Religion

A Paradigm of Oneness: Part 10

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Broadly speaking, traditional Christian sects hold at their core the paradigm of separation. Christian-based New Thought religions hold at their core the paradigm of oneness. While there are many points at which these two distinct streams of thought may touch, perhaps even agree, their starting point, their trinity of core values is in complete opposition, a fact that, when understood, makes it easier to agree to disagree.

The parable of the prodigal son provides an excellent model for religious thinking. The young son represents the wayward sinner. The elder son represents the mindset that seeks strict compliance with religious rules. The father extends his love and compassion to both. He goes out to greet his wayward son and he goes out to console the elder son who refuses to join the celebration of his brother’s homecoming. God as love transcends our mistakes and our attempts at winning God’s favor by doing good.

Each person must establish or clarify their own personal religion beginning with a clear statement of their understanding of the nature of God, themselves, and their relationship to God. Each needs to consider how this trinity of core values works in their understanding of prayer, of prosperity and healing, and of all the important aspects of their lives.

When the rich young man came to Jesus asking what he must do to attain eternal life, Jesus said he must sell all he owned, give to the poor, and follow him. He was basically advising the young man to reduce his identity to ground zero, to stop defining himself according to what he had but according to what he was in Truth. This was a paradigm shift the young man was not willing to make. The paradigm by which we operate is our religion and it is up to each of us to determine if it is a productive, spiritually enhancing framework of ideas or one that leaves us wanting and dissatisfied.

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