abba's way

The Congregation of All People (CAP) — The Non-Instititutional Church of the Future


 

CAP is my term for The Congregation of All People. CAP is not an institution. CAP is an idea. CAP is movement of the people in the direction of a more peaceful world.

My way of affirming this is to wear a simple CAP.

When I wear my CAP, I feel more at peace with everyone. I am more aware that Abba showers everyone on earth with the same free and loving grace. Indeed that Abba is within everyone and available to all.

CAP has the following premises:

BELIEF AND UNDERSTANDING are more important than religious affiliation.

You can know truth in many different ways. As Krishnamurti says, truth is a pathless field. Taking our cue from Krishnamurty, and possibly from Jesus himself, we must move beyond today’s world of institutionally-tied religions and ideologically-bound religious understandings.

We must combine a radical individualism with a radical understanding that only individuals standing as who they are in their own inalienable right can be part of viable families, communities and societies.

Cyberspace makes a new, universal awareness at least possible.

NOTE FROM AN ONLINE FRIEND: Having now seen Steve’s CAP in person, it is the germ of a delightful idea, one designed to provoke a “teachable moment”. It is kookie, and it is humorous, but it does make its point. I like it.

Cyberspace is the birthplace of a non-religious, iconoclastic affirmation of a world beyond creed.

Reapprehending Jesus as a world teacher.

Jesus related to anyone he met regardless. When he spoke in parables and beatitudes, he outlined poverty of spirit as the simple reality that enables us to confess we are indeed imperfect vessels. We are set free and are set free by the completely unreasonable love of Abba — the One to whom Jesus addressed the only prayer he ever taught.

I has an early CAP experience out West when I left my bag in a cloak room and went to get it. The attendant said of my CAP, What’s that, a CAP?

I said, No. Ccongregation. Congregation of ALL people.

Everybody!

The way he nodded and said, Yes! was a neat moment for me.

No more isms.

No more legal-corporate religious institutions.

CAP is not an institution. It never will be one.

CAP is an accessible idea whose manifestation rests with anyone. Particularly the one who says, I am not going to imitate that guy who wears that cap! I will do it my own way.

Is there a litmus test?

Yes.

Peace.

Jesus said the temple should be a house of prayer for all nations. No temple made by hands can be. Peace is within individuals or it is nowhere. It can only be transmitted by individuals.

Wearing a CAP is your way of saying to the entire world that you subscribe to the peaceful, tolerant and helpful way of Abba.

Christians can understand CAP in the following way:

Because Abba took the form of a Servant — one who poured out all of his life and was despised, betrayed and rejected — Abba’s triumph should be shared in the context of that ultimate self-giving.

A dogmatic, authoritarian, triumphalist sort of evangelism builds walls. It does not save souls. CAP believes that all souls have already been saved for all time and that opening of eyes, ears and minds will reveal this to be true.

We should share the Phillipians message of Jesus the Servant, who does not count equality with God a thing to be grasped — who pours out God’s love on all who come freely to the fountain of life.

CAP is an IDEA pure and simple.

But ideas that speak truth are ultimately more powerful than institutions.

Wearing my CAP. I can look into the eyes of anyone who asks and say that is Jesus the way, truth and life.

That is evangelism. Free. Open. Universal. Global. And cyberspace could one day be its revolutionary medium.

CAP AS A SONG LYRIC (1 Cor. 13)

Patience is the gift love brings
Kindness is the song love sings
Love’s not jealous, boastful, proud
Doesn’t need to know the future now

Love does not cleave to its own way
Love does not seek to win the day
Irritation robs its force
Resentment moves it from its course

CHORUS:

In a mirror dim
We see the way
We’ll know the fullness
Of love one day
The perfect does not pass away
Finally only love remains

Love rejoices in the right
Things go wrong there’s no delight
Follows through believes all things
Only to perfection clings

In a mirror dim
We see the way
We’ll know the fullness
Of love one day
The perfect does not pass away
Finally only love remains

BRIDGE:

I’m grown up now, my childhood’s o’er
I’m traveling toward love’s blissful shore
Faith, hope and love, we know these three
But only love remains eternally

In a mirror dim
We see the way
We’ll know the fullness
Of love one day
The perfect does not pass away
Finally only love remains

Finally only love remains

Another song:

POINT OF LIGHT

I am a point of light within a greater light
This point of light is neither body, mind, nor what I feel
The larger light surrounds the light within me
It is pure energy, its source divinity, it lives within me

I am a point of light within a greater light
This point of light is also the point of pure consciousness
It’s rays can warm mind, body and all feelings
I will to let it grow, so daily I will know, its power to heal me

I am a point of light, within a larger light
This larger light where e’er I roam is always home to me
I can embrace all creatures that surround me
When points of light are known, their beacons can be shown, and I am happy

I am a point of light within a larger light
And as I choose the light I can be purified
My life can mirror light that comes from holiness
See how it flows within, see how we can begin, to know its closeness

I am a point of light within a larger light
The life I lead can be a simple harmony
Love, courage, caring — light-directed will
Can be the gift it gives, can help me as I live, so let it fill me

The greater light will flow where e’er we let it go
It will not force itself on a resisting soul
With patient care each tender beam is seeking
To bring us all to love and teach the meaning of your holy passion

I am a point of light within a greater light
This point of light is neither body, mind, nor what I feel
The larger light surrounds the light within me
It is pure energy, its source divinity, it lives within me

CAP As A Meditation

When Jesus says, in Luke 8:17
All secrets shall be manifest
All hidden things revealed
He speaks to those he means to see God’s light

A light of goodness so transparent
Good news is believed
A light that comes
When Jesus speaks of God

The God of Jesus is no hostile Parent
No blind justice ruling from afar
The God of Jesus is the One called Abba
Close as breath and near as whispered truth

At first this Abba is the secret Jesus brings
A presence of pure goodness, therefore scorned
Cross nailed, entombed, yet somehow unextinguished
Abba shines
If not in us, then in the word preserved
Eternal possibility
Made manifest upon a shadowed hill

Jesus leaves no hiding place from choice
Repent, reject, recoil from all this show
These spinning wheels of sophistry
This glamour built on force
Submit instead to Abba
And believe
Believe good news
Believe good news

But few submit and few believe
And as we look around we see:
The goodness Jesus calls us to
Is not yet manifest in us
Our faith is ill-defined and principalities hold sway

The time fulfilled is strangely unfulfilled

So we will be here for a while yet
Until there is more light upon the hill

BEATITUDES

The WAY OF ABBA is to be happy or blessed. Minus blessing and the sense of blessing, connection to the Way of Abba cannot be said to exist.

The early placement of the Beatitudes in the Gospels is a sign that Jesus (and the earliest Christians) meant them to be taken with complete seriousness — as fact.

Two things need to be understood in reading these initial blessings.

First, they apply to now.

Second, by applying them to now, the conditions they refer to are either altered or fulfilled, now or in the future.

Sufficiently important are these blessings that they cannot be listed as though we could pick from them and find our niche in the blessing pool. All of the qualities that are blessed, all the conditions that are affirmed, are aspects of character and will and action that we can happily aspire to and whose fruits will become manifest.

Poverty of spirit is the first and greatest blessing, that state of emptiness and ignorance and spiritual at-sea-ness that makes us open, as we must be, not only because this is a repentant state but also because it is a fully receiving state.

The term kingdom of heaven refers to the sum total of gifts Abba is showering now upon earth, to he extent that we are open to receive them. Poverty in economic terms remains relative through all history, but the clear implication is that because poverty creates lack of illusion and marginality the poor will more easily receive than those encumbered with place, things and pride.

Mourners are now comforted because, Jesus makes plain by his resurrection, heaven is the destiny of the blessed. And mourning is a sign of the depth of feeling that Jesus honors in all who suffer loss.

The hunger and thirst for righteousness, Abba’s setting right all human hypocrisies and rationales, Abba’s achievement of peace and justice, is being, and shall be, satisfied.

Prophets have the job of showing how this is always the case.

Meekness should be a cause for happiness in the knowledge that the meek inherit the earth. Clearly those who bend to the created ways of the earth will inherit it, despite human efforts to parcel up, rape and dishonor Abba’s gift to us.

The possession of earth by predators is transitory and so to is the presence of the predatory nature in those who turn, empty themselves, and receive Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Do Unassuming Good In The World

The WAY OF ABBA is to do unassuming good in the world.

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