I have spoken before about why I left the Catholic Church but at the time still believed that Jesus Christ was the Messiah. A divine being who was the Son of God. A human being that was morally perfect and therefore morally greater than any other. But my exit from Catholicism would begin a journey for me. Shortly after leaving the Catholic church I began to question Jesus’ miracles but not his special status. My faith in the one triune god remained, albeit shaken. It was then, in a moment of tremendous need, that I believed my god spoke to me directly. At the time I believed that it was God the Father who spoke to me. One of the three Christian persons of the one divine god.
After that first message, while still believing that Jesus Christ was the Divine sent to Earth, I lost my Christian faith. For me I could not believe in a loving god that would break Their own laws of the natural world. Such laws formed the foundation of our science and our civilization. To believe in their undoing was to give credence to all such miraculous stories that date from a time when such stories were widely believed.
Many of the beliefs I formed during that period I still hold. I still believe Jesus Christ was sent by God to fulfill a mission. That mission was to provide people a message, from the One god, in which to embrace. That message was one of love, tailored for Jesus’ time and place. But in presenting that message would God allow Christ to perform miracles that defy Their own laws the most significant of which were the resurrection of his body and physical ascension into the heavens?
For me it is a question of where to draw the line. I still believe in a god which is a supernatural being. A being that exists beyond the limits of our natural world. And I still believe in other supernatural concepts: a heavenly existence that lies beyond our material Universe, and our immortal souls. All of these concepts exist beyond the laws of nature to either prove or disprove. But I still believe that they exist. How do I reconcile my belief in their existence with Jesus’ supernatural miracles? Is it possible to believe in some supernatural occurrences and not others? This post explores these questions.
I believe in a loving god but do not believe They would interfere in the natural world by breaking its laws. That is not to say that the The Greatest Love does not intervene in people’s lives. They can and in fact in my case They have. But when They do I believe the laws of nature are not compromised. Modern science and the scientific method is still in it’s infancy relative to the dawn of humankind but the truths they have already uncovered, I believe, have provided compelling evidence that all phenomena in the natural world have worldly explanations that do not need to invoke the supernatural. That to start believing in supernatural events that break the laws of nature is to suspend critical thinking and suffocate scientific curiosity. This does a disservice to all humankind.
I believe our natural world is governed by scientific laws, many yet to be discovered, not the whim of gods performing supernatural acts. The true miracles lie in these laws which I believe were divinely conceived. Laws which created the cosmos, galaxies, and interstellar clouds of dust. Dust that would eventually come together to form the stars and planets. Planets that would eventually bring forth life. And life that would eventually evolve to love. None of which is supernatural but nonetheless miraculous in that I believe it is orchestrated by a Higher Power. Miracles can be found all around us, without defying the laws of nature. We just need to open our eyes and see that nature is the miracle.
In my own case, the delivery of the messages from my god was not supernatural. It was a deep and powerful internal voice which brought compassion, clarity, and calm for me. I do not believe science can completely explain it today. But will it one day? Possibly. The brain is still a largely uncharted universe unto itself. Billions of points of information intertwined in neurons and acted upon continuously. When something coalesces in that enormous mesh of information can it produce the sensation of revelation? The sensation of divine communication? Perhaps.
But even if that is shown to be possible without breaking any natural laws, even if all my symptoms one day have a scientific explanation: the visions, the messages, the feelings, does it make them any less miraculous? If a scientific basis for revelation and deep and powerful internal messaging is found who are we to say that they were not divinely conceived and designed to manifest at a particular moment in time, from the beginning of the cosmos, by a Creator? A Creator who can peer billions of years into our potential futures and know that humanity will evolve to have the ability to understand Their messages and revelations.
And that some of those people will have the precise mental configurations, life experiences, and memories to hear Their words, to see Their visions, and to sense Their signs. But at the same time know they do not have the authority to speak on behalf of the Divine. They can recall the words, the visions, the signs, and the feelings aroused but cannot provide additional commentary on behalf of the Divine. Instead they speak of their own understanding. What the words, visions, signs and feelings meant to them.
In the description above I include myself. Outside of the words in the messages I received, all the commentary in this blog has been mine alone. I cannot speak on behalf of The Divine but humbly believe that The Divine has presented to me the messages and visions identified in this blog.
And then building on this possibility what if there are additional persons that cannot only present the Divine’s words, visions, and signs but also interpret them and provide additional instruction on behalf of the Divine Themselves? I call such individuals prophets.
And then what if there were prophets whose teachings inspired a populace and which endured the test of time. Prophets who were embraced by a community of followers through millennia and whose teachings continue to inspire today. I would call such individuals great prophets.
And finally what if there was one great prophet who was told by the Creator that he would be brutally crucified for delivering that Creator’s message but that he could choose not to? Not a person who could perform supernatural miracles. But a mortal man who devoted his life to spread the word of the Creator as it was revealed to him, a message of love and mercy tailored for his time, and who had the wisdom, courage, and leadership to recruit others to do the same. All the while knowing that the more successful he was in spreading the Creator’s word the more quickly his brutal death would come. What would you call such an individual who sacrificed himself freely?
I would, and I do, call him a great prophet but nothing more. Such a person can not be greater than any of the other great prophets, including Moses, and Muhammad. It was this realization, that for me Jesus Christ could not be greater than the other great prophets that led to another pillar falling for me: Jesus was not the Divine sent to Earth. He was only human and was not morally perfect.
Once the Divinity of Christ pillar fell the next to fall was his special status in the heavens as the Son of God seated at the right hand of God the Father. The final blow came with what I now know to be one of my personal truths:
All human souls are deserving of equal dignity.
Everything that my god, The Greatest Love, has revealed to me has led me to this conclusion.
By equal dignity I mean equal moral consideration. And if that is true, and we accept that Jesus Christ was a human being, then it logically follows that the moral consideration that God afforded him can be no greater or lesser than that which They afford all of us. But to say Jesus was The Son of God is to say he is deserving of special, that is unequal, moral consideration. Just as it is on Earth where parents give more moral consideration to their children than to other family members, if we are truly made in The Greatest Love’s image this fundamental aspect of our humanity must be true for Them as well.
To be The Son of God would be to attain unequal moral consideration from The Greatest Love, which breaks one of my personal truths. The consequences of that truth cannot be understated. It means The Greatest Love does not play favorites. It means They do not exalt any one human being in the heavens to sit at Their right hand even if he was a great prophet. Instead all human souls created throughout all of time are children of The Greatest Love. Nothing more, and nothing less.
And with that my belief in the Trinity, the triune god of the Christian faith faded as well. In its place is my current belief in a unitary god of infinite love.
I believe Jesus was a mortal man who elevated his love to the highest of levels. It is not the performance of supernatural miracles which made Jesus Christ a great prophet. Instead it was his profound connection to God and his willingness to die for all of us without reservation. It was this sacrifice that I believe was affirmed in the first message spoken to me: “You are not him. You do not need to die for them”. I also believe that a loving god would have forewarned Jesus of this possible fate and given him a choice. Nonetheless Jesus accepted this fate due to his love for all humankind.
I believe the first message is also a confirmation from The Greatest Love that no one need die alone on behalf of humanity ever again. In this manner Jesus’ love for, and contribution to, humanity is secured. He was a great human being, and a great prophet who chose to sacrifice himself for all of humanity. No additional titles or statuses are required.
But none of the above explains why. Why did Jesus have to die for us? I do not believe the reason involves the doctrine of atonement which describes the supernatural pardoning of sin (original sin specifically) through Christ’s sacrificial suffering and eventual death. The need did not involve the supernatural at all. Instead I believe the impact of Jesus’ crucifixion would be felt right here on Earth and I believe The Greatest Love had a good understanding of what those impacts would be: the establishment of a new church whose bedrock was founded on Jesus’ ministry, teachings, and sacrifice. The dedication the disciples gave to that founding was galvanized by Jesus’ sacrifice. That Jesus would accept a brutal death in order that his message would spread was evidence of Jesus’ certainty that his message was revealed to him by God. And it was for this birth of Christianity that Jesus needed to die.
The events that took place after Jesus’ death on the cross is the topic of much debate and although I do not believe in his resurrection or physical ascension into Heaven, what I do not deny is that without Jesus’ death on the cross the world’s largest religion, Christianity, may have never have been established and it’s unique message of love and mercy, lost. Despite all the wickedness done wrongly in Christ’s name throughout the centuries, I believe, those words turned civilization’s moral compass closer to true north and have overall been a force for tremendous good in this World. The other great loving religions of course played important roles in that effort as well which continues to this day and which now includes our secular courts, charters, and constitutions.
Do I believe Jesus Christ performed any supernatural miracles while alive on Earth? No. I do not. Nor do I believe any persons born to this Earth, from any religion, have performed miracles that defy the laws of nature. We must recognize that the great prophets lived fully mortal, and only mortal lives. It was their divinely inspired words and worldly actions that are the most relevant to their ministry. Actions that spread the word of the One god and which are no less meaningful or less deserving of our love had they been accompanied by supernatural acts.
I believe when trying to understand the “what” and the “how” of the natural World, its Universe, and its history, we must always look to science. Only when trying to understand the fundamental questions of “why” must we look to our gods and the heavens. And only in death is there a transition between the two. For there is a connection between our Universe and the heavens and it lies within ourselves. It lies within our souls. It is our souls which allow a transition between the Universe and the heavens. I believe these three concepts form the foundation of the supernatural powers my god allows: an all-loving god who has the ability to speak to Their creations, our immortal and immaterial souls, along with the heavens and reincarnation.
I believe the existence of these supernatural concepts will never be proven or disproven by science and the laws of nature. Instead they exist beyond our earthly realm and span the chasm between the heavens and the Universe. Nor would, I believe, an all-loving god allow one great religion to provide more compelling evidence than another for their beliefs, doctrine and/or god(s). To do so would give power to one great religion over another. That is not the goal of The Greatest Love. It is not to provide humankind one belief system to rule them all. It is not to unite us through our beliefs. Diversity of belief when based on love is critical and instead the goal is to unite us through that love. For there are many belief systems that are loving and we must never close our minds to any of them. This is a lesson, I believe, The Greatest Love is trying to teach us now: we must come together in love despite our fundamentally different beliefs. To see past those differences, embrace the diversity, and find the common humanity in each other. If we can do that we will have progressed our love even further. Cherish your loving beliefs but open your heart to see the beauty that exists outside of them as well.
I believe a god that allows the supernatural to break the laws of nature in our Universe is a capricious god that brings disorder and confusion to that Universe. The three supernatural concepts discussed above do not break the laws of nature. They will forever exist beyond the means of science to either prove or disprove and thus transcend such laws. Belief in these supernatural concepts is not required to thrive in our natural world. For our Universe will always remain logically consistent with the laws of nature. Never will supernatural occurrences conflict with the views of even non-believers when describing the natural world. For non-believers love just as greatly as believers. Their beliefs, or lack thereof, are just as important as believers when they come from a place of love.
And perhaps the tension and violence that exists between followers of different religious groups today is to be expected at this stage in our progression. When a clash of beliefs manifests people can become close-minded while demanding that their beliefs must reign supreme. They try to convert the detractors to their beliefs, or worse. But this must be struck down as intolerant. The Greatest Love will never choose or represent one great religion, one set of beliefs, over another. It will never happen. Yes in the past They have sent prophets and leaders to establish different beliefs. Beliefs which have competed with each other for the hearts and minds of people throughout the World. That competition has at times grown violent and bloody. But now the competition must give way to cooperation and compassion. The Greatest Love is trying to show us that all religions, with a basis in love, are worth cherishing and not demonizing. That we can have different beliefs while sharing the same humanity. It is up to all believers to bring peace among the religions despite their different beliefs. And the common thread of love will help them on that journey.
I believe the future will not consist of one supreme religion nor a world with no religions. Instead I believe there will be many great religions. But in order for a religion to become a great religion they must confront the chains that prevent them from truly opening themselves up to love. Chains such as institutionalized patriarchy and misogyny, homophobia, and even intolerance of atheists or practitioners of other faiths. Despite these problems and all the historical and current violence done wrongly in their god(s) name, religions can provide comfort and answers to difficult questions in difficult times. For a good portion of humanity seeking such answers, I believe religions have an important role to play in perpetuity.
I believe The Greatest Love has provided all religions a common cause: to see past their differing beliefs and see the humanity in all people. When that day comes, when all the great religions look to each other as friends despite having different beliefs they can look to the heavens and realize that their beliefs were always secondary. Their beliefs were always just a means to an end. And that end was love – love for all humankind.