It’s All In the Context

I was recently in a discussion with someone about a well-known quasi-religious figure who is head of one of the  largest right wing organizations in the US. This individual believes in a doctrine called “second grace”, which holds that someone who has undergone a second “moment of grace” from God is incapable of sinning ever again. Even if s/he were to willingly choose to sin, s/he could not do it because of “second grace”. In the hands of this particular individual, that is a frightening idea because in his mind, NOTHING he does is a sin! EVERYTHING he does, no matter how he accomplishes it, must be God’s will because he is unable to do anything that is contrary to God’s will due to having undergone this moment of “second grace”.

The other person in this discussion had never heard of the doctrine of “second grace” and as I was explaining it to her, I was struck by the fact that the CwG material also teaches us that nothing we do is contrary to God’s will. However, the difference in the teachings is the context in which they’re taught: the doctrine of “second grace” is taught from the context of a separation from God and the CwG material is taught from the context of Oneness with God. And it is this difference that makes all the difference in how these doctrines operate in the “real world”.

With the belief that we are all One with God comes the realization that we are also One with each other and that what we do to others, we are also doing to ourselves and therefore we seek to treat others with the same Love and Respect and Dignity that we want from others.

With the belief that we are separate from God, there is the “need” to “reunite” with God, which naturally infers that there is a “right” way to do so and a “wrong” way to do so. The wrong ways are called “sin”. But the soul recognizes that we are NOT separate even if the mind says we are, so to resolve this internal conflict, the mind creates a belief that allows us to recognize that we cannot violate God’s will, although the belief in separateness says that only those who have already done enough things the “right” way can reach this point.

This got me thinking about other doctrines in the teachings of organized religion that “mirror” the things God reminds us of in the CwG material. I realized that there are a lot more teachings in the context of organized religion that I absolutely disagree with but in the context of our Oneness with God and with each other, make perfect sense. However, like the doctrine of “second grace”, these religious teachings are “warped” by the fears instilled in us by the belief of separateness.

Take, for example, the belief that is one of the cornerstones of the Christian faith: that Jesus came to save us and to “pay the price” for our sins with his death on the cross. In the CwG material, God reminds us that there is nothing from which we need to be saved because nothing we do lessens God’s Love for us. During his life, Jesus told us many times of our oneness with God and with each other. However, he also knew that there would be those who would hear the underlying truth of his message and those who would not.  For those who could not set aside their fear caused by the belief of separateness, Jesus’ death provided them with the hope they needed to continue to believe that they would one day be “reunited” with God. They were therefore “saved” from our fear of death because Jesus was willing to “pay” with his physical life, which also demonstrated to those who could understand that death is an illusion.

So the next time you hear someone talking about a belief they hold dear that you simply cannot accept, ask yourself what the belief would be like in the context of the Oneness with God versus the separateness of organized religion. You will find that every religious belief that may not make sense to you makes perfect sense in the context of Oneness.

 

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  • Michael L

    Hi Shelly,
    A question if I could.

    “doctrine called “second grace”, which holds that someone who has
    undergone a second “moment of grace” from God is incapable of sinning
    ever again.”

    Where in this doctrine does it say you are separated from God once you get your “second grace”?

    I would think if you can never sin again, sin being separated from God/love, you would never be separated from God ever again.
    Just a thought, what do you think?

  • Christopher Toft

    Wonderful:)

  • Erin

    Fab thinking, Shelly! This is one to re-member, indeed. 🙂

  • Blake

    The greatest evil is believing there is no evil. The greatest love is unconditional. Working to live unconditionally is a lifetime mission. Living intentionally knowing I am not a victim or perpetrator of evil is second grace.

    Blessings