Sunday, March 23, 2008

Being in the Likeness of God

Recently, I read a Blog which spoke of research by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The study shows that many Americans are by in large leaving the Christian religion, choosing others and in doing so entering the global world of consumerism. The author of the post likened it to "informed consumers...in the global market place." He convincingly writes of John Lennon's diverse religious path as a "disregard for authority" that "usually extends to the domain of religion as well—which I endorse."

In response to this post, let me begin by clearly asserting my belief in Christianity through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That said...I completely loved the author's comments and understand well the reason so many Americans now seek various means to God. Christianity has so often exalted dogma above love, and legalism above faith, hope, and grace. God is love. This love is best expressed for me in the personage and radical beliefs and actions of Jesus Christ.

Christ Himself was radical; it was he who said, "I and my Father are One." It was also he who said, "when you see the Father, you see Me." And it was he who prayed, "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me that they may be made perfect in one and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me...And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

Considering the climate of that time, it would have been heretical or foolish indeed to say such things. Who has such power, to endow such things, save God himself? But what gave His words such validity is the great compassion He showed and the miracles He performed, which He professed we would perform, "greater works." Mother Teresa and others have been recorded to have done such works, even considering in hindsight her wrestles with her own faith in the recently published diaries and letters. But Mother Teresa was no different than Christ himself who asked on the cross that infamous question, "my God, why have you forsaken me?"

The truth for me in Christianity, with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which considers discontentedness and unbelief ("Lord, I believe but help my unbelief") is the element of our humanity, our frailties. It is also the greatness of love and grace that supercede all disbelief and doubt. We all -- Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Rastafarians, Bahaists, and Rock and Rollers alike -- are in search of the Kingdom of God on earth...in each of us. We are all one being in the very likeness of God.

10 comments:

Anna "The Real McCoy" said...

Congrats, you wil do well. You are so deep girl!

judith ellis said...

Thanks, Anna. I value the work you do in assisting women to fulfill their purpose by living in the now. Woman Act Now! has inspired me.

Angela said...

Great words of wisdom, Judith. Please keep the blog posts coming!

John O'Leary said...

Thank you, Judith. I love how you declare your commitment to Christ while avoiding the exclusivism that often accompanies such declarations. (And I'm glad my post could inspire your declaration!) Jai Guru Deva Om.

Trevor Gay said...

Great post Judith. I agree with John how good it is to see someone passionate about their faith whilst not being ‘exclusivist.’ I hope I am like that too. My wife Annie and I are just over half way through a 10 session inter-faith course of study at a local Church. The aim is to find greater understanding of other faiths. I am a committed Christian and it is fascinating how much we can learn from each other - regardless of our faith ‘label’ - if we have can just retain an open mind.

James Dewar the Scottish Physicist (1842-1923) said – ‘Minds are like parachutes – they only function when they are open’

judith ellis said...

I understand my role well. I, in and of myself, can do nothing. I cannot draw or change anyone. I can only strive to live a life that represents the God in me through the personage of Jesus Christ. (Many times I have failed miserably. I move forward nonetheless.) Love suspercedes dogma. God is the ultimate judge.

The sense of being as one (people and entity) is very important in relation to how we do business on a day to day basis. (It will become more important in our increasingly global technological economy.) It is most important in how we create and innovate. It is how we best or least embrace change and each other. It is coming outside of ourselves and realizing that there are many facets to understanding, creating and innovating.

No matter the brillance of our ideas, they still must go through the lens of others -- co-workers, bosses, customers etc. (Hence, the importance of communication with others and in design.) These others come with their own belief systems, backgrounds, work ethics, needs, ways of communications, and purpose.

The beauty of business is the collision and alliance of others to create, innovate, and fulfill purpose. This is the essence of being, the oneness of people and entities inextricably aligned (there cannot be the latter without the former) in the very likeness of God.

John O'Leary said...

Judith,

"The beauty of business is the collision and alliance of others to create, innovate, and fulfill purpose." With your approval, I'd like to use this quote - with attribution of course.

judith ellis said...

John...you may, without doubt, use any words of mine...with attribution of course :-) May I do the same?

John O'Leary said...

But of course! The only quote I'm associated with (so far) is from my 1984 campaign for US President: "Ask not what money can do for you, ask what you can do for money."

judith ellis said...

John...I love it! I would have voted for you!