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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Hope for Humanity?

Some people argue about whether or not God exists. It can get downright nasty, I'm telling you, but it misses the point.

There is no science or technology that can answer this question one way or another.

There is more to this universe than science can detect or measure. However, science only acknowledges the existence of those things it CAN detect and measure. The problem is that, even before we could detect and measure bacteria, or atoms, or radio waves, they still existed.

A being that created the universe would exist outside of it, and the only possible evidence for it's existence would be the evidence that it provided. Examining a cake will not identify who cooked it, unless they incorporate some kind of signature or message.

So, arguing about whether God exists is pointless.

Arguing about Jesus Christ is also pointless. There are many theories in circulation, and no definitive way of testing and proving which is correct.

People argue about what a Christian is. This has been compounded by the number of people throughout history who have done great evil whilst professing to be Christian or doing God's will.

Whatever people say about God, or Jesus, or Christianity, there is no getting away from the central teachings of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament that we have today.

The core of Jesus' teaching is love; love for other people, even love for our enemies. That is how we can play our part in solving all the world's problems; by love, forgiveness, mercy, and kindness shown to everyone we meet - without excuse or exception. Such love builds communities, provides shelter and support where it is needed. No-one needs fear such love.

This is impossible for anyone who lives for themselves, who think they know best, and are deserving of rights and respect - such an attitude elevates ourselves above those we should be elevating. The problems that are being experienced all over the world are because of this attitude, of living for yourself rather than helping others.

Arguing about God, or Jesus, or Christianity is a distraction, an excuse, for not exercising our duty to care for others and treat them with respect, even if the world says they deserve none. If more people did this, there would be fewer homeless, fewer hungry, fewer sick.

When disaster strikes - earthquake, famine, war, flood - people say "Where is God?" They don't say "Where is Humanity?" Despite all the evolution, the increase in knowledge and technology, humanity has not grown in love and kindness: Prejudice, violence, injustice, greed, hatred, the oppression of the poor, the abuse of power and wealth, are as common today as they have always been.

Humanity focusses on the past. It judges people, puts them in boxes, and keeps them there. Once an X, always an X. Humanity has no answers, no hope here. Jesus taught the opposite. He taught about new birth, new humanity. Cutting away the past and being free to become someone better. He taught about forgiveness, mercy, and hope. He taught about always giving other people a fresh start, however many fresh starts they need.

Humanity sets rules and standards for people. This is not universal, every society, every family, even every individual has their own opinion about these rules and standards. People use these to categorise and judge others (very often, the person judging is guilty of the same things they judge others for).

As humans, our knowledge, intelligence, wisdom and power are woefully inadequate, however much we try to fool ourselves they aren't. I do not believe that it is possible to be the new humanity we need to be without being joined to The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit transforms our perspective, our attitude, our outlook into that of new humanity.  The Holy Spirit gives us access to Divine Wisdom, Guidance, and Power. A person who is open to God's guidance can do what Jesus did - he can speak the words God gives him to speak and do those things God shows him how to do. The encouragement, healing, and deliverance which are the result of this are far greater then we could achieve apart from God.

We have a choice - add to the world's problems by just caring for ourselves, or reduce them by caring for those around us.

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