M. L. Wilson
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Given some of the views posited in my novel series, "The GOD Principle", one might be inclined to believe that I am anti-religion. To answer that charge, a baseline as to what constitutes religion would need to be established. Most would define religion as a means by which one believes in and worships God. That would comprise a dictionary definition, but it doesn't begin to cover the complexities associated with the term.
In the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, it is believed by its followers that the god they all worship is the exact same god. If that is in fact the case, then some legitimate questions can be asked regarding the divergent beliefs which separate these religions. Then you have to factor in the subsets within each religion that diverge even further. There is a multiplicity of religious belief that exists within just these three. Stripped down to its essence, what we find is not the worship of God, but rather the worship of liturgy. When you then add in the various other world religions, it soon becomes clear that “God” is relegated to a mere figurehead with the true focus of worship instead directed towards the doctrine, laws, and liturgies; the brand of religion becomes more important than what should be the primary focus of our worship. Religion—any religion—thus becomes man’s way of understanding God, absent God.
That is not to say that religions the world over have not had a positive impact on society; it is difficult to imagine a world over the last two thousand years without religion having played a part. Too many people who were left destitute due to the wars, conquest, natural disasters, diseases, etceteras, over the last two millennia have benefited greatly by those practicing their religious tenants which speak of helping and loving others. However, I also hasten to add that those same religions were at times used to inflict untold damage to the cause of humanity. Stepping beyond the more commonly known instances such as the Crusades and the Inquisitions foisted upon the world by the Christian religion, one has to also consider the numerous deaths due to the conflicts and wars between Hindus and Buddhists, between Islamic Sunni and Shiites, between the Hutus and the Tutsis of Central Africa.
Japanese Emperor Hirohito justified his attack of mainland China in the late 1930s and his eventual declaration of war against the United States based upon his divine right as their spiritual leader. Though Hirohito’s official name, Showa, translates as “Enlightened Peace”, the brutal invasion of Nanjing was anything but peaceful for the three hundred thousand inhabitants there who were massacred. In such a case, their “religion” exemplified anything but the teachings brought to us by Jesus Christ.
Christ brought us a message of hope, peace and love; Christ brought us relationship with the Creator. When this pure teaching is applied as taught, it has the ability to benefit all of mankind. When that same teaching is usurped by humans—or angelic agency, it becomes a heavy, blunt club by which to crush and kill; it becomes a religion. Consider that in the name of such religions and their gods, men, woman and children have been brutally slain, raped and enslaved; whole peoples have been targeted for annihilation, which in certain cases, very nearly succeeded. Thieves and hucksters of all stripes have risen to the top of this religious cauldron, threatening the mass populous with the potential loss of their eternal souls lest they submit. There is little point to highlight one of these religions over another; they are all guilty of the crimes I have outlined—all of them.
So what is the answer? Do we simply declare that God is dead as Friedrich Neitzsche infamously concluded over one hundred years ago? Do we just hunker down and remain resolute; that despite the errors in our particular belief, we still regard it as closer to the truth than other beliefs? That decision is left to the individual, but I would like to think that it could be at the very least an informed decision and one based upon the good of all rather than the good of the individual. Christ died for his beliefs and convictions; most religious hucksters usually convince others to die in their stead.
Jesus Christ came to this earth nearly two thousand years ago to point out the flaws of angelic rule to the angels themselves. Despite their claims of ownership over man and this realm, Christ reminded these Celestial rulers that such a covenant existed only so long as their claims remained true; that man was an inferior being and incapable of the power which God intended to imbue them with. When the Spiritual Ambassadors of God Almighty - called Celestial angels in the book of Jude - conspired and succeeded in killing God in the flesh, it was thought by all of them that they were rid of His interference for good; the realm would remain in their hands to rule as they deemed fit. However, the moment that Christ’s Spirit left His earthly shell and descended into Sheol—the abode of the dead, it became apparent to these Celestial angels that they had miscalculated badly. Rather than rid themselves of God Most High’s interference, they succeeded in invalidating the very covenant He had made with them; the covenant that they relied so heavily upon. It is through this invalidation which allowed God Most High to legitimately wrest control of this realm from these Celestial rulers and make a public spectacle of them.
When Christ was crucified upon the cross, it is important to remember that though He came through the Adamic line created by the Celestial angel Helel (The Hebrew name for Lucifer) on his mother’s side, He was conceived by His Spirit on His father’s side. As such, Christ did not fall under this blanket declaration of failure—what is regarded in orthodoxy as Original Sin—as are all other human beings. Sin is defined as one missing a mark; failing to meet a predetermined standard, if you will. All of humanity fell into this column as a result of transgressions on the part of their predecessors. To reiterate, Christ’s paternal line came directly from God Most High and He was therefore not placed under the same covenantal constraint. It is for that reason that Helel repeatedly attempted to seduce Christ. When Helel took Christ to the mountain top and showed Him all of the kingdoms of the earth, offering all to Him if only Christ would bow down and worship him (read, acknowledge Helel’s lordship over the realm), Helel would give all that Christ could see to him. This would have been legitimate Helel’s right as at that point in time, the realm rightfully belonged to the Celestial angels.
Christ’s resistance led eventually to His crucifixion (“If he cannot be turned, then he will die.”) which in turn, ironically, led to the end of the Celestial reign and rule. This event is recounted by Paul in the book of Colossians, “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”(Col. 2:15) The Powers and Authorities are a reference to the Celestial rulers of this realm. That singular event began the War in Heaven—an ongoing war which is mentioned in the scriptures. These Celestial angels will not go quietly into that goodnight, believing that they are beaten. Quite the contrary, if they can find some way upon which to invalidate the present covenant, they fully intend to regain control of this realm.
Interestingly enough, we human beings give them much hope in being able to succeed in that goal. We are an easily led people; we are far too malleable, without convictions. This is because the angels know that we listen first with our fleshly ears and see with our fleshly eyes. It is easy for them to convince us that The Others are the ones who are wrong; that to kill them is a Holy, sanctioned act. This is a tactic as old as humanity and it was as wrong then as it is today. This jumble of religious belief and thought which pervades our cultures and societies, does not aid the cause of Christ; rather it blunts it. To be a Christian is to be the face of God to others; to shine the light of truth into the black void created by the Celestial rule. When one who claims to follow Christ, but also believes that God has told him that it is perfectly fine to kill others because of their beliefs—that to do so is somehow sanctioned or Holy, it is a safe bet that it is not Christ to whom they are listening or following. Christ does not tell His children to molest the vulnerable, to kill the helpless, to comport oneself in a selfish fashion. Christ is the author of life and to kill is an anathema to a Holy God. What Christ did tell us was that as Christians, we were to make certain that those who look upon us are able to see God Most High through us.
The walk of a Christian is therefore not an easy one as the Christian walk stands in total opposition to the rulers of the Celestial realm. The Christian is the front-line foot soldier in this spiritual battle and like in any war, there are bound to be casualties, but for a Christian to die in Christ is to find themselves present with Him in spirit. Death to a Christian is not the end of life, but the beginning. That is not to say that we should court death; God gave us this time on this planet for a specific reason; the time we spend here is to serve His will. This is not an easy task as the enemy is well cognizant of the threat we pose to their rule and reign. The Celestial rulers may have created the body we inhabit, but what makes us unique is from God Most High.
That we find ourselves placed into a particular family unit is at God’s direction. That one is born into a certain time in history is similarly at Gods direction. Once the time we have here on this planet has passed, it will never come about again. There is a reason for this construct that has to do more with what Christ is attempting to teach us individually than anything the Celestial angels are plotting.
I liken our walk on this earth here to people who go to an automobile manufacturing plant to be given a new car. This plant has been built by Celestial Motors with the land and materials provided by Almighty God Inc. The owners of Celestial Motors construct fairly decent automobiles of all sort, cars, trucks, motorcycles, etceteras, but they are admittingly a low end car. Quickly, however, problems emerge with the folks who have been given these cars. The people sent over from Almighty God Inc. who slide into the driver’s seat like to drive their cars wherever they desire. To the owners of Celestial Motors, this is a cause for concern. They would rather that the cars only be taken out on pre-approved roads, driven a certain speed and driven with the utmost care. Their concern is understandable. First off, the cars are not indestructible and secondly, not all the people are driving the cars responsibly. These people are not at all used to these cars and start off driving erratically. Once they become comfortable with the car, they tend to be selfish drivers, cutting others off in traffic and deliberately causing damage to other’s cars. Sometimes it’s accidental, but often it is on purpose. In response, the owners at Celestial Motors take drastic measures against the drivers by taking away their cars and placing those drivers in jail. This goes on for years without any sign that the situation is going to improve.
Eventually the CEO of Almighty God Inc. decides to come to the plant. He brings his own car and drives it around with all of the others. He begins to tell everyone that the cars they’re driving now are only temporary vehicles. One day soon, He will provide them with new cars; cars that will never rust or fall apart. These cars can be driven wherever the driver wants to go, but first they must learn how to drive properly using these inferior cars provided by the good folks at Celestial Motors.
This is not a perfect analogy by any means, but the central point remains: The cars we've been given—our fleshly bodies—are temporary and extremely fragile. Despite all the maintenance we perform, they will eventually fall apart and cease to operate. By contrast, God Most High has created new bodies for us that are eternal and vastly superior to the bodies we now have. In those new bodies, we will be able to do things and go places that we can only imagine now in the limited bodies we presently possess. Of course with such power, must come a greater degree of personal responsibility. If we cannot learn to navigate with these inferior bodies in this limited, finite realm—if one continually crashes the Ford Pinto into other cars trying to push them off of the road, never maintaining the oil level, running on bald tires, and generally treating the vehicle terribly resulting is dents and dings, why would one presume to be given the responsibility of operating a Lamborghini Aventador, an absolutely beautiful car which has a top speed of 217 mph? We must first learn to care for and drive the Pinto appropriately, understanding the limits of those around us before we will be given the keys to the Lamborghini.
The pure truth of the Gospel is all the “religion” anyone of us needs. “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your mind, with all of your strength; Love your neighbor as yourself.” There is truly no more religion that one needs beyond that which was spoken by Christ.