Is Jesus God?

What was it about Jesus Christ that made the difference? Was he merely a great man, or something more?
These questions get to the heart of who Jesus really was. Some believe he was merely a great moral teacher; others believe he was simply the leader of the world’s greatest religion. But many believe something far more. Christians believe that God has actually visited us in human form. And they believe the evidence backs that up.
After carefully examining Jesus’ life and words, former Cambridge professor and skeptic, C. S. Lewis, came to a startling conclusion about him that altered the course of his life. So who is the real Jesus? Many will answer that Jesus was a great moral teacher. As we take a deeper look at the world’s most controversial person, we begin by asking: could Jesus have been merely a great moral teacher?
But what did Jesus really mean by such statements? Is it possible Jesus was
merely a prophet like Moses or Elijah, or Daniel? Even a superficial reading of
the Gospels reveals that Jesus claimed to be someone more than a prophet. No
other prophet had made such claims about himself; in fact, no other prophet ever
put himself in God’s place.
Some argue that Jesus never explicitly said, I am God. It is true that he
never stated the exact words, I am God. However, Jesus also never explicitly
said, I am a man, or I am a prophet. Yet Jesus was undoubtedly human, and
his followers considered him a prophet like Moses and Elijah. So we cannot rule
out Jesus being divine, just because he didn’t say those exact words, anymore
than we can say he wasn’t a prophet.
In fact, Jesus statements about himself contradict the notion that he was
simply a great man or a prophet. On more than one occasion, Jesus referred to
himself as God’s Son.

“Faith is the light that guides you through the darkness.”
– Emmet Fox

“For me, Jesus is the ‘noblest figure, a model to aspire to, a hope to pin on, an anchor to cling to in the storms of life. Someone on whom to pin our highest (supreme) characteristics, values and aspirations (our most noble and loftiest goals) , in short the very best in life …the name and spirit of Jesus Christ symbolises endless possibilities… and each one of us in invited to partake in and share His Infinite Spirit.”

“My belief is in the God who gives us responsibility for our own actions, who I see in Jesus Christ, who stated and showed in his own way of life that His purpose was to give quality of life.”
Michael Tepler, (in a letter to the New Zealand Herald 23rd Nov 2010)

 
 
 
 

 

 
 

JESUS COMPLEX:
 

Is Jesus God?
 

Sourced from:
 

Key words (tags): Jesus, Jesus Christ, the Real Jesus, Christianity, claims, beliefs, testimony
 

Have you ever met a man who is the center of attention wherever he goes? Some mysterious, indefinable characteristic sets him apart from all other men. Well, that’s the way it was two thousand years ago with Jesus Christ. But it wasn’t merely Jesus’ personality that captivated those who heard him. Those who witnessed his words and life tell us that something about Jesus of Nazareth was different from all other men. Jesus’ only credentials were himself. He never wrote a book, commanded an army, held a political office, or owned property. He mostly traveled within a hundred miles of his village, attracting crowds who were amazed at his provocative words and stunning deeds.
Yet Jesus’ greatness was obvious to all those who saw and heard him. And while most great people eventually fade into history books, Jesus is still the focus of thousands of books and unparalleled media controversy. And much of that controversy revolves around the radical claims Jesus made about himself—claims that astounded both his followers and his adversaries.
It was primarily Jesus’ unique claims that caused him to be viewed as a threat by both the Roman authorities and the Jewish hierarchy. Although he was an outsider with no credentials or political powerbase, within three years, Jesus changed the world for the next 20 centuries. Other moral and religious leaders have left an impact—but nothing like that unknown carpenter’s son from Nazareth.

What was it about Jesus Christ that made the difference? Was he merely a great man, or something more? These questions get to the heart of who Jesus really was. Some believe he was merely a great moral teacher; others believe he was simply the leader of the world’s greatest religion. But many believe something far more. Christians believe that God has actually visited us in human form. And they believe the evidence backs that up.

After carefully examining Jesus’ life and words, former Cambridge professor and skeptic, C. S. Lewis, came to a startling conclusion about him that altered the course of his life. So who is the real Jesus? Many will answer that Jesus was a great moral teacher. As we take a deeper look at the world’s most controversial person, we begin by asking: could Jesus have been merely a great moral teacher?

Great Moral Teacher?
Even those from other religions acknowledge that Jesus was a great moral teacher. Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi, spoke highly of Jesus’ righteous life and profound words.1 Likewise, Jewish scholar Joseph Klausner wrote, “It is universally admitted … that Christ taught the purest and sublimest ethics … which throws the moral precepts and maxims of the wisest men of antiquity far into the shade.”2Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount has been called the most superlative teaching of human ethics ever uttered by an individual. In fact, much of what we know today as “equal rights” actually is the result of Jesus’ teaching. Historian Will Durant, a non-Christian, said of Jesus that “he lived and struggled unremittingly for ‘equal rights’; in modern times he would have been sent to Siberia. ‘He that is greatest among you, let him be your servant’—this is the inversion of all political wisdom, of all sanity.”3
 

 

Many, like Gandhi, have tried to separate Jesus’ teaching on ethics from his claims about himself, believing that he was simply a great man who taught lofty moral principles.
In fact, Jefferson’s memorable words in the Declaration of Independence were rooted in Jesus’ teaching that each person is of immense and equal importance to God, regardless of sex, race, or social status. The famous document sets forth, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights …”
But one thing Jefferson didn’t answer: If Jesus falsely claimed to be God he couldn’t have been a good moral teacher. But did Jesus really claim deity? Before we look at what Jesus claimed, we need to examine the possibility that he was simply a great religious leader?

 
 

Great Religious Leader?
Surprisingly, Jesus never claimed to be a religious leader. He never got into religious politics or pushed an ambitious agenda, and he ministered almost entirely outside the established religious framework.
When one compares Jesus with the other great religious leaders, a remarkable distinction emerges. Ravi Zacharias, who grew up in a Hindu culture, has studied world religions and observed a fundamental distinction between Jesus Christ and the founders of other major religions. “In all of these, there emerges an

 

instruction, a way of living. It is not Zoroaster to whom you turn; it is Zoroaster to whom you listen. It is not Buddha who delivers you; it is his Noble Truths that instruct you. It is not Mohammad who transforms you; it is the beauty of the Koran that woos you. By contrast, Jesus did not only teach or expound His message. He was identical with His message.”5The truth of Zacharias’ point is underscored by the number of times in the Gospels that Jesus’ teaching message was simply “Come to me” or “Follow me” or “Obey me.” Also, Jesus made it clear that his primary mission was to forgive sins, something only God could do.In The World’s Great Religions, Huston Smith observed, “Only two people ever astounded their contemporaries so much that the question they evoked was not ‘Who is he?’ but What is he’ They were Jesus and Buddha. The answers these two gave were exactly the opposite. Buddha said unequivocally that he was a mere man, not a god—almost as if he foresaw later attempts to worship him. Jesus, on the other hand, claimed … to be divine.”6And that leads us to the question of what Jesus really did claim for himself; specifically, did Jesus claim to be divine?
 

Did Jesus Claim to be God?
So what is it that convinces many scholars that Jesus claimed to be God?
Author, John Piper explains that Jesus claimed power which uniquely belonged to Jesus’s friends and enemies were staggered again and again by what he said

and did. He would be walking down the road, seemingly like any other man, then

turn and say something like, ˜Before Abraham was, I am’. Or, ˜If you have seen ‘ Or, very calmly, after being accused of

me, you have seen the Father.

blasphemy, he would say, ˜The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive . To the dead he might simply say, ˜Come forth, or, ˜Rise up. And they

sins’

would obey. To the storms on the sea he would say, ˜Be still. And to a loaf of

bread he would say, ˜Become a thousand meals. And it was done

immediately.

But what did Jesus really mean by such statements? Is it possible Jesus was

merely a prophet like Moses or Elijah, or Daniel? Even a superficial reading of

the Gospels reveals that Jesus claimed to be someone more than a prophet. No It is true that he

other prophet had made such claims about himself; in fact, no other prophet ever

put himself in God’s place.

Some argue that Jesus never explicitly said, I am God.

never stated the exact words, I am God. However, Jesus also never explicitly . Yet Jesus was undoubtedly human, and

said, I am a man, or I am a prophet

his followers considered him a prophet like Moses and Elijah
out Jesus being divine, just because he didn’t say those exact words, anymore
than we can say he wasn’t a prophet.

In fact, Jesus statements about himself contradict the notion that he was . On more than one occasion, Jesus referred to When asked whether he thought it far-fetched for Jesus to

simply a great man or a prophet

himself as God’s Son.

be the Son of God, lead singer of U2, Bono, answered:

“No, its not far-fetched to me. Look, the secular response to the Christ

story always goes like this: He was a great prophet, obviously a very

interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be

they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn’t allow . Christ says, ‘No. I’m not saying I’m a

you that. He doesn’t let you off the hook

teacher, don’t call me a teacher. I’m not saying I’m a prophet’. I’m saying I’m

God incarnate. And people say: ‘No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet we

can take’.

Before we examine Jesus’s claims, it is important to understand that he made

them in the context of the Jewish belief in one God (monotheism). No faithful . And Jesus believed in the one God,

Jew would ever believe in more than one God

praying to his Father as, the only true God
But in that same prayer, Jesus spoke of having always existed with his . And when Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father, Jesus said,
Father

Philip, have I been with you so long and you don’t know me? Whoever has seen The human face of God“).So the question is: Was Jesus claiming to be the Hebrew God who created the universe?

me, has seen the Father (ie “

Sourced from:
 

jesus.com/jesuscomplex_1_x.php?gclid=CLiewLSAj6MCFQYXewodJRXrWw
 

 
 

 
* * *
JESUS, ARE YOU GOD

(from “My Conversations with God“)?

I’m so pleased you asked me directly, going directly to the Source, as people debate this subject so much and get side-tracked over minor issues.

As regards my claims…I am who I am. Who I say I am, but a lot of my words have been mis-understood over the centuries, yes mis-interpreted by “religious people” to suit their own ends. Also even mis-represented sometimes! Simply, we are who and what we believe ourselves to be. We have that power of choice that is given to us from God, the Father… and it’s our greatest gift. You can declare this openly, publically, should you wish (and the people of the day will think you are crazy), or simply live out your faith quietly… and that can be just as effective in reaching and impacting others.

It depends on you and your unique personality make-up. Whether you like “stirring”, being controversial at times, or just being quiet and humble (or perhaps a bit of both to make things interesting). I quite enjoyed seeing the reactions of others at my “outrageous” claims… and still do today.

See I do have a sense of humour!

The key is to be filled with God’s Infinite Spirit THROUGH Me, the channel, a focus for your faith. Then you’ll get eternal truths.

Each one of you has the choice to live in union with God, the Father, our Creator, as I have done (and still do …today).

My will is God’s will

and

God’s will is my will!

Serve others and My Spirit lives on through YOU. And that is what I mean by “ever-lasting life.”

Even if you don’t ask Me, you’ll find out the answers, the truth yourself…one day!

Be yourself, follow YOUR dreams and

shine YOUR bright light on humanity… today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Faith is the light that guides you through the darkness.”

– Emmet Fox

“For me, Jesus is the ‘noblest figure, a model to aspire to, a hope to pin on, an anchor to cling to in the storms of life. Someone on whom to pin our highest (supreme) characteristics, values and aspirations (our most noble and loftiest goals) , in short the very best in life …the name and spirit of Jesus Christ symbolises endless possibilities… and each one of us in invited to partake in and share His Infinite Spirit.”

“My belief is in the God who gives us responsibility for our own actions, who I see in Jesus Christ, who stated and showed in his own way of life that His purpose was to give quality of life.”

Michael Templer, (in a letter to the New Zealand Herald 23rd Nov 2010)

 

Questions I’m frequently asked: Are you still a Christian (by Dr Steve McSwain)?

You can live without religion, too. That being a person of faith has very little to do with what you believe and a whole lot to do with how you live. To be a person of faith is to not just to believe in God or Jesus, or even to know a lot about God. It is, instead, to actually know God for yourself, as yourself, and to walk in the joy of her ineffable Presence.

As an educated scholar, theologian, and religious leader, I knew much about God. I could argue and debate with anybody about what I believed. But, in terms of those beliefs making any real difference in my life…well…I cannot say that those beliefs made any difference. You can’t argue God’s presence into your life. Clinging to a set of beliefs, no matter how correct they may be, won’t change the human heart. Jesus said as much to the religious leaders of his day who, like many today, believed that they had to believe the right beliefs to be right with God. It was insanity then and it is insane today. You only argue and debate about the things you do not know. When you really know God, what is there to debate?

Questions I’m frequently asked: Are you still a Christian

(

 

by Dr Steve McSwain

Sourced from

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/questions-i-m-frequently-asked-are-you-still-a-christian and http://www.stevemcswain.comKey words (tags): Dr. Steve McSwain, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Spirituality, Christianity, Christ-consciousness, God , faith, testimony, sharing faith (enough there now, craig)

Interesting you would ask me this, as others have asked me this question, too, and I suppose it is because I no longer pretend to believe that Christianity is the only way to know God. Yet, as far as my own faith journey is concerned, I regard myself as more Christian today than I’ve ever been.

Admittedly, there are some dramatic differences.

For the most part, my spiritual life is a whole lot less about beliefs and a whole lot more about faith. There is a canyon of difference between the two. Like most religious people, I had confused belief for faith for decades. For example, there are many people who believe in Jesus but, in terms of living by the way of Jesus-that is, living by the example and teachings of Jesus-they do not. 

Take this one example, although there are really many examples I could give you. Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” What that really means is “Have no enemies.” Yet, many churchgoing people-perhaps even the majority of them-who would vigorously defend the US war in Afghanistan and in Iraq. There was a time when I could have, too. Now, however, I find it very difficult to live by Jesus’ teaching and try to justify war, any war, at the same time. I suspect that’s why most Christians throughout history have looked to St. Augustine and his “Just War Theory” as a way to circumvent the rather clear teaching of Jesus. For me, now that I regard myself as more Christian than ever before, feel, if I am going to say I’m a follower of Christ, then I must truly follow Christ and his teachings, instead of looking for some clever way to explain away his hard teachings.

For most of my adult life, I thought that being a Christian was about believing certain things about God, Jesus, and the Bible.

There were a few other things that defined the “right” or “good” Christian-attend church regularly – the really, really good Christians came on Sunday night, too, and again on Wednesday – be patriotic, salute the flag and don’t cheat Uncle Sam, and, of course, pay your tithes and offerings. If you did not do that…well…you might not go to hell, but you’d smell like you’d been there.

Now, however, I know, as Deepak Chopra once put it, your “beliefs are a cover-up for insecurity. You only ever believe in the things you’re not certain about.”

Faith,

As an educated scholar, theologian, and religious leader, I knew much about God. I could argue and debate with anybody about what I believed. But, in terms of those beliefs making any real difference in my life…well…I cannot say that those beliefs made any difference. You can’t argue God’s presence into your life. Clinging to a set of beliefs, no matter how correct they may be, won’t change the human heart. Jesus said as much to the religious leaders of his day who, like many today, believed that they had to believe the right beliefs to be right with God. It was insanity then and it is insane today. You only argue and debate about the things you do not know. When you really know God, what is there to debate? Or, to put it another way, when people set out to prove that God exists, it could only ever mean that they do so because they secretly fear she doesn’t.

You don’t believe in the sun, do you? You don’t argue and debate whether it really exists. The notion would be absurd. What’s there to believe in or to debate about the sun? You know the sun. You see it hanging in the heavens, feel its warmth by day, and observe its effects on earth. Similarly, when you know the reality of the Eternal Presence-and that inner knowing could only ever occur when you exchange beliefs about God for faith in God – then you cannot but see God everywhere, in everyone, as well as in everything. All of life becomes to you the sacred sanctuary of God’s eternal presence.

Dr Steve McSwain

 

 I’ve put up an entire post on my blog about this (and written a whole book about this and other matters related to the spiritual life), and I’d love to share some of the things I’ve learned with you. To get started, visit my blog at http://www.stevemcswain.com.

Author’s Bio

For more than a decade, community leaders, corporate executives, politicians, priests, pastors, and other religious leaders, have heard Dr. McSwain’s passionate call to philanthropy, generosity, and a spirituality that reaches beyond the customary divides, one respectful of all religious traditions. Whether a congregational setting or a corporate event, Dr. McSwain connects with audiences everywhere. His message is candid, but respectful, humorous and always uplifting. Each year, he speaks in Roman Catholic parishes, mainline Protestant churches, and Evangelical congregations all over America. In workshops, seminars, conferences, and corporate events, Dr. McSwain inspires people to achieve their highest purpose and to enjoy the spiritually-connected life. His public speaking covers a broad range of topics including generosity, inter-faith dialogue, spirituality and spiritual formation, ethics, ecology, and social justice.

“Even belief in God is only a poor substitute for the living reality of God manifesting every moment of your life.”

– Eckhart Tolle

Sourced from

God’s greatest gift to us is to find, then follow our own truths.

Shared by craig (who was greatly moved and inspired by Steve’s excellent article (I feel exactly the same, but couldn’t have expressed it so well), so am sharing these thoughts/sentiments

“The highest goal of my ‘little’ life is to know and experience God’s eternal presence”

May you see God’s brilliant light on the path up ahead

 

 

 

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/is-jesus-the-only-way-to-godhttp://www.stevemcswain.com 

on the other hand, is the capacity to live in ambiguity; or, to step confidently in the face of uncertainty. It is to live with an inner sense of security, knowing that, since nothing could ever surprise the Divine, you can live without fear, without stress, worry, or anxiety. You can live without religion, too. That being a person of faith has very little to do with what you believe and a whole lot to do with how you live. To be a person of faith is to not just to believe in God or Jesus, or even to know a lot about God. It is, instead, to actually know God for yourself, as yourself, and to walk in the joy of her ineffable Presence.That being a Christian was about living a certain way – which usually meant ordering your life around some arbitrary but cultural standards somebody concocted as a definition as to what it meant to be Christian. For Baptists in the south, where I grew up and with whom I attended church, being a Christian meant you walked a church aisle – hopefully soon after reaching the “age of accountability”-whatever that is, said you believed in Jesus and renounced your terrible sins (which were many at the age of seven when this “salvation” event occurred for me), and then promising you wouldn’t “drink, cuss, smoke, or chew or run with girls who do.”by Dr Steve McSwain)?

Is Jesus the Only Way to God (by Dr. Steve McSwain)

recorded in John 14:6. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except by me.” To me, for someone to question this bold assertion was tantamount to heresy. In fact, I mistakenly thought that, if a person did not believe that Jesus was the one and only the way to God, he or she could not be a Christian at all.

What I’ve experienced is God, or Transcendence, or Universal Intelligence, or Consciousness itself. The name, as well as the sex, matters not to me. Further, I feel no need to argue and defend whether what is happening to me is God or that the effects are transformational. I can see the results in my own life. So can others.!

Is Jesus the Only Way to God

By Dr. Steve McSwain
Sourced from http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/is-jesus-the-only-way-to-god

Key words (tags): Dr. Steve McSwain, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Spirituality, Christianity, Christ-consciousness,

Article Summary. The name, as well as the sex, matters not to me. Further, I feel no need to argue and defend whether what is happening to me is God or that the effects are transformational. I can see the results in my own life. So can others.!

What I’ve experienced is God, or Transcendence, or Universal Intelligence, or Consciousness itself

* *

For centuries, Christians have not only believed but vigorously defended the view that Jesus is the one and only way to God. As a Christian myself, I was one of these who not only believed this but was ready to argue and debate with anyone who questioned what I thought was an unquestionable claim made by none other than Jesus himself. That claim is recorded in John 14:6. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except by me.” To me, for someone to question this bold assertion was tantamount to heresy. In fact, I mistakenly thought that, if a person did not believe that Jesus was the one and only the way to God, he or she could not be a Christian at all.

Admittedly, I no longer believe any of this. In fact, now that I know myself a little better, I realize I only vigorously argued this erroneous belief regarding Jesus, because I secretly feared Jesus might not be only way to God. Further, I quietly reasoned, and feared, if Jesus wasn’t what he claimed to be then that made him nothing less than a raving lunatic. This still is the primary argument many Christian apologists make for arguing that Jesus is the only way to God (see the writings of Josh McDowell, as an example). The real truth, however, is this: “You only believe the things you’re not certain about,” as a wise spiritual teacher once put it. For example, you do not believe in the sun, do you? Of course not! What is there to believe in? That it exists? But, you know that it does because you can see it, feel its warmth, as well as observe its effects. It makes no sense to say, therefore,, “I believe in the sun.” Or, “I believe, as scientists tell us, that the sun is very, very, hot place and that it provides us light.” We know all of these things to be true without having to believe they are. So, there’s nothing to believe in. It is only ever what you believe in, but cannot know for certain, that typically morphs into a “belief” and so needs defending. What you really know never needs defending. To put it in a more familiar way, “Truth needs no defense.”

Deepak Chopra once said, “Beliefs are a cover-up for insecurity.” This means that louder and more definitive a person argues his or her point of view is often an indicator of the depth of insecurity he or she feels with their arguments. You have likely heard preachers shout as they were preaching. They do this because many of them are not only insecure with who they are, but they are equally insecure about what they’re saying. I know this, because I was one of them for more than two decades. It took me a long time to realize this very simple truth. We often get our little egos wrapped around even smaller belief systems and then feel, whenever someone questions those beliefs, that we are being personally attacked. So, after all these years, here’s what I can say with certainty. Here is what I know, not just a belief.

First, I know that no one knows it there is a God, much less a way (or, the way) to know God, whether by Jesus or any other means 

. For myself, the most I can say with certainty is that I have had some kind of inexplicable experience that continues to transform how I look at myself, how I feel about the world, how I view others, and the way I live my life. This experience of inner transformation has been so profoundly life-altering that I know of no other way to explain it but to point to the possibility that what I’ve experienced is God, or Transcendence, or Universal Intelligence, or Consciousness itself. The name, as well as the sex, matters not to me. Further, I feel no need to argue and defend whether what is happening to me is God or that the effects are transformational. I can see the results in my own life. So can others.Second, I also know that, the more I give my attention (and for me that’s through meditation) to this “Holy Other,” as Rudolph Otto called it, the more at peace I am, or wish to argue with me about my beliefs, I find myself the happier I feel, and the more completely satisfied with everything, including my own life, that I am. I find all of this amazing indeed. When people press me for proof, ilf saying only what the blind man said when Jesus healed him. His accusers demanded an explanation. His was, “I was blind, now I see.” I have learned, for those who really see, that explanation is enough. For those who don’t, it’s never enough.

What does any of this have to do with Jesus and whether he’s the only way to know God? Everything indeed. Although I grew up in a Christian home, followed in my father’s footsteps and became a minister, went to college, then to eight years of theological training, earning a doctoral degree in theology, I cannot say that I really knew this Transcendence. I knew about God, but I cannot say I knew God. I believed many things about God but, in terms of knowing an inner, Eternal and transformative Presence, I did not. Although I said I believed in Jesus and so vigorously preached that he was the only way to salvation and eternal life, I cannot say it made much difference in how I felt about myself, treated others, or viewed the world. Salvation was little more than a ticket to some make believe world in the future after death. As far as Jesus’ teaching as a way to live my life here and now…as a way to know and enjoy spiritual enlightenment in the present moment was inconceivable. Eckhart Tolle said, “Even belief in God is only a poor substitute for the living reality of God manifesting every moment of your life.

There are scores of “Christian” people today who maintain that Jesus is the Savior of the world but, for most of them, Jesus is a Savior from this world instead of a Savior for this world. That is to say, they mistakenly think, just as I did, that Jesus came to save them from this world instead of show them how to live in this world and so be at peace with themselves and with others. Therefore, I now know that when Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth…no one comes to the Father but by me,” he was not saying, as Christian history has mistakenly thought, “There is no other way to God but by me.” He was simply saying instead, “The way I live is the way to know God — it’s also the way to live happily in this world. If you want to know God, follow my way…emulate how I live, how I think, the way I treat myself, others, and the world.” 

This truth, this knowing, has radically altered how I read and interpret all the words attributed to Jesus in the New Testament. For example, throughout most of my life, I read Jesus’ words, “Have no enemies,” as something humanly impossible, except for someone Divine like Jesus. I dismissed these words, as do most Christians, as an ideal that was wonderful to imagine but too lofty to attain. I now realize Jesus meant exactly what he said. Furthermore, you’re just playing games to say you believe in Jesus, but dismiss his way of life and teachings. Only real followers, serious about living a transformed, enlightened human existence as he did, will take serious these words and so live by them.

The Christian church today is full of believers; but few people who know Jesus, the God he knew so well that he called him Father, or the eternal, transformative Presence of Christ in themselves. If they did, for example, no longer would they view the Iraqis’ and the Iranians the way virtually everyone else in America does – as the enemy. They would, as their leader, have no enemies. This, then, is what it means to be a follower of Jesus. This, then, is what Jesus meant by “I am the way…to God.” What he was saying is this: “Unless you live as I live, you cannot know the God I know.”peace, and tranquility. It is not a belief, but a knowing. An inner experience of the Divine that is, in-and-of-itself, divine. I want nothing nothing more. I need nothing less.
If you’d like to explore how to know God and a host of other questions related to the spiritual life, I’d like to invite you to read the book, The Enoch Factor: The Sacred Art of Knowing God. In it, I share many of the things I’ve learned about this and other important matters pertaining to spirituality. In fact, I’d be happy to send you a complimentary chapter of the book in PDF format, for free. Just send me an email and I’ll shoot you a chapter from The Enoch Factor. Email: steve@stevemcswain.com.

Author’s Bio

For more than a decade, community leaders, corporate executives, politicians, priests, pastors, and other religious leaders, have heard Dr. McSwain’s passionate call to philanthropy, generosity, and a spirituality that reaches beyond the customary divides, one respectful of all religious traditions. Whether a congregational setting or a corporate event, Dr. McSwain connects with audiences everywhere. His message is candid, but respectful, humorous and always uplifting. Each year, he speaks in Roman Catholic parishes, mainline Protestant churches, and Evangelical congregations all over America. In workshops, seminars, conferences, and corporate events, Dr. McSwain inspires people to achieve their highest purpose and to enjoy the spiritually-connected life. His public speaking covers a broad range of topics including generosity, inter-faith dialogue, spirituality and spiritual formation, ethics, ecology, and social justice.

Sourced from http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/is-jesus-the-only-way-to-god 

Shared by craig

“The highest goal of my ‘little’ life is to know and experience God’s eternal presence”

May God’s brilliant light illuminate your path up ahead

 

So, today this I can say that I know with certainty: I am coming to know this kind Christ-spirit within myself. It is enlightening. It is inexplicable. It is full of joy.

10127539_600x400

Is Christ-consciousness the same thing as the “Buddha-nature” (by Dr. Steve McSwain)?

The Christian theologian, Teilhard de Chardin put it like this: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are really spiritual beings having a temporary human experience.”
So, this is part of what I mean by “Christ-consciousness” or what Easterners call your “Buddha-nature.” You could think of this in Biblical terms as the “soul,” provided you don’t get too Platonic about it and think of your soul as a separate entity captured temporarily in your body.
You really only showed up for one reason – to know God and to walk with her, or him, or whatever you’d like to call it. It really doesn’t matter, does it?

Is Christ-consciousness the same thing as the “Buddha-nature”?

By Dr. Steve McSwain

Sourced from http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/is-christ-consciousness-the-same-thing-as-the-buddha-nature

Key words: Dr. Steve McSwain, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Christ-consciousness, Buddhism, Buddha

When I speak of “Christ-consciousness” I am referring to the degree of your awareness along three lines. One is your awareness of yourself. I sometimes ask people, “Who are you when no one is looking?” It’s an important question but, unfortunately, most people live as I lived for much of my adult life-completely out-of-touch or uncertain as to who they really are.

All of us wear a social mask, what psychologists often refer to as an ego. It is the image you have of yourself or the self-image you present to the world. What most people do not yet know, however, is that your ego, this image of yourself you display before the world, is not who you really are at all.

The real you is beneath and beyond the image you carry around in your head as to who you are, the image you want everyone to see and believe is you. The Christian theologian, Teilhard de Chardin put it like this: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are really spiritual beings having a temporary human experience.” Until you know this, or know who you really are in the deepest place within you, you will live an “unconscious,” or out-of-touch, existence. Or, to state it another way, the path to real happiness and wholeness in life starts with knowing who you are, as well as who you’re not.

So, this is part of what I mean by “Christ-consciousness” or what Easterners call your “Buddha-nature.” You could think of this in Biblical terms as the “soul,” provided you don’t get too Platonic about it and think of your soul as a separate entity captured temporarily in your body. I am referring only to your essential naturewho you really are beneath the facades-and there can be many of these. The ego in us is always changing and eventually dissolving.

People will often ask me, “How will I know when I know who I really am?”

And, the answer is, “When you no longer have to ask the question.”

There’s another aspect to “Christ-consciousness.” The genuinely aware, or conscious, person, not only knows who she/he is beyond the social masks; but, as a consequence, why he/she is here-that is, why he/she showed up on planet earth. One of the biggest mistakes made in recent Christian history has been this notion that we all showed up for a special “purpose.” Christians know this as God’s perfect and permissive wills. It’s a whole lot of bunk, if you ask me.

Easterners are taught something similar in the teaching of dharma. It is this erroneous idea that you were created with a special purpose to fulfill on planet earth. So, what we’ve done, not only in Christianity but in other religions too, is create this insane expectation in people that their task in life is to figure out what they showed up to do.

You can guess the consequences of that nonsense. The overwhelming majority of people live a frustrating existence, because they go through life never certain they’ve figured out why they really showed or what they’re here to do. It’s madness.

You really only showed up for one reason – to know God and to walk with her, or him, or whatever you’d like to call it. It really doesn’t matter, does it? My children usually call me Dad. But, there are other times they call me Daddy, or Pop, and, when they’re mad at me, it’s Stephen. Do you think I care what they call me. I would only care if they did not.

With God, everything is pretty simple. It is religion, and religious people, and the ego in us all that complicates things. What could be less complicated than knowing God? Why would God, if it is true she wants to know and walk with us, make it difficult or complicated for us to do so? And, when it comes to your life and mine, what could you ever do or accomplish that could mark your life as more significant than walking in the Eternal bliss of God’s ineffable presence? I can think of nothing, can you?

I’ve put up an entire post on my blog about this (and written a whole book about this and other matters related to the spiritual life), and I’d love to share some of the things I’ve learned with you. To get started, visit my blog at http://www.stevemcswain.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dr._Steve_McSwain

Sourced from http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/is-christ-consciousness-the-same-thing-as-the-buddha-nature

Author’s Bio

For more than a decade, community leaders, corporate executives, politicians, priests, pastors, and other religious leaders, have heard Dr. McSwain’s passionate call to philanthropy, generosity, and a spirituality that reaches beyond the customary divides, one respectful of all religious traditions. Whether a congregational setting or a corporate event, Dr. McSwain connects with audiences everywhere. His message is candid, but respectful, humorous and always uplifting. Each year, he speaks in Roman Catholic parishes, mainline Protestant churches, and Evangelical congregations all over America. In workshops, seminars, conferences, and corporate events, Dr. McSwain inspires people to achieve their highest purpose and to enjoy the spiritually-connected life. His public speaking covers a broad range of topics including generosity, inter-faith dialogue, spirituality and spiritual formation, ethics, ecology, and social justice.

Shared by craig

 “Let not our different beliefs set us apart as human beings, but rather let our shared humanity be what defines and unites us as common citizens of our planet.”

SHARING A FEW THOUGHTS ON THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS:

Just sharing a few “torts” from my “work I’m currently writing” (or rather just seems to be writing itself: ‘The Real Jesus: The Jesus I Know and Love’. My aim in this manuscript is to get the reader into the presence of the living Jesus.

SHARING A FEW THOUGHTS ON THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS:

Just sharing a few “torts” from my “work I’m currently writing” (or rather just seems to be writing itself: ‘The Real Jesus: The Jesus I Know and Love’. My aim in this manuscript is to get the reader into the presence of the living Jesus.

The resurrection has been the greatest controvery in history; this single event has shaped the course of history. Jesus rose into a new form of existence – he moved into a new dimension of reality.

The hearts of the early disciples were changed, beyond their minds. They were empowered by a force outside (beyond) themselves, One that gave them a new form of existence.

It is far easier NOT to believe in the resurrection. Because faith is a leap, a risk, but is hope in things unseen. It’s a matter of living your life, the eternal dimension of life; because opening our eyes allows us to see God’s presence all around us.

“Be bold and unsen forces come to one’s aid.”
(that has been one of my favourite quotations for many many years)

“The vision, the Kingdom, the message of  Jesus 2000 years ago will bring peace and prosperity.  At an individual level, it’s the transformation of human beings and enables them to be like Christ Himself. And each one of us can be an extension of the life of Christ, an exhibition of His character and a demonstration of the infinite power of God to accomplish absolutely anything.”

Tags: new books, Jesus, Christianity, faith

This entry was posted on July 4, 2010 at 11:24 pm a

THE HIDDEN, THE REAL JESUS: THE ONE I KNOW AND LOVE

We are God’s “ambassadors”. God is reaching out to the world through us!

With God, Christ is always beside us… and the Holy Spirit is within us. A life lived in the spirit of Christ will never die!

Shared by craig

“Lord

Give us forgiveness for the past, strength for today and hope for the future.”

“The time of singing of the birds has come.”

PPS

Jesus Christ was the greatest champion who ever lived;
however each one of us can be champions too…
by winning the greatest race of all, the prize of the life journey.


THE HIDDEN, THE REAL JESUS: THE ONE I KNOW AND LOVE
Author’s Note:

These are some notes (including some quotes from authors unknown), that I’ve been jotting down over the past decade, which forms part of a new book/manuscript. So am sharing a bit about my faith.

Where (and if) the pronoun ‘He’ is used for purposes of simplicity, as a concept for God, then please change to what  Ultimate Source, the Ground of All Being means to you personally.
It’s YOUR CHOICE.
Enjoy…
*  *
“And He said to me
‘Write, for these words are true and faithful’.'”

The highest goal of my ‘little’ life is knowing and experiencing God. KNOW what you want and KNOW God’s will for your life!

“I don’t believe in God.
I know God.”
– David Rosen, Jungian psycho-analyst
*
God’s greatest gift to us is to find and follow our own truths. … and my aim in this manuscript is to get the reader into the presence of the living Jesus.

MY BELIEFS, MY TRUTHS:

There is ONE Almighty God, Infinite Spirit, the Ground of All Being…Who is working something good out of our life.
Be patient, because patience and resilience build character.

Jesus is the human face of God. The Divine and the human meet perfectly in Jesus.

God responds to desperation.
Say: “In times of deep despair, never give up hope. Say to yourself: “This will work out, eventually… for my ultimate good. In time you’ll see.”

“Hope is the anchor of the soul.”
“Greatness is what you impart to others.”
“Greatness is forged in the deep valley of adversity.”

“God doesn’t protect us so much from the storm; yet God is right there beside us IN the storm.”
– craig
*

Christianity is INTERNAL- not external. It’s not religion, but a relationship

You have been born with a capacity to exercise faith.

God’s greatest gift to us is to find, then follow our own truths.

God, the mystery of life is a God of another chance.

“God is eternal. I have a living relationship with this God.”
– Bishop Shelby Spong

All life is deeply inter-connected in ways we cannot imagine.
The divine spark is within us.
Discover the Christ within you.
Salvation is within us.

Jesus’s purpose was to seek and save the lost.
Justice and human rights for all.

There is a divine purpose for which we are all created.
‘Greatness’ is what you impart to others.
Tap into joy and fulfilment.
God has already equipped you with all you need to achieve your wildest dreams.

GROW
APPLY the Word – what you learn… to your heart
OBSERVE the consequences of your actions.

Be strengthened by the unlimited power of God.

Joyously GIVE THANKS

You will soar high and be all the person God intended you to be.

“God has already equipped you with all you need to achieve your wildest dreams.”

“Make your dreams big enough for God to fit in.”

************

As I pray I become.”

“Greatness is what you impart to others.”
“Prayer is not asking God for what you want (but thanking). It is the language of the soul.”
– Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

Just TRUST and depend on Him. Don’t worry; because God looks after the consequences.
TRUST and submit (to God’s will – this is not passive, but an active leap of faith)
DO GOOD
BELIEVE IN THE BEST

Hope is the anchor of the soul.
*
Religion is reaching out to God; whereas with Christianity God reaches out to us. It’s a relationship and requires active (and not passive) participation.
It’s practical. LIVE the faith, LIVE the idealism.
Heart changed… it’s (a dimension of living) beyond the mind – empowered
EXPECT God to bless you.

Say: I am responsible for my attitude – it’s my choice.

Make God as BIG as you can possibly conceive.
Nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible with God

We are God’s “ambassadors”. God is reaching out to the world through us!

With God, Christ is always beside us… and the Holy Spirit is within us. A life lived in the spirit of Christ will never die!

Shared by craig

“Lord

Give us forgiveness for the past, strength for today and hope for the future.”

“The time of singing of the birds has come.”

PPS

Jesus Christ was the greatest champion who ever lived;
however each one of us can be champions too…
by winning the greatest race of all, the prize of the life journey.



THE JESUS I KNOW …AND LOVE

Christ chose US, the “little, ordinary” people to go out and change the world… for the better. He doesn’t have a “Plan B”. It’s up to US to implement His “Plan A”, being the hands, ears and eyes of Christ to help heala hurting world… today!

“God,
Use my ‘little’ life as a vehicle for Your infinite possibilities.”

Lord
Give me dreams to broaden my horizons and help me reach out for all you have in store for me.”

Jesus
Reveal yourself to me… today!”

“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”
– Phillipians 4:13

The God I see in Jesus is revealed in the personhood of EVERYBODY. Christ did not have a Plan B.
You can be the hands and eyes of Christ… today

The resurrection of Jesus symbolises the hope of new life.

A life lived in the spirit of Christ will never die.

“Together we can shine the bright light that helps overcome the darkness.”

THE JESUS I KNOW …AND LOVE

INTRODUCTION

Christianity has its roots in mystery, the mystery of eternal life. It’s a way of understanding the unfathomable. Understanding the ultimate mystery, God, the Ultimate Source… and the cycle of life, death and rebirth.

Jesus is the human face of God – in Him the divine and human meet. In Jesus Christ we see God become flesh.

The highest goal of my life is knowing and experiencing God. Many people know a lot about Jesus; yet few of them really know Jesus. My aim in this “work” is to get the reader into the presence of the living Jesus.

*

No religion, nobody has a monopoly on enlightenment

“Christianity should be enlightened enough to seperate spirituality from the rest of life – not just church and state, but knowledge and church. Religious groups not telling you what you can and can’t do, but religion becoming an inside thing.”
– Ayaan Hirsi Ali (author of her book ‘Nomad’

Who we are is God’s gift to us.
What we become is our gift to God.

And gifts are given by grace.
The virtues of justice, truth and grace.

What we can learn about life?
When the plans and dreams we make don’t work out, just know that God has a better plan, bigger dreams for our lives.

I choose to believe that Jesus died for us;
but we can choose to live for Him.

Jesus is ‘an author of reconciliation’
I believe in the Holy Spirit

Jesus turns the ordinary into the extra-ordinary.

YOU represent Jesus, today!

*

Dr Martin Luther King Jnr was “a champion of peace in a time of war.”

Luke 19:41

The values of justice, truth and especially grace in a new age of responsibility.

“The time of the singing of the birds has come.”

Hope is the anchor of the soul.

The highest goal of my life is knowing and experiencing God.

I don’t believe in God.
I know God.”
– David Rosen, Jungian psycho-analyst.

God responds to desperation..

“My religion is very simple.
My religion is kindness.”
– Mahatma Gandhi”

PEACE

A champion of peace in a time of war”

“The Kingdom will bring peace and prosperity. At an individual level it’s the transformation of human beings into the divine nature and enabled them to be like Christ himself.”

“Peacemakers who sow in peace will reap a harvest of righteousness.”
– James 3:18

“The Lord will give strength to His people.
The Lord will bless His people with peace.”
– Psalm 29:11

*

In Jesus’s own life was the key of his nearness to God… and that he expressed as no other could, the spirit and will of God. Jesus is the human face of God.

Jesus’s purpose was to seek and serve the lost (as we’ve all been at some point in our lives), the “marginalised and disenfranchised” of society… even till death.
You can be a star of hope to others.

“The full flower that is the hope of all mankind may be found in the figure and life of Jesus.

*
THE POWER OF PRAYER

“Pray as if everything depends on God.
Work as if everything depends on you.”
– John Wesley

As I pray I become.

Our prayers are answered, not when we are given what we want; but when we are challenged to be what we can become.”-
– Morris Adler

God has created me to do for Him some definite purpose. He has committed some work to me, which He has not committed to another.”
– John Henry Newman
“Often it a new thing I want to do with you.”

Leo Tolstoi once wrote:
“The vocation of every man and woman is to serve other people.”
“The chance is there, individually and nationally to do something beautiful for God and for His Christ.”

Christ chose US, the “little, ordinary” people to go out and change the world… for the better. He doesn’t have a “Plan B”. It’s up to US to implement His “Plan A”, being the hands, ears and eyes of Christ to help heala hurting world… today!

“God,
Use my ‘little’ life as a vehicle for Your infinite possibilities.”

Lord
Give me dreams to broaden my horizons and help me reach out for all you have in store for me.”

Jesus
Reveal yourself to me… today!”

“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”
– Phillipians 4:13

The God I see in Jesus is revealed in the personhood of EVERYBODY. Christ did not have a Plan B.
You can be the hands and eyes of Christ… today

The resurrection of Jesus symbolises the hope of new life.

A life lived in the spirit of Christ will never die.

“Together we can shine the bright light that helps overcome the darkness.”