The Words of the Simonds Family
The Formula Course (1)
December 18, 1998
What makes the formula course complicated is that the world is full of cultures that reflect different stages of development. There are "pagan" subcultures in Christian nations. There are Christian subcultures which reflect OTA values. There are Jewish subcultures which possess Christian values. There are "secular-humanist" sub cultures which possess advanced Christian values in conflict with Christian subcultures that embody Pre-OTA values.
A person whose heart is in the pagan realm, may be living in a country which has an advanced culture and system of law based on Christian values. The "formula" course for that person is easier than for a "pagan" living in a pagan culture in some ways, not in others (more opportunity, less incentive). A Christian who has a low standard of behavior may be in a better place spiritually because of the merit of other Christians with whom he is associated.
Nevertheless, the individual somehow has to grow into a full relationship with God by passing through a process.
The first step is to separate from the satanic world. Historically, that was the era of making sacrificial offerings of things. Likewise, everyone has to lose an attachment to things. It means living one's life by making offerings instead of pursuing selfish interests. Giving, before receiving. Taking risks by sacrificing what you have with the hope that greater things will come. Sounds basic, but how many people think - "Someday I'd like to contribute to God's providence, but first I need to make money" That's a trap. You never make enough to say, "Now I have arrived and it's time to think about doing something for God or humanity".
Fundraising activities bring about this fundamental change. Just serve the people and let the results come. Don't focus on the results but on loving and serving the people. Don't worry about where your means of support are going to come from. You'll be taken care of.
When you look at urban communities where people are totally dependent on the welfare cycle, to elevate them you have to get them out of this trap. It happens to people who are married to a job, as well. "I have to work around my 9 - 5 job, I don't have time to help out". There are ceilings in the 9 - 5 world and they prevent people from realizing their full human potential. Fundraising, or some variation, teaches entrpreneurism. Looking for the opportunity, regardless of the structure you happen to be in. But entrpreneurism alone isn't enough. It has to be connected to a higher, public purpose in order to connect with God's providence. Then God can direct the entrepreneurial activity. He needs us to have the confidence and faith to take risks. Abraham took several huge risks - leaving the familiar surroundings of his homeland, the willingness to sacrifice his son. Those who are afraid to upset the apple cart can't be objects to God, they are objects to their surroundings.
The next stage of development is to be a servant of God, based on the word. Do as God commands. At an elementary level, that means to obey the commandments. At an advanced level, it means to grasp the principles which God applies to human relationships and live accordingly. In other words, to live ethically according to the dictates of conscience - based on an understanding of the word motivated by a desire to be a good servant (of God or of the public). There is a code of behavior in the Jewish tradition. There is a Christian code of behavior as well (do unto others ..) The Christian code is more elevated - but it has been adopted by other cultures (love your enemies). And many nominal Christians have yet to adopt a high standard of Christian ethics.
So the formation stage of spiritual growth is based on an understanding of the word. Our grasp of God's word determines how our conscience guides our ethical behavior. There are people who have an incredible grasp of ethical principles, but base their behavior on conformity to the word only (they get criticized by the evangelicals and fundamentalists for not being saved). A person can be a highly trained professional, yet be in the servant stage in a relationship with God. They often possess a certain fear that they may suffer repercussions for violating an ethical principle and lose their position.
The growth stage is based on a change of heart where one enters in to a relationship with God as a parent, not a master. The heart gets cultivated as one loves God and his or her brothers and sisters. The degree that one loves determines the depth of relationship with God and other people. Caring for others, then, expands the heart and draws one deeper into the love of God. An "older son" position, relative to spiritual growth, means having attained a position just beneath the level of being a True Parent. It means one naturally assumes the role of older brother or sister to everyone they meet. They are less competitive and more interested in cooperation and support. They behave ethically, because they are motivated out of love. They don't need a high standard of ethics, because they naturally behave ethically. It was said of Father, that he was a man who didn't need law, because he was guided so well by his conscience. In his case, he didn't need to study the written word so much, because the motivation of his heart guided him in the right direction and he intuitively understood moral and ethical principles. The fear of repercussions lessen as one matures. Even if a Christian errs, they realize they can repent and return to God, because the position of child is unconditional.
These stages of spiritual growth have strong implications for economic and political systems - and culture. In the next post, I'll share some thoughts about that, and where I think we're headed.
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