Christianity implies, first of all, accepting and realizing the Teachings of God given by Him to the embodied people through Jesus Christ.
What do these Teachings consist in? Let us consider their main postulates:
1. Be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect (Matt 5:48).
2. I and the Father are One (John 10:30).
3. I am the Vine (John 15:1-5).
4. Even as the Father knows Me, I also know the Father (John 10:15).
5. I love the Father (John 14:31).
6. O righteous Father! I have known You! (John 17:25).
7. And learn of Me (Matt 11:29).
8. God is Love (1 John 4:16).
9. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength (Mark 12:29-30).
10. You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).
These are the main principles of Christianity. In them one can see the appeal of Jesus to people to become like Him. And to cognize the Heavenly Father, like He did.
In the New Testament, there are many precepts that can help realizing this appeal of Jesus, if one follows them. They call us:
— to be absolutely honest in relationships with other people, to have no debts, not to misappropriate,
— to take care about well-being of others more than about one’s own,
— to be peacemakers,
— to be affectionate and tender with each other,
— to help others in everything good,
— to forgive, not to avenge, not to damn,
— not to hate, not to get involved emotionally in judging others,
— not to seek accumulating the “worldly” wealth: otherwise one can miss the possibility to accumulate the spiritual wealth,
— not to be afraid of the attacks of aggressive primitives, who can harm only the body, but cannot harm that with which we appear in front of the Heavenly Father after death of the body, i.e. not the soul,
— not to drink,
— not to be arrogant, on the contrary, to be humble and respect others,
— to strive to do all that we can for helping other people spiritually,
— not being obsessed with sexuality so much that it, instead of God, becomes the center of one’s attention; the personal search for God and service to Him should always be of the primary importance in one’s life.
I will give just several excerpts:
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another! As I have loved you, you should also love one another! (John 13:34)
And above all things have fervent love… for love will cover a multitude of sins! (1 Pet 4:8)
If anyone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if he does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (1 John 4:20)
Beloved! Let us love one another! For love is of God!
The one who does not love has not known God, for God is Love! (1 John 4:7-8)
If we love one another, God dwells in us!… (1 John 4:12).
Owe no one anything, except… love! (Rom 13:8)
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. … He who fears has not been perfected in love! (1 John 4:18)
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I have become as sounding brass…
And though I have prophecies, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so as to move mountains, and do not have love, I am nothing.
And though I give out all my goods to feed the poor, and though I deliver my body to be burned, and have not love, I am profited nothing.
Love has patience, is kind;
love is not envious, is not vain, is not puffed up;
does not behave indecently,
does not seek her own,
does not get angry,
thinks no evil.
Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth…
Love never fails, even if prophecies will be abolished and tongues will cease… (1 Cor 13:1-8)
Love your enemies! Bless those who curse you! Do good to those who hate you!… (Matt 5:44).
Blessed are the peacemakers!… (Matt 5:9)
Judge not!… (Luke 6:37)
All things, whatever you desire that men should do to you, do even so to them… (Matt 7:12)
Give to everyone who asks of you, and from him, who takes away your goods, do not ask them again! (Luke 6:30)
If you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matt 6:14-15)
Who is wise and knowing among you? Let him show his works by his good conduct with meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and strife in your hearts, do not glory and lie against the truth: this is not the wisdom coming down from above, but is… devilish. (Heb 3:13-15)
For such is the Will of God, doing good to silence the ignorance of foolish men! (1 Pet 2:15)
He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in darkness until now. (1 John 2:9).
Let love be without hypocrisy!
Shrink from evil, cleave to good!
Be in brotherly love to one another!
Lead one another in honor! (Rom 12:9-10)
Bless those who persecute you! Bless, and do not curse! (Rom 12:14)
Repay no one evil for evil! (Rom 12:17)
Do not avenge yourselves! (Rom 12:19)
if your enemy hungers, feed him. If he thirsts, give him drink! (Rom 12:20)
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good! (Rom 12:21)
Why do you judge your brother? Or also why do you despise your brother?
Each one of us will give account concerning himself to God!
Then let us not judge one another any more!
But rather judge this, not to put a stumbling-block or an offense toward a brother. (Rom 14:10-13)
Brothers, if man is overtaken in a fault, you the spiritual ones restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted! (Gal 6:1).
Let not any filthy word go out of your mouth! But only good, so that it may give grace to the ones hearing! (Eph 4:29).
When you are invited by anyone,… do not recline in the chief seat!… For whoever exalts himself shall be abased, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted. (Luke 14:8-11)
Do not lay up treasures on earth for yourselves, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal! But lay up treasures in Heaven!…
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matt 6:19-21)
All things are lawful to me, but not all things profit… (1 Cor 10:23)
You cannot serve God and mammon! (Matt 6:24)
For what is man profited if he shall gain the whole world and harm the soul? (Matt 6:24)
Again, you have heard that it has been said to the ancients, “You shall not swear falsely, but you shall perform your oaths to the Lord.” But I say to you, Do not swear at all!… But let your word be, Yes, yes; No, no! (Matt 5:33-37)
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is excess! But be filled with the Spirit! (Eph 5:18)
It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything by which your brother stumbles, or is offended, or is made weak! (Rom 14:21)
Let us walk becomingly, as in the day; not in carousings and drinking; not in co-habitation and lustful acts; not in strife and envy! (Rom 13:13)
Let no one seek his own, but each one another’s! (1 Cor 10:24)
In lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves! (Phil 2:3)
The one who does not gather with Me scatters! (Matt 12:30)
Do not fear those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul!… (Matt 10:28)
Put off… anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, shameful speech out of your mouth! (Col 3:8)
Let My joy remain in you and your joy be full!
This is My Commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you! (John 15:12-13)
These things I command you, that you love one another! (John 15:17)
Let every one of us tests oneself: so did I understand that which Jesus taught and teaches now?
For Christianity is exactly this! This is what Jesus taught and teaches! All the rest is perversion, sectarianism.
One can become more fully acquainted with an analysis of the
Teachings of Jesus (with use of some apocryphal Gospels) in the book
God Speaks (Textbook of Religion). But now let me just stress that Jesus, in His earthly life known to us, also taught His disciples the meditative methods that are essential for cognition of the Heavenly Father.
In the New Testament it is said about this, in particular, in the Jesus’ statement “God is Spirit and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). What is meant here is that one has to go to God with correct understanding of the nature of God and evolutionary tasks of man. And one has to worship Him not by bodies, not by “religious” bodily movements, but by souls, which gradually get liberated from dependence on the material bodies with the help of meditative methods of self-perfection.
A rich experience of meditative work done under the guidance of Jesus one may see in the epistles of the Apostles John, Philip, Thomas, and also Paul.
* * *
The established practice of many Christian churches includes public worships, ritualism. However, it was not present in the Teachings of Jesus. One may ask, is it good or bad?
On the one hand, we should clearly understand that God is present in churches not more than outside of them, and that one has to seek Him in the Depths of the universe, not in the material ritual objects or buildings.
On the other hand, worshipping practice in churches emerged as a natural need of people with common spiritual interests to come together just for the sake of emotional communication with like-minded persons, exchange of ideas and experience, for the sake of helping one another, learning.
Ritualism also may be useful: it favors calming of mind when assembled people attune to perceiving of the Divinity. Against this background, many of them for the first time get proof of the reality of the mystical: they feel touches of invisible hands, energy flows emanating from icons, thoughts and even voices of invisible interlocutors…
For some people these are manifestations of God, for others manifestations of demons… It depends on the level of ethical purity of each particular person.
The ethical purity of the “flock” largely depends on the level of ethical advancement of the “pastors”. This is the main problem… Because often, under the guise of Christianity, they preach something directly opposite to it…
… Yes, when we discuss differences between the established religious directions, we should put the emphasis not on the ritualism. The ritualism is not the point! Let the ritualism of various directions remain as it is! The problem is that they lack the complete picture in understanding the Beingness of the Universal Consciousness, in understanding Its evolutionary aspect, in particular!
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