This I Believe
The word naughty was used against me for not attending church and my place in the choir.
Children are said to be naughty when they disobey their parents. Adults are expected to be true to themselves, which requires a lengthy process of questioning and reasoning in order to discover who we are before we can be true to ourselves.
On the night Jesus was betrayed he said to his disciples, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go to the Father.’
I believe in Jesus and live in hope of doing anything – the smallest thing will do – like he did. That small hope has been dashed again and again by a Church that insists that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God; God from God. Jesus is worshipped as God incarnate.
If that is so then I cannot even begin to imagine how any disciple can possibly do the works of Jesus, let alone greater works. The possibility is instantly removed in the deification of Jesus; and made the more impossible by the constant assertion that all of humankind are flawed by original sin.
When asked about Jesus’ words in John 14:12 a respected and learned priest replied, ‘I have never known anyone perform the works of the Lord.’ Chances are that priest never will because he has no expectations.
The lack of expectation is the root cause of my defection from the Church. Christendom has made Jesus the only begotten son of God. In doing so the Church has also made a liar of Jesus because no other human being, no other great prophet or religious leader, no other god can match that claim to do the works of or greater than Jesus.
I do not believe Jesus was a liar. I believe him rather than those who persistently deny his truth.
If I am to be true to myself, and if I truly believe in Jesus, then I must hold fast to the possibility – however remote – that I might, through his love and grace, reflect a tiny spark of him through a loving and compassionate thought or action.
Acceptance of that simple idea also allows me to fully respect the prophets of other faiths on the basis that they too were bringing divine knowledge of the love of God to peoples of different cultural traditions. It also allows me to have unconditional warm regard for all persons at all times; unless someone demands otherwise through persistent malevolence.
I believe God can best be described as the primary creative force of eternal self perpetuation. I believe Jesus understood and taught that truth. Not as God from God, but as man of God.
The world, perhaps now more than ever, is demanding all human beings to think and act as children of God.
© Kevin Scott
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