Urban Life Training Newsletter-March 18, 2021
I will be suspending (closing) my Facebook account after March 31st, due to the censorship imposed by Facebook, and my desire not to support the platform by my presence there. If you would like to stay in touch with me and Stacey on social media, I invite you to join the independent social media platform Friendica, which we run on our own server: https://friendica.visionroot.org/register. Here is one of our public pages, fyi: https://friendica.visionroot.org/profile/visionroot.
27 Moses did as the Lord commanded: They went up Mount Hor in the sight of the whole community. 28 Moses removed Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar. And Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain, 29 and when the whole community learned that Aaron had died, all the Israelites mourned for him thirty days.
21 And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites,” says the Lord.
22 “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure. 23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord. 24 “And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.”
The Purpose of Religion
All religions share certain purposes in common, though with different emphases. For Western religions, the primary purpose of religion is salvation. The etymology of the word “religion” derives from a Latin word meaning “to re-bind” with God. Human beings are fallen and broken, and therefore God has established religion as a means of repairing our brokenness, restoring us to our original goodness, and re-connecting us with God. In contrast, the eastern understanding of religion is contained in its Chinese characters, which mean “foundational teaching.” this describes the purpose of religion as the basic teaching for cultivating a good and virtuous character. Father Moon recognizes both meanings, inasmuch as fallen human beings cannot finally cultivate virtuous character without resolving sin and rebinding with God. He distinguishes two valid aspects of religion: first, providential religions (Judaism and Christianity) whose purpose is to welcome the Messiah who comes to solve original sin and restore full communion with God, and second, religions the world over whose purpose is mainly to train people in virtue. The Kingdom of God is built on both of these foundations. Religion also has a social purpose: to cultivate community. Religion teaches the ways of love and reconciliation that enable people to live in peace and harmony. By extension, the ultimate purpose of religion is to establish world peace. That is, because God is the creator and Father of all humankind, religions that take us close to God enable us to feel part of the universal brotherhood and sisterhood that flows from his parental love
1. Religions Provide the Way of Salvation
Men, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Seek refuge with the Lord alone,
with your whole being, Bharata.
By His grace, you will reach
supreme peace, an everlasting estate.
Bhagavad-Gita 18.62 (Hinduism)
Surely the [true] religion with God is Islam [the Surrender]. Those who formerly received the Scriptures… if they argue with you, [O Muhammad], say, “I have surrendered my pur-pose to God, and so have those who follow me.” And say to those who have received the Scriptures and those who have not read [them], “Have you also surrendered?” If they surrender, then truly they are rightly guided.
To many a refuge fear-stricken men betake themselves—to hills, woods, groves, trees, and shrines. Nay, no such refuge is safe, no such ref-uge is supreme. Not by resorting to such a refuge is one freed from ill.
He who has gone for refuge to the Buddha [the teacher], the Dhamma [the teaching], and the Sangha [the taught], sees with right knowledge the Four Noble Truths: Sorrow, the Cause of Sorrow, the Transcending of Sorrow and the Noble Eightfold Path which leads to the Cessation of Sorrow. This, indeed, is refuge secure. By seeking such refuge one is released from all sorrow.
Dhammapada 188-192 (Buddhism)
Surely, the path that leads to worldly gain is one, and the path that leads to Nibbana is another; understanding this, the bhikkhu, the disciple of the Buddha, should not rejoice in wordly favors, but cultivate detachment.
Dhammapada 75 (Buddhism)