We live in an extraordinary period of history. We have the largest population our planet has ever seen (7 billion), and its numbers and resource needs continue to grow exponentially. At the same time we have demonstrated an ability to inflict pain and death on huge numbers of people, by means ranging from weapons of mass destruction and terrorist action to starvation and disease from climate change inaction. At the spiritual level we have demonstrated an ability to inflict grim and terrible spiritual corruptions on children and adults.
Jesus has not been idle in the midst of this dramatic situation. He has replied with two events that are even more colossal than our civilization and its problems. He, the Creator of the whole physical and spiritual universe, has come to our tiny planet – twice. In those comings He has provided a two-part Handbook, Scripture and “Writings.” It contains the greatest of wonders, the key to happiness into the fartherest reaches of heaven’s eternity that we would never have known about otherwise. With it we can, if we will, help turn much, if not all, of this troubled world into a paradise with a crystal river.
Here, however, we have run into a historic brick wall. Christianity took up the first part of the Handbook and ran with it. While plagued with falsities and church politics, it put Jesus’ religion on the map in a major way, spiritually helping billions of people. The followers of Swedenborg’s revelation have the whole Jesus Handbook and have had it for more than 200 years, but with little apparent effect on the world at large. How can that be? Is Jesus asking too much? Why would He give us these goods and truths if He didn’t think we could effectively use them in His service?
I think that there is a potential out there to do all and more than we have ever dreamed of doing. But we need a new paradigm guiding our communication with the world. This paradigm’s basic theme would be a clear focus on Jesus Christ. It would be oriented toward the good, not just the true, aspects of Jesus’ message. The resulting experience of Him would be an effective counter to doubt. If you feel you are borne up on eagles’ wings, if you know Jesus in your life, if you have other Christian partners on your path to eternity, you will be seeking the source to know Him better.
This is not to underestimate the scope of the challenge here. As any novelist or screenwriter knows, capturing mood and atmosphere is a challenging thing to do right. For an example of pertinence here, you might take a look at an attempt at a brief inspirational flash movie with this theme that Steve Simons and I did, online at http://secondadventchristian.com/.
Well, this is a large subject. I think I’ll stop and see what thoughts others may have on the matter.