Monday, February 28, 2011

What do Elvis and Thich Nhat Hanh have in common?

What do Elvis and Thich Nhat Hanh have in common? A belief in oneness.  Of God with humanity…of humanity with humanity.  That we all have one father.  Or as it declares in Ephesians 4:6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

Elvis said it this way:

Everybody comes from the same source. If you hate another human being, you're hating part of yourself.

And Thich Nhat Hanh….

We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.

Great truths that roll off the tongues of rock idols and Buddhist monks are backed up by the great Truths in scripture…declared by none other than Jesus….

Their Future Glory (John 17)

20 "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so  that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. 24 "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be  with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

When I looked up the meaning of some of these words in the Strong’s…a couple of interesting things stand out.  The word translated “glory” is “doxa” in the Greek.  Among its meanings…

a most glorious condition, most exalted state 

Jesus declares that the same glory…the Father gave him, he gave his disciples…and he also gave us. He’s not praying just for his disciples in these verses but for all those who will believe.  That we may be one.  In Jeremiah (32:39) God declares he will give them (and by implication…us) one heart and one way.  Everybody….

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:28 )

and the…

uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. (Col 3:11)

all one in Christ…

Christ is all and in all

I also looked up the meaning of the word translated barbarian. One of the meanings…

one who speaks a foreign or strange language which is not understood by another

That does not necessarily mean the language of a nation or people....although that is one of the definitions listed. The Greeks considered anyone who did not speak or understand Greek barbarians aka foreigners.  And it wasn’t a derogatory term in New Testament days. It wasn’t until after the Persian War that the word barbarian started to have negative connotations. 

So one who speaks a strange language not understood by another could easily describe the language of a different religious groups whose terminology or views are “strange” to us.  The strange language could easily be the "lingo" associated with new age....new thought....Buddhist....Hindu etc. etc, or… to the Buddhist or Hindu, the strange language could be “christianese.”

And what about the Scythian?  Well, the Strongs describes that particular member of the “one” as

….an inhabitant of Scythia or modern day Russia--by the more civilized nations of antiquity the Scythians were regarded as the wildest of barbarians

So that doesn’t even leave out those folks we are at odds with.  It doesn’t even leave out the “wildest of barbarians.”  I don’t particularly like that aspect of “oneness.”  I really prefer to share my space with those I like…those who do me no harm…those who are kind and considerate…but that’s not what it says.  (and for the record, I am so not there yet)

Which brings me to one of the other meanings of “Doxa”…the English word “Glory.” 

judgment, view, opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone

but adds this clarification…

in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory

So could an aspect of the “glory” Jesus talks about…the glory God gave him that he in turn gave them….and us…also involve an accurate assessment of who He was and who they were and who we are? Could that be what he meant when he said…all those who will believe?

I’ve heard it said in Universalist circles that “everybody is saved, they just don’t know it yet.” But perhaps the truest declaration is not just that everyone is is saved but that everyone is…ONE…we just don’t know it yet. Nobody is excluded.  Even the barbarian is part of the “in crowd.”  Even the Scythian, the wildest of all barbarians is included….all one in Christ Jesus. 

This post is getting long, but I want to point out one other aspect of Jesus’ words. 

that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.

Perfected in unity.  Perfection implies completion.  It is in unity that we are perfected…completed….rendered full (Strongs again) A lot to think about. A lot to understand.  A lot for the carnal nature to be disgruntled about….but laid out clearly in Scripture and in the strange language of the sacred writings of so many religious traditions. 

16 comments:

Mae said...

Great post! Amen and Amen! You said “But perhaps the truest declaration is not just that everyone is saved but that everyone is…ONE…we just don’t know it yet.” I think that’s so true, and if we look at one of the verses you quoted in context, it says that!

“…seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all” (Col 3:9-11).

In my fundie days, I looked at these verses as meaning that when “they” all come into Christ, there will be no more divisions. Now I have seen that it is when “I” shed the old man (a.k.a. carnal mind, ego) and come into renewed knowledge, this is a place where “I” see there ARE no divisions – only unity in diversity. Where I can look with renewed perspective and see there is no Barbarian, Scythian, Buddhist, Hindu, etc. but that Christ IS all and is IN ALL.
And that is indeed glorious!

Thanks for your blog – it’s a blessing to me.

Cindi said...

Thank you for your insightful, encouraging comments!! I visited your website. So nicely done and organized.

Link- http://www.seekgodfirst.net)

I read through a few of your writings and was blessed by what I read. I also followed a link on your site to the writings of James Allen.

(http://james-allen.in1woord.nl)

Why did I not know about this guy? I am always finding new stuff that I desperately want to read. Sometimes I have to add it to my "stack" of "cyber books." The stack is so high it is starting to rival the Tower of Babel!!! But I've definitely added his writings to the list. I just clicked here and there on some of the e-books on the site (what a great resource!!!) and found snippets that so resonated.

I recently happened upon the writings of a contemporary of James Allen named Alexander MacLaren. His writings are much more "christian" than the new thought style of James Allen but some of the wording and revelations contained in his works are amazing. I've been drawn to a lot of these "yesteryear" authors and preachers lately. Great truths simply repeat themselves over and over again in the writings of many enlightened folks down through the ages...in many geographic locations.

I notice on your site that you have links to works like The Antichrist in Man by Joseph Salmon which I read (and wrote about) a few years back. And to more modern day teachers like Ken Wilbur. And lots of videos too. I'll have to add some of those to the cyber stack :)

Again...thanks for visiting, thanks for commenting and thanks for the encouragement.

Blessings to you...Cindi....

Mae said...

Glad you liked my site. It's constantly under construction, cause I have to keep changing things as I grow.

Your blog has been a great resource for me, as well. I've been enlightened and blessed as I followed many of your links. I was actually inspired by your blog to start a blog of my own in addition to my website.

http://maes-seekgodfirst.blogspot.com/ if you're interested...

So I will definitely look forward to checking out the writings of Alexander MacLaren. You're so right - the same truths keep being presented in different ways in many different times and places. It makes me wonder how I missed it for so long!

Keep on posting, my friend!
Blessings,
Mae

Rhonda said...

Hi Dear Sisters,

I don't think I've read the authors you've mentioned, but I sure do "know" the voice of Christ when I hear it. I "hear it" in your words, Cindi and Mae.

Mae, I'm looking forward to going to your site and blog. I'm so happy to meet you. :)

May God continue to bless the spirit you show--rhonda

Mae said...

Rhonda - nice to meet you, too! Hope you enjoy my website and blog and looking forward to conversing with you in the future!

Blessings!
Mae

Logan said...

Wonderful post Cindi!

Cindi said...

Mae said...
Glad you liked my site. It's constantly under construction, cause I have to keep changing things as I grow.

Cindi says:
I think that is wonderful to be willing to grow. Some people are not. And thank you so much for letting me know that you've been blessed by my musings. I recently read a quote by Thomas Merton which I am kind of making my mission statement. I've read so many times we should all have a mission statement along with a set of tidy goals...near future, five year goals....ten year goals. I've never really defined a mission statement.

Of course, I knew my main assignment in life was to raise my kids...but as far as having anything defined, I did not. Without sounding too full of myself, I took the quote by Merton to heart. Quote follows

“If you write for God, you will reach many men and bring them joy.” Thomas Merton

I realize I am not a Max Lucado/Preston Eby/Brian MacLaren/Paul Young kind of writer. I have one of ten million blogs on blogger...and I am not going to reach throngs of people...but I just want to "write for God" so I do so appreciate you telling me you've been blessed.

Cindi....

Cindi said...

Rhonda...thanks for all your encouragement and kind words...

Cindi....

Cindi said...

Hi Logan...
Hope all is well with you. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

Cindi...

Mae said...

Cindi,

You said, "I realize I am not a Max Lucado/Preston Eby/Brian MacLaren/Paul Young kind of writer. I have one of ten million blogs on blogger...and I am not going to reach throngs of people...but I just want to "write for God..."

I feel much the same way. Sometime I read what others have written and I think it's so very beautiful - I wish I could write like that! The truth is, not all of us can be eloquent writers, but then, I don't think all of us are intended to be. Once, when I when I was feeling quite inadequate, the Lord showed me that I use "plain speech" and I guess there's plain people out there that I can reach :).

As Joseph Campbell said, "Follow your bliss!" In so doing, you are bring joy to others!

Blessings,
Mae

Rhonda said...

Ah but Cindi, as I've said before to you, Dear Sis--you have such a beautiful voice! You really do!

And what a lovely mission statement to have. You DO write for God, Cindi. You always have. Don't ever stop. :)

Much love! --rhonda

Rhonda said...

Hi Logan,

Good to meet you! :) --rhonda

Rhonda said...

Sis Mae, I LOVE your site!

"Seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness..." AMEN!

I feel your joy and your freedom. Centering on this, we understand our priorities; everything else falls into place, as HE provides all other things to us. We can be stressing over so many things that are going on; worrying about what will we eat? What are we to wear? And work toward those things.

But we have the example of Mary, who simply sat at the feet of Jesus, rather than being busy and anxious about so many things in the kitchen; she had the "better portion."

Bless you, Sis! :) --rhonda

Malitia: Joel 3:10 said...

Is Jesus the only way?

Cindi said...

Rhonda said:

And what a lovely mission statement to have. You DO write for God, Cindi. You always have. Don't ever stop. :)

Cindi...
Thanks again Rhonda for the encouragement. The "things of God" seem to be my main focus in life. I can't not write about Him. Although I will admit I am AWOL here more than I should be. Everyday life sometimes gets in the way...but does provide opportunities to see Him in ever new nuances.

Blessings...
Cindi....

Cindi said...

Malitia: Joel 3:10 said...
Is Jesus the only way?

Cindi says:
Perhaps Jesus is the "only way"...but I believe there are many ways to Jesus. Many people who don't know his name, hear his voice....and visa versa.

Blessings...Cindi...