Something to ponder: How is your peripheral vision, and with respect to visual trajectory - in which direction is your vision pointed, upward or downward? Are you still seeing things through a glass darkly? God has highly magnified X-ray vision!
Rev. C. Solomon
It was not the way that I saw it all - when I looked at it again through God's eyes: Go back and look at your spouse, your children, your siblings, your parents, your boss, your neighbor(s), your upbringing, your co-workers, the source of the argument, the marriage proposal, the separation, the
pending or planned divorce, the unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, the
sexual and verbal assault, the abortion(s), your abandonment, your
abandoning of the ones who you knew were in fact nonredeemable;
the fact that you are often right and others are wrong, the
pastor, the lay leader, the laymen, your crimes, your
addictions, habits and dependencies; those insurmountable
odds and the accompanying circumstances, the debilitating
sickness, the bankruptcy, the giants in your life, that
you got what you had not bargained or planned for,
your life, the lives of others - particularly the
one that you love or hate or distance yourself
from, those that you judged of being
guilty and undeserving of mercy or redemption,
that you were not accepted at Harvard, Yale
or Stanford, those who simply do not
understand as you do, the promotion
or the raise that you did
or did not get, that
you did not get
the MD, DD or
And How About Your nemesis, the failures or successes of others as well as your own perceived successes and failures, your future, your past,
your interpretation of the scriptures, the intractable
position that you took, other people, other cultures,
the handicapped, the weight of others that you carry and the
afflicted that you are responsible for; your
cultural-political viewpoint, your
the gay and the straight,
your enemies and most
important where you
actually stand in
God, not in
your church, mosque or synagogue?
Go back and look at the same individual, occurrence or event through
the merciful and accurate eyes, that God uses to look at you!
When I kneeled down to pray this morning, I realized that somewhere a Muslim, a Hindu, a Tibetan monk, a Catholic, others and a Jew, were also kneeling and that they were praying too!
Rev. C. Solomon
I can recall when I was a student at a non-parochial junior high school in the mid-west, the teacher gave us a topic to write about in his class. The subject: What Is Wrong With the World?
I pondered the subject for a while, and then I began to write my essay. My position in response to his query was, it would depend upon one's perspective. For example two or more individuals can witness the same event or occurrence simultaneously, and still come away with different conclusions with regard to what just took place.
To my surprise and pleasure, my paper was one of the favorites of the teacher. He was amazed at my insight given that I was so young. I added that perhaps what is going on in a world that is comprised of so many different people, cultures and things, that what one might consider to be chaotic - might be natural and not chaotic after all - under the circumstances. In other words, perhaps there wasn't anything wrong with the world, for what we witness in our world would be natural under the circumstances. Or, to borrow from today's jargon or local street patois, the world simply 'is what it is', for after all this isn't heaven is it?
Would there be any conflict, for example, in a perfect world that is made up of disparate individuals, animals, or spirits? I suspect that the answer would be yes. I suppose that the difference in a perfect world, would have to do with the manner in which conflict would be handled. As an absolute, we have been taught in our culture that there aren't any two entities, unless they are cloned, that are exactly alike. Based upon that supposition, one could presuppose that conflict would be inevitable!
What usually creates conflicts? The answer, is difference! Whether it be differences in color, behavior, attitude, emotion or style, humans and animal often engage in conflict over differences.
In a perfect world I suppose, one would focus upon and respect differences - but still employ healthy conflict resolution in order to resolve or simply to respect differences. Dr. C. Eric Lincoln, Professor and Theologian, refers to 'a consciousness of kind', that we all have, which can be misconstrued as prejudice. Like animals, human beings and other entities are drawn to and comfortable with others that are like them in form, attitude or behavior.
Similar to King David who went through a bad experience and behaved immorally on more than one occasion, he learned when confronted by a higher power that his behavior was not only immoral, it was the opposite of God-like behavior. I have often experienced the same. Doctor Stanley, a famous television minister from Atlanta, once said: at best most of us are still Roman 7 Christians. Dr. Stanley referring to the passage in Romans 7, where Paul so eloquently explained that he still found conflict within himself - and at times the thing that he intended to do, he failed to do - and on the other hand that which he proclaimed that he would never do again, that is exactly what he did!
Based on spiritual and moral chastisement and the implications thereof, King David set out to guide his subjects in the right way by using divine-sight, just as the King of Kings used sight to instruct David in the manner that our thoughts, actions and behaviors ought to follow. Which all to often is the road less traveled. I have tried on more than one occasion in my life to give myself to understand, and to see, clearly, what is wrong and what is wrong. And I have found out about myself, that sometimes and with the best of intentions I cannot see the answer.
Then I turn to divine sight and I am always amazed by this. Often when I am seeking an answer, I believe that I have stumbled on the solutions, either solution A or solution, God comes back with something completely different, something that I had not given even remote consideration. I will call it solution C. Man, I couldn't even conceive of solution C, despite all of my human ingenuity, knowledge and cogitations!
Some of us still have not learned how to maximize our potentials and make full use of the world that we live in at this very house. I often refer to scientists in my writings, some I have met and grew to respect. There are many kinds of scientific disciplines. It is not just those who are engaged in the material sciences that I admire, but those who are engaged in the social sciences and other disciplines that I also admire. Why? Because customarily they are engaged in the pursuit of knowledge, growth and truth. Their desire, oftentimes, is to understand and better things, while other human beings spent their allotted time in more mundane and self-serving tasks and ruminations.
Too many of us are perfectly satisfied with and willing to live in a world of subjective fantasy!
For me God was and is the master scientist, whose transcendent mind and ethereal tastes and proclivities caused him to seek that which is more esoteric - that which is actual, and that which we refer to as real. Too many of us are more worldly focused, to borrow a colloquialism. Many of us are perfectly willing to live in a fantastical paradise, where we are at the center of that Universe and can consume all of the fruit that we want, live in pleasure, pursue the mundane and live within our own mental constructs. And, we are willing to do so by any means necessary!
Hey, I thought you said that the 'world is what it is', which implies that there shouldn't be any consequences? Yes, I wrote that and I won't take it back, at least the first part of it. For indeed, we have disparate people across the matrix who are from cultures - humans who have experienced different acculturation processes and experiences. And even when one is not trying to commit evil, and simply has different point of view, when confronted or involved in a joint task (as simple as driving down the same expressway together) the two can find themselves in conflict. And although I said that the world is what it is, individual human beings are not exempted from being singled out.
God has always singled out individuals, as well as bad behavior. However, God in his mercy, and by utilizing accurate divine-sight viewed not only the infraction but the reason for it - the latter had much to do with how God meted out punishment. God explained that man looks on the outward appearance to determine who is good and bad, or what is good or bad. God also decides what sanctions should be meted out as according to his word, and one's apparent fractious behavior.
Jesus stunned the Pharisees whose legalistic and hardened hearts he upset when he did not go along with their legal shenanigans. He upset them so much in John chapter 8, that not only did they wish to stone a woman who was taken in the act of adultery, they also wanted to stone him. If you will read on to the end of that same chapter, you will discover how some of these apparently religious folks were nothing more than 'natural born killers'.
The woman brought to Jesus was guilty of one of a 8 capitol crimes that were contained in the Mosaic law. If you were a legalist, this was certainly an open and shut case. Hoping to entrap Jesus by getting him to disavow the Mosaic Law failed when these men brought the woman and asked, what say you teacher?
Jesus, peering though the situation and into everyones heart that was present with divine-sight, and seeing the failings and needs of all of those were present - gave the accusers provisional agreement, however, with this one caveat. He told them to go ahead and stone the woman - he knew that she was guilty. However, he added let the one who is guiltless 'among you' throw the first stone, and afterwards the others could follow.
These religious zealots, much like many of the zealots that we have today, were all guilty of sin themselves. Not one of them was worthy, like many of us today are not worthy of casting a stone at someone else. We know of only one who was perfect! And even though he was worthy to cast the stone, he did not cast the stone, instead he forgave her sins and told her not to sin anymore!
Even the Lawgiver Moses, that we give credit for writing the book of Deuteronomy noted that there was a difference between sins of presumption, and unplanned sins. Neither was excusable, for behavior comes out of an uncircumcised heart. However, a harsher sentence was often meted out for a sin that was pre-planned, as opposed to a sin of passion, or another sin that was not pre-meditated. The former knew full well that they were acting against the will of God when the engaged in a sin act.
When preaching from this text, ministers often rightly refer to the absence of the man, apparently married, who was taken in the very act of divine and civil disobedience. Could it have been one of the men who were standing there who participated in the act along with here, and thus the men were so certain that the act had been committed. I know, you would say, but did Pharisees marry? A better question is, did any of the Pharisees have sex with this and other women like her outside of marriage? Even if they were not involved in adultery themselves, they certainly were guilty of judgmental attitudes.
God's sight is keen and accurate, and at the same time it is merciful. God did not come to destroy us, but according to John 3:15,16..., Jesus came to prevent humans from perishing, and intend he came to bring to us and extend to us eternal life. Factually, if he did not look past (not excuse) the past, and see the need, each and every one of us would perish in this life, and from the one that is to come!
American missionaries are running into problems, when they minister in areas where polygamy is still practiced. The missionaries and preachers teaching from the Christian Bible, teach the chiefs and others that polygamy is a sin. Many of these same tribal chiefs ask, well am I supposed to do, dispatch my wife and children who have lived with me for years? And the wives ask, and what shall I do, who will take care of us? Or, should I go and commit adultery with another, given that I am already married?
This is an excellent example of why we should not be so judgmental, instead, we should learn to see things, and find solutions for problems by employing God-sight. Many of us are quick to pull the trigger on others based upon our limited perceptions, and understanding of things. Was the woman taken in adultery guilty of a legal crime as well as a sin? Apparently she was for Jesus told her to go her way, after her accusers had departed, but not to sin anymore! Too easy, the law and order legalists even of today would say. But isn't that our objective, just as Jesus would say, to save that which was lost and to help people to recover from their sins?
I am concerned about the hatred and antipathy that I witness that is coming from Christians today, the one that is being leveled against homosexuals. Now if I write that, some will say that he must be a homosexual himself, or a homosexual sympathizer. Now where have I heard this before. In early American history, anyone who spoke up and said that racism was wrong, was branded as a 'negro-lover'.
No, in the event that you are wondering about the Rev, I am still fully heterosexual. However, I have often witnessed that same spirit of hatred being covered over and used to justify their own inbredded hatred of other individuals - particularly those individuals and groups who for one reason or another they harbor ill-will or prejudice against.
The prophet wrote that the heart is desperately wicked: and he asked, who can know it? Using Godly senses, I try to view individuals from a divine perspective. And from a divine perspective, mercy colors each and every observance, faltering or failings of men and women. From the abundance of the dinted dark heart, comes forth merciless, harsh judgment and the lack of concern about the individual that God created. The heart is the source that the Bible speaks about, from which comes all of the issues of life.
And much like the eunuchs referred to in scripture, some were born that way, some were made that way and others chose to be that way. On the same token, there are scores of individuals who are much like the eunuchs of scripture. In other words, some are born that way (inter-sex individuals), some were made that way (by choice or through sexual abuse), and others simply have chosen to be a certain way!
I am amazed at the individuals, even the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, who is considered one of the fathers of the modern day 'Conservative Movement', who changed his whole attitude about homosexuality. What changed the late senators mind? He changed when his grandson (that he loved), turned out to be homosexual.
And consider our Vice President Dick Cheney, a man who most Moral Majority and Christian Right Christians voted for to be a heart-beat away from the Presidency. The Vice President loves his homosexual daughter, otherwise, he would be as hard on homosexuality as he is on everything else. His position has been of late that states should decide whether or not 'same sex marriages should be sanctioned'. What do you suppose changed the hearts of these two dinosaurs?The answer is simple, LOVE CHANGED THEIR HEARTS.
It was not the love for aberrant behavior that they so much loved, it was the love for the individuals that colored their hearts and changed their opinions. And the scriptures read as follows: Love hides a multitude of faults. Neither of these men seemed to harbor the same kind of love for others that resulted similarly in patience, understanding, kindness or forbearance!
What will change your heart enough so that you can show mercy to individuals - not just homosexuals, but other individuals who do not see things the same way that you do? And how about those who do not look or behave like you, or those who do not go to your church or are not members of your your political party? How about those individuals who have failed, perhaps on more than one occasion? The answer is simple, what is missing in your heart for them is 'agape love'! God views everything through the prism of a loving eye, and God judges all things from a loving heart? Does God chasten? According to scripture, God even chastens those that he loves - however, his system of jurisprudence has its basis in love!
Each one of us, if we will admit it, knows that some chastenings and applications of the Law do not arise out of love. The rule of law is often applied according to bias, duplicity, hate, pride, fear and anger. The latter being responsible for some in and outside of the culture receiving harsher punishment, when many times they have engaged in the same behaviors as some who have received leniency or forgiveness altogether,for committing the same acts!
I know of a lot of 'unloving', logical, legalistic and self-righteous religious people. And my determinations have come from Divine-sight, not Solomon sight. Too many believers are like Simon who craved spiritual power to the extent that he was willing to purchase it. However, he wanted it for the wrong reason. -We are witnessing the same lust for spiritual power with religious and individuals within our culture, who want it only to further their own political and legalistic aims. Where is the love of God in that? How do you see men and women today? Are they no more than trees walking". If so, you are in need of a second touch. And once you have it, you will see men, animals and things in the appreciable way that God does!
Every behavior ought to be subjected to divine scrutiny and put through God's filtering process. Your good act or behavior, may turn out to be inadvisable or poorly thought of within God's lexicon. Your workaholic attitude might be viewed as nothing more than a stronghold from God's point of view. Some workaholics use work, in order to avoid their social and familial responsibilities. What you view as love, may be nothing more than manipulation from God's point of view.
Your giving in church might be done for self-serving reasons. For even when we do things in the manner which appears to be the right way, our motives can still be skewed. And remember that God judges the heart, and often the intent, as opposed to its outward appearance is what matters to God!
So what's wrong with a world that is not tempered by God-sight? Those entities, mostly human, within it - can never fully appreciate or properly utilize it. Why? Because they they do not understand its purpose, or how it can benefit them beyond their self-serving lusts. Too many of us are guided by other forces that do not understand or appreciate it either. I encourage you to practice, each and every day getting up and putting on your divine lenses. And I assure that every experience that you encounter will differ from what you experienced the day before!
The Rev even prays in a similar manner. I will say to God: with the best of my ability this is what I see, however, God, I want to know what do you have to say, how do you see it, and therefore what should my reaction be to anything that I come in contact with this day?
Peace & Grace
Rev. C. Solomon
A good book to read regarding heaven on earth:
God's Kingdom and the Utopian Error: Discerning the Biblical Kingdom
of God from Its Political Counterfeits
Author: Pastor B.J. Byerhaus