“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – Jesus Christ
From time to time, I’ll pull my old copy of the New Testament off the shelf, wipe the dust from its worn cover, and read from the wisdom it contains. It’s amazing how so many who claim to be adherents of the faith seem unaware of its foundational teachings. Nowhere in the red print, for example, does it say, “Force your opinions and judgments onto others and make sure you let them know how wrong they are and right you are.”
Those apple red fonts instruct us to love one another. Loving our neighbor is the essence of the new covenant, not forcing our belief system (BS for short) onto our neighbor.
Many claiming to be of the faith spend an inordinate amount of energy trying to achieve power over the rest of us by fully supporting a mentally unstable president in the hopes that he will bend to their narrow-minded desires. This is a very hazardous and foolhardy path. To embolden mental illness in such a powerful seat is just asking for Old-Testament-wrath-of-an-angry-God crap to happen.
Is this what the red print teaches—to empower those who are dangerously deranged and have no compassion for the poor, tired, hungry or least among us if it furthers an agenda?
Love has become a distant dream in our modern culture, the tiniest speck of light in the toxic fog of opinionated anger, vitriolic hate, and unnameable fear. Can you imagine that old, Socialist hippy from two thousand years ago, whose basic teaching to the people was to love one another, being pleased with the faithful today?
How can those who insist on theocratic nationalism as governing policy, who wish to hide from the world behind razor wire-topped walls and are disdainful towards human beings from other lands, claim their religious beliefs are based on love? Will they ever open their eyes to the raving hypocrisy? Their club is filled with meanness, heartlessness, and bitterness. The red print seems to have little in common with the expression of their faith. Why do we allow the ignorant to claim Jesus as their own?
There are many of us, some of the faith and many who are not, who strive to live by the guidance of the new covenant, to love one another. I’d like to hear more of the authentically faithful speaking truth to power. I wish more stood up to the old patriarchs whose faith of convenience expresses only hostility, fear, and a lust for power. I hope more Christians who are aligned with the original instructions of love, as written in the Gospels, will shine their light onto these cruel men.
“Love one another.” It doesn’t get any simpler. It’s a straightforward yardstick to gauge our actions and choices by. We simply have to ask ourselves any time we choose: is this loving? And it doesn’t require faith in any religion or belief system—just an awareness of our mental state in any given moment. Am I being loving right now? And if not, can I get there?
I just want a happy life. And so do you. This is something we share in common with literally every human being on the planet. And it turns out that it doesn’t require a huge amount of resources to achieve what many consider a happy life. It does require a willingness to live life in a different way, to make being loving a higher priority than being right or having power over others. This is what the red print teaches.
There is only one life and we are all in it together, no matter our belief systems. It will never be a good idea to isolate ourselves behind walls and two-dimensional ideas. Ignorance is not the path we want to traverse in these radically changing and drastic times. The biosphere needs all of her people, working smartly together right now. Love is the path that is inviting all of us. And it’s okay if the expression of that love has more fierceness to it, calling out the cruel ignorance of others. It’s more than okay—it’s what’s needed!
Openness of spirit is near impossible for those who revere their own worthiness of entry into heaven over others. The contraction of their hearts will not allow for light and yet, they insist they hold the moral authority to condemn the rest of us who think and believe differently.
Openness of spirit is the love promised by the new covenant, the next evolution, the change that we must become. Openness of spirit is being accepting and receptive to the differences between us that give glory to our Source, however we understand it. We will find our healing within the celebration of those differences.
It’s time to shake out the threadbare shag carpet of religion in this land of the free. The old patriarchs are clueless about the needs of the people today. It’s time to remember the original instructions of love expressed in the new covenant. We need to call up a skillful fierceness and wield it with integrity, shining a light on the willful unawareness of the old patriarchs that is causing such trouble today.
Regardless of our BS, we are all being called to create the space for the manifestation of the new covenant into our world! It will take many of us to generate the needed changes we wish to see, to invite in love. And I have faith that we will succeed.
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