what Jesus represented.

I believe in love above all else. I believe in putting reality above appearances. I prefer our own fantasy in preference to someone else's.

I believe that love should be our ultimate guide in all matters. Love, in the sense of Christian "agape" love, sometimes called "charity" (although that word has come to mean something different these days) is a more significant guide to the actions we should be taking, than the recorded ancient words of any faith, regardless of how wise those words may be.

The phrophets and leaders of the world's most popular religions very often led lives and delivered teachings that pointed, like a signpost, in the direction of love. But then we take those signposts, and turn them into idols. We idolise and worship the signposts, instead of celebrating the love that those signposts point us towards.

I am not suggesting any kind of abandonment of ancient wisdom. Simply that our ultimate yardstick must be love. Ancient wisdom should be measured against this yardstick, in preference to what is sometimes called "faith". "Faith" is often used as a cover for the abandonment of reason and good judgement based on love.

Real faith, is a consequence of having an experiential relationship with the eternal and is multifacited - a consequence of spiritual learning and practice, community participation, and artistic exploration. I am working for a world in which this is a readily available aspect of life for all people.

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