One of my book groups chose The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr for the next book to study. This group actually reads the books they choose and typically will spend about eight weeks on a book. This book sounded a bit too churchy for me but since I like and respect the group so much I bought it and am glad I did. It has answered some questions I never encountered but were important to me. For example, the name Jesus Christ isn’t really a proper name, because the word Christ is more like a title. The way Rohr works with the word Christ is very similar to the way I use the word Universe. Christ is universal and ubiquitous and everything is part of “Him” including the Big Bang and everything that came of it.
“Creation exists first of all for its own good sake; second to show forth God’s goodness, diversity, and beneficence; and then for humans’ appropriate use. ” p. 50
“The point of the Christian life is not to distinguish oneself from the ungodly, but to stand in radical solidarity with everyone and everything else.” p. 33
“It is impossible to make individuals feel sacred inside of a profane, empty, or accidental universe. This way of seeing makes us feel separate and competitive, striving to be superior instead of deeply connected, seeking ever-larger circles of union.” p. 16
“You are a child of God [the Universe], and always will be, even when you don’t believe it.” p. 37
Rohr states the difference between Jesus the man and Christ the Universe.
“Jesus can hold together one group or religion. Christ [the Universe] can hold together everything. p. 47
“In fact, Christ already does this; it is we who resist such wholeness as if we enjoy our arguments and our divisions into parts. Yet throughout the Scriptures, we were given statements like these:
- “When everything is reconciled in him . . . God will be all in all.” (Corinthians 15:28)
- “There is only Christ. He is everything and he is in everything.” (Colossians 3:11)
- “All fullness is found in him, through him all things are reconciled, everything in heaven and everything on earth.” (Colossians 1:19-20)
“This is not heresy, universalism, or a cheap version of Unitarianism. This is the Cosmic Christ, [the Universe] who always was, who became incarnate in time, and who is still being revealed. We would have helped history and individuals so much more if we had spent our time revealing how Christ is everywhere instead of proving that Jesus was God.” p. 47-8
“I have never been separated from God [the Universe], nor can I be, except in my mind.” p.44
I was unaware of Richard Rohr when I wrote:
The Universe gives me everything I need!
There are beautiful places for me to find rest;
Where everything is given to restore my strength, and
I am shown the ways of finding the Universe’s beauty.
Even when confronted with oblivion I am comfortable. Yes.
Everything is provided by the Universe and it is given freely.
Surely its goodness shall continue to provide for my fulfillment,
And I will continue to be an integral part of the Universe. Forever.
I feel that the Universe absolutely engulfs all of the gods that will ever be created by humans.