All forms of theology, religions, beliefs, churches or faith-systems revolve around a central point but never get, hit or stay on the real point. They all miss the point or miss the target. Here is why.
The circle will not exist without the center point of that circle. The center is the origin, source or beginning of any circle, big or small. The circle owes its existence to the center. Everything in the circle is reckoned or measured in reference to it. Without the center, the circle loses its essence.
Thus, no one draws a circle with a compass without determining where to put the center first. The great coliseums of Rome were all built in reference to the position of the center of the arena where all eyes would focus during the gladiatorial combats. And the great Creator obviously wanted us to consider the Sun as the center of the Solar System and of our very mortal lives, among other essential aspects as well.
The Moon revolves about its axis, its central north-south line; so with the Earth and Sun. But the Moon cannot exist without its orbit around the Earth, which is the center of the Moon’s orbit. So with the Earth with respect to itself and to the Sun. And so with the Sun with respect to itself and the Milky Way. And every galaxy cannot exist without the center of the super-galaxy it is in.
Imagine then all the billions and billions of galaxies: They would not all exist without the very center of the Universe. Call it super-gravitational force, super-emf force or divine force, all things owe their existence to whatever that center is and is made of – matter or spirit.
Therefore, with every religion, church or faith-system that is out there; people try to gravitate around the so-called Gospel of Christ – so-called because there are so many variations of it. As many as the galaxies, it seems. Each tries to fathom the words of Jesus, the Truth He delivered to the apostles. And so, each has a version of that one perfect view, each one circling around the main theme but never getting any closer to the real source, the true bearing and genuine beginning. Why? Because they themselves never agree with one another. If they did or when they finally do, they would have already gotten the real point of faith – the very center of it all! They would all be one at the center instead of many planets circling about the Gospel and about one another – like raging Indians circling around the besieged Cavalry on their wild horses! But they never all agree – or even, at least, a third or half of them. They multiply, in fact. And the familiar “orderly chaos” we love to be a part of goes on and on.
With each person or group not hitting the mark and not getting the Essential Truth of the Gospel, the world thus becomes a depository of various personal opinions turned into strict dogmas, human traditions turned into divine regulations and church decrees turned into celestial commandments. God desires that we discern and come to know His simple Truth – His revealed Word is what that is. He points us to His point – the fixed and unchanging North Star of saving faith. Yet many still get lost.
Why does this happen? Because no matter how we try, it is not of our own doing. Just as the Sun draws the Earth close to itself by its great force, the Earth resists for it has gotten a mind of its own and wants to hurtle out into space. Inertia is a kind of “free-will” gift granted to each part of the Universe. Once you start moving or receiving energy from somewhere, stopping or decelerating becomes difficult. So, the Sun is only strong enough to keep the Earth in orbit so that it cannot escape. So with every religion or person. God allows us the freedom to stay away from Him at a distance, though in the beginning we were one with Him – just as before the Big Bang, all matter was one infinitely-small unity in zero-space at the very center of the unexpanded, un-accelerated Universe. We were, thus, all one spirit and united in the essence and in the love of God before we separated from Him through sin.
Yes, we have enough freedom to hurtle into space away from God although we cannot because He keeps us tethered like a horse at bay. Remember, no one can escape God even though we might be slowly gaining distance from Him farther and farther away by our own aloofness and unbelief. His eyes, like a plumb line, constantly “scan to and fro throughout the whole earth” (Zech. 4:9-10) Imagine a line from every person’s brain to the navel and down to the center of gravity of the Earth. That plumb line, which every carpenter or builder uses to put up a house, remains pointed to the center of the Earth, just as God keeps His eyes on each one of us. Ultimately, no one — and no one — escapes from the One True Builder of the Foundation of the Universe even if we rebelliously neglect or sever that plumb line.
But why would God allow such a confused belief status quo if it were not of His making or without His approval? What is so wrong with it? Diversity is the spice and color of life, many say. It is also the source of wars and divisions throughout history. Matter, form or appearances came into being to show us how Light (the spiritual origin of light, not what allows the eyes to see) has been manifested through light (a physical force that exhibits the workings of matter through our senses) in order to teach us slowly the real meaning and significance of the Divine Nature, of which we partake of, being children of God, the Great Inscrutable Spirit-Being Who is the center of all things and encompasses everything by His presence and power.
But if that is so, anywhere we would be or want to be would put us in God. Just as every dust, planet or star is in the Universe and is subject to the rules of physical laws. Well and good. Every comet obeys the design of the Maker, what it contains and what path it takes and whether it collides with a dead or a living planet or not in its way. Creation, development and dissolution are all part of His plans. A star is born, shines on and will eventually collapse into a black hole.
All things obey God. But do humans follow His design or plan the way planets and stars obey His precise laws? Hardly, if the past few millennia of religious conflicts and wars and their accompanying death, decay, plagues and destruction are to be our basis for measurement. Even with the present relative peace, we still behave more like proverbial lost stars following no center of attraction or origin of reference. (2 Pet. 2: 10-17) People whose values are reckoned by their appetites, whose eyes are led by the lusts of the flesh and whose god is their stomach. Extreme? Hardly a way to describe pious or holy servants of the Gospel; but is that not what Christ also described the religious leaders of His time?
Our strivings to understand and to get near God through religion and theology fail because God draws us to Him by His force, by His love. In John 12:32, Christ declares that when He is “lifted up from the Earth” (that is, crucified, resurrected and ascended), He will “draw all” to Himself. This was in keeping with His warning that no one can come to Him unless the Father Who sent Him draws us and raises us at the last day. (John 6:44) The Gospel, then (what we often summarize as Christ’s birth, death, resurrection and glorification), serves as the gravitational center that should bring us all as one into the center of His love and grace. How come it does not?
Because we do it by our own means. Yet, not our doing or striving can make us reach Him. Our loving him, our worshiping Him, our serving Him, no matter how important it is to our religion or belief, if He sees we are not doing it in the way He had shown it when He lived amongst us as a human being, mean nothing. We would all be like the Scribes and Pharisees, the very ones He upbraided for running around the Law and the Temple of God but never getting anywhere near the intents of God – justice, mercy, righteousness and compassion. They were, in fact, like marauders riding horses and laying siege to the Temple of God, capturing slaves and captives to satisfy their sins, lusts and pride.
And so Christ destroyed the very center of their cherished worship – the Jerusalem Temple and replaced it with a temple right within us. And He also scattered those disobedient children of God all over the face of the Earth. Without a “center” of worship, the worshipers disperse and lose bearing and direction for they reject the very thing that would make them rest in Him – His love dwelling in their hearts and lighting the world in turn for His glory. To be at the center of His presence on Earth where His Spirit decided and desired to reside. Having failed to do that, they become even more corrupt.
And so, we think we have also finally come around to learning our lessons and have returned to the center! No! Our religion, our theology, our churches and faith-systems are galaxies wandering in outer space light-years away from the center of God, the real source of Light and Life. We only have enough light to help us see and think we shed light in the deep darkness of oblivion. Yet, we are all lost in space. Try as we may, we will never get back until God calls all matter in to Himself. And it will happen with all elements. But we need not wait for that to happen to be able to claim or see that we, our spirits, have finally made it back to Him. The mystery of faith beckons us through the Gospel. It is there for our claiming as long as we allow God to draw us. It is His work, not ours. We wait. We listen. We listen. We listen. In His time, it will come. For the center is always there. Yet if we keep looking away out to space and not toward the center, we will keep orbiting and missing the real destination set for us. The center is not out there far away. It is at the center pulling us all in; and the center happens to be right in your heart all along. All our efforts looking for answers outside of us will only lead us farther away.
The great paradox of life is that God is the center; yet He made each one of us the center, if we will. And so, as they say: God is at center of everything and yet He is everywhere. If we listen, listen and listen . . . until the voice becomes so clear and the way to Him becomes plain to our eyes.
Let go of your own orbit in space. For no matter how a circle wants to reach the center, it cannot; it will keep on its eternal path – 10 millimeters or 10,000 light-years from the center – if it will not decide to quit on its orbit. You may think the size of the largest galaxy is overwhelmingly incomprehensible to our minds. Yet even the electron is inconceivably detached from the nucleus of an atom – if the proton were as big as a baseball, the electron would spin around it from kilometers away in the Hydrogen atom. Space rules everywhere, keeping things and lives ever apart. In fact, it leads some people to conclude that reality is essentially a vast nothingness. How much more are we really so detached or far from the Most Holy God in Heaven? Yet we all claim He lives in our hearts. How come the sinful world does not seem to notice or feel that majestic and mighty power at work on any day we live among other people? Because God works in mysteries? He works away from the crowds? Because we should not brag to the world what He is doing in our lives?
The light of the Sun or an even bigger star shines and reaches the outer reaches of the Milky Way and beyond. If the sunlight gives life to living things on our planet, of what use is all the light of the Universe at all? Why did God shine His light upon us through Christ’s Gospel? Just so He can allow holy planets or spheres of our making circling around Him and His message and yet never getting around to reaching His perfection and His intended results, which is to overturn the world to His plans and ways? Are we any closer to the first-century disciples’ lives being powerfully-enflamed by the Spirit of God? Not by a mile or a millionth of a light-year.
And so, today, the Earth will not give in to the Sun because of its momentum. But a person has the will to stop at any time and allow God to draw him or her in. Until we do, we will stay away from God. For He will not draw in a thing that keeps resisting His love or control – two words humans so often hate and reject, unfortunately. We love to say we have love for God and that we have control of our lives. Say what?!!! That is exactly what people with religion and theology say. We do not even have time to deal with those who have come up with new forms of legalistic religions with which to run around the message of Christ and making it appear they have found or that they are the very center of the Gospel itself! Talk about seizing God’s throne and deceiving people you are the center – that takes the cake. (By the way, even when we slice a cake, we almost always cut through the center. The center unites all — and also divides all. Clever devils!)
If we really carried our cross and died on it, we can say we love and obey God. And some do think so. Or, let us just say, carry our cross daily and die to ourselves daily; that would be within our orbit. Perhaps, doing that might make us approach the center eventually. If we listen, listen and listen. Until we get tired orbiting and let the Sun pull us into its irresistible force and swallow us into one splendid explosion of glory. Then, we will also become light. We would finally be back in the very center where we originated.
Until we let go of our desire to wander away from God and let Him draw us to Him, we will not get the point. We will never hear Him say, Good and point-ful servant. For faith is being on-the-point.
(Mosaic photos courtesy of www.google.com)