There is never just my answer


Love is always the answer. There is no us or them.

And then:
> Julia: Gentle Breeze: http://reflectionsduringlent.wordpress.com/
and
> Denine: Descerning The Heart of God: http://de9k.wordpress.com/
both added different comments which our Father jiggled under my nose like a pair of smelly socks:

”So how do these fit “there is no us or them” young Paul, how do you find “love is always the answer” here?”

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Sock One: Denine
“Paul I had heard this a few years back. It intrigued me so much I looked up the Marianne Williamson.** I am not sure what she believes exactly. They call her a “new age spiritualist” which kind of scared me. Just saying.” https://justmebeingcurious.com/2014/11/01/think-about-this/

(**http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marianne_Williamson
I have pasted the Wikipedia link rather than ‘Marianne on Marianne’)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Sock Two: Julia
“It is strange that you should write about Judas, although perhaps not that strange. We are all connected. I had been having a conversation with Don (and others) about Judas on Don’s post: A New Command.** Although we had an interesting discussion with profound points raised I am still perplexed as to the answer. (**Don Merrit: A New Command – http://lifereference.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/a-new-command/)

I hope you won’t mind my asking it again:
“When I was reading my poem Resurrection to a group of people who are largely secular but have knowledge of the Scriptures, we got talking about the Easter story. I was amazed that the majority expressed more sympathy for Judas than for Jesus. It is as if Judas was a pawn in God’s plans and had no choice. I used to have more sympathy for Judas than I do now. I think he did have a choice. What have we done with the Christian message to evoke this response? Have you any ideas? it still puzzles me?”

I know that one person has said to me that it is because we can see ourselves in Judas which perhaps relates to your post here. Another idea I had is that Judas has had a makeover in Jesus Christ Superstar. The musical is narrated from his point of view and he is almost seen as an honest bloke who doesn’t quite “get” Jesus. I welcome your thoughts on the question.” https://justmebeingcurious.com/2014/10/28/those-last-four-words/
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Because with both comments I had an immediate nose wrinkling reaction: “new age spiritualist”? Is that not the devil at work again? A wolf in sheep’s clothing? And then “what have we done with the Christian message”? Mamma-mia! I just tap out a few words – Him and me doing a little rocking and rolling. Am I jointly and severally “responsible” for the Christian message?

And the more He wafted this pair of socks, the more it seemed to be His perfect timing (what’s new there then?). Because He has had me circling the words “us and them” for a while now. And now He is asking “what does this ‘there is no us and them’ actually look like, Paul?”

And then He followed that up with a suggestion:

That this church is the most wonderful place to share and learn – a safe place of love and respect – where all of us are connected. And if that is true, then each of us and our thoughts are as important. And He suggested an invitation in the same vein:

Extended comments (long or short) which are posts in their own right, from all who read this/check out the links, and who are then guided to contribute. Each a post of its own right (with a link back to your blog). Each an expression of connection and affection. Each added as they arrive. Each in His time not mine (email to me – and copied/pasted here without edits/changes: paulmandy@idecide.freeserve.co.uk).

I have no idea if this will “work” (whatever that means). Yet He is tugging my sleeve. Inviting me to “give it a go”. Because if there really is no “us and them” – then why should there be “my blog”? And there is never just my answer – there are many of His answers through each of us.

>>> I have already asked Denine and Julia if they agree to this “experiment” – and both confirmed they are.

Because the verses He brought with Him this morning seem to fit perfectly …

At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:25-30

I am curious!

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18 thoughts on “There is never just my answer

  1. Oh my, Paul… “us and them” quite the topic! I can’t pop off an email right now… and I’m not even sure it’s a good idea for me write one, because this is one time when it isn’t “simple”. 🙂
    Theologically speaking, and I know you’re really into that stuff :), there really IS “us and them” and at the same time there is no “us and them” for it’s a matter of how you define the terms.

    See? Clear as mud!

  2. Us and them. What separates us? I believe it is our focus. We are US in Him- for our focus on Him unites us. Versus the focus of self which separates us.

    The “WE Are” instead of we are in Him. Seems a subtle difference, but it makes all the difference.
    .
    Judas sin opposed to Peter’s. Judas in himself he is a sinner. Peter’s sin in Christ was forgiven.

    There is unity in the faith. We are inclusive they are exclusive. Those that rejected the faith have chosen to separate themselves from the faith for the sake of ” I “. They don’t want us, They don’t want Him.
    Pharisees means Separatists.
    Denine’s two cents. Love and Blessings!!

    • Denine – I am finding you and Julia have stirred some very deep introspection. The thoughts and thinking are getting ever deeper.

      Because as I was reading your comment, the image of someone terrified of the water came to mind.

      Except they drink water, they wash in water, they clean their clothes in water, and they may even take a ferry across the water from time to time. It is being immersed in water as in swimming (or not) they are actually terrified of – and there are different variations even of that.

      They and water are inseparable always. They are not separate. Their body is @ 80% water.

      If this makes any sense at all – I think I am seeing Marianne using water in one way, and me using it another. Yet it is still water we are discussing. I see Judas enmeshed in the same thing I am – and then see myself some years ago and being as “terrified of water” as maybe he was then.

      I didn’t want my Lord then. Most of us didn’t want Him at some point. So what is there be scared of – what is there is to separate us? Because I was that outsider for so many years.

      (He knows me (!!) and this is how He and I get to a new place together) 🙂

      • Love revelation! Him teaching us, us growing, learning, and getting closer to Him. Your water reference remind me of a old post about a dream He had given me. I just posted it. There is water and then there is Living water, also comes to mind. Thanks Paul. It is awesome what God does when we all come together.

      • “I could only compare it to, if you were drowning and fighting for air, He would be the breath you take when you hit the surface. Being separated from Him would feel like a constant state of drowning fighting for air with no relief.”

        Awe – and then some!! 🙂

  3. WOW! So much swirling around in my head and heart right now. So I will definitely be sending off an email; count me in. Always in. I will do my best to keep this reply to two cents, as Denine did, but it may spill over to a nickel.

    God is love. Collectively, He sent Jesus to redeem all of creating back to Himself. All of creation. Not just us – all – past, present, future. He decides on whom to grant mercy and compassion.

    We’ve been commanded to love, not to judge. To love God, to love our neighbors, to love our enemies. When we decide that any of these three are “them,” we disobey love. The two most important commands, according to Jesus. (And according to the apostle Paul, love is more important than theological doctrine or Spiritual gifts.)

    Humans are the “us” and “them” dividers, not God. God pursues us even when we don’t want Him. He’s the deciding factor, through His grace and mercy, who is included – not us. And until Christ returns, I think since God created us all, we’re all “us” to Him.

    Sorry – 4 cents?

    • Susan – thank you! I have just “sent myself an email” – a 700+ word email. And then read your comment. Hmmm … maybe my email needs rethinking! 🙂

      Because you have a way with words (and brevity) I love! And I look forwards to your email! (hug))

  4. Hi Paul,
    Thank you for your email invitation. I have thoughts ( a post ) half formed in my head which I hope to send when I have finished my current short series.
    I have read the other comments and I think they are well considered and conjure up beautiful images: God speaking; our focus; being immersed in water; living water; collective Love.
    I think and hope I am on the same lines.

    I agree that it is about relationship. We love a three-in-One God, a God in relationship. I think it goes back to the Fall. The snake managed to separate the woman from the man -split up their relationship- even when they were walking side by side; then together they were seperated from their previous close and safe relationship with God.

    When Judas began to have doubts in Jesus’s mission, he could have gone to Jesus to discuss his concerns with him. Instead he went behind his back to talk to those people in power who were most critical of him. When the Germans invaded Jersey and Guernsey during the second world war (Sorry to mention the war) neighbours snitched against neighbour and as a result some were condemned to death. In a much lesser way, I was betrayed by a Supervisor at work who had a problem with me. She spoke to people in power without explaining in full to me what I had done wrong. Although all is resolved now, the relationship with that person has not been fully restored. I can no longer trust her. I would like to have an open honest relationship with her, the hurt is too deep, and I no longer can. The use of power made it an unequal relationship.

    I think we become “us” and “them” when our relationships become severed in some way. And I think betrayal, and use of power or control, sadly can destroy a relationship, especially if there is self deception, self righteous “I know that I am right”, or self serving, aspects in it. At the moment that’s my take on it. Perhaps biaised due to a personal experience.
    I look forward to hearing other thoughts on the subject.
    Love, Julia

    • Julia – thank you. I am working backwards with the response. My apologies.

      A couple of things you said touched me: “We love a three-in-One God, a God in relationship.” … “And I think betrayal, and use of power or control, sadly can destroy a relationship, …”

      I have often heard that we seek a partner or community from a biological perspective. The safety and reproductive thesis. And whilst I understand that – the need for relationship seems far more to me than simply a herding instinct.

      A God in relationship who is relationship? Which would tend to exclude an us and them, in or out kind of imposition by our wise and loving selves.

  5. Pingback: Us and Them – Don Merritt | Just me being curious

  6. Pingback: Us and Them – Paul Grace | Just me being curious

  7. Pingback: Us and Them – Julia | Just me being curious

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