|Photo by Geralyn Camarillo|
Reblogged from: http://infoguyhank.wordpress.com/
I Will Love You No Matter What!
By Henry Hasse
Thank you, Father, for loving me unconditionally! I discovered this hidden treasure (I will love you no matter what and I will never leave you or forsake you.) among all the weeds in the scriptures almost four years ago and I have been sharing it ever since, always finding a better way to say it, repeating it in many different ways just in case one way will have meaning to you. I call it “my diamond in the rough,” because it is certainly a Divine revelation and now it is finally mine, rough as I still am.
Before we proceed any further, you should know five things from the start:
1) Since this is a blog, I do not feel the need to document references to source material. A little research of your own will uncover them soon enough.
2) I view the Old Testament and New Testament scriptures as interesting literature only, and certainly not as “holy” and “infallible” words “inspired” by God. You can find explanations for that based on scholarly work and archeology. In other words, I no longer idolize the Christian Bible for the reasons given.
3) I do not idolize the authority of the Church or its doctrines which have been designed to control people religiously and politically over the centuries.
4) I am not an Atheist by any stretch. The creation around us, life itself, and the wonders of the human body are proof enough for me that a Higher Existence is responsible for the same.
5) Finally, my acknowledgement of #4 is evidence that a consciousness of this Higher Existence resides within me as it does in all mankind, patiently waiting to be discovered and put to good use among humans. That it still remains hidden or undiscovered in so much of humanity indicates that it is above all else not a controlling influence and that freedom is its primary value and goal for all of humanity. It can be better defined as unconditional love.The Father’s love for ALL his children is not really new. It has always been so. How could it be anything else? Mankind was created free, not perfect as if they were little gods. Like the rest of creation that was adapting to ongoing changes. Humanity was a work in progress as well, but different, because humans were free to explore and learn and reason and choose the benefits of loving as they had been loved, finding better ways to live with others. This they could do because they housed a “piece” of the Creator within them, a consciousness of goodness to be discovered and acted on as well. The gift of life alone was enough to capture their attention and fill them with wonder and amazement! And what about waking up alive and well in the morning? Or having food to eat in the pantry? Perhaps an income source from farming and trading? Family? Friends? Possessions? Probably more than needed?
But this generous gifting and treatment and unconditional acceptance, in spite of possible prodigal behavior or unloving choices, was too unbelievably scandalous for most folks to fully understand. It seemed too unfair to treat others that generously – faulty thinking came to such conclusions.
Probably taking their lead from the animals around them, instead of treating others generously and with similar understanding and acceptance, they demanded punishment for offenses. Families, tribes, nations, even civilized ones, all wanted some form of punishment as revenge for being exploited or physically harmed by another. It was really animal-like behavior. So it is not surprising that their mind’s configuration of a deity would soon have exactly the same demands for them as they had for others, not least of all an attribute of violence! Their gory stories about their ancestor’s exploits are proof of the same. And their religious practices reflected the same thinking as well – offerings, laws, sacrifices, and priestly mediators with frightful promises of terrible punishment for disobedience. All these were related. But notice the contrast between their deduced payback thinking and the reality of daily gracious mercy they were receiving! Notice the contrast between the god they had conjured up (really a reflection of themselves) and the benevolent Creator hidden by their thinking.
(After hearing all these violent exploits of such an angry “god,” no wonder many thoughtful folks became atheists (Samaritans)! I happen to know several atheists who are very loving people, generously willing to help anyone in need. Of course, that is not to say that all atheists are generous and loving people.)
It is the un-consciousness of a Divine unconditional acceptance and love, as only a loving and forgiving Parent could have for children, that leads to the sick violence described above. However, when consciousness of such Divine love finally overwhelms us, not all at once to be sure, a new life begins to take shape, and it slowly but surely changes the view of the world around us and how we ultimately treat others. Some may be unaware of the source of such consciousness, but they are loving and kind people none-the-less. This mystery should cause those who do recognize the source to wonder in amazement! This also explains how forgiveness without conditions brings relief to BOTH the giver AND the receiver. Is there anything more divine than that concept? It is restorative justice at work! It is proof of a better consciousness within being discovered. It is a relief to finally “mellow out” and not take ourselves and our belief system so seriously, including its scriptures! Accepting each other just as we are has a way of changing us both for the better.
The Old Testament Hebrew prophets knew about, or at least deduced, the creation story from what they observed around them. But they knew nothing of a Paradise or a Fall story, two concepts picked up several centuries after the prophets spoke their promises of better times to come and complained about the priest’s demanding ways. The Hebrew priests had developed their own religious system of laws similar to an even older code of laws written by the Babylonian, Hammurabi, in the 18th century B.C. Priests had learned about the Paradise and Fall and Flood stories in Persia from Zoroastrianism, Persia’s state religion, and these became a major influence in Judaism. They built on their old laws there and were honored for it by the Persians. Ezra was High Priest during the Jewish captivity, and it was he who rewrote many of the Hebrew historical documents and laws, obviously placing the Zoroastrian apocryphal slant on everything – (good god vs. evil god, good beginning vs. evil outcome, required punishment, need for laws and a messiah savior, things always growing worse, heading for final judgment and ultimate destruction of evil, threat of a fiery hell of endless torment, only selected insiders saved, and to hell with all enemies).
BEFORE the captivity, the prophets declared the hopeful message of unconditional love and treatment for all, and the promise for a better land and better times when people practiced the same treatment among themselves. They had caught the spirit of their consciousness within, the one given to them as part of their life, the same one given to all of humanity from the beginning, the one that mirrored their Creator. They observed the contrasting conditions all around them and began to speak against the religious establishment and all its rituals and sacrifices and burdensome laws. Unfortunately, they suffered the horrible and violent deaths demanded by the priesthood who had burdened the people with all their demands for sacrifices and festivals and even the Sabbath itself, all in order to have control over the people. It was religious tyranny that the prophets spoke against, tyranny that was even controlling the king!
AFTER the captivity, the promises and hopes for a better future and treatment were soon forgotten. Apocalyptic bloody violence became the Jewish way of life and remained so,
1) between the Jewish Maccabees, especially their Judas “messiah” figure, and Antiochus IV of Greek origin who had banned the Jewish religion, set up altars to Zeus and other Greek gods in the Temple at Jerusalem and slaughtered pigs and Jews on them, and 2) between Jews and the Roman occupation forces later, but also 3) violence between several Jewish factions. The Romans finally had enough of it and sent Titus and his Legions to destroy Jerusalem and the Temple and the surrounding villages in 69-70 A.D. But still another Jewish “messiah” figure, Kokhba, revolted, and a final battle was fought about 134 A.D. with the Romans. He and his men were all killed. Jews were banned from Jerusalem from then on and any circumcised Jew found there was killed on the spot.
This was the background of violent times during which (about 30 A.D.) the Galilean Sage began teaching the same concept of the Father’s presence within (consciousness) and unconditional love for all of humanity. There was even compassion for the donkey that had fallen into a hole on the Sabbath and needed help to get out. Forgiveness every time, even for enemies, is always available. It is such empathy for all (raining on the good and the bad, sowing goodness generously to all, generously paying even late-comers a day’s wage), and especially helping the needy, orphans, and widows, who certainly were unable to return the favor, that displays the Father’s presence (consciousness or as the Sage called it, “kingdom”) among us. His justice was the Father’s justice (“sadak” is the Hebrew word for it) exactly as the prophets taught it. No payback, no retaliation, no threats, no payment for a helping hand, absolutely nothing expected in return for such love – only unconditional loving treatment freely given to all, especially those in need and those oppressed by religion and government. And the Father’s “kingdom” is already here and in operation now whenever such behavior is seen in practice! No waiting for an end-time for it! Caring for an aging parent or an ill child is proof of it. Doing the human thing, even giving humane treatment to animals and using the environment sensitively, not misusing it, is proof of it. Things could only get better and better under these conditions.
But what chance did this message ever have to survive in a violent environment such as we described earlier?
Actually it did survive, here and there, but never on the grand scale of Christianity. I will explain why not later.
As soon as some began to call him another Jewish “messiah” figure, bar Nasha was in trouble with the ruthless Romans. Worse, he was given the same treatment as the Old Testament prophets received because he was a threat to the religious establishment and now the “peace” of Rome!
The religious leaders complained to the Roman authority that he had broken their laws and hinted that he was leading another insurrection. But the civil government was too weak to stand up for real justice in his behalf! After all, what threat was a small group of twelve followers and a few women to the mighty Roman Legions? They cared nothing about Jewish law but were only concerned about another possible uprising growing among the Jews and they had the means to stop it quickly! The cross! The Romans used the cross to teach obedience and submission to their rules. Their Roman way or the cross way!
We are used to the picture of only three crosses, but historians tell us that dozens and scores of crosses was more likely the true picture. No wonder followers quickly went into hiding!
His gruesome death had nothing to do with a salvation plan of a loving Father who had never required such a horrible thing! That idea was started by Paul, a student and graduate of Jewish apocalyptic law who was looking for a fulfillment. Do a study of Zoroastrianism to find the similarities in the Old Testament laws supposedly authored by Moses but tampered with by the High Priest, Ezra, while in captivity in Persia. And a generation and more later, after bar Nasha’s death and the destruction of Jerusalem mentioned earlier,
New Testament narrative writers used the same idea from Paul to make bar Nasha fit into the apocalyptic thinking of the day, as if he was the fulfillment of all the apocalyptic Old Testament teachings, even the apocalyptic resurrection idea.
Later, the new Christian religion took it from there, teaching that the New Testament replaced the Old Testament by fulfilling it. They virtually buried his message of the Father’s presence and unconditional love by placing him at the center of their belief system, and finally, officially turning him into a god a couple centuries after that. This is what they did with the one who had refused any higher title than “son of man” (bar Nasha).
The Christian apocalyptic teaching of their god’s salvation plan and future return in judgment, with an eternal unquenchable hellfire waiting to punish anyone who does not believe their salvation theory is nothing but a “fizz”! (as a dear Australian friend calls it)
Again, as I said earlier, repeating the message of bar Nasha, the Father is already here! He has absolutely no intention of getting even or punishing his enemies, but only intends to love them, to forgive them endlessly, unconditionally, knowing that only such gracious treatment has the power to turn them around, to arouse and overwhelm their consciousness within. This is what “justice” means to the Father who is our loving Creator. This is his patient message and it always has been his message from the beginning. The Old Testament Prophets and bar Nasha were right! They got it! They caught this spirit of generous forgiveness! This is what finally turns us prodigals around, not threats of punishment that can only force obedience! Certainly not a stand-in proxy taking the full vengeance of an angry Father!
And those who do not turn around? Well, surprise! They will, finally, especially when they face a loving and accepting Creator at their death. Trust me. They will simply be a bit behind with experience on how to treat others. But that will be OK and acceptable too. We will all have plenty of catching up to do in many different ways, ways that will turn us loose to do some unfathomable exploring and learning, hardly even begun here and now.
The point is that no part of the Father’s consciousness (“image”) will be destroyed! The Father cannot even THINK “getting even” thoughts! So much for a “fall” story! AND all those other horrible destruction stories of the Old Testament which are blamed on God as well, as if that would make such violence acceptable. Those stories merely came from the punishing mindset of the people involved and from the writer who recorded/expanded on them later. This is not to say that none of them actually happened, but certainly not with the Father’s approval, or as if it was his idea.
The unconditional message of a loving God is the scandalous concept that folks demanding payback punishment for disobedience to their laws find so difficult to lay claim to. As I said, it simply seems too unfair to them. Their kind of justice is payback punishment. Period! And, by golly, they are out to teach that lesson to everyone!
The history of the Christian Church, both before and after the Protestant Reformation, is proof enough of their unloving behavior toward those who disagreed with them. ”Unbelievers,” pagans, and heretics who taught anything different than the Church’s official teaching on salvation met violent deaths.
From the time of Constantine on, the cross that was supposed to be their symbol of salvation turned into a symbol of legitimate violence. The Crusades and the Inquisition are proof of it. The Jews who upheld their one God of the Torah, and who would not accept the Church’s salvation by way of the cross, (the sin payment of Jesus Christ as the Son of God), were either put to death, chose suicide, or persecuted in many ways – (Spanish Inquisition, ghetto life, wearing only certain clothing, and later, for still other reasons invented by Hitler, the concentration camps and gas chambers of the Nazis).
It is not difficult to trace the reason for this violence against the Jewish people back to Paul and the “gospel” narratives that clearly lay the blood of the Christian “god” at the feet of the Jews. Gospel readers seem to forget that the early Christians, many who were Jews themselves, wanted to distance themselves from the ruthless Roman treatment of the Jewish nation, and blaming unbelieving (un-Christian) Jews for “killing their god” was one way to do it. The real killers were the Romans, but who would dare write THAT in a narrative?
Many other persecuted Europeans came to the New World (later called America) to escape the Church’s violent treatment of heretics, but then they treated each other and their neighboring “savages” in similar violent fashion here, always in the name of their God and under the symbol of the cross. This continued into the days of the KKK. Even today, although government no longer allows such behavior, very conservative orthodox Christians will have nothing to do with others outside their immediate fellowship. Shun is the operative word! And one wonders if they really wish they could be more forceful and violent toward those who refuse to bow to their ways. Radical evangelical fundamentalist Christians even want to control the government in many ways.
The Christian interpretation of the cross event is nothing but a myth made to fit their payback punishment thinking of the Apocalypse! And blaming God for all of it again! Trying to cover up blaming him by calling it his deep love for us, that is, sacrificing his only Son, does not cut it! Who wants a Father that would do such a thing? Who wants such a blood-thirsty vengeful god? As I said before, it not only hides the Father’s real message of unconditional love and eternal grace to mankind, it also hides the terrible and gruesome punishment of the Romans for threatening “messiah” figures and other criminals of the day. However, the religious establishment demanding it for someone speaking out against their burdensome ways and “holy” words also needs to be recognized because religious tyranny can soon become political tyranny as well.
Our FATHER is our Savior God, as the Old Testament Prophets called him, NOT the Sage from Galilee! Our FATHER is the God of justice, forgiveness, acceptance, love – unconditional at that! Placing Jesus, who called himself bar Nasha, into such a position is placing a person above his message and distracts from the Father as our Savior God. This is really nothing but idolatry! Jesus and you and I are ALL sons and daughters of the Father.
Again, as I said before, it was the Doctor of Jewish Apocryphal Law, Paul, who, in spite of a beautiful discourse on the meaning of love in one of his letters, led the earliest followers astray with his teaching of the Christ/Messiah and the cross, as if these had fulfilled the demands of the Old Testament. The first followers had already returned to Judaism and just wanted anonymity at this time. After the Romans had destroyed Jerusalem, the Temple, and surrounding Jewish settlements (69-70 A.D.), the New Testament writers followed Paul’s original lead and placed their own spin on Jesus in their narratives which could only have been assembled from hearsay accounts. (Fortunately, many of Jesus’ sayings, kept and passed on orally by some original followers, were used in these narratives. The key is to filter them out through his message of the Father’s presence and generous unconditional love. The sayings and acts that do not fit that criteria were obviously additions from the writer’s mind or from the hearsayer’s imaginations.
In fact, promoting Jesus as the One and the only Son of God is nothing but an old Greek idea for their heroes, an idea also acceptable to Romans, a good thing for the first followers, but it means that we are not really his brothers and sisters as he said we are. Is not God OUR Father too? Who formed US and gave US life and breath? The New Testament scriptures are filled with myth, just as the Old Testament scriptures are filled with myth. No wonder Jesus said, “It is written, … but I say to you….” He was not afraid to compare the scriptures with the Father’s unconditional love to see if they did indeed stand as truth or were merely the result of some writer’s payback mindset. This test works for me as well.
The early church fathers confused the issue even more, much more, and anyone who disagreed with their teachings of the cross was publicly burned, drowned, beheaded, or pulled apart. Some love that was! Little wonder that Jesus’ real message of the Father’s presence and unconditional love for us received no attention! So once again, the people lived in fear and oppression. The fear of being an outcast, the fear of separation from their Creator, the fear of death and eternal damnation, all kept most mouths shut back then, and the same fears still keep mouths shut today. Unfortunately, the message of the Father’s unconditional love and accepting presence among us, and not least of all, his promise to never leave us or forsake us, was buried among the teachings of salvation, yes, resurrection too, a second coming, hellfire punishment, etc. ad nauseam, all upheld by the notorious “infallible” inspiration claim for the scriptures soon to become another idol of many.
But among the ones with closed mouths are many who have made the same discovery that I have made. (My loyalty to the Church’s teachings held me back from discovering my diamond in the rough until my 70th year.) And more of them are becoming vocal about the news they have found. In the meantime, although you have probably heard much of what was written by “holy” men, I say to you: threatening words and ways do not come from our loving Father!
Think about it. Even while suffering a painful unjust death, bar Nasha called out for his Father’s forgiveness for all those who had placed him there (Religious Leaders, Roman Governor, Roman military), “because they did not know what they were doing.” – It was the Father’s presence/consciousness within bar Nasha that was pleading with himself to keep them under his justice of unconditional love in spite of their behavior! The Father’s presence within bar Nasha was also encouraging us to go do likewise! The Father needs humanity to carry out his justice, that is, to spread his “kingdom” here and now! It is the Father’s unconditional love for us that gives us the incentive to go do likewise toward our neighbor, even our enemies.
This message of unconditional love calls all religions into question, I know. Their salvation plan and message comes from a punishing mindset. This message of the Prophets and Jesus may even be offensive to many who take their “faith” seriously as I used to. I am aware of that too. But I’ll stake my life on its authenticity! Our Father does not lie like men do.
Finally, some brief comments on the fear of death. There was no fear of it at first. It was a very natural thing happening all around among plants, insects, fish, birds, and animals. The fossils we find today are proof enough that death was around long, long before mankind was added to the scene. But early humans obviously attempted to explain it by blaming their configuration of a deity for it – their god’s ”justice” dealt out to mankind for disobedience. So, a fearful myth took shape in their minds! And it became important to make bloody sacrifices to pay for their sin and appease their god’s anger – Persians, Egyptians, Aztecs, and Hebrews to name a few, all spread this myth.
Although it too is surprising and even more scandalous to many, the Father’s present “kingdom” of empathy for all here and now pales in comparison to what is in store for us all one day. Death is merely a hand-in-hand walk with him (I will never leave you or forsake you!) into an even greater surprise prepared and waiting for us all, his dear children, whom he loves more than we can ever imagine right now as we struggle trying to hold on to his message of love and peace to all mankind. After all, we are more than meat and blood and bones! We are children and a piece of our Creator Father who is eternal! And let us not waste our time on surmising what that eternal existence may be. There is so much to do and share here and now. The weeds that surround us are many and thick and well established, but the Father’s wisdom and truth and justice can still be found scattered among them. Good hunting!
Henry Hasse ~ August 10, 2012