Walking in the Shoes of the Master….The authentic Christian

Click on link for audio version (speakers on!)

What is a Christian and how do you know if you are one?  Sounds like an obvious question but it is far from obvious or simple.  According to the 5 Fundamentals published in 1905 you may only consider yourself a Christian if you believe:

  1. Jesus Christ is God (the Deity of Christ)
  2. Jesus was born of virgin
  3. Scripture is inerrant (without error of any kind)
  4. Jesus died on the cross substituting for us and atoning for our sins.
  5. Jesus was physically resurrected and will personally return to Earth

If you disagree with one of these assertions, then you cannot call yourself a Christian according to the Fundamentalists.   Do you think Jesus of Nazareth would agree with any of these fundamentals?   I very much doubt it!

Can you be an authentic Christian without believing in any or all of these statements published by 10 old men in 1905?

I would submit that it would be difficult to be an authentic Christian if you did believe these 5 Fundamentals.   So what is a Christian according to Rev. Dore’?   Please remember that this is my theology; it does not have to be yours.

Yeshua Ben Nazareth, the man we call Jesus Christ, was never a Christian, not for one day of his life.  He was born a Jew under the Mosaic Law, ordained a Rabbi by the High Priest Hillel, lived, preached and died a Jew under the Law.  As such the idea of being the literal Son of God would be the worst kind of blasphemy, punishable by stoning.

The Master came to bring Light and Love to a world where might always made right, where the powerful exerted their will over the weak and where there was little hope for change or relief.  He also came to humanize and bring compassion to Judaism; a noble religion grown arthritic with dogma, cannon law and the insistence on the letter of the Law, not the spirit.  He came to save Judaism from itself; not to start a new religion.  He did not come to atone for our sins by blood sacrifice but to bring the Love and Light of God to humankind.

The Jesus I know in my heart would never be a Christian today because he would understand that Christianity was just as encrusted with dogma, rules, judgement and an overbearing priestly class as was the Judaism of his day.  He despised the High Priests and the Pharisees so we created new ones in Christianity.  He despised all Law and no heart but we have excommunications, shunning, condemnation of those who travel their own spiritual path or are different.

The Master cared for the lowest and weakest of the people.  He consorted and ate with tax collectors (the most despised people in Judea) , harlots, Lepers and even Roman Centurions; the oppressors of the Jews.  Today, Christianity still condemns and ostracizes those God has created with different ways of expressing their humanity.

An authentic Christian cares little for dogma or ceremony or dress codes but cares deeply for his fellow human being.  The authentic Christian cares nothing for parsing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin or whether Genesis is fact or creation myth but cares so deeply for a human in pain that when anyone cries out in hunger, pain or oppression they taste the salt of their tears.

The authentic Christian tries as best they can to live the teachings of Jesus.  That is the glory and majesty of Christ’s ministry…..the teaching of tolerance, the belief in one Universal God for all humankind, the understanding that as we judge our brother or sister we judge ourselves.  The authentic Christian understands that we all miss the mark, we all fall short and that compassion and understanding is far better than Hell Fire and Brimstone.

The authentic Christian walks, as much as possible, in the path of the Master Teacher of the World, Jesus the Christ, who led the first great spiritual revolution in history.  That revolution is still going on but not in most Christian Churches today.

If you would understand the authentic Christian think of the congregation of the AME Church in Charleston, SC who watched with horror as their Pastor and 7 of their brothers and sisters were gunned down by a tortured soul.   Not a word of condemnation passed their lips, they forgave the shooter and prayed for him.

How many of us could do that?  How many Christians that you know could do that?   These magnificent Christians suffered terrible horror and loss but would not retreat to the primitive “eye for an eye”; no they “turned the other cheek” and forgave.  They did not talk about Christianity; they lived it!

I am a minister and I have done much good work but I cannot carry the shoes of the Pastor of that AME church in Charleston who taught her people the authentic Way of The Master and even in the most dire of situations her people embodied and lived those lessons.  That is a true Christian teaching authentic Christianity.

I am a Religious Science Minister and most Christians would deny that I am a Christian because I cannot and do not subscribe to the 5 Fundamentals.  But I do subscribe wholeheartedly to the Way of the Master; the teaching of Jesus The Christ and to me that makes me the very best and most authentic Christian.

May you walk in the footsteps of the Master each and every day of your life.  God give you peace, prosperity and abundant health.

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida     Visit YouTube.com/revdore to enjoy my 125 video podcasts.  Have a Dore’ Marathon!

You Are Magnificent!

Click on link for audio version (speakers on!)

Did you know that you are magnificent?  Has anyone ever told you that?  If not, they should have done so when you were a child.  Even those judged least successful by their fellow humans are miraculous creations of the Great I AM that we nickname God. 

God is perfect substance, perfect love, perfect Mind and from perfection can come only perfection.  Everything created by God is therefore perfect. 

Well, Dore’ how in the world can you say that?  What about those born with serious birth defects or Down’s Syndrome or other debilitating conditions?

Perfect you say?  What, are you nuts Rev.? 

I was told that I was nuts just yesterday but I did not believe a word of it.  People judge us according to their world view but since I know who and what I am and am quite comfortable in my own skin, I pay little attention to the madding crowd.

As Terry Cole Whittaker used to say:  “What you think of me is none of my business”. 

You see, I know that I am a perfect creation of a perfect God; even though I was born with cerebral palsy, crooked eyes and other assorted challenges, including a big mouth.  Spiritual Mind Treatment cured the incurable and took care of all but a faint residue of the Cerebral Palsy and the hands of God working through the ophthalmic surgeons hands straitened the eyes. 

I am still working on the big mouth!  My dear wife Susan believes its a hopeless cause!

If I can believe that I am a perfect expression of the Creator of all that exists….surely you can join me in that belief. 

Perfection means very different things to the Creator than it does to his/her creations.  We tend to think of perfect as being without any flaw or blemish.  Most of us would say that nothing is perfect on this Earth and therefore nobody is perfect.  We hear that every day, don’t we?

Yes, and we would be so very wrong.  You see we think our lives into being and as a collective consciousness we create the conditions on this planet that we call our “world”.  Since we have such a bedrock belief in imperfection we get to experience it at every turn. 

Nothing is ordained or written or fated.  We think, speak and choose the conditions of our lives and collectively of this planet.

Self loathing is the seed of our belief in imperfection and it is the number one cause of all discord, disease, war and even poverty.  From self loathing comes its cousin guilt which poisons our hearts, souls and bodies. 

But wait!  All is not lost, I have the cure at my finger tips!  All this will end if we stop believing that we are damaged goods, bad seeds, rejects, God’s mistakes or whatever you say to yourself to poison your soul.

The word perfection does not mean “without flaw or blemish”. 

Perfect means made exactly as it was designed to be made.  We are all designed by the Great Architect (my nickname for God) just as he/she intended because each of us was designed and created for a unique purpose and experience on this Earth that only we can fulfill.  No two people on this planet has exactly the same life because no two of us are exactly alike.

We are unique living expressions of God.

We were made this way by perfect Substance and Perfect Love and that makes us perfect.  Now, what we make of this perfection is totally up to us.  God draws up the plans, gathers the building materials and drops it all off at the job site.  What we build on that site is solely our responsibility and becomes our destiny.

Here is an exercise in logic:

If God is Perfect, God made you, you are perfect.  You cannot escape the logic of that syllogism.  So put away the tiny little violin, call off the “pity party” and claim your magnificence.  It is your birthright as a living expression of God.

The day you can love you as God loves you is the day that you will transform your life. 

May the indwelling God and the Most High God, which are one and the same, dwell in your every thought, word and deed.

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, FL   Please enjoy my 121 video podcasts on YouTube.com/revdore

The Wise Counselor

Click on link above for audio version (speakers on!)

There is an art and science to being a good parent to our grown children.  Where once our word was law, now its just a suggestion.  It comes as a shock for a parent to realize that these are young men and women and it is their time to lead their own lives

There is an old saying that the parent is the bow and the child is the arrow.  If we have been good bows we will have instilled good values and hopefully good judgement in our children.  

It is rather hard to tell my 35 year old, very gorgeous pharmaceutical rep daughter with the six figure salary, company car and perks to die for how to live her life.   She and her four lovely girls are doing just fine.  The best Dad can do is to love her and, if she wishes, offer wise counsel.  

My middle child, lovely, rather exotic Kristen works in the Entertainment Industry (it is LA after all) for a company that handles distribution, contracts and royalties for companies like Red Box and Netflix.  She has a wicked wit and a great sense of humor. 

Her little boy Sean is so handsome he might become a “Hollywood Heartthrob” someday!  With Kris you listen and then show her that you care.  She needs a good mirror and I provide it. 

For a man, sons are a bit different because Dads tend to see themselves in their male children.  Evan, my youngest is in IT sales and is a bit of a geek but way taller than me and movie star handsome.  He is sometimes a bit intense like Dad and can be a goof at times but that is what makes him so lovable.  He is married to a lovely RN named Naomi and has a little boy I call Eli with curly hair and bright blue eyes…sooo handsome. 

My role in this still growing family of 13 is to be a good mirror and wise counsel when they need and want it.  I quietly ask them if they are willing to live with the results of what they are saying, doing or choosing.  I show them the end of the path that they are on without judgement.  That is the role of the wise counselor. 

Here are 4 Rev. Dore’ rules for adult child parenting:

1. Do not try to live your life through your children.  You have your life and they have theirs.  You are no longer responsible for their success or failure.  Give them the space to be themselves, even if that means a mistake or pothole in their path. 

2. Expect that for all that they remind you of you and their Mother (or Father), that they are going to be very different from you.  You did not Xerox your children, you gave birth to them.  They are not copies of you.  

3. Stay out of judgement.  We get into judgement with our children because we feel that their mistakes cast us in a bad light and that its our fault.  They are responsible for their own lives and what they do has little or nothing to do with you and I as parents.  Be a wise counselor, show them where their chosen path will lead and what the consequences will be.  Be a good mirror for them because just like you and I, they don’t see themselves as they really are. 

4. Just love them!  What they really want from a parent is not advice but an ear, a hug and love when no one else will give it.  They want acceptance for who and what they are.  

In fact, that is a good way to treat everyone in your life!  Until we are together again, be well and be happy!

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian   Check out my 120 video podcasts on YouTube.com/revdore    For more information about Religious Science or The Science of Mind log on to CSL.org and find the nearest Center for Spiritual Living near you.