Empirical or Empathetic

Empirical or empathetic. Religions based on an empire mentality seek to control the minds and beliefs of all those brought under their authority. Their main concern is conformity to their rules, their practices, their culture and the strengthening of their organizations. Such religions depend on hierarchal structures where people at the top enjoy the most benefits, expect the most honor and respect, and feel they should enjoy the most rights. Authority in such a system is along the lines of demands and enforcement and is a position earned through education, connections, popularity and often economics. On the other hand, the religion of Jesus is almost the complete opposite of the religions of this world. His is based on heart relationships and is more attuned to the condition of a person's spirit more than their externals. Jesus' religion is based on empathy, compassion, unconditional love and acceptance without judgment. It operates on completely different fundamental principles and so it is often misunderstood by those unfamiliar with the ways of heaven. Earthly religions depend on empirical evidence, intellectual superiority and logic to hold everything together. They are proud to claim they are governed by laws designed to keep society functioning properly. Notice the proud claim of political leaders who view their countries as superior because they govern 'by the rule of law'. And while these things may not all necessarily be bad in themselves, in the world's ways these things are held as highest priorities. In the religion of Jesus people are viewed in family relationships with each other, not legal relationships. In a family authority is not something used for control of others but is in the nature of respect for those who have valuable life experience, who have matured sufficiently to mentor others needing perspective or encouragement. Those in authority are recognized and acknowledged and appreciated and empowered by those who submit to them. According to Jesus the ones considered the most important (not most valuable, for all are equal) are those who have learned and are practicing the greatest humility and who are the most ready to selflessly serve others the most. Empirical religion is a top down mentality that focuses on rules, enforcement, control and fear. It relies on reward and punishment systems to maintain order and peace. It requires arbitrary, external inducements and threats to maintain what is perceived to be a necessary balance between the natural opposing forces of good and evil. Empathetic religion is based on unconditional love, acceptance, kindness and considering others as greater than one's self. Empathetic religion looks out for the weakest and the vulnerable to assist, provide and defend them, not to exploit them. Empathetic religion is heart-oriented both for the person themselves and through taking interest in the spirit and hearts of those they are seeking to bless. In the religion of Jesus there is no need for arbitrary rules, arbitrary enforcements and arbitrary rewards or punishments. In the government of heaven there is no such thing as an economic system as we know it here on earth, for economics is an artificial system of placing arbitrary, fictional value on things and people which leads to all sorts of false notions about what it truly valuable and what is not. Because there is no economics in heaven's system there is also no such thing as debts. The whole idea of debts and credits is an artificial concept inherited in the counterfeit system of society we received from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the kingdom of heaven there is no need for arbitrary laws with enforcers and elaborate systems of rewards and punishments, for relationships are not based on such a mentality but rather on receiving to in turn bless others with what one has received from God. All obedience springs from love and gratitude alone, for anything less that this destroys the harmony of the perfect peace and joy that marks the government of heaven and which the societies of the rest of the unfallen universe operate. In the kingdom of heaven there is no hierarchal system as we are so familiar with on earth that views some as less or more important than others. All of God's children are created equally valuable simply because God made them so. There are certainly differences of function and gifting, but in no way do these differences change one's value or cause one to make demands on others. So many of the concepts we assume to be valid here on earth are simply foreign to the way beings relate to each other in heaven. Consider the implications and connections for many of these words we cherish so much in our societies but do not transfer into the kingdom that Jesus came to reveal. Rights Debts Force Fear Deception Rewards Punishment Entitlements Balance (in regards to good and evil) Titles Power The list could go on, but these are enough to certainly raise eyebrows with many people. Yet all of these things I have been forced to rethink over the past few years as I have come to see more clearly the nature of the kingdom that Jesus brought to light when He was here on earth. But most of all the main difference between the kingdom of Jesus and the kingdoms of this world is the internal versus the external. Jesus brought to light a kingdom of heart service where everyone fits into a great circuit of blessing, always receiving to give and always reflecting the selfless love of their Maker. This is in sharp contrast to the religions and societies of this world, yet few have even caught enough glimpse of this new kingdom to even realize how radically different it is from what we see in religion. The Bible reveals that Lucifer's fall began when he started to view his own value as deriving from his external beauty and abilities and endowments more than the integrity of his heart and his moral condition. As he experimented with unheard of concepts like economics, hierarchy and artificial law systems, he began inventing such things as trading which had never occured before. A new element began to grow inside of him called pride, but he could not discern it danger even though he was warned by his maker to turn away from it. Over time his experiments with these new ideas began to affect his character and spread to infect others with his doubts about God's ways until finally the two opposing concepts of how to live with others finally created a permanent rift in the harmonious society of heaven. It also cast a serious shadow over God' reputation in the minds of even many who did not openly side with the great accuser. The main point here is that all of this came about when Lucifer made the choice to move away from living from the heart as his main locus of self-control and moved to a completely new way of thinking foreign to the ways of heaven. This new way was based on the externals viewed as having artificial and arbitrary values. Thus, the only way God could restore peace and harmony and reintegrate us back into the great circuit of life He had designed was to return us to that original way of living with others – living from the heart God gave to each one of us. It is only as we appreciate this fundamental truth about the nature of sin and the rebellion that we can begin to make sense of many of the messages found in God's Word. For these messages can only be viewed and understood and interpreted by the heart and not by the head. Otherwise we remain trapped by the schemes of the deceiver and follow religions that depend more on outward appearances, performances or intellectual beliefs rather than entering into a transformational relationship with the One who only can provide real life and restoration and healing to us. The closer we come to having a meaningful, healing, accountable, life-receiving relationship with our loving God, the more we will find shame sloughing off, fears dissipating and our awareness of our true infinite worth giving us more peace. We will also sense our confidence increasing as we are prepared to face God's judgment without fear. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:16-19)


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