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The Bliss Blog

A few years ago, I wrote a Bliss Blog about the difference between being ‘God-fearing’ vs. ‘God-loving’. It was based on a roadside encounter I had with a police officer who came to my rescue when I ran out of gas on a windy November night. It has remained with me all this time and when the subject arises, I pull it out as an example of the ways in which people view the God of their understanding.

Although I can’t pretend to know what is in someone’s heart and mind with regard to their spirituality, nor do I have the right to tell anyone what to believe, I question those who say they are “God-fearing”. I see myself as a God-loving person and see the spark of the Divine reflected in others. When people fear the One they see as Creator and Sustainer, they may take that terror out into the world and distort it further into violence, erroneously seeing themselves as doing God’s work. Consider extremists and fundamentalists of all religious stripes who believe that the Divine is only and ever on their side. That contention has led to more bloodshed than any other. How did it get that way? What would it take for it to change? When we stop seeing each other AS other; foreign, threatening, a danger.

I know that there are some who use the idea of God-fearing as respect. In my mind, they are two different things. Awe and fear are two different things. I am in awe of the design of the universe and the variety of people, flora, and fauna that populate the planet.  The best of spirituality (again, my opinion) becomes Tikkun Olam (repair of the world), not destruction and control. What prompted this mental meandering was an article on Mike Pence and his role as a ‘Christian supremacist’. What fear might he be feeling to rail against anyone who doesn’t embrace his beliefs? The irony is that the One he claims to follow was not about exclusion and hatred and fear. What would Jesus say if he was face to face with the man? Pence speaks of the idea that ‘followers of Christ’ are persecuted. Sadly, some who claim to be devout Christians practice their faith in ways that are in opposition of what he taught. Instead of following Christ, how about living more in alignment with his teachings? Remember as well that Christianity was not the religion OF Jesus, but one created ABOUT Jesus. His religion of origin was Judaism and yet, some of the most virulent hatred spewed by those who call him Lord and Savior are toward those of the Jewish faith. There is nothing Jesus was reported to have said that espoused hatred of anyone. My prayer is that we all come to see the Spark of the Divine in each other.

 

“Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind… and love your neighbor as yourself.” ~Jesus Christ, Matt. 22:37-39

 

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