Monday, July 03, 2006

"Saved," "Sanctified," and "Speaking in Tongues"

The Scriptures do not speak specifically of "three" principles or manifestations of "grace." All that arises freely from God's infinite Love can be said to be "grace," from the air that we breathe to the
functions of your stomach or lungs. Daily survival is a matter of grace, and so is existence itself. In fact, there is no good in your entire life that cannot be traced directly to grace, from your ability to give and receive Love to the intelligence to read emails.

The three items that you mention are implied in Scripture, although not listed precisely.

They are:
1) "saved." This is usually interpreted as being rescued by God's Love from "original sin"-- a monstrous idea, never in the Bible, cooked up by an off-balance theologian named Augustine (born 354). This teaches the sad and scary idea that all babies are born "damned by God." This was
not because of anything that they did. You, and I, and everyone, was born "damned by God" because a couple, thousands of years ago, picked a fruit from a fruit-tree. This all goes back to the "literalization" of Genesis. (Many Biblical scholars think that the entire account of Genesis is an allegory, or symbol-story.) Because God, uncharacteristically, has, with a total absence of Love, damned you to burn forever, even though you, as an infant, have never done anything wrong, you must be "saved" from this evil and demonic god.

2) "Sanctified." This means "made holy or sacred." It certainly smacks of self-righteousness and superiority. It means that God has specifically and especially "chosen" you to be one of His "chosen
people." You are "sanctified" by grace, but so is everyone else. For we are all, bar none, the "children" of God, and we all partake equally of divine Love. People are so insecure, however, that they insist on living out of fear. And this fear, as a master, causes you to want to be "better" than others. (In psychology, this superiorism is called "overcompensation.") The person who brags, boasts, and struts her superiority does these things because, deep down, she feels dirty, inadequate, or inferior. When God calls us to mental balance and mental health, we no longer have to play this sick game.

Being "saved" from ignorance and from our own lower nature (which supports lying, bigotry, violence, etc.) and being "sanctified" apply to everyone. For in the end, the Christian Scriptures teach more than once, it is God's will that everyone should be saved. And it is also His will that everyone be "made holy" by grace. "Grace" means that you are made holy by what God wants to do; it is not up to you, and does not come to you because of anything that you do, or anything that you become. [For example, you cannot "get" grace by joining the Christian faith, a particular church, or by "confessing Jesus as your Savior." If the Spirit moves you to do this, fine. But it is still an "act," ("work") and we are saved, not by human acts ("works"), but by only grace.]

The third, "speaking in tongues," is technically called "glossolalia." It is sometimes a gift of God given in circumstances, such as at Pentecost, when it was needed to communicate. But in modern times, it has become a kind of "sign" that the Holy Spirit" is active within you. Sometimes, it is a true sign that this is so. But not always. Spontaneous glossolalia is very rare, but it has happened that some people who have never been to any church, who do not claim to be "Christians," have started speaking in tongues on a public street-- or, more likely, in a psychiatrist's office.

This can be, but is not always or necessarily, a 'spiritual gift" of the Holy Spirit (God). For, in the Unconscious, we all have memories of previous existences in which we have spoken different languages. If we get in touch with this part of the Unconscious, we all have the ability to find at least words and phrases whose meanings are unknown. These often represent memories of foreign languages "brought over" into this life.

Keep up the good spiritual work, my friend.:)

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