Thursday, February 2, 2012

God Is No Respecter of Persons : A Universal Truth from the Bible and the Urantia Book !

Though I was born and brought up in a traditional middle class Christian family belonging to the Syrian Christian community concentrated in the Malabar Coast of India in the state of Kerala I never attempted studying the Bible very seriously for most period of my time.

I think I would not stand as an exception in this regard. This might generally be the case with almost every Christian in this world.

This does not mean that I have not read the Bible. I have read from it from here and there many times and have fairly a good idea (that is what I think) about its contents. But I know many in my community who know what is in the Bible much more than me as far as their abilities in memorizing the verses and their abilities in pin-pointing a verse quickly in the Bible is concerned.

I keep marvelling at such abilities of people.

Then there are another type of Bible readers. They keep reading without understanding what is written in it. In reality they are reading their religious holy book as a ritual, the way they have been traditionally instructed to do. This kind of reading is what most followers of other religions also do. They do the reading rituals, from their respective holy books, believing that such reading would invoke the gods and in turn they receive favors from the God or gods. For such readings, it is not even necessary that the person reading the book understand the meaning of the language. He or she should only know just to read the scripts ! The prayer- wheels are just an ingenious  version of this kind of reading !

Then there are religious scholars in all religions. They are called theologians. They are the ones who know the religious books and the meaning of the holy words and are authorized to interpret the meanings of the words and verses of the holy books. There are religious universities and educational institutions all around the world which offer regular and advanced courses in religious studies awarding various kinds of degree certificates.

But there is something common to all these kind of readers of religious books. Deep in their hearts they nurture a feeling that by doing all these they are going to be specially treated by others and by God Himself.

They do it for a special favor, a special status either from those around them or from God.

Getting the favor from those around might become a reality for many.

But what about getting a special favour from God ?

I used to think about this a lot. Then this Bible verse caught my attention :

The Bible stresses that God does not show any partiality or favoritism to any one because of his abilitiy, status, caste, religion, race, color, position, status, knowledge or wealth.

Though this is something well understandable, most people apparently have not fully comprehended the essence of this truth statement of the Bible.

My favorite book, the Urantia Book, uses this phrase liberallay at many places to stress the meaning more comprehensible to those who are interested.

Let me reproduce some of those paragraphs from the Urantia Book where this phrase is used:

"To every spirit being and to every mortal creature in every sphere and on every world of the universe of universes, the Universal Father reveals all of his gracious and divine self that can be discerned or comprehended by such spirit beings and by such mortal creatures. God is no respecter of persons, either spiritual or material. The divine presence which any child of the universe enjoys at any given moment is limited only by the capacity of such a creature to receive and to discern the spirit actualities of the supermaterial world." ( TUB 1:4.6 )

"The Fatherhood of  God and the brotherhood of man present the paradox of the part and the whole on the level of personality.  God loves each individual as an individual child in the heavenly family. Yet God thus loves every individual; God is no respecter of persons, and the universality of his love brings into being a relationship of the whole, the universal brotherhood." ( TUB 12:7.8 )

" Personality is unique, absolutely unique: It is unique in time and space; it is unique in eternity and on Paradise; it is unique when bestowed — there are no duplicates; it is unique during every moment of existence; it is unique in relation to God — he is no respecter of persons, but neither does he add them together, for they are nonaddable — they are associable but nontotalable." (TUB 112:0.12 )

"  One day while resting at lunch, about halfway to Tarentum, Ganid asked Jesus a direct question as to what he thought of India’s caste system. Said Jesus: “Though human beings differ in many ways, the one from another, before God and in the spiritual world all mortals stand on an equal footing. There are only two groups of mortals in the eyes of God : those who desire to do his will and those who do not. As the universe looks upon an inhabited world, it likewise discerns two great classes: those who know God and those who do not. Those who cannot know God are reckoned among the animals of any given realm. Mankind can appropriately be divided into many classes in accordance with differing qualifications, as they may be viewed physically, mentally, socially, vocationally, or morally, but as these different classes of mortals appear before the judgment bar of God , they stand on an equal footing; God is truly no respecter of persons. Although you cannot escape the recognition of differential human abilities and endowments in matters intellectual, social, and moral, you should make no such distinctions in the spiritual brotherhood of men when assembled for worship in the presence of God .” ( TUB 133:0.3 )

(Jesus said ) " My son, you do not comprehend the meaning of adversity or the mission of suffering. Have you not read that masterpiece of Semitic literature — the Scripture story of the afflictions of Job? Do you not recall how this wonderful parable begins with the recital of the material prosperity of the Lord’s servant? You well remember that Job was blessed with children, wealth, dignity, position, health, and everything else which men value in this temporal life. According to the time-honored teachings of the children of Abraham such material prosperity was all-sufficient evidence of divine favor. But such material possessions and such temporal prosperity do not indicate God’s favor. My Father in heaven loves the poor just as much as the rich; he is no respecter of persons." ( TUB 148:6.2 )

(Jesus said) " You have come out from among those of your fellows who choose to remain satisfied with a religion of mind, who crave security and prefer conformity. You have elected to exchange your feelings of authoritative certainty for the assurances of the spirit of adventurous and progressive faith. You have dared to protest against the grueling bondage of institutional religion and to reject the authority of the traditions of record which are now regarded as the word of God. Our Father did indeed speak through Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea, but he did not cease to minister words of truth to the world when these prophets of old made an end of their utterances. My Father (God) is no respecter of races or generations in that the word of truth is vouchsafed one age and withheld from another. Commit not the folly of calling that divine which is wholly human, and fail not to discern the words of truth which come not through the traditional oracles of supposed inspiration. (TUB 155:6.2 )

" In many ways these gentile believers appreciated Jesus’ teachings more fully than the Jews. Many of these Greek-speaking Syrophoenicians came to know not only that Jesus was like God but also that God was like Jesus. These so-called heathen achieved a good understanding of the Master’s teachings about the uniformity of the laws of this world and the entire universe. They grasped the teaching that God is no respecter of persons, races, or nations; that there is no favoritism with the Universal Father; that the universe is wholly and ever law-abiding and unfailingly dependable. These gentiles were not afraid of Jesus; they dared to accept his message. All down through the ages men have not been unable to comprehend Jesus; they have been afraid to." (TUB 156:2.4 )

" How cruel and unreasoning to compel innocent children to suffer for the sins of their progenitors, misdeeds of which they are wholly ignorant, and for which they could in no way be responsible! And to do such wicked deeds in the name of one who taught his disciples to love even their enemies! It has become necessary, in this recital of the life of Jesus, to portray the manner in which certain of his fellow Jews rejected him and conspired to bring about his ignominious death; but we would warn all who read this narrative that the presentation of such a historical recital in no way justifies the unjust hatred, nor condones the unfair attitude of mind, which so many professed Christians have maintained toward individual Jews for many centuries. Kingdom believers, those who follow the teachings of Jesus, must cease to mistreat the individual Jew as one who is guilty of the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus. The Father and his Creator Son have never ceased to love the Jews. God is no respecter of persons, and salvation is for the Jew as well as for the gentile." (TUB 175:2.3 )

(Jesus said to them) " Levi, I know much about your anxieties, sacrifices, and labors to keep the treasury replenished which your brethren do not know, and I am rejoiced that, though he who carried the bag is absent, the publican ambassador is here at my farewell gathering with the messengers of the kingdom. I pray that you may discern the meaning of my teaching with the eyes of the spirit. And when the new teacher comes into your heart, follow on as he will lead you and let your brethren see — even all the world — what the Father can do for a hated tax-gatherer who dared to follow the Son of Man and to believe the gospel of the kingdom. Even from the first, Levi, I loved you as I did these other Galileans. Knowing then so well that neither the Father nor the Son has respect of persons, see to it that you make no such distinctions among those who become believers in the gospel through your ministry. And so, Matthew, dedicate your whole future life service to showing all men that God is no respecter of persons; that, in the sight of God and in the fellowship of the kingdom, all men are equal, all believers are the sons of God.” ( TUB 181:2.14 )

" Jesus then turned toward Peter and asked, “Peter, do you love me?” Peter answered, “Lord, you know I love you with all my soul.” Then said Jesus: “If you love me, Peter, feed my lambs. Do not neglect to minister to the weak, the poor, and the young. Preach the gospel without fear or favor; remember always that God is no respecter of persons. Serve your fellow men even as I have served you; forgive your fellow mortals even as I have forgiven you. Let experience teach you the value of meditation and the power of intelligent reflection.( TUB 192:2.2 )

How beautifully this universal truth is explained here.

What is needed is the heart and soul to understand and the will to live a life with an understanding of such universal truths !

[Note : TUB = The Urantia Book]

Interested in knowing more about the Urantia Book ? Read this Blog Here !

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are welcome. Express your opinions publicly, but responsibly. Comment moderation is applied and inappropriate comments do not get published.