So, after much struggle, I came to the conclusion that either I had to abandon the idea of God or change my understanding of what God is. I simply could not accept that God as an entity looking down from somewhere in the sky, watching to catch human beings who failed to measure up to the flimsiest of His standards and condemning them to eternal punishments—whatever they actually were, for was the truth in the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Qur’an, the Vedas, or some other so-called Word of God? How could someone who ate milk with meat be worthy of the same punishments as a mass murderer?
And further, where was truth when there are so many different religions claiming to have the absolute one. Obviously, they can’t all be correct! So, perhaps none of them are. Certainly God isn’t going around on social media and telling us which one is actually The Truth!
So I was left with the question: How do you bring God into the world?
But if you examine the religions, there is usually one simple rule that they have in common : the Golden Rule, “Do to others as you would wish they would do to you.” Maybe the form is different, but that simple statement is largely there.
So that became the foundation, even though, I admit, I sometimes fail.
But take it a step forward into what seems obvious but is so misinterpreted, I think. And for simplicity, I’ll use the words of Jesus of Nazareth–for whom I always had a strong fascination even as a Jewish child.
“The kingdom of God is within you'”(Luke 17:21)
Repeat that to yourself a couple of times with an emphasis on those last three words. Let I sink in until you achieve that “a-ha” moment.
We look outside ourselves, waiting for some supernatural being to come down and put things to right. Just for example, Christianity has been waiting almost 2,000 years since the death of Christ for Him to return in splendor and initiate that kingdom. Judaism waits for ha-Mashiach. Islam, al-Masih. And so on, and so on…
We keep waiting, and waiting….Like misbehaved children, waiting for Daddy to come home.
But Daddy isn’t coming.
In a manner of speaking, Daddy is waiting for us.
And we are so sure of the righteousness of our beliefs that we will kill for them, we will oppress our brothers and sisters for them, we will consign them to the deepest parts of whatever Hell we can imagine for not agreeing with us. We damn those who are different, who do not conform to our way of life. And we expect a God to bring us his kingdom?
No, hate and self-righteousness only keeps that kingdom further away. Because it is not for God to bring that kingdom to us, it is for us to bring the kingdom to God.
It starts within us. With how we treat each other, with how we approach the world—do you expect a kingdom of God to be created out of hate?
It calls for a revolution of the human heart. So if I wish to see that kingdom come, it has to start with me. It has to come from what is within me! I must endeavor to bring God—or better, whatever I can conceive the idea of God to be–into the world from out of my actions, from the way I live my live. Love can only be brought into the world by being loving.. Compassion by being compassionate. Trust by being trustworthy. Understanding by trying to be understanding. Comfort by being comforting. Hope by giving hope.
And when that spreads from one human soul to another, and keeps spreading…then you have created the kingdom
Then you bring God into this hurt and cyring world.