"The first paragraph [of Chapter 30 of The Gathering of Lights] as you interpret [it] talks about seven churches (of which you have spoken before) that seem to want to follow their own ways and rituals, but at the same time want to be recognized as 'one with Christ and Zion,' that is, they 'want to have their cake and have it too'? they want to 'do their own thing,' but at the same time be recognized as being a church of Christ?"
If you are thinking of churches as they are today you have a point, but religion several hundred years from now will be much different than it is today.
The evolution of religion, as a whole, is some distance behind the evolution of political systems. It was not long ago that the major political systems of the earth were extremely authoritarian. The major turning point happened when the colonies in America rebelled and attempted to form a "more perfect union." After winning the Revolutionary War, the United States broke from the totalitarian systems of the past and created a federal government with limited powers over thirteen states which retained the maximum possible self-governing powers.
We are now approaching a corresponding evolutionary period for religion. Up to now, most major religions have been very authoritarian with their members. It wasn't long ago that if a member broke with tradition he was put to death or imprisoned. Today such punishments for religious rebellion are rare because of gains humanity has made in the political arena. Even so most churches still apply maximum punishment to all who defy tradition.
One method of hanging on to control is to hold the threat of excommunication over the heads of members. Another tactic is to condemn the member to the fires of hell or separation from God if he does not conform. The ministry of various churches is controlled with the threat of demotion, or loss of job and livelihood. The teaching of doctrine in the churches has been very rigid in the past and it has been demanded that members in good standing conform in belief and not consider looking into the value of alternative beliefs.
The seeds of change have been in the air over the past several decades and the churches are now approaching a point of tension where there will shortly be a revolutionary war of rebellion within the world of religion. This war will be fought on both the emotional and mental planes.
After the dust has settled from this conflict, there will be many people making a break from their mother religion in ideology while still remaining membership in name. We will see groups of Catholics, for instance, meeting, sharing sacraments, and teaching each other without the aid of a priest. From the black-and-white Baptist and other "born-againers" will evolve groups of mystics who will incorporate rites and teachings in and out of the church. Groups of Mormons who study doctrines outside of church guidelines will eventually grow too large to excommunicate them all.
There will be a natural gathering of seekers and open-minded people out of all the religions. They will begin to realize that even though they are from different religions, they have more in common with each other than they do their native religion. As this realization begins to dawn on the many, a one world religion will begin to manifest. These study groups and mystical organizations will realize that they have numerous things in common and will recognize certain points of unity which will bring them together such as the 12 Principles of Synthesis which reads as follows:
These seekers gathering from their churches on the mental plane may not all gather physically as taught in "The Gathering of Lights," but will stay behind and prepare the masses for things to come. These diverse groups will demonstrate that there are many ways to worship God which bring similar results, and they will gain an appreciation of each others ceremonies and beneficial teachings.
Eventually, the invisible God will be seen as the head of all spiritual movements and the various groups of seekers will be diverse as were the original thirteen states, yet united in purpose. These break-offs will be seen in all religions including the non Christian.
Many of these enlightened groups will believe in the principles taught within "The Gathering of Lights" and want to be associated, yet not physically gathered. An association will thus be made and many of these people will maintain an association with the Gathering while keeping their membership with their mother religion.
The scripture of seven women taking hold of one man could take an entirely different turn in fulfillment if the workers in the field do not do their jobs, and there is a devastating World War 3 which kills most of the men. In such a case, with a shortage of males, we would have situations where seven women could seek out one male.
I prefer the idea of seven churches seeking to be the brides of Christ instead.
In the past we talked about the line of least resistance and the line of most resistance. How do you suppose these two paths play out in the Pendulum Principle?
Copyright © 2000 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved