Seminar Faith:Relationship to a more central figure of faith
- This is section 5 of the Seminar Faith. Comments or questions are appreciated. You can also write to John Eagles.
Some people like to be the center... The one and only central center... Certainty is that centers are always relative... The center is not for one who's competitive... It's for the one who can relate... Who can accept that the other is also great... No central figure stands alone... Or could settle high on a throne... The smaller one thrives on supporting the center... And the center on assisting the member...
Relationship to a more central figure of faith
The image at the top right shows two masses orbiting around a common center, called 'barycenter' in astronomy. The barycenter is the center of mass of two bodies. Such is the situation for planets orbiting stars, for example the earth orbiting the moon, and moons orbiting planets, for example the moon circling around the earth.
This center of gravity is not exactly in the center of the heavier body. For the earth and the moon, the common center of mass is a point approximately 1,710 km (1062 miles) below the surface of the Earth.
When you look at the picture, you can imagine the smaller body orbiting around the heavier body, but you can also see the larger body orbiting around the smaller one, depending on what point of reference you take. Actually, they are both orbiting around the common center.
I show this picture because it is illustrative for the relationship of two central figures of faith, one more central and the other one seemingly in a subordinate position. In reality, they are not only relating to each other but also to a common center that they together create.
In astronomy this situation is simultaneously true for many celestial bodies. In the solar system, the sun and all its planets and all their moons together form one center of mass around which they all orbit. The center of mass is closer to the sun than to any of the other masses, but it's still central to all; the sun itself is not really the center.
Now to the relationship of two central figures of faith, one being more central.
Jesus and John the Baptist
Jesus can be seen as the central figure of faith in his time. After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist at the River Jordan, he went to the wilderness for 40 days to fast. Jesus stood on a foundation of faith that apparently was also dependent on John the Baptist's relationship to him.
While many Christians believe that John did a good thing to baptize Jesus, the Divine Principle explains that John the Baptist should have made preparation to receive Jesus as Messiah but John failed to do so.
Soon after this event, John the Baptist lost his life, and Jesus, after the 40 days in the desert, took over some of John's disciples and began his public mission. Jesus had to build a new Foundation of Faith after John's failing to unite with Jesus as the more central figure of faith.
The point to be made here is that a Foundation of Faith is not something made solely by one central figure. The new central figure of faith stands on a foundation of faith already made by those who went in front of him. Jesus' foundation of faith was dependent on that of John the Baptist. Jesus had to inherit John's foundation of faith, but when John failed to full-heartedly follow Jesus, Jesus had to make a new foundation of faith.
Because John had baptized Jesus, baptism meaning a symbolic birth, Jesus had become a kind of child of John and inherited John's mission, which was to bring the Jewish people to repentance and to help preparing them to receive the Messiah. Yet John himself did not follow Jesus and Jesus had to restore the foundation of faith that he had inherited as a broken one from John.
Each of us is or should be a central figure of faith, which means to have a trust relationship to God. Those who are responsible for larger levels beyond the individual and family foundations are more central figures of faith. The faith of everyone else is dependent on the faith of the more central figure of faith, but it is likewise true that a more central figure of faith is dependent on the faith of those who follow him or depend on him.
Magnetic field of faith
A comparison to understand how this works is with the magnetic field generated by an electrical current flowing between two poles. The two poles can be seen as God and one person, but also between a more central figure of faith and other central figures of faith. The magnetic field that is generated is the Foundation of Faith. People who come in contact to the central figures of faith are influenced by the magnetic field, and both poles are essential.
What is also important is that a current flows between the two poles. There should be a relationship of trust and faith, of mutual giving between God and the central figure of faith, but also between a more central figure of faith and other central figures of faith.
When there is a stronger trust relationship between two central figures of faith, this creates a stronger field of faith that acts like a magnetic force that can move many people.
- Assignments are optional tasks that may help you to get a deeper grasp of the topic of this section of the seminar.
- Find other examples in history (comparable to the one given in the text above about Jesus and John the Baptist) where a new central figure of faith had to go a difficult course to build a new foundation of faith after the older central figure of faith failed to unite.
- Pray and try to find out who presently is your more central figure of faith and to whom you are in the position of a more central figure of faith.
- Other articles on ERW that are related to the content of this section of the seminar.
What you should remember
- In space, a smaller mass like the earth doesn't just orbit around a bigger mass, for example the sun, but they both orbit around a common center, which is closer to the center of the bigger mass. We can argue that the same is true for two central figures of faith, one more and one less central.
- Jesus stood to some degree on the foundation of faith that was inherited and built by John the Baptist. Although John the Baptist passed on some of this legacy to Jesus by baptizing him, because afterward John did not follow Jesus, Jesus had to make a new foundation of faith in 40 days in the desert.
- A foundation of faith can be compared to a magnetic field generated by an electrical current flowing between two poles.
- Seminar Faith to go to the other sections of this seminar.
- Seminar Faith:Parameters of the Foundation of Faith to go to the former section of this seminar.
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