The Gospel according to Bill

Abraham worshiped a jealous deity that demanded sacrifice and servility, but our individualistic and egalitarian Jesus told us to view God as an approachable and forgiving Father. He distilled the complex Torah and its Mosaic commandments into a simple message of love.

Medieval colorations and claims which have helped carry this through the millennia must now be reconciled with advancing knowledge, but the teachings of Jesus shine through them like a beacon. Expressing our faith in a way which is consistent with the insights of the natural sciences is just as valid today as the priestly and dogmatic form of the religion was before the western Enlightenment.

Simone Weil said roughly a century ago "Christ likes us to prefer truth to Him, because, before being Christ, He is truth. If one turns aside from Him to go towards the truth, one will not go far before falling into His arms."

A detailed system of beliefs and rituals is not necessary. Christianity is a simple faith. Jesus told us to love each other. That's really all that we need to do!

1 John 4:21

And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

John 13: 34-35

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this will all know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

Romans 13: 8-10

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

When we follow the path of love, doors of insight open. We find the divine spark in others - and ourselves - and see that we all have value.

1 John 4:16

And we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

Luke 17:20-21

Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Concerns over sin and guilt are swept aside by the glad tidings that God loves us all, and welcomes our approach.

Matthew 7:7-8

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Brothers and sisters! Our faith is love. It is as simple as that.

St. Francis is recorded as having said: "Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words."

Luke 10:25-28

And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”

So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”

And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

1 Corinthians 13:13

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.