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A Few Thoughts On "ONE."

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The Wanderer

  A Few Thoughts On "ONE."  

  

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  "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free. There  is neither male and female, for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus." (Gal 3:28)

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The church is ONE body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all EQUAL IN CHRIST, who by ONE Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation. Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures we share the same faith and hope and reach out in one witness to all. This unity has its source in the ONENESS of the triune God, who has adopted us as His children. - Unity in the Body of Christ, Fundamental Belief 14

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Between the "He-Man" trolling from the nauseant of social media in "defense" of "men only ordination," and the adulatory, tendentious allegations of the partisan "women's ordination" crowd; we have utter pandemonium at Church.

Numerous legalists will inform us that "there are differences" between men and women. That there should be "differences" between what women and men do in Church. But why don't they ever talk about what we can be, together; and IN Christ?

This article maintains that the true "differences" are not what we are being told. Why can't said "differences" talk about who we are, who we can be, what bridges to build, and what we can do to help one another be even more of what we already are? Don't people generally do better when they are "allowed" to be what is needed, what they are specifically called by God to do; rather than what they are told? How can conformity accept who a person is, rather than dwell on what they do or don't do? What would the church look like if it were to embrace who people are, rather than tell them what to do? How would THAT kind of TRANSFORMATION in the church compare to conformity?

As THE Church, what are we? We are all "human," or, at least most of us are. What is it to be "human?"  The first thing I would suggest is to embrace the fact that we are human beings; not human doings. We are what we are, not what we do. Or, are we?

We cannot ignore by definition that we are human beings. We are not human because we do something. We are not human doings. We are human beings. We are human because we are something. We each mean something. In a healthy Church, everyone is equally important. But in most churches, few people are important if they don't conform, and do EXACTLY what they are told. Are men and women two separate things? IF we were human DOINGS, then they MIGHT be. Are men and women, in combination, as in collectively, the "ONE" that speaks in scripture today? Does it take both men and women to constitute a full picture of being "human;" or of being "ONE?" If we were human BEINGS we would be!

What does scripture mean by "ONE?"  The answer in most books will tell us something about how we are each, separate human beings. We have our respective "rights" and our pet dogmas. "We were born that way is the hark and cry of "modern" people."  Intrinisically, we are set separated amongst many other separate human beings. If that is the case, then all the other separate human beings will become or remain indifferent to us. The other separate lives become very hostile and competitive to us. We invite the separateness and the competition, by our own divisions.  We become busy being separate; daily creating defenses, barriers, divisions, and hostilities.  The LEGALISTS need these things to use as control methods. Both men and women can be very legalistic!

Men and women want to "keep" their own "point of view;" and confirm/conform others to same. Men and women would rather "defend" their position than to become what they need. ("Be the change you want to see in others"). We want to be able to have power over other "separate" beings to "protect" our separateness, and our points of view.  The separation begins wherever the division exacts its stunning toll and attacks the object of its wrath. Just watch what happens if you don't "keep" the Sabbath "properly" in any given church! Conformity Wrath in a church creates guile and back-room, church-board dealings. Disfellowship, shunning, and censoring are doled out like candy to pacify the legalistic, rampaging hoardes of the "leaders."

"Separateness" happens with race, with culture, between the different genders, or, between countries, and different denominations. We see a steady stream of those results from "every nation, tongue, and people," in the evening news, and in local churches of all stripes. Fighting for turf. Fighting for authority. Fighting for ourselves. But when do we fight for others? IS there "room at the Inn" for Jesus; and His Spirit to "dwell within?" (Eph 3:17).

I have sometimes asked the question: "could it be possible that we are intended to be some kind of collective ONE?"  Would THAT fit with the scripture mandate for "Church?" Would a "Collective Conscience" prevent us from becoming all these isolated, separated beings that constantly compete, control, and shun? Do we have to remain in abject contention against one another? What would  "collective conscience" look like when we become "ONE" as described in scripture? Do we want to always be competing for the edge we tell ourselves that we need? The question that needs asking here is: what is the potential of the text which says we are "made in His image?" (Gen 1:27)  

It seems that scripture is telling us that "in His image" would enable us to crawl out of the separation trap. I have wondered why scripture tells us that "in His image," cannot happen without both male and female. I dont think its anything to do with gender stuff. It appears that constituting "in His image" needs all genders, regardless of "orientation. There seems to be a "collective" context to "in His image."  Do we isolate ourselves and each other for no reason?  Did God create us "in His image," in order that we may be the collective ONE? Why did Jesus say: "you are all ONE in Christ Jesus?" (Gal 3:28). What would civilization look like today if we were ONE? What should The Church look like today if it becomes this "ONE?"   

The entities on which our worldly system builds today compete with one another. Churches and denominations compete viciously with one another. Everyone is out for number one, but this competitive "missionary work"  becoming harder to maintain or to enforce. Where will be the breaking point?

"In His image" is something collective.  It does not follow that "in His image" would only be in the context of marriage, even though the text does not mention "in His image" without both male and female. Without some kind of collective "ONE," we remain separate. Scripture's use of "ONE" always comes by way of something collective. AND yes, that includes "the Trinity." In scripture, "ONE" does not happen without others.  Are we intended to have a collective conscience or an individual conscience? What do we mean when we say "unity in diversity?"

We must decide whether to do what we want or be what is needed. Is it easier to be a human doing or a human being? Some people cant do anything because of illness; but all such can still "be something, as in human being.  Everyone has a heart, and Jesus will go into any one's heart if they choose.  (John 6:37) What should be the priority for the Church? Would Church be more realistic as in the collective "ONE?" If so, how? In the world, we are subject to a lot of doing. Is it different in our "Church" than "in the world?"  I prefer to think of the Church as human beings. But all that the church wants to churn out are human doings. "Dip 'em and dump 'em!"

The "ONE" in Genesis 2:24 is a fact. "They will be ONE flesh" But is "ONE flesh" limited only to marriage? Are there other possibilities? Can other people besides married couples be "unequally yoked?" What does the Bible say? "How readest thou?"  (Luke 10:26).  Jesus talked about "the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be ONE, even as we are ONE:" (John 17:22). Does Jesus want us to "do something" or to "be something?"  2 Cor 3:18 seems to talk about human beings. People who are "being transformed into his image. People with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."  (Isa 9:6-7)

Does your Church enforce conformation;" or does your church embrace transformation for the ministry of Pastors, and congregations alike? What is the priority in scripture? What would it look like if Pastoral Ministry in the church is transformed, as opposed to enforcing conformation? Scripture teaches that God has promised, "I will give you Pastors according to My heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding..." (Jer 3:15). Is your Pastor "allowed" to be what God desires, or do they have that all too familiar litany of things they must do to satisfy legalism?

The apostle, in Gal 3:28 had good reasons to introduce the "separate" issue with his brethren. Between the privileges of men and women of Bible times, there was a great disparity among the Jews. A man might shave his head, and rend his clothes in the time of mourning; a woman was not permitted to do so. A man might impose the vow of the Nazarite upon his son; a woman could not do this on her daughter. A man might be shorn on account of the Nazarite aspiration of his father; a woman could not. A man might betroth his daughter; a woman had no such power. A man might sell his daughter; a woman could not. What are we doing to ourselves by saying "only men can be Pastors?"  Does scripture condone only men being "ordained" Pastors? Why are we trying to say, anyone, men or women, need to be "ordained" to be a Pastor? Is THAT in scripture?

Often Old Testament women suffered treatment more like children than adults. To this day, women are not permitted to assemble with the men in certain synagogues or churches. Women of the Old Testament had to go up in galleries, where they could not see the congregation very well. In those galleries, women would not be visible from the main sanctuary. But, in scripture women do have equal rights, equal privileges, and equal blessings. It is not hard for me to see how women are just as useful as the men in Church, in scripture, or anywhere else.  

Scripture is clear: "they will be ONE flesh." (Gen 2:24). The New Testament tells us "you are ALL ONE in Christ Jesus."  (Gal 3:28). Jesus makes it clearer by saying in His prayer: "

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"the glory which thou gavest me I have given them. That they may be ONE, even as we are ONE:" (John 17:22)    

"What is God telling us about "ONE?"  Will you remain as your own "one" or become the "ONE" of scripture? When Christians talk about "ONE" they should NOT talk about conformity. When a Christian talks about "ONE," why would they not talk about "transformation?" Apparently, Gods people are in favour of rejecting the "ONE" in scripture, for their own "one" borne of self, and its accompanying isolation and division.

The true meaning of "ONE" is connected to transformation: "do not conform to this world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. This is how to prove by you, in what you are being, what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2) "being transformed is the human being, not the human doing. Do we even want to "be ONE?"

 

Edited by The Wanderer

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The Wanderer
On 3/9/2019 at 7:57 PM, The Wanderer said:

What does scripture mean by "ONE?"  The answer in most books will tell us something about how we are each, separate human beings. We have our respective "rights" and our pet dogmas. "We were born that way is the hark and cry of "modern" people."  Intrinisically, we are set separated amongst many other separate human beings. If that is the case, then all the other separate human beings will become or remain indifferent to us. The other separate lives become very hostile and competitive to us. We invite the separateness and the competition, by our own divisions.  We become busy being separate; daily creating defenses, barriers, divisions, and hostilities.  The LEGALISTS need these things to use as control methods. Both men and women can be very legalistic!

I am taking some Hebrew courses this week; and in one of the lessons included the following scripture:

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And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2:44-47)

TWO very different pictures of "ONE."

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The Wanderer
10 minutes ago, The Wanderer said:

I am taking some Hebrew courses this week; and in one of the lessons included the following scripture:

TWO very different pictures of "ONE."

What went wrong here? What caused such a change from this kind of Temple participation to "official anathemas," such as The Council Of Laodicea, of 363 CE?

In THAT Council, Canon 29 stated

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"Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather, honoring "The Lord's Day," and if they can, resting then as Christians." But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ."

It goes on and on.

But what went wrong? How did they all go from all being "ONE" to this "anathema" business? Are there any clues in scripture about it?

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The Wanderer

The main point in the materials I am looking at suggest that it was/is not any single event, but rather, a series of issues and events which precipitated the separation.

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The Wanderer
On 3/9/2019 at 7:57 PM, The Wanderer said:

What does scripture mean by "ONE?"  The answer in most books will tell us something about how we are each, separate human beings. We have our respective "rights" and our pet dogmas. "We were born that way is the hark and cry of "modern" people."  Intrinisically, we are set separated amongst many other separate human beings. If that is the case, then all the other separate human beings will become or remain indifferent to us. The other separate lives become very hostile and competitive to us. We invite the separateness and the competition, by our own divisions.  We become busy being separate; daily creating defenses, barriers, divisions, and hostilities.  The LEGALISTS need these things to use as control methods. Both men and women can be very legalistic!

It is sometimes very interesting to see what others teach and believe regarding "ONE:"
 

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The chief purpose of the Bahá’i faith is to unite the world in one religion and one social order; hence, its chief principle is the oneness and the wholeness of the human race. Among other dominant principles are independent investigation of the truth, the essential harmony of science and religion, recognition of the divine foundation of all religions, universal compulsory education, equality of all men and women, a spiritual solution for economic problems, the need for a universal auxiliary language, universal peace based on a world federation of nations, elimination of all prejudice, and recognition of the essential unity of humanity.
Unlike many new religious movements, the Bahá’i stress the importance of secular education and the equality of women with men.

The oppression of women around the world, Bahá’u’lláh declared, is the cause of much of the world’s suffering, and he made education of women a cardinal teaching. In fact, Bahá’is hold that if a family has money to send only one child to school, that child should be a daughter, since the daughter will have fewer opportunities without education. When it comes to family life, though, the Bahá’i are rather traditional and conservative. Women are to be the primary caregivers, but men should assist in raising their family. Sex is to be only within the confines of marriage, and divorce is discouraged.

The Bahá’i are also instructed to obey government, to avoid alcohol and narcotics except for medicinal purposes, and to use prayer and fasting as a means of elevating the soul. Bahá’i condemns idleness, exalts any work performed in the spirit of service, and prohibits slavery and other forms of oppression.

Interestingly, Bahá’i also condemns religious practices common to other religious groups, such as asceticism and monasticism. Each man and woman is expected to live in a happy and productive family, working for the cause of peace and harmony.

The Bahá’i have no prescribed ritual or clergy, in the belief that each seeker may act upon truth and the spirit without ecclesiastical aid.

Handbook of Denominations
in the United States -- 11th Edition
Frank S. Mead

 

 

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