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"Us" and "Them"

"Us" and "Them". Or perhaps the sheep and the goats. Or maybe the lost and the saved.

But one joker once said:- "There are only two kinds of people in the world - those that divide the world into two kinds of people and those who don't"

Ha ha!

Myself, I think we must [i]first[/i] touch base, or in other words, first we must [i]know[/i] at the deepest and most authentic level that we are all "one", equal. Having touched based, knowing this deeply, then perhaps we can differentiate, recognise differences. This recognition will not then be judgement but will always be coloured by empathy.

Which is why from a Christian perspective the only viable theology is Universalism. [i][b]All[/b][/i] are elected. A perspective that grows by the day by many who by study and knowledge, recognise such as a widespread teaching/belief within the early Church.

But Christian or not (and I am not) to see that we are One is the heart of any genuine spirituality - while those who believe in an eternal and ultimate division of human beings into the lost and saved will totally miss the heart no matter how pious they presume themselves to be.
Carazaa · F
Matthew 25
[b] Ten virgins.[/b]

25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’

12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

The Parable of the Bags of Gold
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

[b]The Sheep and the Goats[/b]
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
JollyRoger · 70-79, M
I agree TOTALLY (almost)! However, I sense that you are trying to label Christianity as 'good Christians' and 'bad Christians' i.e., that to be Christian a person must accept that there is a 'good path' and a 'bad path' and that all who tread on the bad path will be damned. I'll caveat my response here by saying that I do not read the Bible as the 'undisputed word of God', but as a guideline. That said: The person who quoted Christ obviously felt Christ was categorizing people; I read the 'sheep and goats' paradigm as Him laying out a path for people to follow i.e., "Follow me" in the path of doing good to and for each other; not looking to lay blame on each other but to lead by example in ways that others might respect as versus doing your own 'thing' for your own self-gratification. Also, Christ allowed for repentance of sin - to permit us to make mistakes and not be damned. Therefore, I agree that we must look at each fellow human as an equal AND that we must not lay blame, i.e., judge others for their behaviours based on our limited human knowledge and our own inherent weaknesses which will from time to time - mine occur quite regularly, occur. I do not think that claiming Christ as my saviour is limiting me from looking at other people of any faith or non-faith as my equal. I believe that we were put in this world by God who gave us our souls and that the reason we are here is to prove our souls as worthy - worthy to God - nobody else. And that by doing good for each other, our souls will be judged and find eternal life in His company. Everyone is capable of being worthy!
Religions only serve to guide us along a particular pathway. As we know, there can be many pathways to a common goal.
JollyRoger · 70-79, M
@SW-User I hope you see that your faith is different from Christianity, but that Christianity is as good as is your faith. Few people here have been as patient with you trying to 'convert' us away from our faithas I have. Unfortunately you have sealed your fate in this debate by not treating us as equals: [quote]But frankly, I'm tired of this. Having some people here as good as rejoicing in the damnation of others is a sickening stench I can do without.[/quote].
SW-User
@JollyRoger I'm leaving Similar Worlds. I really have had enough.

"Sealed my fate"!!!! "Trying to convert away from your Faiths"!!!! Utter nonsense.

All I have done is offer the option of Universalism. This WAS, Has Been, and IS, very much a part of the Christian Faith. Simply because you are unwilling to take a look at the multitude of books and information now readily available (I offered to recommend a few) and therefore remain ignorant of the full width and depth of you own Faith (which has "many mansions) please don't start such nonsense as that I am seeking to convert!

Again, others here have declared Universalism to be false. Explicitly. You state you are "unsure". Thus others - maybe yourself - are explicit dualists. Double destiny. An eternal division. Yet you claim that I am the "only one" who is dualist!!!!! My own diversification is made [i]within the context[/i] of an ultimate Universal Salvation of All; of course in our world as we see it and experience it there is division! You appear incapable of even grasping such a simple point.

Yes, those that insist upon, and even look forward to and rejoice, in the eternal damnation of others DO create a sickening stench. Your attempt at a pious acceptance of diverse opinion is in direct contrast to your ludicrous words of my own "sealing of my fate".

Anyway, bye. I will not respond again.

PS .Try "That All Shall Be Saved" by David Bentley-Hart.
JollyRoger · 70-79, M
@SW-User Good bye again, Telegram Sam. No doubt we'll see you again in another incarnation.
Nonsense. There’s always been good and always been evil. Sheep vs goats.. Children of the light and children of darkness.. and they live on different spheres… natural verses spiritual… and one day they will be totally separated from each other for eternity. Oh yes!
wildbill83 · 36-40, M
@SW-User She's not wrong, nor it is merely her "opinion".

The good/righteous have more solidarity in being hated/persecuted by the world.

The wicked are a bunch of ass kissers, they go around playing both sides, using parts of the bible they like and can twist to suit their own meaning whilst ignoring the rest. They don't care about salvation, they only care about popularity.

And salvation isn't a popularity contest... (an idea that's lost on the pope/many Catholics apparently...)

"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning." John 15:18-27
SW-User
@wildbill83 So if we are persecuted we must be right?
@wildbill83 Great scriptures there Bill … powerful
Ynotisay · M
Well stated and good topic.

But maybe the person who divides isn't necessarily missing 'the heart.' Maybe they're choosing 'the heart' and standing against those who don't. And I'm not sure Christianity, which interprets the Old Testament, as being the best example of something that supports Universalism. "One god" and punishment is pretty prevalent in the Bible. And that's most definitely shared by other religions.

And while I hear what you're saying, and appreciate the message, my understanding is that spirituality relates to a belief in something "bigger" than ourselves. So by definition the "bigger" thing would be open to interpretation.

So an option is to move all that out of the conversation and work from a place of true reality. The only reality that connects us all. Human beings are animals. No more or less important in the big picture than any other animal. We all need water, oxygen and subsistence. Our evolved ability for cognitive reasoning is different than other animals but that doesn't equate to better. If either a human or insect dies there's a ripple effect. Sometimes large and sometimes inconceivably small. But it happens. So that's the only thing I see as the glue that holds everything together.
SW-User
@Ynotisay Thanks.

As I tried to say, to "miss the heart" is to divide into two [i]before[/i] touching base ([i]seeing[/i] that all is "one")

And Christianity has many mansions, despite the claims of those who would seek to identify it totally with their own particular brand of belief and dub themselves as the "true" Christians.

Yes, "true reality"! I tend to think in metaphysical terms and in "religious" terminology.

[i]The human being is an animal who has received the vocation to become God.
[/i]
(BASIL OF CAESAREA)

(I am a non-theist by the way, but the word "God' also has many mansions....😀)
SteelHands · 61-69, M
The first move in a political chicken fight is induce someone to pick up a gun.

Last move of course is successfully trick them into pulling the trigger.
wildbill83 · 36-40, M
study and knowledge is useless if not acted upon
wildbill83 · 36-40, M
@SW-User what is yours?

you say you're not Christian, yet presume this silly notion of "universalism". A concept that exists no where in the Bible

[quote]Which is why from a Christian perspective the only viable theology is Universalism. But Christian or not (and I am not)...[/quote]

[quote]A perspective that grows by the day by many who by study and knowledge, recognize such as a widespread teaching/belief within the early Church.[/quote]

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." - Matthew 7:21-23

[quote]while those who believe in an eternal and ultimate division of human beings into the lost and saved will totally miss the heart no matter how pious they presume themselves to be.[/quote]

The judgement of man and/or how others perceive someones "heart" is irrelevant. His perspective is the only one that counts.

"But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
SW-User
@wildbill83 As I said to another, I'll leave the Christians to dispute among themselves as to who is saved and how many. I am simply pointing out that many [i]biblically based[/i] Christians are Universalists. I can recommend a few books to read if you choose to dispute this, one written by a man who has done his own translation of the New Testament (therefore he is obviously fully aware of exactly what the text may or may not mean)

Oh yes, I agree with you that in a sense the Lord knows his own.

😀

Thanks for your interest.
wildbill83 · 36-40, M
@SW-User [quote]I can recommend a few books to read if you choose to dispute this, one written by a man who has done his own translation of the New Testament[/quote]

"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." - Revelation 22:18-19
Wiseacre · F
So, are u into multiculturalism?
SW-User
@Wiseacre Yes, and even the totally free movement of people (as an ideal)

 
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