It is so easy to forget, in this fast paced, urgent to get somewhere society, that the love of God is the most important gift we can give each other! We are so insistent on our views, to the point where the differences become more important than the similarities, that we forget there are entire generations of folks who do not understand that God is Love. Now, there are many passages in the Torah that show us God’s Love, however, the understanding, there is often that that love is conditional on obedience. It is not. God’s love is eternal. I have come to see the OT God as a crusty old Grandfather, you know the kind I am talking about. spouting fire and brimstone, always talking about obeying, but underneath all of that bluster is One who cares infinitely for each and every one of us.
Let’s look at that caring for a moment, the Israelites were taught to be kind to strangers, in a time when a traveling stranger could just as easily find his throat cut for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were taught to treat their women in a respectful manner, in a time when women were literally held as chattel. They were taught to be compassionate with their children in a time when it was common to sell one’s child into slavery, or worse, kill one’s child if one could not afford to feed them. The Israelites were taught that life was sacred, a gift from the Most High. They were even taught to slaughter their livestock in a humane manner that did not frighten the animal unduly.
We have made much progress since that day, and we have regressed sadly since that day. Women are freer than ever, but more vulnerable to rape attacks. Animals are kept in holding pens and slaughtered in a way that frightens the animal. When the animals are examined, they are injured and allowed to go about with those injuries untended. This is not good. Children are abused in ways that make the blood boil, yet, conversely, are allowed to grow into adults without discipline and with the idea that the universe owes them, not simply food, shelter and safety, but the latest Nintendo game, a big TV, and brand name clothes! And the negative language that one hears out of the mouths of children would have mortified our elders just a generation back!!! Are all of these things a result of deciding there is no God to which one must answer? I wonder. Yet, Buddhism, which does not hold that one needs to believe in God, would teach a path full of compassion and kindness toward all other beings on this planet.
So, what is lacking? . . . . . . . .Love and discipline, in a balanced combination that would lead to a developed adult, one that treats his fellows with respect at the very least. We seem to have walked away from both in a fever to populate the planet without thought of the consequences for the planet, or the humans that inhabit it. One of the most interesting things the Teacher said was that you could even take their names in vein if you obeyed to command to love. Not very often quoted, but in Matthew 12:31-32, Y’shua is quoted as saying that we cannot be forgiven the sin against the Holy Spirit. In context, this would be because they said that Y’shua had an unclean spirit that helped him heal the sick and injured. But there is a deeper meaning here that gets forgotten.
Every teaching that Y’shua, Buddha, and Moshe taught about relationships between humans required kindness and compassion. These teachings come from the Holy Spirit, there is no doubt in my mind that sinning against the Holy Spirit is to operate in a manner that is less than kind to one’s fellow beings. The Teacher said you could blaspheme him and be forgiven. So the argument that calling his spirit unclean is the sin against the Holy Spirit is a circular one that solves nothing. The Holy Spirit has taught love and compassion all over this planet, finding a way to place compassion at the heart of nearly every religion. So, to me, the sin against the Holy Spirit is to treat others unkindly, to lack compassion in your dealings with your fellow travelers. As the Dalai Lama has been quoted, the essence of religion is to be kind. Let us, therefore, love, as God is love, and his language and communication with us is love.