Daniel: What is your understanding of these two verses?
1. Be still, and know that I am God.
2. The kingdom of heaven is within you.
When Jesus said, "I am the door by which ye enter," do you think he meant that he was literally a door, or do you think that this was a metaphor? If it was a metaphor, do you suppose there could be other metaphors in the Bible that are less obvious?
In one verse of the New Testament it is claimed that Judas hanged himself. In another verse it is claimed that he died from a fall. Do you think that these two claims are contradictory?
Are you aware that Jesus spoke Aramaic, but the oldest fragments of the Bible we have were written in Greek? Are you aware that there are many words in Greek for which there are no equvalent words in English? Are you aware that the Greeks used several different words with different meanings that in English can only be translated using one word? Are you familiar with what the word "deconstruction" means in relation to interpretations of the Bible by theologians?
Zendancer this is the problem you pick and choose from the bible. Out of the whole bible all you have is those two verses to try and support your Zen. We have to read the bible in context.
Scriptural statements, stories, commands or symbols which have a particular meaning or set of meanings when taken within the intellectual and broadly cultural framework of the Bible itself are lifted out of that context, placed within the frame of reference of another system and thus given a meaning that markedly differs from their intended meaning.
Example: The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi interprets "Be still, and know that I am God" as meaning that each person should meditate and come to the realization that he is essentially Godhood itself. Whereas this text is found ONLY in Psalms.
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." is the first part of Psalm 46:10. Here, the word still comes from a Hebrew word meaning to “let go” or “release.” The meaning would be best understood to say “cause yourself to become restrained or to let go.” In other words, we need to come to a place where we are willing to submit ourselves to God and acknowledging that He is in sovereign control.
Only those born of God who also don't live a lifestyle of sin
Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit." 1Co 6:9,10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:19-21 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Eph 5:5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-- such a man is an idolater-- has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Matthew 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Those who have been born of God are presently in the Kingdom of Christ. But the present kingdom is not political as the kingdoms of the world are, just as Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place." Joh 18:36 It is a kingdom within those born of God, "because the kingdom of God is within you."
Daniel: You wrote, "In other words, we need to come to a place where we are willing to submit ourselves to God and acknowledging that He is in sovereign control."
Your interpretation sounds fine to me as far as it goes. Trust in God, treat people as you would want to be treated, follow the rules as best you understand them, and keep an open heart. I'm simply saying that its possible to go deeper than that--so deep that personal selfhood totally disappears. The path of nonduality is obviously not for everyone. LOL. Have a great day.
Zendancer let me clarify i have no problem with you picking and choosing from the bible. My problem is with people who put down others for reading the bible and taking all of it seriously. The bible is not a picking and choosing game if you are a Christian, it is a Holy book. If you wish to pick and choose from the bible like you have done and not claim to be a Christian then that is fine i actually don't have a problem with that, but i think you would easily insult millions of Christians who read the bible everyday by saying they are clueless about the kingdom of heaven.
It says from the verses i listed, homosexuals, rapists and drunks can not get into the kingdom of heaven. What would Zen say about that? The answer would they would ignore it but it is found in the bible. And remember all of the bible is sacred:
2 Timothy 3:16 (King James Version)
16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
Alot of people try to ignore or take out / twist things in the bible, but we can not do this. Read it as it is.