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A people without borders?

Reader comment on item: Erdoğan Fails to Conquer New York City
in response to reader comment: ı hope you are wrong

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Oct 15, 2014 at 07:28

Hi, Havas

Have you read the Bible? I went through the things you're describing, in my early '20s. I was raised as a Roman Catholic, very devout as were you in Islam.; and like you, I was patriotic. Then, around 1970-71, I ban many around me began to question what life was all about and what I was doing in it. Then I began searching for answers in Kundalini Yoga, in Marxism, in the "Back to the Land" counterculture, in Hermetic Philosophy, in the Bhagavad Gita, in the Qur'an and in the Bible.

The Bible is not a philosophical book: one cannot simply read it, intellectually absorb it and hope to understand it. The Bible is a history of man's dealing with God: from Adam's walk with Him in Eden, to the hearing and obedience of the Patriarchs Avraham, Yit'chak and Ya'akov, to the time that the Jewish people in Egypt cried out to Him and were heard by Him. Then Torah was given -- not in secret, but openly to the whole congregation; and the people of Israel swore their allegience to the Master of the Universe. All the details of their covenant with Him are written in the Bible, along with their successes and failures at obedience.

In the Christian New Testament, the story line is continued. Jesus did not come to the Jewish people to start a new nation, nor to uphold the old. Instead, he taught about an eternal kingdom within which, like the relationships with God of Adam, of Noach, of Avraham and of Moshe, this kingdom, is based on personal relationship with God -- a relationship of hearing from Him and obeying Him.

That is why I say that the Bible is not a philosophical book, to be understood intellectually. It is based on a living relationship with an individual, namely, the God of Avraham. In order to walk in this relationship, one first needs to realize that this God is alive and accessible, and that he cares for you personally.

In April, 1973, when I was lost in the forest and thought I would die, I got into a Yoga position, and by and by told this God that I wasn't completely sure cared for me, this God that I couldn't see or feel,

"OK. Here I am. I think I'm going to die, so I imagine I'll be seeing you pretty soon."

Then I asked Him if he was the God of the Bible, and if Jesus was real. At that point, I FELT a hand on my shoulder -- felt it so vividly, I was afraid to turn around, for fear that I might see a face. I realized that not only did Jesus raise from the dead, but he was right there with me! Then I sang some Christian songs that I had heard once some seven months before this but never sang, and I fell asleep. In the morning, I woke up an found my way back to my shelter.

That was the beginning of this new walk with my God, a walk that has never ended in over 40 years. I've read the Bible many times through since that time, but not to gain some intellectual, philosophical understanding. Whenever I read that unique book, I read it prayerfully, with an eye to receive instruction. Because of that, I can't really say that I've ever understood it; because it's not information to be gotten: It's an opportunity to get to know the Author, who is right here in the room with me.

Do I belong to "humanity", to some trans-national tribe without borders? No. Humans don't need borders and armies to be cruel to one another. Just look at Da'esh -- They have not borders, no real capital, no real government; yet they go about like ravenous animals. That's what humans are like; that's what I am like, except for the grace of God. The Bible tells me who I am: an alien, a stranger, a pilgrim passing through -- much as Avraham was, seeking a country he had not seen before, a land set aside for him by God. Just as Avraham was a nomad and a stranger all his life, so am I in this world; and the time will come, most likely after I have died, that I will see my ancestor Avraham; and his God, and the eternal company of just men, made perfect.

May that God bless and keep you on your way.

Shalom :-)

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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