Sunday, December 30, 2007

THE GOLDEN RULE TWISTED ~ PART 1

A few days ago I was reading some recent articles at Watcher's Lamp and came across one entitled "A Sign of Things to Come" (click on the title to read the article for yourself). I sat up and took notice of it because of the symbols on the page representing interfaith cooperation. I had come across a similar combination of symbols some time ago and had stored it on my computer. In fact, as I was deleting some unused information on my computer several days ago I saw it and decided to delete it too. Well, I just downloaded it again so that I could place it on this post, as I now have a better understanding of how it is relevant to what is happening in the churches today, especially with regard to the ecumenical movement.

This movement has now gone beyond crossing denominational borders in its early days, to crossing the borders to different faiths or religions. Tolerance is the by-word of the interfaith movement, regarding all religions as equal and having the same God. No one religion is considered to possess the truth, as they all have their own truth. Those who would remain faithful to God's Word, the Bible, which says that Jesus is the ONLY way to God would be excluded and considered intolerant. Only "nominal Christians" who don't believe that the Bible is the final authoritative Word of God for ALL of mankind will be accepted into this movement. That definitely places me in the "intolerant" and "politically incorrect" category.

In this and following posts you will find a number of resources which will expose the driving force behind this movement, where it shows up, and some of the implications for Bible-believing Christians.

The Roman Catholic church in particular has been at the forefront of this movement. A Roman Catholic organization called Scarborough Missions is heavily involved in interfaith dialogue. They have created a "Golden Rule" poster (the picture at the beginning of the article) and an interactive movie to promote their agenda, with the premise that they can create world peace by implementing it. They say that since every religion has its own golden rule that it can be used to bring harmony amongst the different religions. (Watch the movie by clicking HERE).

The Golden Rule Meditation Exercises on Scarborough Missions' website gives these recommendations on preparing yourself to meditate on their interfaith Golden Rule:

  • Choose an appropriate time for your meditation/reflection-a time when you will not be disturbed by other persons, the phone, the TV, and so on.
  • Unplug your house phone and turn off your cell phone 10 minutes before your meditation. Do not reactivate your phones until a period of 10 minutes has elapsed after the meditation/reflection.
  • It is likely that your meditation will be enhanced if, just prior to your meditation/reflection, you avoid distracting activities e.g. watching television.
  • For your meditation, find a suitable place in your home or a favourite locale in nature.
  • Take time to slow down your mind, your emotions and your body. You may want to do some deep breathing exercises, yoga or another form of physical movement. Or you may want to simply sit in stillness.
  • Realize that harmony of body and spirit is important. Adopt a body stance that is peaceful, balanced, relaxed and alert. Try to keep your back as straight as possible
  • You may want to light a candle and close the curtains in order to create a meditative atmosphere.
  • Open your heart and mind. As a final preparatory gesture, you may want to centre yourself by:
    • maintaining silence
    • repeating a mantra
    • asking for spiritual help
    • making a prayer of offering or dedication
    • using any appropriate preparatory practice in your faith tradition
    • using any preparatory practice that works for you(1)

Scarborough Missions has created a school curriculum which it promotes, and its products are also available at the official United Nations Bookshop. Below is an account of the presentation of the Golden Rule Poster to the United Nations. It contains some rather interesting information. Please note that it says that schools are one of their biggest audiences for the poster. Guess what junior is learning in the classroom these days?!!

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United Nations gets the Golden Rule poster

The Scarboro Missions Golden Rule poster is now on permanent display at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. On January 4, 2004, Mrs. Gillian Sorensen (pictured here), Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, accepted the poster as a gift from the North American Interfaith Network.

The presentation was part of an interfaith ceremony in which it was pointed out that the Golden Rule is not just a moral ideal for relationships between people, but also for relationships among nations, cultures and religions.

In presenting the poster to the Assistant Secretary-General, a statement was read by a representative of the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN). Read the full statement.

The Progress of a Poster

Scarboro Missions' Golden Rule poster makes its way around the world

The Scarboro Missions Golden Rule poster is making its way around the world. What began as an obscure idea in the basement of Scarboro Missions' headquarters is now emerging as a 'coat of arms' for the international interfaith movement.

This striking and beautiful four-colour poster features a written and symbolic depiction of the Golden Rule in 13 religions. Scarboro Missions has been overwhelmed by both the success and the universal appeal of the poster.

Most striking is the diversity of audiences that are purchasing this piece of multifaith art. This audience includes penitentiaries, airports, seniors' homes, corporate offices, hospitals, schools, religious institutions, universities, social justice groups, stores, Sunday schools and private homes.

Various institutions use the poster as a healing tool. For example, a network of addiction recovery homes in Calgary, Alberta, utilizes the poster in its programs. Jeff Archambeault, chaplain to North Bay Psychiatric Hospital in Ontario, has discovered some very creative ways to use the poster with patients and staff at the hospital. In the words of Archambeault, "this amazing poster just keeps on giving."

In the weeks following the September 11 tragedy, multifaith prayer services took place all over North America. Organizers of many of these prayer services used the Golden Rule poster in a number of ways in their efforts to promote forgiveness and healing.

Schools are the biggest audience for the poster, with accompanying lesson plans now being planned for elementary and high school classes. World religions classes find the poster extremely useful. Joe Wey, a teacher at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School in Toronto, begins his world religions program with the poster. Says Wey, "Most of the students have studied only Christianity, so some of them are surprised to see the similarities among the religions...We teach not just tolerance, but respect for other religions."

In tune with Scarboro Missions' global vision, the poster is travelling the world. Fr. Tony Cereskos of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales writes from Divine Word Seminary in the Philippines: "Thank you very much for the kind gift of the Golden Rule posters. We plan to have one framed for one of our classrooms. The message of the poster is very timely for the Philippines. As you are probably aware, Muslim-Christian relations here are very tense and problematic, especially in the South."

In the coming years, Scarborough Missions will join with people all over the world in translating the poster into several languages. Indeed, we have every reason to believe that this piece of theological art will continue to work its wonders in terms of interreligious healing, unity and reconciliation.(2)

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It will certainly be interesting to see how this all is connected in the one-world government and one-world antichrist religion in the coming days. To those who are alert and watching, the information I am presenting here and in the coming days will be no surprise, although it can be disheartening at times; so I leave you with Jesus' words from Luke 21:28-36

"But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

Then He told them a parable: "Behold the fig tree and all the trees;

as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near.

"So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near.

"Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place.

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

"Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap;

for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth.

"But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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Read the THE GOLDEN RULE TWISTED ~ PART 2
Read the ADDENDUM TO THE GOLDEN RULE TWISTED ~ PART 2
Read the THE GOLDEN RULE TWISTED ~ PART 3


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(1)http://www.scarboromissions.ca/Golden_rule/meditation_exercises.php
(2)
http://www.scarboromissions.ca/Golden_rule/poster_at_un.php

4 comments:

livingjourney said...

They say that since every religion has its own golden rule that it can be used to bring harmony amongst the different religions.


To mark the end of Ramadan this year “An Open Letter and Call from Muslim Religious Leaders” was published, dated 13th October 2007. The letter was addressed to Pope Benedict XVI and 26 other named heads of Christian denominations as well as to “Leaders of Christian Churches, everywhere….” It is ostensibly a presentation of Islamic teaching on love for God and love for one`s neighbour.


If the Golden Rule is to love God and love one’s neighbour, which obviously all religions share. This Golden Rule being for the sake of unity and some form of one voice enlightenment – mans way to reverse what happened at the tower of Babel -- then anyone who does not adhere to this rule will be castigated as being very intolerant and perhaps even dangerous to this singular cause.

I for one can see how this is going to unfold. Thanks for this post; it addresses a very sensitive issue.


V

BONNIE said...

Yes, V, this does appear to be an attempt to bring about world-wide unity, a replay of the building of the tower of Babel of old. And it seems to pop up in the oddest places and strangest forms, as you will see in Part 2 to be posted in the very near future (if I can get my keyoard to stop doing strange things!)

BONNIE said...

On June 5 I received a comment on this post by Mohamed Taher which I decided to delete due to the fact that my computer slowed down considerably following its posting, and I became somewhat suspicious of the possibility of it containing some sort of virus that was affecting my computer. Following some tweaking of my site I realized that that definitely was not the case. In fairness to Dr. Maher, I will now post his comment. I am also reposting it because I would like to leave him a reply. I apologize to him that I am unable to post it the way it is usually done. Once a comment is deleted from a post, it cannot be reposted. I was, however, able to copy and paste it into this post from my email.

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HERE IS MOHAMED TAHER'S COMMENT:

"Keep up the good work. Good breeds good.

Best wishes from a Librarian to another Librarian whose professional golden rule, stated in the Guru's Five Laws of LIS, is all about dissemination and facilititaing peace, welfare and harmony, any where, any time, any how, any ways. Stay connected, MT "

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I will give my reply to Dr. Maher in the following comment.

BONNIE said...

Mohamed,

First of all, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. I have examined some of your own blogs to help me understand your reasons for commenting on mine.

With a little research I see that you have enough formal education to have received a doctorate and are a prolific author. I will pretend no such thing, as I definitely have not had enough formal education to ever receive a degree. Other than a few classes (seminary) I am self-taught, being a naturally curious person and an avid reader. I do not believe that this in any way puts me into a lower class on the educational scale, only that I do not have the certificate and letters behind my name to “prove” that I am fairly well-educated. (The papers I wrote in seminary were awarded excellent grades, by the way). I do my own research just like anybody else who wishes to write in an intelligent manner. I struggle with constant health problems that make it difficult for me to keep up in a formal classroom setting, and as a mother, the welfare of my children are always my first priority.

Regarding the “Five Laws of LIS” you have mentioned, because I am not a “certified” librarian, and I am not the librarian of a government-run institution, I am not particularly concerned about making them part of my personal creed. As the librarian of a privately-run church library, I don’t consider myself to be subject to the “Five Laws”. Although I agree that it is important to “disseminate and facilitate peace, welfare and harmony”, I do not believe it should be done at the expense of truth. The church where I am a librarian would agree with me that disseminating the truth would be the highest priority in the life of a Christian who wishes to be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ.

The reason I have written “THE GOLDEN RULE ~ TWISTED” is because I will not sacrifice the truth about the only way to have the true and lasting peace that can only come from a personal relationship with the true and living God through His Son, Jesus Christ. In the book of John, chapter 14 verse 6, Jesus said “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE, NO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER BUT BY ME.” You cannot come to the God the Father by obeying the Golden Rule. Any peace and harmony man may attain by attempting to do so falls far short of what God intends for man, and is temporary and incomplete in nature. (Real lasting peace and harmony is only possible for those who accept the truth.) Man cannot satisfy the righteous requirements of a holy God, because man is unable to follow the Golden Rule perfectly throughout his lifetime. Only breaking one law one time makes a man guilty in the eyes of the law. Therefore man is guilty of breaking the law, period; thus He has fallen short of God’s standard. The only person ever able to obey the law perfectly was Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is the way, the truth and the life.

In opposition to the interfaith agenda, I do not believe that all religious paths lead to the true God. All religions except a true rendition of Christianity eventually come to believe that they all worship the same god, by different names, and that we should allow all faiths to go unchallenged in their pursuit of “god”. I believe that there is only one true God, differing from other “gods” in His nature and purpose for mankind. He is Trinitarian in nature, and in perfect balance He is perfectly just and perfectly merciful in His character. He is the only God who has a Son named Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit who indwells those who belong to Him by faith. He is the God who commanded us to worship no other gods, because they are all false gods, creations of man’s imagination. He is not the same god that the other religions worship. Those who worship and serve a god of their own creation are not children of the true and living God; they have made themselves to be His enemies by rejecting the gift He gave to them for their salvation (His Son), and one day He will judge them righteously for their actions.

I do not set about to cause division (although I do think it is inevitable that division will occur) and I do not believe that the spiritual kingdom of which I am a part should ever resort to any type of physical violence. The reason I have written the articles about “The Golden Rule” is not to cause harm, but to enlighten others to the truth. Truth is a spiritual thing and it DOES naturally cause a SPIRITUAL division between those who do not stand on the same side of it. Truth is defined by God, by the way, not by man. Those who choose not to accept the truth as revealed to mankind by God through Jesus Christ usually will not tolerate those who do, because they are not on God’s side. I readily tolerate other beliefs, but that does not mean that I accept them as truth. Unfortunately, in this day and age, tolerance (incorrectly) has come to mean acceptance and approval. I do not accept that all religions/faiths have the truth, but I also do not believe that gives me the right to harass, intimidate or force anyone to believe what I believe. My job is to speak the truth - that is all. It is up to the Holy Spirit to CONVINCE people of that truth, to CONVICT them of their failure and inability to live up to His holy standard and to realize their need for salvation through faith in Christ alone.

The purpose of my blog is to disseminate the truth, and I will not compromise truth for anything. Once again, that does not give me the right to commit acts of physical force on anyone who does not agree with me. The truth is a SPIRITUAL concept, and God’s kingdom is a SPIRITUAL kingdom, until that time when Jesus Christ physically returns to earth to set up a physical kingdom.

It seems to me, Mohamed, by your comment, you are implying I have broken the “Five Laws of LIS”. (Either that, or you have misunderstood the intent of my article).Well, that may be so. I believe that I should submit to a higher authority, God’s Himself. God did not give us the law (the Golden Rule)to save us. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the law. I am first and foremost a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything else is secondary and subject to this. It is not “The Golden Rule” which brings peace and freedom to men’s heart, but the Lord Jesus Christ. The interfaith movement which you are a part of (according to one of your blogs) does not accept this truth. A rule is but a standard of right and wrong, a standard of perfection, and is without the ability to change men’s hearts. It is only by being born again into the kingdom of God by faith in His Son Jesus Christ that there is true peace and freedom in a man’s heart before God. Anything else is an illusion and deception. Many in this world who do not know the true and living God who revealed Himself to us through the Lord Jesus Christ will be deceived into believing that adherence to the Golden Rule will be their salvation, but salvation is by faith in a PERSON (Jesus Christ), not in a creed or a rule. The law does not have the ability to deliver, but only condemns those who fail to keep it. The law is only a standard to keep evil from running rampant on the earth, and its purpose is to point to Jesus Christ who is the only one who was able to keep it, thus being its fulfillment.

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Galatians 3, verses 10-29 (from the Holy Bible, God’s written word to man) says:

THE LAW BRINGS A CURSE: "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.” Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

THE CHANGELESS PROMISE: "Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,”who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise."

PURPOSE OF THE LAW: "What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."

TO SONS AND HEIRS: "For you are all sons of God THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And IF you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise."
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It is those who are in Christ by faith who are the children of God, not those who follow the Golden Rule. It is they who are the true heirs of eternal peace and harmony. Those who are not trusting Christ by faith (and are trusting in their own “good works” by keeping the Golden Rule) will be judged by that law. If you live by the law, you will be judged by it as well, and not be accepted by God. Jesus is the mediator between God and man in His court of law.

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John 8:23-36 records this about Jesus Christ:

And He (Jesus) said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Then they said to Him, “Who are You?”
And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.” They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
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Mohamed, may you seek Jesus Christ and find the truth which will set you free in the days to come. Law-keeping cannot save you. The Golden Rule is only a signpost to point us to Jesus Christ. Only Jesus, the complete fulfillment of the law, can save you, if you accept Him. By faith accept Jesus Christ, who died for your sins and follow Him, the living truth, and you will have peace with God forever. When He returns to earth one day, as He promised, He will rule with righteousness and mercy, and His children with Him. May you be found in Him on that day, and many with you.