Enlightenment beyond the confines of Scripture. These words buzz in my ear. I can't seem to shake them out. They are like that annoying mosquito that you keep swatting at but it never really goes away. We hear them from those "enlightened" prophets that espouse to "know" more than the average religious schmuck, from the world that has many "ways" to a god and heaven and from those who don't like the alternative. Well, is this true? Is there "enlightenment" beyond what Jehovah and Messiah have inspired in Scripture? Can we know "more"? Does scripture really mean what we think, or are told, it means?
There are many buzz words that are batted around; many truths, many paths, freedom from judgement, spirituality vs religion. So, I decided to become "enlightened". I googled "many paths" and this is what I found in a nut shell:
*All people should be allowed to walk their own path without control or judgement
*Paths change and grow
*You must open your mind to the limitless possibilities of your full potential and what the Universe is waiting to tell you
*Everything you need to know is within yourself - you just need to let go and listen
*If it feels good- go with it, allow yourself (the inner you) to flow
*It doesn't matter what others think- this is Your path
*Awakenings will occur when you reach a certain level in your spiritual development
*There is no right or wrong and it varies from person to person
*Heaven is what we create here and beyond
*Hell is not a real place- it is a state of mind
This certainly sounds "enlightened". If you listen to many folks in the spotlight (Oprah, Dr. Oz and even some Christian leaders) you will hear many of these same ideas. These basic tenants can be found throughout the Universalist's Creed- although they go by many names. I was raised singing a song called I am Good to Me. When I met my husband he sang a song with the same tune called the Johnny Appleseed song.
I am good to me
And so I thank myself
For giving me the opportunity
To be myself and feel so free
Oh I am good to me
I was taught that I am the center of the universe and that my happiness was the priority. I was to help others because it felt good and that was the way that the Universe spoke to us- through our feelings. I was the one who controlled my destiny by my thought life and what I put out in the Universe was what I would receive. True freedom was to be at one with the Universe and allow others to find their own path as they saw fit. All paths lead to the same Awakening.
This way of living is pointless. It is void of meaning, significance and direction. It teaches selfishness. it teaches you to rely on feelings instead of a constant set of absolutes to guide your behavior. Its reasoning is circular. Its premise is that we are born basically good and that our initial desire is to do good. That it is the opposite of the observable evidence of human nature. How long do you have to watch a child before you realize that their first instinct is not concerned with the greater good?
Why should enlightenment stay within the confines of Scripture? Because, unlike an impersonal Universe, Jehovah (a very personal Creator) inspired the Scriptures to teach the opposite. The Scriptures were created to rid us of the chains of selfishness and embrace a yolk of righteousness. Scripture is NEVER about self it is ALWAYS about Him. It is NEVER about slavery but ALWAYS about freedom. It is NEVER about feeling good it is ALWAYS about doing good regardless of how we feel. It is NEVER about being me it is ALWAYS about becoming more like Him. Within these confines is true freedom.
Finally, I wanted to look up the Greek of John 14:6. I have heard many say that Christ never claimed to be the Only Way and that John 14:6 is misunderstood. So, let us look at how the Greeks translated this verse from the Hebrew.
I am the way (way is a verb that means a properly travelled way like a path) and the truth (truth is a noun that means in reality, in fact, the truth) and the life (life is a noun that means life); no one (no one means no one, not one) comes (comes is a verb that means to come) to the Father (Father is a masculine noun which means Father God) but through (through is a preposition that denotes an act of going through) me. In short, it means exactly what it says.
Jehovah is purposeful in His choice of words. He has a very personal message for each of us. His Way is the only Way and His Way is the best Way. I have lived on both sides and the joy I experience within the confines of Scripture is sustainable and immeasurable. It agrees with the natural and produces the supernatural. Messiah said that His yoke was easy and His burden was light. Messiah never lies.