Belief Beyond Boundaries
Jesus refers to the "Kingdom of Heaven" or "Kingdom of God" frequently in the gospels. Matthew 6:33 says "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." In the Lord's prayer, Jesus prays to the Father, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." In the gospel of Luke, Jesus says, "The Kingdom of God does not come with observation, nor will they say 'See here' or See there!' For indeed, the Kingdom of God is within you."
What exactly is the Kingdom anyway? It is described in many ways by Jesus, but through research, what it really comes down to is a paradigm or way of thinking. Some call it Christ Consciousness. I argue that, in addition, it is actually a Declaration of Independence for Christians. Through the 8 Degrees of Transformation, I attempt to uncover a logical and easy-to-follow system that helps us understand the individual steps we can take to better reach the Kingdom or Christ consciousness. It is designed much like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in that you first need to take care of your basic needs and following it up with greater degrees of spirituality. As was discussed in an earlier blog post, let's recap the 8 Degrees here:
1. Self Reflection-Discovering your own mental, physical, and health limitations.
2. Separations of Self - Overcoming these limitations through self discipline.
3. Wellness - Taking care of your temple and creating a healthy lifestyle.
4. Creativity/Skill - Using your talents to serve the Kingdom.
5. Volunteering/Generosity - Giving of yourself to help others.
6. Conduct - Putting on the Kingdom robes by conducting yourself in a manner that brings honor to the Kingdom.
7. Divine Action - Prayer, Meditation and reaching out to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
8. Divine Response - Watching and discerning your visions, dreams, events, and thoughts to understand the messages being revealed to you by the Holy Spirit.
For more detail on this, check out the "The Process of Transformation" here.
I see many Christians divided today. Through our varying beliefs, we have been led into fear believing one way will ensure our ability to reach Heaven over another. Jesus makes it very clear what we need to do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven through His teachings. If we simply pull the curtain back on religious dogma, traditions, and belief systems, you will find a very clear path one can take to finding happiness and spirituality in this world right here and now. It is the only treasure that follows you after you leave this life.
The truth is, we are entering into a new chapter of the planet. It is clear major changes are happening in the world around us from major famines, calamities, stalled weather patterns, and the fallout it creates in the economies around the globe. In the coming times, it will be vital that Christians come together into this new Kingdom both mentally and physically. Jesus literally gives us the keys that open the door, but we must all step through that doorway together. Gone must be the days of Christians working against each other. We must begin to help, assist, and organize as one mind if we are to bring the Kingdom to earth in all its glory as the "bride" of Christ.
Unfortunately, not all Christians have been taught yet how to enter into the Kingdom of God. However, through our generosity, cohesiveness, and support of each other, we can shine our light to others and attract new members into our Kingdom. Regardless of the slight differences in our belief systems, I believe if we can come together under a set of common goals, that common ground will enable us to shine brighter than the darkness created by our small, but significant divisions.
What will the future of Christianity look like? I believe it will look like a cohesive network of like-minded, conscious, light-workers working toward solving the world's problems by putting into action the covenants given to us by God in the Bible through the cohesive consciousness Jesus has taught us. We must be willing to expand beyond the walls of churches and begin to establish vast communities for Christ that are ready to take head on any challenges that effect the moral and physical well being of its members. After all, the imperative of every Christian should be to bring the Kingdom home.
Today, we are at a precipice. People are now sensing a transformative energy present in the world brought on by the events that have occurred over the last several years such as the pandemic, relentless greed by corporations, employee burnout, war, famine, and global warming. I sense this energy as well. I believe now is the time to begin the process of uniting all Christians under the flag of Christ. Through coordinated social systems that assist with healthcare, mental illness, food scarcity solutions, business development, homelessness and community transformation, it is time to look to a new system that seeks first the Kingdom of God. As Christians we will no longer limit our involvement just to church activities, but begin to reach into our communities under a united front. Through the 8 Degrees of Transformation and a heavy emphasis in serving the community, the key to the door is in your hand. Will you walk through with me?