part 1 stated: Religion dictates there are “terms & conditions” to God’s love, but Spirituality dictates our Creator’s Love is unconditional, there is no judgment, no terms or conditions, eternal life for all, and reincarnation is necessary. Religion requires you to live your life based on the “Sound doctrine” of whichever sect you choose to belong to, Spirituality requires you to activate the unconditional Love in your heart and express that Love to all people and all life.
Paul called himself an Apostle, even though he’d never met Christ, he also called himself “the father of the Christian faith”. So to better understand the Father of the Christian religion we should do a little background check and see where he is coming from.
Saul From Tarsus was born a Roman citizen and converted to Judaism as a young man. It’s important to understand that ‘he was a convert to Judaism’, very often a person who has made a conscious decision to be a convert has deeper convictions than those born into said religion. A “convert” has studied, investigated, and made a life-changing decision.
Saul was no ordinary Jew, he was a radical zealot. First mentioned in the Bible in Acts 7:54; as the Jews were about to stone Stephen to death, they laid their cloaks at Saul’s feet. Did he actually end people’s lives over their beliefs? Imagine stoning someone until they were brutally injured? Then continue stoning them until they were unconscious, then continue stoning their lifeless body until you were certain they were dead. How much indignation, hatred, conviction, passion, and determination would it take for you to carry out such an act? For Saul of Tarsus, it took you believing Jesus’s message to provoke him to such actions. When it came to matters of God Saul was a very serious man, he would end your life if you sinned against his God.
If you had a business, Saul of Tarsus is the kind of guy you want running promotions. He was the real deal, he didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk. Acts 9:1 explains Saul’s purpose, he was actively seeking out anyone who belonged to The Way. Saul was not a guy to sit on the sidelines, he would lead the charge, and putting the followers of Jesus to death was his new pass time and he was well known for his work. But what drove him? he killed both men and women, ask any modern soldier who has seen intense battle, and they will tell you killing a woman is more difficult than killing a man, yet Saul didn’t care, man or woman, if you have sinned against his God you will die.
The Road to Damascus: Acts 9:
3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind and did not eat or drink anything.
Saul had to seriously rethink, he had been actively persecuting, torturing, and killing the followers of Christ, and now he was blind after witnessing this very Christ on his way to kill more followers of The Way. But would Saul ever understand what Christ came to achieve? or would Saul end up creating his own religion based on his own understanding and his own ego “in Jesus’s name”?
On one side you have 12 men who sat at the feet of Christ for 3 years, day and night with the Author and perfecter of LIFE, they got to see his personality and character, not only did they hear his words, they saw his actions and attitudes, his likes and dislikes, his opinions and convictions. On the other side is one man full of conviction, and religious fervor, willing to end the life of anyone who disagreed with him. Now let us revisit Galatians 1: after 14 years in his ministry, Saul (now called Paul) began to doubt his own message so he went to visit the Apostles and put before them what he had been teaching.
The real Apostles would emulate the Spirit of Christ, they accepted anyone who did not oppose them just as Christ had set the example. They lived by the Spirit, conviction, and attitude of Christ. However, Paul lived by his religious conviction, in his mind he was doing the work of Jehovah God, whereas Christ and his disciples were doing the work of Unconditional Love. So when the Apostles accepted Paul, as they would have accepted anyone who was not opposed to Love, Paul took this acceptance and declared his message as the only message to be believed. Paul saw himself as The chosen one and took it upon himself to spread his message to the furthest corners of the world.
Unfortunately, Paul wasn’t there for the 3 years of Christ’s ministry, so there was much he did not understand, much he would never comprehend, because he was a convert to Judaism there would be many convictions and opinions buried in his subconscious mind concerning the worship of Jehovah. As a Jew, he was willing to put to death any person whose belief differed from his own, but after converting to Christianity, he was determined to put to death any belief that differed from his own. Judaism was an exclusive group, and in his mind, Christianity should also be an exclusive group, reserved only for those who respond to the death of Jesus on the cross. However, Christ came to reveal the Omnipresent is inside creation, the entire Human race (regardless of belief) is filled with the presence of God because Love is God, and Life is God.
Today, anyone who lives by the Spirit of Christ’s conscious mind is more concerned about people’s needs, safety, and wellbeing. And anyone who lives by the spirit of Paul is more concerned with your beliefs, your teachings, and your doctrine. Anyone can live by the Spirit of Christ’s conscious mind, you must simply activate the Love in your heart. But only a convert who is indoctrinated can follow Paul.
Freedom from Religion Part 1