(Sorry, tried to find a picture for this blog but everything to do with love was just soo cliched and tacky! So just use your imagination)
Theology, doctrines, religions, denominations, cults and sects, eschatology, hermeneutics, etc...
On and on it goes.
2000 years and christianity is even more divided than ever. Religions divide the world.
Complex doctrines abound that try to explain the basic tenets of the faith - of all faiths actually. Yet despite our best efforts its all really murky.
Sure, there are some basic ideas that persist, but really, it all comes down to putting our faith in a book instead of the source - instead of love - instead of that which is deep in all of us.
Jesus supposedly said that we needed to see all this with the eyes of a child. Our faith, our meaning for existence, has to be simple enough for a child. Sure we can ponder the deeper issues and embrace all sorts of philosophical views. But the most foundational issues of all we are and do must be simple.
Christianity as it's traditionally presented, simply does not fit this requirement. It is anything BUT simple. It involves every person believing a complex set of doctrines in just the right way so that they can be saved.
Now many of you probably know, I'm a bit of a broken record with the Live Loved thing. I'm forever simplifying everything down to that. And I get accused of being naive, simplistic, ignorant, idealistic etc, to say nothing of the shouts of heretic! (seriously - a heretic for preaching love?!)
I've writing many blogs about the bible and about our preoccupation with clear defined boundaries and rules, so no point in repeating all that. Suffice to say, the more I focus on the simple most basic concepts of who we are, the less importance the bible has. And the less important ANY religion is.
There is only one thing that is common to all mankind - every person everywhere, at every moment in time. Its deep within every heart - its the innermost cry of and expression of every soul. It's what every mind, whether through emotion, intellect or logical reasoning longs for.
It's not love defined by any religion. It's not love with conditions. It's not a set of rules and principles that make us lovable.
It's unconditional love. It's being accepted exactly as we are with no questions asked. It's something we all long for even if we have never experienced it.
There are no doctrines, there is no holy book, there are no wise teachers that can tell us any more than what is already in each of us. We are made from and for love.
So what do we do about that? We live loved!
We look for that deep need in each other. We nurture that need. We do all we can to find that point of love in every single person we meet. We BE love. And in being love to others we are becoming love to ourselves, and this, and this alone, is what brings change to the world, one person at a time.
When we "live loved" we are beyond all concepts of good and evil, right and wrong or sin. We have abandoned the need for endless doctrines and holy writings (although they can certainly be of value). We have simply embraced who we are.
The more I embrace this - the more I practice this - the more whole I become. Issues like trying to figure the correct doctrines, the way we should treat women in church, our attitudes to politics, social needs, gay people, all become completely irrelevant. Because love transcends all these things. they become red herrings.
God is not in any holy book. God never wrote a book that defines himself or what we have to do to be accepted by him!
God is love! That's it - and that is more than enough.
Although christinaity, and all religions, can show ways to see that love through their writings and traditions, they are not the truth. The only truth is love, and that truth is intrinsically part of every human being ever created.