Principle of The Golden Rule

Posted on 08/20/2017 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

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TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

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by Benjamin R. Faust

I have a reason to rejoice
I have a reason to clap my hands
I have a reason to lift my voice
and sing praises to the great I Am

I have a reason to move my feet
and take the Gospel into the street
I have a reason to lose my will
and let Jesus take full control

For You have set my feet to dancin'
You have filled my heart with joy
You have freed me from my passions
and filled me with the Holy Ghost

You have set my heart on fire
Fill my soul with Your desire
and Melt me Lord 'til
only You remain!

by Benjamin R. Faust

(There's) Nobody like You Lord
Nobody like You
Nobody like You Lord
You are worthy

You alone are King of Kings
You alone are Lord of Lords
You alone are worthy there is
No one else like You
Every knee on earth will bow
Every tongue confess that You are
Lord above the heavens,
There is no one else like You!

by Benjamin R. Faust

I praise You Lord
I praise You Lord
With all of my heart
With all of my soul
With all of my strength
I praise You Lord

For there is nobody like You
in heaven or on earth
Who is worthy to receive
all my praise
And I praise You with all that I am
Yes I praise You with all that I am

I'll serve You Lord
I'll serve You Lord
With all of my heart
With all of my soul
With all of my strength
I'll serve You Lord

For there is nobody like You
in heaven or on earth
Who is worthy to receive
all my praise
And I'll serve You with all that I am
Yes I'll serve You with all that I am

I love You Lord and
I'll love You Lord
With all of my heart
With all of my soul
With all of my strength
I love You Lord

For there is nobody like You
in heaven or on earth
Who is worthy to receive
all my praise
And I love You with all that I am
Yes I love You with all that I am

*** Choose your connection speed and listen to the audio to hear the introduction. ***

Last week, we talked about our connection with others: while we each have individual persons generated by individual minds, and we each are accountable for the decisions we choose to make, the Scriptures show us that the Life that makes us living, conscious beings is one and the same -- it is the Breath of God. And the Life that powers my every thought, movement, and breath is one and the same as the Life that powers YOUR every thought, movement, and breath.

And while these bodies will die and return to dust, and these earthly minds and all their stories and drama and temporary mind-made persons, will fade away, the Life that is underneath, the Life that you really are, will last forever.

And this underlying oneness leads us to today's topic, which is: (The) Principle of the Golden Rule.

Matthew 7:12 (TLS*)

12 So treat others the way you would want them to treat you. This is the message to which the law and the prophets point.

In the days Jesus walked the earth, there was no Scripture besides what was found in what we call the Old Testament, plus a few possible others. So what He said here is the same as if a preacher stood behind the pulpit and said,

"The entire Bible points to this one thing: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

And if we DON'T live like that, then we could be a brilliant Biblical scholar and have a doctorate in advanced theology, but we don't even understand the whole point of the Scriptures.

Now, someone might object, "The point of the Scriptures is to point us to God!" But let's remember, that was the point of the law and the prophets.

The law showed us two things: First of all, it showed us God's nature, and second of all, it showed us how far short we fall from measuring up.

And the prophets delivered messages to us from God concerning our keeping of the law, and the price that must be paid for our failure to do so. They also foretold things that were yet to come.

So the Scriptures give us guidance, and ultimately lead us to God.

Is that different from saying they all point to treating others the way we would want to be treated? Aren't those two seperate messages? Was Jesus wrong?

Well, let's take a deeper look.

In Isaiah, we read this familiar verse:

Isaiah 11:9 (TLS*)

9 None will harm or destroy in all the hills and valleys of My sanctuary, for the earth will be saturated with the intimate knowledge of God, just as the waters cover the sea.

The verse before this one talk about the peace between mankind and the animals. The lion will lay down by the lamb, and the child will play by the cobra's nest. Neither man nor beast will fear the other or themselves.

There will be no more killing. No more abuse. No more crime. No more selfish deeds.

In other words, everyone everywhere will live completely by the Golden Rule.

Why? Because we will have an intimate knowledge of God, of His Glory, His Nature, His Breath.

Habakkuk 2:12-14 (TLS*) puts it like this:

12 Woe to the one who builds a city by shedding the blood of man and beast, and who provides its abundance by wickedness!
13 Behold, does the Lord of Hosts not declare that the people's labor kindles destructive fire, and they weary themselves in vain?
14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of God, just as the waters cover the sea.

Don't we build our cities like this? And don't we provide in excess using others in ways that harm them? Or that cost their very lives?

It's because we don't know God. And even if we have knowledge in the head ABOUT Him, we don't actually KNOW Him, His Glory, His Nature, His Life.

The same Life that fills MY body and gives ME awareness and breath, fills the body and powers the consciousness of the person my mind might want to use or abuse.

And that Life that gives ME life is the same Life that animates the animals I might pay others to abuse until their slit their throats and drain their life's blood so that every day for every meal I can have a taste sensation that once was reserved for the wealthy or for very rare occasions.

We build up our societies at the expense of others' well being and even their lives, and even the poor among us live with luxurious that require robbing others of their basic comforts and even of the breath from their nostrils.

Now don't get mad at ME. I didn't write this. And I'm not the one who is already shifting the tides to establish a world in which none of these atrocities take place ever again.

And of course we don't mind SOME of what these passage affect, so long as someone doesn't suggest that they apply even to the things that WE don't want to change.

How about the Ku Klux Klan? Do you believe they are evil? Well, THEY don't. In fact, this is a technical summary of what they are:

"The Ku Klux Klan is composed entirely of white, Anglo-saxon, Christian American citizens, both male and female, who believe that their race and religion are superior to those of people of other races and religions."

And here is part of a summary of their basic beliefs:

"The number one source of knowledge for the Ku Klux Klan is the Holy Bible. Members of the Klan believe in the literal truth of the Bible. One KKK member once wrote, 'the Klansmen pins his faith to the Bible as the revealed will of GOD.' In fact many active Klansmen were ordained ministers. In addition, the majority of the members belong to some Protestant church."

In fact, identifying as a Christian is required for membership in the KKK.

How about the "other side of the fence" so to speak?

There are a number of black separatist groups. Some of them are religious in nature and assert that blacks are the chosen people of God.

To name just three of them:

Black Hebrew Israelites,
Israel United In Christ, and
Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ

They believe that the Twelve Tribes mentioned in Scripture all have dark skin, and are not what we know today as the Jews.

Caucasions are called "Edomites," and are believed to be the descendants of Esau.

For most of us here or listening, we have no problem recognizing the ethical wrongness of racism and racist ideologies. But when we see a member of such a group and recognize them as such, do we feel hatred against that person rising up within us?

It's easy, and one could say "natural," to hate someone who hates others. But the problem with that is the fact that we ourselves become someone who hates others and therefore, by our own standards, we should be hated.

But is it really people we or they hate? Or is it just thoughts against which our minds wage war?

Hitler was just a man. He lived in a body made of the same materials as your body and mine. And the Life that gave him breath and consciousness is the same Life that gives US life.

It was the thoughts generated by his temporary earthly mind and the resulting person we call Hitler that our minds find unacceptable.

And the same is true for every one else against whom we fight. We do not fight against what actually IS in the real world. Instead, we fight against imaginations.

And ultimately, we don't even fight against THEIR imaginations. Instead, we fight against ourselves.

Let me explain what I mean.

Each one of our minds has developed an image of how things should be. When our perception of something does not line up with, or even clashes against, that ideal, our minds resist it.

The perfect weather? Sunny and 72 degrees. And so when it's significantly hotter or colder, the mind fights against its experience. When it's cloudy, the mind's warfare can cause moodiness or even mild depression.

How about our dislike of certain people? Well, it's not that person directly against which the mind fights; rather, it is the mind's own perception against which it battles. Their mind-made personality might not even be the way our minds THINK it is, and we cannot directly experience it from inside of them anyway. But our own thoughts and mental feelings ABOUT that OTHER person's thoughts and mental feelings is that against which we wage war.

So really, the mind is fighting against itself. It is a constant inner battle. And the casualty is our awareness of the Presence of God, the Spirit of God, the Breath of God that is our Life.

And one of the symptoms of that loss of knowledge of the Glory of God is that we do not always treat others, ALL others, as we would want to be treated.

We could outline all the ways we want others to treat us:

With respect.

With understanding.

With mercy and compassion.

With selflessness and consideration.

With empathy, understanding how we feel.

As equals.

As worthy of life, happiness, provision, and freedom.

As worthy of Love.

But when we do not genuinely treat others in these ways, we are denying that desired treatment to ourselves; for it is our mind's inner image of that other person or creature our mind is resisting.

In that way, we are fighting against ourselves.

Or, more accurately, in that way, our mind is fighting against itself.

And we get lost in its fantasies and delusions and thereby partner with it in its godlessness.

And now...... are we tempted to fight against its godlessness? To see it as an enemy? As something to be conquored and changed to measure up to THAT mental image of how our mind should be?

It's worse than a dog chasing its tail. The dog is probably having a jolly good time. WE, on the other hand, are fighting and causing destruction, and by being lost in our mind, we lose sight of the Glory of God.

The Glory of God. The Knowledge of the Glory of God. The Nature of Love. The Nature and Essence of Life.

And as we dwell with Him, feeling His Life in our bodies, His Breath in our nostrils, His Fire of Love in our chests, the mind will begin to cease its constant state of war. The person it has created, who we consider to be "us," will start to change.

And we just might find ourselves treating others, regardless of the color of their skin, the lifestyles their mind-made person lives, the religious system their minds believe, or even whether they were born as a human, cow, pig, dog, cat, fish, or bird -- we just might start to see life through their eyes, to feel what they feel, and to treat them with

With respect.

With understanding.

With mercy and compassion.

With selflessness and consideration.

With empathy, understanding how they feel.

As worthy of life, happiness, provision, and freedom.

As worthy of Love.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said this:

"Violence begets violence; hate begets hate; and toughness begets a greater toughness. It is all a descending spiral, and the end is destruction -- for everybody. Along the way of life, someone must have enough sense and morality to cut off the chain of hate."

That hatred is a product of the fallen human mind, as it fights against its inner image of the world and the things in the world around it.

And the cure? It is the Glory of God, as we take our attention out of the carnal mind and dwell instead in His Presence.

And as our attention gets captured again by the activities of the mind, we notice it; and instead of calling the mind bad, or fighting against ourselves for having put all of our attention there once again, we simply return to that place of Presence -- in the Temple of God -- and we rest in His Everlasting Love.