“This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord. …I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:23, 24, 18:10
UNDER CONSTRUCTION: by Tom Millington
Little did I know that day in 1960-- I became a living soul on planet Earth. Life? Huh? Where did I come from? What’s going on? I was born with a blank mind which I liken to an unrecorded VHS tape. The concept of God, religion, and sinful man who is in desperate need of a Savior (Jesus) was the last thing on my mind. I had been given the biblical name Thomas, and I have obviously learned to respond to this name even today. Did I know at this early stage of my life that things reproduce after their own kind; that is, cats give birth to cats, elephants give birth to elephants, humans give birth to humans, and Protestants give birth to Protestants? Huh? Yes, I grew up "Protestant". This was what I was taught, so I accepted it into my thinking because this Protestant label had no effect on my ability to make friends. I had gained good Jewish friends in school, and I had gained good Catholic friends too. Many, many years would pass before I truly comprehended what all this (religious history) meant. In the simplicity of my mind, it was obvious that we were all created by the same Creator- They were human and I was human - Nothing more, nothing less. We were all on even ground, and surely we all desired and deserved the same good blessings throughout life! Love thy neighbor as thyself- what could be so difficult about this?
|Friends are creative in that they inevitably invent nicknames. I was dubbed the "priest" and Thomas "friendly"; both for which were beyond my comprehension as to why these nicknames came about because I was generally too ashamed to even bring up religious conversation outside of church, and, furthermore, I had little self esteem. Even so, my focus was to learn the basics expected of any child. Questioning issues being taught me was unlikely; issues must be embraced for what they were (rote/ fixed). Compartmentalizing the seemingly infinite amount of information in my mind was all I could do to keep pace with academics.||
Pictured is Mike Effron- my High School friend (Jewish)- taking a rest on our Maine bicycle trip, summer 1978
As I advanced with age, I learned little how to communicate more effectively. Whenever religious conversations arose amongst my closest friends, they were discerning enough of me to know that I didn't grasp "our religious differences". In middle school, for instance, I had a secret "crush" on a Catholic girl. As I braved myself to confide in my friends, their most sincere effort was made evident to explain to me why I, a Protestant, couldn't ever date this girl or marry her- she was Catholic. It all went right over my head, retaining very little insight. I was made frustrated because this issue was common sense -- I was male and she was female -- so what was the real underlying issue? By the grace of the Holy Spirit of the Living God, it took until I was 37 years of age to understand this confusion. The Holy Scripture 1 Corinthians 12:25 clearly states: "That there should be no division/ schism (KJV) in the body [of Christ]." This verse came leaping right off the page and etched into my mind. In my curiosity, I looked up the word schism in the dictionary. To my joy and amazement, I was really set free of confusion when the new knowledge that schism, a distinct religious sect based on doctrinal differences, was forbidden by God Almighty! In an instance I became enlightened that the vast majority of churches had denomination wrong -- non-denominational Churches now took on meaning. Talk about a "Great Awakening," and reversing harmful doctrine. Today, year 2008, I teach others who are seeking the Gospel of Truth that the numerous Christian denominations that exist translate into different styles of worship... or at least these ought to be the only differences!
In high school, I had other confusion to deal with. Psychology, the science of human and animal behavior, posed a clear contrast between Christianity and secular folk (perhaps better said: not clearly determined folk), in regards to understanding what makes people “tick.” Psychologists like Sigmund Freud, and Abraham Moslow seemed to have great influence over society while Jesus’ teachings were void and without any means of subsistence (destitute). Why the separateness between Christianity and "other" as if by a barrier; divide or disconnect? Was this deliberate for purposes of social engineering (mind control), or was it just out of ignorance? To be continued...
"It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" -Matthew 4:4
Jewish/Christian friend Laurie Capen Tom's many Christian and Jewish friends
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