Originally posted by hawkiye
Luke 17 (KJV)
"And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with
observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."
I will begin by pointing out that he did not say "within you". That phrase is a bad translation.
The wording in the original Greek is ENTOS HUMON, meaning "amongst
you"; "in the midst of you", in some translations. That is to say, the
Kingdom was already present in the middle of their society in the form of himself and those who followed him.
When Jesus began his teaching, in Matthew ch4 v17, the message was- ENGIKEN GAR HE BASILEIA. This can be translated either as "the kingdom is about to
arrive" or "the kingdom has arrived". I've always thought there's a lot to be said for taking both meanings and holding them in tension. But the point
of both meanings is that the kingdom is a new arrival on the scene. It has not been there all the time.
The next point is to consider in what way there is unity between the Son and the Father, and how Christians are brought into that unity.
The key to the whole thing is understanding that the relationship between the Father and the Son is unique. Christ is described in John ch1 v18 as
MONOGENES HUIOS- "the only-begotten
Son". So the Nicene Creed teaches that the Son was "begotten of his Father before all worlds", and that he
was "not made", not part of Creation.
What is happening in that teaching from John is that Christians are being invited to join
that relationship, at one level. The idea in those
chapters is that the "sending" of the Holy Spirit has the effect of "attaching" the link which brings the believer into that sense of unity.
You have failed to notice the significance of that word "be made"; he would not be inviting them to be made
"one" if they were in that position
already. So phrases like "be made" and "that they may be" in themselves refute the idea that the unity is innate and exists already.
Similarly Paul writes in Galatians ch4 v4 that "God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts", and the purpose of all this is that we should
That word "adoption" is crucial. Once again, it implies becoming something which we were not previously.
Let me use an analogy.
If you are courting a royal princess, the princess might say to you "If you marry me, you will become a member of the royal family". That remark
implies a number of things;
1) The princess is innately
a member of the royal family.
2) You are not.
3) If you marry her, you will become a member of the family. You will be "adopted". Spend Christmas at Balmoral, etc.
4) If you don't marry her, you won't be a member of the family at all.
The comments in John can be applied in a similar way;
1) The Son is innately
in union with the Father ("you and I are one")
2) We are not. Not innately.
3) We are being invited to join that unity, become part of it.
4) If we don't accept the invitation. we don't become part of it.
So how can the kingdom be within but external to us? So of we are all in the father and the father in us and all one with him as he and Christ are one
then how can it be external to us?
Tell me, do people ever visit you at home?
If someone who is not a member of your family comes to visit you, that guest is simultaneously within
your house, but also external
it, in the sense of having an external origin. They were not born there. Is that such a difficult concept to grasp?
If your guest happens to be your new mother-in-law (see previous analogy), then you will be related to her. She will be within your walls, and related
to you, and yet she will not be one of your children.
That is how God can be external to us (in origin) and yet have a presence within us.
I am not sure where you got the idea making contact with and bringing other religions into unity from the site because that is not what it
teaches at all. Maybe you could quote what it is you read that lead you to that conclusion ?
In the first place, I note the suggestion, found on the page "Principles of Unification", that all the gods of all the different religions of the
world are fundamentally the same- one God "called by different names and descriptions".
(This claim is fundamentally contradicted by the command "You shall have no other gods but me", which necessarily implies that the Biblical God is NOT
the same as any of the others).
So they are encouraging a sense of unity among the religions.
Then I look at the books which the site is encouraging visitors to read, and I find, right on top of the list;
The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Encyclopaedic Theosophical Library
Studies in occult philosophy
The Wisdom of the Buddha
Science and Health (Mary Baker Eddy)
In short, people are being directed towards non-Biblical religions for their spiritual guidance. A Christian site would not be doing that.
Incidentally, I did not suddenly decide to pin the "New Age" label on them. It did not come "spewing out".That label is part of their own
self-description. The phrase "New Age" is plastered all over the site. They have set up links to a "New Age Directory" and "New Age Resources". They
know perfectly well what they represent.
I'm a little puzzled to know what, in my OP, prompted you to think that I would be more "open-minded" in the sense you would approve. I spent whole
paragraphs throwing around words like "abomination" and "idolatrous", and explaining how these words applied to the worship of gods other than the
Biblical God. Surely that should have been a clue. I see nothing in the Bible telling me that being "open-minded" is a virtue, so the charge of not
being open-minded is not going to make me feel guilty.
Finally, I had to smile at your charge that I was repeating "the dogmas of the day". The idea that God is "other" than ourselves has been the
fundamental understanding of the Biblical God for the last three thousand years. Now you're coming up with some New Age stuff rooted in the
comparatively recent products of Victorian esoteric orientalism. Surely you are the one who is "repeating the dogmas of the day".
edit on 16-11-2010 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)