Deepak Chopra is one of those rare gifts to the rest of us: A true SuperGenius who inspires us with the inborn rhythms of storytelling while revealing the myth-making ability to heal humanity. Deepak’s latest treading into immortality is his latest book — “The Third Jesus” — where he argues we need to celebrate a third “Cosmic Christ” as a part of our ongoing religious enlightenment:

Here is the publisher’s blurp for his book where Deepak argues in print when religion becomes a business, power-hungriness follows along with corruption and the destruction of beauty:

First, there is the historical Jesus, the man who lived more than two thousand years ago and whose teachings are the foundation of Christian theology and thought. Next there is Jesus the Son of God, who has come to embody an institutional religion with specific dogma, a priesthood, and devout believers. And finally, there is the third Jesus, the cosmic Christ, the spiritual guide whose teaching embraces all humanity, not just the church built in his name. He speaks to the individual who wants to find God as a personal experience, to attain what some might call grace, or God-consciousness, or enlightenment.

I appreciate how Deepak forces us to reconsider what we think we know. He encourages us to look at history, and each other, and then see everything anew with fresh eyes. It is hard and scary to give up what we think we know and confess we really know nothing, but Deepak goes first. He leads us into a new understanding by releasing his held beliefs into the wind to rediscover their free-flowing and necessarily impetuous need to re-form and re-phrase into something greater than they were when bound close to the mind. I warn you Deepak believes God should be a woman, because the next evolutionary step in human survival — if we hope to live together in peace — is “Survival of the Wisest,” and not the fittest.

That post-modernist, evolutionary, insight is held by Deepak because we require the love, empathy, and mystical knowing that only women posses. We don’t need any more masculine power and strength. We must instead have heartfelt understanding. Deepak is also a champion of myths and storytelling. He believes those stories bring us together on an emotional level that creates memory and the capacity to share ideas between cultures. He imagines the power of the world changing if a new “Wonder Woman” comic book character could be created as the product of an Iraqi and American coupling. That sort of shared, feminine, power — made of the spit and twine of a political disaster — would bring us closer together than war and guns.

Deepak Chopra believes Comic books and myths create collective healing — and they also provide a protective shroud of disbelief in which we are allowed to think freely about ideas and notions we may not fully understand or even enjoy.

In the letting go of our immediate cultural mandates via eternally shared myths — we finally begin to socially internationalize each other — and that only leads to renewed goodness and a new Goddess of the heart.

50 Comments

  1. I’m surprised, I thought you were a person of science and reason.
    Deepak Chopra is a peddlar of meaningless mumbo jumbo and has built up quite a fortune from it. He preys on the weak-minded, promising solace in nonsense “theories”. He is, to put it bluntly, a snake-oil salesman.
    Now the value of comic books I can appreciate and they do not pretend to be something that they are not. (I highly reccommend Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” series if you haven’t read it – I think you would enjoy it).
    Cheers
    Mike

  2. urbanspaceman —
    I am a person of many moods and innovations and thoughts. I certainly prefer an atheistic view of the world, but that doesn’t mean I won’t read religious texts or thoughts that counter my belief.
    I find Deepak’s history to be one of openness and kindness. I don’t think he’s out to hurt people. He has been scandal-free. He makes a lot of money, but so do a lot of atheists I know. ๐Ÿ˜€
    I’m not sure what sort of snake-oil he’s selling when he claims God should be a woman — he’s certainly challenging the very core of mainstream Christianity with that argument and I find that openness against the core a proper role for a spiritual antagonist.
    Should success preclude him from discussion?

  3. I don’t argue with success, just the manner in which it is gained. To me he is no different from the revival preachers in many respects.
    I also read religious texts, simply because I find them interesting, and I think they have a lot to teach us (although not in the traditional religious sense). They are certainly part of our history and should not be ignored.
    Regarding his assertion that god is a woman: I’m totally indifferent to it because it is meaningless to me, since there is no “god”. I can respect his beliefs and have no problem with anything he does personally, but to build a business empire out of selling false hopes and patently absurd thoeries is not what I would call enlightened, in fact it is the complete opposite to everything the Enlightenment achieved.
    Here’s a typical load of rubbish from him – dressed up to try and give it some kind of pseudo-scientific authority:
    “DEEPAK CHOPRA: Quantum healing is healing the bodymind from a quantum level. That means from a level which is not manifest at a sensory level. Our bodies ultimately are fields of information, intelligence and energy. Quantum healing involves a shift in the fields of energy information, so as to bring about a correction in an idea that has gone wrong. So quantum healing involves healing one mode of consciousness, mind, to bring about changes in another mode of consciousness, body.”
    From this interview

  4. urbanspaceman —
    I understand what you’re saying and you know I’m with you on the basics of your argument.
    I do find the idea of a female God quite interesting even though it doesn’t apply to my system of beliefs if only because it nudges those who believe in a male-centric Godhead to, perhaps, consider there is another way, another meaning and another possible path towards peace.
    I don’t really care much how people find private happiness as long as they do it without elbowing others and me in the eye with their rhetoric in the process of getting there.
    Yes, the quote you quoted is confusing out of the context of the entire interview, but here is the deeper explanation of what he means in the next graph from that interview:

    Meditation is a very important aspect of all the approaches that one can use in quantum healing, because it allows you to experience your own source. When you experience your own source, you realize that you are not the patterns and eddies of desire and memory that flow and swirl in your consciousness. Although these patterns of desire and memory are the field of your manifestation, you are in fact not these swirling fluctuations of thought.
    You are the thinker behind the thought, the observer behind the observation, the flow of attention, the flow of awareness, the unbounded ocean of consciousness. When you have that on the experiential level, you spontaneously realize that you have choices, and that you can exercise these choices, not through some sheer will power but spontaneously.

    Here’s a passage from his “Third Jesus” book and his confession and revelation is valuable to me. The fact he then smoothly and cleverly moves us from the idea of “Christ’s cheek” into the Indian ideal of “Ahimsa” is just too delicious to not enjoy on the level of convergence and inspiration:

    The PR person in charge of the event was pulling at my elbow, so I told the woman that if she came back later, I might find a few minutes of personal time for her. She became enraged in front of everyone. She released a stream of invective, sparing no four-letter words, and stalked away, muttering darkly that I was a fraud. Later that night the incident wouldn’t leave me in peace, so I considered an essential spiritual truth: People mirror back to us the reality of who we are. I sat down and wrote out a list of things I’d noticed about this woman. What had I disliked about her? She was angry, demanding, confrontational, and selfish. Then I called my wife and asked her if I was like that. There was a long silence at the other end of the phone. I was more than a little shaken.
    I sat down to face what reality was asking me to face. I found a veneer of annoyance and irritation (after all, wasn’t I the innocent victim? hadn’t she embarrassed me in front of dozens of people?). Then I called a truce with the negative energies she had stirred up. Vague images of past injuries came to mind, which put me on the right trail. I moved as much of the stagnant energies of hurt as I could.
    To put it bluntly, this was a Jesus moment. When he preached, “If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other also” (Luke 6:29), Jesus wasn’t preaching masochism or martyrdom. He was speaking of a quality of consciousness that is known in Sanskrit as Ahimsa. The word is usually translated as “harmlessness” or “nonviolence,” and in modern times it became the watchword of Gandhi’s movement of peaceful resistance. Gandhi himself was often seen as Christlike, but Ahimsa has roots in India going back thousands of years.

  5. I’m not sure that later interview quote is any better than the first – there are a lot of words and it really doesn’t say very much.
    (BTW, I wasn’t trying to post anything out of context, I just didn’t want a huge quote in the comment – that’s why I put the link to the interview there too ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
    I also like the idea of a female god. I actually like the idea of any kind of god(s) – I do find religion a fascinating subject and the fact I don’t believe any of it makes no difference to that.
    The comparison of Ghandi to Jesus is interesting. The myth of Ghandi is so much more than the man ever was. The man wanted a return to the village system, which would have meant a more primitive society and a lot more suffering, and he wasn’t against violence when necessary:
    From ghandiserve.org

    But Gandhi did condone use of violent means in certain circumstances, in preference to submission which he regarded as cowardice and equivalent to cooperation with evil. In relation to the use of violence he stated categorically: “Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence I would advise violence…”

    Obviously I can’t comment on Jesus as I don’t know if he was real, invented or a conglomeration of stories about a number of people. There is evidence for all three.
    So, again, we have DC playing on myths (albeit more realistic ones) to promote his cause (and for cause, read business).
    I admit, his writing is good and it draws you in, but consider it from the point of view of somebody who takes everything he says as fact, and I am sure there are many of them.
    If he really wanted to help these people rather than himself I’m sure there are a number of things he could do other than sell them a book or a ticket to a seminar.

  6. urbanspaceman —
    The Ghandi website you link looks strange to me. It’s seems more of a fan site in Germany than Ghandi’s official website?
    I’m not sure if selling books and tickets should preclude one from consideration as a natural power of goodness in the marketplace of the universe — or we’d have to disavow our admiration of Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett and Hitchens and Harris and the rest of the gang…

  7. The Ghandi site was found on a specific search, since I had a reasonable idea of what I was looking for. I can look later and see if I can find some other sources …
    (Incidentally, there’s a good article for you: Are “official” sources more reliable than fan sites, blogs etc. or should we be looking to these “secondary” sources as more as being more reliable? Surely Ghandi’s offical website is only going to portray him in a positive light?)
    I don’t think your comparisons with Dawkins / hitchens et. al hold up, since they write about science and history – verifiable fact in other words. I fully admit that their books should not be needed (in the same way that Hitchens says there should be no need for the word “atheist”), but sound factual works are, I think, vital to counteract the output of the likes of DC, mediums, people who talk to angels, books about bible codes and the like.

  8. urbanspaceman —
    We require scholarly sources here:
    http://urbansemiotic.com/2007/03/16/the-deadly-danger-of-wikipedia-and-corrupt-community-research/
    Fan sites are not really enough of a backup of an argument. “Official” sites are fine because they do provide the on-the-record viewpoint of the person or topic in question even if, by their nature, official sites are one-sided. I will always prefer Whitehouse.gov to Newsbusters.org even though their viewpoints are identical.
    In his new book, I think Deepak is trying to deal with on-the-record facts and expose them to new light even if they are myths or tightly held beliefs — because those flows do have an influence on behavior and reactions and understanding the world.
    When he quotes the Bible, and provides analysis and a differing Indian viewpoint that is, actually related, he helps round out the niches of religion into a wider human understanding that must then welcome science and technology as the newest beliefs in the old frontier.

  9. I had a closer look at the site and I’d say it’s borderline – you could argue either way for that.
    A search for the quote reveals a number of sites that reference it:
    Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence I would advise violence”
    The first one in the list is from the Ghandian institute in Bobmay, whatever that may be.
    I really don’t know what you would class as an “offical” Ghandi site? I tried http://www.mahatma.org.in but can’t seem to get past the flash intro as all I get is page not found. Not such a useful resource ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I understand the wikipedia resistance though, although I think for many things it is very reliable – read some of the medical articles for example. Anything religious, political or involving celebrities is going to be slightly distorted (and you’ll notice I didn’t quote wiki, depsite the fact it shows up in those search results …)
    Here somebody uses the quote in a masters thesis.
    Northwestern University’s peace project also uses the quote.
    I think there are enough other sources in that search list that would qualify as reputable to back up the fact that the quote is genuine.
    Your phrasing in the last comment is also interesting:

    he helps round out the niches of religion into a wider human understanding that must then welcome science and technology as the newest beliefs in the old frontier.

    This is what I find scary about these sort of people – fact based science is reduced to a “belief” so that supernatural “cures” can be peddled for whatever ails you.

  10. urbanspaceman —
    Thanks for those links. It’s always a challenge to know what is and isn’t a scholarly resource. The dead link is what I would use as a primary resource — if it were alive!
    Newspapers, .EDUs and other media-type sites are generally reliable. The test we use is if there’s a staff and if there’s an editorial chain behind the source. People who are paid to create content usually have an editor and some sort of required vetting process.
    The Northwestern link is unreliable as well. It not a Northwestern University website. It doesn’t run on their .edu servers and the name is registered to “Andrew Lehman Design” and not Northwestern.
    The piece of the master’s thesis isn’t something I’d quote, either, because it appears on a private website with a public interest in selling you stuff from its main page.
    I appreciate and understand the point you’re trying to make with the quote — I would just like to see it in a scholarly context that others reading this can test and check on their own to make up their own minds on the matter.
    The only way to pull in those who require belief in order to consider science and technology is to use a vocabulary and context that they know and understand — even if the meaning will deepen and may even change upon further examination.
    The quantum quote you partially quoted didn’t make sense out of context, but with a fuller rendering of the “quantum-ness” of his idea, the application of the foreign to the familiar was at least fresh and engaging.

  11. urbanspaceman —
    It wasn’t the content of the links that auto-moderated your comment, but rather the number of them. I had lowered the limit from 7 to 3 link during a comments attack we sustained a while back and I forgot to move it back up to 7. I have now.

  12. Perhaps my quote is a corruption of this one found on the site:

    My non-violence does not admit of running away from danger and leaving dear ones unprotected. Between violence and cowardly flight, I can only prefer violence to cowardice. I can no more preach non-violence to a coward than I can tempt a blind man to enjoy healthy scenes.

    I am curious now. My original search was prompted by a remembered passage from Hitchen’s book, although I have seen references other places too. I will look into this further when I have the chance but right now I am heading out to an evening class so it will likely be tomorrow…
    (Incedentally, you should know my intent was not to denigrate Ghandi in any way, merely to point out that the myth does not always match the man).
    //Mike

  13. urbanspaceman —
    Love the BBC! They’re a fine and excellent organization and their research is impeccable compared to their USA counterparts.
    I sort of love that Ghandi quote because it lives in the real, grey, world we inhabit — if pressed… and one is faced with cowardice on either side, then violence may be necessary. If, however, in there is an absence of cowardice, then one must protest peacefully and non-violently. I like the antithetical linking of cowardice and violence to provide a dangerous reality.
    Have fun in class! This was a lively and important discussion and I thank you for thinking out loud with us!

  14. Thanks for the BBC clarification, urbanspaceman. Is there a list of all the BBC sites and what content they hold?
    I’m always thrilled to see a new BBC site that is so rich in content and it would be great to have a “BBC portal” or something to dig into all of them from a single source page.

  15. Wow! I feel like I’m stepping into a mine field here, but here goes anyway…
    I agree with urbanspaceman’s premise that there are a lot of dangerous charlatans out there, masquerading as “saviors”, making a good amount of money. Whether DC is one or not, I don’t know. All I know is how I feel when I read or listen to his work. I feel peaceful and inspired. That is worth a lot to me. And yes, maybe it is sad that I need that from external sources. It is my belief that we should be able to get there on our own. But if I need a little help with that on the way, then so be it.
    What is very amusing to me however is, the sole reliance on “fact” and “science”. One would think that these are solid and can be totally relied upon. And I can understand why this comfort would afford a level of security. But in reality, even “fact” and “science” can, and has been in the past, subjective and even incorrect. One such example…once upon a time, it was “fact” and “science” that the earth was flat. And there are many such examples available for a quick bit of research.
    It is my sincere belief that all spirituality is, is unmeasurable, unquantifiable natural phenomena, that one day, with more advanced science practices, we will be able to fully explain and understand.
    David, thanks for a wonderful book review. It is heartening to see such a subjective topic explored from an objective viewpoint.

  16. I also have that mine field feeling, minus the numbers and flags of the game classic. ๐Ÿ™‚
    All I can say is that if you’re worried about anyone only writing to make a few bucks and don’t want to give any of your own, the beautiful thing called the local library should be of help! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. natzgal —
    Thanks for your comment and I’m sure urbanspaceman will be here when he can to answer your vital and interesting thoughts. This topic is right up his alley.
    I will say this about science and technology and that — for True Believers like me — we understand and accept that facts change, but truths are forever. Newton may not have understood all the facts of gravity when he “discovered” it — but the truth of the notion of what gravity “is” is unchanged and we are the ones who discover its wrappings and meanings and we add to the layers of facts that may even contradict previous findings or thwart future theories. Science demands curiosity and questioning as part of its path to fact-finding and truth.
    Religious believers, however, are required to believe initially and then remain silent. There are no questions or wonderings beyond the basic facts and those facts must never change.
    That said, I enjoy Deepak Chopra just for the reasons you mention. He comes across to me as genuine and open-minded. He is quite the opposite of say, a Dinesh D’Souza-type, who are punishing and rather cruel in their hard belief in a mandatory “one size fits all” religiosity. I have always had the feeling from Deepak that he is on a personal journey of discovery and he is forever checking and balancing what he believes against what he knows and what he hopes to discover.

  18. Jump right in, Gordon, no one here will attack you for calling out your thoughts on the matter one way or the other!
    I certainly don’t begrudge Deepak his fame or fortune. I think he’s earned it the honest way by sharing what he knows — and if people want to pay to see what he has to say… I think that’s great. He doesn’t demand adoration or require subservience. You’re always free to go your own way.

  19. Religious believers, however, are required to believe initially and then remain silent. There are no questions or wonderings beyond the basic facts and those facts must never change.

    Urbjew here to make a remark! ๐Ÿ™‚ The entire basis of Orthodox Judaism in the last couple of thousand years has been all about questions and wondering and finding the truth. Everything is based on learning the law and finding out the meaning and constantly asking why something is the case or something is not the case. ๐Ÿ™‚ That being the case, I think I will add this book to my holding list at the library as I like a good read!

  20. Gordon —
    That’s a good comment! Here are the questions you create:
    1. Will the Jews ever believe Jesus is Our Savior and that he will resurrect and Live Again to Save us in The Last Days? Is it *possible* that He is the Savior and the Son of God under Jewish law?
    2. Can you mix meat and milk and still remain an Observant Jew? If not, why not? Is there any wiggle room in that law?
    3. Is the Torah fallible? If yes, please provide examples of the Torah being wrong and then corrected when more information was made available.

  21. 1.It is absolutely impossible. There are hundreds of reasons why and it has been discussed by ‘the people’ for the last two thousand years. ๐Ÿ™‚ One reason is that our Moshiach will herald the building of a holy temple which will be indestructible. JC lived during the time of the second temple and was around when it was destroyed! That’s just one. ๐Ÿ™‚
    2.There actually is wiggle room in just about every law. For example, if my life were in danger in some way – the only life saving medicine had a combination of meat and milk – it would not only be allowed but required for me to take that medicine.
    3.It is not the Torah that is fallible but our very limited understanding of it. ๐Ÿ™‚ For example, people say that there is something wrong in saying “an eye for an eye” and retort that “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. That is so if you only understand it literally – which our sages never did. With our beautiful oral tradition that comes straight from Sinai, “an eye for an eye” means that the heavenly court would want to take the other person’s eye out but instead on earth we penalize them monetarily for the value of the eye. Just for example.
    4.What could I do with this awesome web site? ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. David,

    Religious believers, however, are required to believe initially and then remain silent. There are no questions or wonderings beyond the basic facts and those facts must never change.

    For this very reason, I have found it useful to differentiate between religion and spirituality. One need not be religious to be spiritual. One would hope that someone religious is also spiritual but I’ve seen many cases where that is not the case. Religion is about churches, buildings, politics, community, laws, structure and dogma. Spirituality is about a relationship with the divine, whomever or whatever that may be. I think a lot of people are so put off by religion that they loose any connection with divinity. They don’t realize that they are not one and the same thing.

  23. David
    The BBC portal is simply http://www.bbc.co.uk/
    You can see the links to the various different sites down the left and work your way from there.
    Natzgal: Re. your fact and science comment.
    The current state of science is fluid, and all good scientists accept this. This fact means that the latest research could be overturned at any minute.
    Most scientific facts, of course, can either be proven by now, or have a great deal of observational evidence to back them up.
    (David sums this up well with his gravity example – something we still do not fully understand, but which Newton provided a remarkably accurate model for).
    And that is the difference between science and “spiritual” studies. The defence that spirituality must be taken on faith is alarmingly weak and I find it constantly surprising that intelligent people cite it.
    I do believe that we will be able to measure “spiritual” experiences one day as you suggest (at least those that are not fabricated by people out for a fast buck). I think when that happpens we will find that all these experiences are purely internal.
    In fact we are some way towards proving that already with advances in neurscience over the last few years.
    Gordon: Judaism allows questions, but only within certain parameters. Once you get outside those parameters you either accept the answers and reject the religion or creep back into the “safe” area where questions cannot shatter faith. This isn’t unique to Judaism and applies to pretty much all religions to a greater or lesser degree.
    Natzgal again: Please clarify your definition of divinity outside of a religious concept. This is an argument I have heard many times before and have yet to receive a satisfactory answer.
    It seems to me that the divinity you mention is purely internal and “divinity

  24. Drat, hit return too early … to continue:
    … and “divinity” is just the name you choose to give it. We could call it Fred for all the difference it would make and you would remain the same person.
    Kathakali: Shame on you, you cited wikipedia ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Cheers
    Mike

  25. Incidentally, that BBC quote was a different one. I think I have verified the original quote from an acceptable source:
    Google books
    Search for violence and it’s the second result, in the preface.
    Mark Jeurgensmeyer seems to be a respectable academic, with a number of published works if you search on Amazon (or google books again).
    He clarifies the quote, in his own words, with:

    …not because he welcomed bloodshed, but because he favoured engagement. He had little respect for passivity, and even less for moral weakness.

    It’s a little irrelevant now as the discussion has moved on, but I wanted to at least show the quote was valid ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. natzgal!
    I’m not sure you can cleave divinity/religion/spirituality/soul because they all rely upon each other for their fulfillment and definition.
    In every sense — and definition — I can find and think of, “spirituality” requires a divine covenant and the essence of a soul. A soul is a religious tenet, right?

  27. urbanspaceman —
    I love the BBC website! It’s so rich. I just found an article on their Sports page discussing a ban on “sledging” that directly relates to Katha’s cricket article.
    Oh, and yes, Katha knows to NEVER QUOTE WIKIPEDIA! :mrgreen:

  28. I guess the book is ok for those who are not interested in who Jesus really was, or who He said he was. Entertaining fantasy for those who want another kind of elusive spirituality. If you want to know the REAL Jesus, the only one that ever existed, then read the Bible. Deepak really has no clue who Jesus is. God will never be wonder woman.
    marianne

  29. Hi Marianne —
    Can you provide us with the Bible passage where Gods explains he takes the male form because people relate to it better?
    I ask because we have an international readership and some of them like to read on their own to discover meaning and importance away from the comments stream.

  30. That was just my explanation. The only evidence comes from the pronouns used.
    If you look all through scripture, “He” and “His” is constantly used by the prophets when referring to God. Since the prophets are said to be under God’s inspiration, what they write has to be accurate or God would have them change it.
    When God speaks, however, the word “I” or “My” is used. Interestingly, in Genesis, the word “WE” is used in the creation story. Some interpret this to mean God was speaking to his angels in heaven ( Jewish view), or that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were being referenced ( Christian view), or that the royal “plural” was being used to demonstrate authority and grandeur ( general middle eastern practice).
    thank you
    marianne

  31. OOps…I forgot something…..when Jesus was here, he kept referring to the “Father” in heaven. That would give a male impression. But Jesus also explained that God was spirit, not a physical gender. The Father concept was really meant to convey a parental impression, one who created us, and therefore we were as spiritual children of the creator.
    thanks
    marianne

  32. As I guess you have concluded, I hold the Christian view. But I hope that my view is understood as a little untraditional, but still biblical. I believe that there is only one God, who we call the Father, the Creator of all things. From conversations I have had with Hindus, who believe in more than one, I find that even they will imagine a Most High being over all their other gods.
    For someone to really fill the definition of God, they have to be more powerful than anything or anyone else imagined. Otherwise, he/she is not powerful enough to be qualified to be god. That is, logically, one supreme being has to fit in somewhere in the person’s theology. I wonder sometimes about the multiple god approach, where there seems to be a top god over all of them. In the Bible, there are descriptions of angels coming to earth, to minister to man, on God’s behalf. I wonder if somehow these supernatural beings were conceived as little gods by mankind and turned into the various religions that hold such a view.
    In my spirit, I see only one God, who is the Father in heaven. We are spiritual extensions of him as His creation, if we accept him as Father. As created spiritual beings, we are subordinate to the Father.
    When Jesus came, he said he was the son of God, or son of the Father in heaven. This caused some confusion and ended in his rejection by some, because the Jews had been taught that there was only one God, and if he was the son of God, then there were 2 gods. This is not what he meant.
    All things started with the Father. He created angels and other heavenly beings. One was Jesus and another was known as the holy spirit. Different heavenly beings had different qualities. Both Jesus and the holy spirit were granted divine natures, as they would be representing the Father, and acting on his behalf, in a unique way on earth in the times to come. Their assignments were much more powerful than those of the angels, and so more authority was needed. Jesus continually referred to his Father as greater than he was. He never claimed to be God, as only His Father was god. He was just the spirit son of the Father. The holy spirit was described as “the helper.” Jesus was a spiritual son of the Father, long before we would be also chosen as spiritual sons and daughters. Jesus already had this nature before he came to earth. We, in contrast, are first born as physical creatures. We become spiritual children when we submit to, and acknowledge God as our Father. It is just a different plan for us, as contrasted to the plan the Father has for the heavenly beings.
    When we finally lose our physical bodies, and pass on to the next life, we will be accepted as children of god in heaven. Because of this relationship, we will not be equal to the Father in power or authority, but we will have the divine nature that the Father has now, as He will share this with us for our faithfulness and love. The divine nature will be shared with us, because of the love relationship between the Father and us, as in any parent-child relationship.
    Does this make sense?
    thank you for asking.
    marianne

  33. I first see myself as a child of God, who puts Him first in my life. I cannot control the religious path of a nation, or the world, since neither can be depended upon, to be what it says it is.
    America is currently mostly Christian, but there is a falling away, in the sense that it is the people that are failing God, by going off in their own direction. It is not because He has somehow failed us.
    Since America is in the world, I guess I am a member of that community as well.
    There is a difference between a religion and a relationship with God. A religion is man’s idea of who God is, and has rules, and then stops short of intimacy. A relationship does not need a definition because you have “met” God in some way, and there is an intimacy there that religion lacks. Once you have the personal intimacy, then rules are not needed, because you will do everything possible to value and honor the relationship.
    In this sense, you do not have to be a member of a nation or the world to feel like you belong here in life. The intimacy and personal quality of the relationship makes you feel at home, no matter where you are.

  34. thank you. david
    well, obviously, if I cherish and adhere so strongly to faith in Yahweh, and his son Jesus, I will obviously feel that anything else is not ok, or equal to this. But this is a positive reaction, not negative. It is a position of faith.
    I am not going to stand between someone and their faith and view of god. It is positive that they believe in god, and they have values that result of this belief. If they have a different definition, I will not see that as equivalent to mine, or as correct. But it is not my commission to discourage others in their views, but to present what I have, so they can consider what I say.
    God made us with free will. It has to be God that draws each person into truth, his truth. If god can use me, then that pleases me, but any private decision of a person to accept Jesus as savior, and son of Yahweh, the Father God, is to the glory of God. I am just a clay vessel in His hands.
    When you say the middle east, you are obviously referring to mainly Islam and Judaism. The eastern religions are also different from mine.
    Judaism is the root of biblical Christianity, so that has the most similarity to mine. Jews and Christians both acknowledge Yahweh, but disagree on who the messiah is, or will be. They do agree that the messiah will be Jewish.
    Islam and Christianity have less in common. The “one god” they have does not fit the same description and personality of the “one god” that we have. They do compare well on a few things, since they believe in some of the bible.
    So what is ok and not ok is really up to God, not me. I am just his child. But as for me, my task is to remain faithful to what I believe, because I have been really blessed because of my faith. I have joys and experiences I would not trade in for another faith.
    It is my basic position however, that the others who do not have the same god will not have the eternal assurance that I have. Because of this, I hope and pray that they will someday see what I see , and understand what I understand, and that (my) God reveals himself to them, so they can have that assurance too.
    thanks,
    marianne

  35. Hi Marianne —
    You have a handle on what can be a difficult topic for many to advance: “My God is Better than Your God” — and it is a concern as the world gets smaller and religious radicalism the world over becomes more determined to be “righter” in their God than in the God of their blood rivals.

  36. Thank you for your kindness. The real God is a gentleman, and will not bully anyone into believing in Him. He made us as free will agents to choose Him out of love, not force. Life is a choice, even when circumstances seem out of our control.