Even so, I'm finding out that the gist of the lessons the Great Master Teacher has been trying to bring home to me for the past months, if not years, was in essence laid down already 2000 years ago. For once, there's the ever returning them of "Without Me ye can do nothing," (John 15:5), and then there is the equally important truth that whatever we do or may think to be accomplishing, without love, it's worth nothing (see 1Corinthians 13).
What makes these old doctrines sound strange is, of course, the sad fact that so few have ever really managed to live them, and it gives religious groups some strange, weird, esoteric or "New Age" slant to be claiming that these ancient values are very well to be expected of us to be put into practice. What's odd to most people about it, is that it's something they cannot achieve by any efforts of their own, but rather, the total "anti-effort:" a letting go of all personal effort (excepting the one to obey), ambition and ulterior motives, and just "let go and let God" do through us what we humanly can't.
Availing ourselves of the same, supernatural power through which every true man or woman of God in both, the Old and New testaments did whatever they accomplished for God, sounds so strange, so weird, so sectarian to us rational thinkers in the age of the peak of man's glorious achievement, where we've constructed machines to do practically every human task for us (except eating, sleeping, making love and going to the toilet... but they're probably working on it), without having relieved one ounce of the suffering humanity has known since its early fall.
It sounds preposterous in modern man's ears that God would be expecting of us to believe in the same child-like simple way that out forefathers did. They had the Holy Spirit, we have television, tanks and cars. They had miracles, we get Pat Robertson and George Bush... aaand, of course, the almighty (?) dollar.
That seems to be the accepted fate of 21st century humanity, and anyone saying, "You keep your trinkets, your politicians & TV-religion and your money, just give me those good old lasting values from the Bible," strikes the vast majority as outrageous, blasphemous and treacherous. Although it could hardly be deemed so, especially since no one wishing to return to the standard of biblical faith would be blaspheming the true God, only the established religious System, which are as far apart as the Rockefeller church in New York and John the Baptist's coat. And as to who is truly being treacherous, I suppose only time will tell.
Nor can it be said that our modern "do-it-yourself" type of religion has anything really new about it, since it originated with Cain, and has been observed by tower-of-Babel constructors, golden-calf carvers and temple vendors ever since. The old way of truth just sounds so weird and so damnable to us because it still goes against our same old greedy and selfish grind. The Devil doesn't like Jesus any better than he did 2000 years ago, nor do the followers of the one get along any better with the followers of the other.
What has improved, though, is the art of disguise. It's more difficult than ever to tell who's really a real follower of Christ. In fact, without the supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit called discernment, it's hopeless.
That's one more reason why we need that supernatural help from above that make us sound so strange, so weird, so esoteric. If you want to look up what other gifts or weapons God equipped His people with in order to combat the Enemy's forces in this world, even back in St. Paul's day, read the 12th chapter of 1Corinthians. It will lead you right to the most powerful weapon of all, described in a chapter all on its own, and we're right back where we started from: All you need is love, and it's the only thing that matters,and trying to do anything without Love, which is God, is useless... (see,once again, John 15:5).
So, just a little reminder - not as much for anyone out there as for myself - of one of the major lessons the school of life is all about. For without becoming good learners in the first place, we'll never manage to be good teachers...