THE TWO TREES TM Peter Brohier

An alternative approach to understanding Christianity

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THE TWO TREES

A DISCUSSION PAPER BY PETER BROHIER  

It is said in the Bible that there were two significant trees in Eden - whether a real or fictitious place.

One tree was the "tree of knowledge of good and evil".

The Bible contains rules that, if contravened, lead to and identify evil or sin.

By contravening biblical laws, as we see them as applicable today, we endure the consequences. The Lord's Prayer allows us to seek forgiveness for such sins.

The success of the biblical laws should not be minimised. They appear to have established a successful framework by which one nation has been able to continue relatively intact for many thousands of years.

The other major tree in Eden was the "tree of life".

God gave Christ to the earth, Christ gave his works and life and we are asked "to drink his blood and eat his flesh", in other words follow, his message of goodness or charity toward God and humanity.

As Christ journeyed with God while on earth so should we.

Unfortunately, many of us lead a more self-focused life. Our economy and society encourage it. We therefore tend to see Christ as an identity that through his sinless life, and then death, he saves us and through his death we can obtain eternal life.

While we wait for such a life other on-going earthly benefits come our way through our pursuit of a mainly self-focused life.

Perhaps we should make a distinction between his identity and that of his message.

Perhaps it is by following his outward focused message, that we see the hand of God in our journey through life. It is this charitable life that gives us confidence and hope and faith in Him, and in his message. This message is the "word" or message of Christ that realy saves us, not just his death.

John 1:14King James Version (KJV)

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

King James Version (KJV)

For example, there are two ways we can view the miracles that Christ performed. We see them as a kind of magic that Christ or God could also perform for us, if say, we are also ill.  

Alternatively, perhaps the real message of the miracles was a demonstration of Christ's outwardly focused life. This is a focus that we could follow instead of mainly seeking similar outcomes.

If we look at the Bible in this light we may be able to see a substantially different message, rather than creating a type of valuable image or "golden calf"of they type described in Exodus of Christ that can result in faith from his death with expectation of self centered benefits, plus ultimately, eternal life.   

The concept that I have described seems to be a reflection of the "tree of life".

This life is demonstrated in stories of the outward focussed lives of many of the biblical characters, both old and new testament.

Perhaps the message of Christ is really the reason for his being. As we adopt his outward focus, the hand of God is shown on that journey for humanity and the miracles of God are seen by us in our lives in respect of the cause we pursue.

As the journey gets harder, faith in God becomes more paramount. These are miracles that may start at the start of a journey seeking God but become more evident as the outward focus takes over away from a mainly, self focused life.

Many stories of biblical characters relate to high level religion and politics. In political lobbying focusing on achievement of public benefits, many of the elements of the biblical stories have come true in my life.

I would suspect that these elements may be true in whole of life outward focused lives, of any kind.

In the end it is this outward focused life, based on the message of Christ, that seems to deliver a far richer life than a self focused one.

The Queen of England said in her 2008 Chistmas address-

“Over the years, those who have seemed to me to be the most happy, contented and fulfilled have always been the people who have lived the most outgoing and unselfish lives; the kind of people who are generous with their talents or their time. There are those who use their prosperity or good fortune for the benefit of others whether they number among the great philanthropists or are people who, with whatever they have, simply have a desire to help those less fortunate than themselves.

What they offer comes in the form of what can easily be recognised as service to the nation or service to the wider community. As often as not however, their unselfishness is a simply-taken-for-granted part of the life of their family or neighbourhood.

They tend to have some sense that life itself is full of blessings, and is a precious gift for which we should be thankful. When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.

I think we have a huge amount to learn from individuals such as these. And what I believe many of us share with them is a source of strength and peace of mind in our families and friends”.

 

This is quite a different concept to a person seeking to obtain salvation through the actual performance of more good works or by sinning less.

Many of the Biblical characters were far from perfect. It is the faith that is built on the outward focussed journey that becomes "salvation" .

Theology is sometimes advanced by grafting the message of the two trees.

The "two trees" remain two separate trees in the Bible. Many Biblical characters committed sin, classified by the tree of the "knowledge of good and evil" but still experienced a life based on an understanding of the "tree of life".

If we approach the contents of the Bible with the above focus, the whole Bible seems to make sense.

Perhaps the very basis our Christianity has been moved from "message" to "image" to offer easy options for many followers. This has not been a bad thing as it has sustained a body of believers over centuries.  

It has allowed the Bible to be passed down to future generations.

But, unfortunately this approach has not advanced the option of a real understanding of the significance of "the "tree of life".

It seems that many climb the Maslow pyramid without reaching the top and waste most of their lives seeking the trappings of success without ever reaching the top.

They aim to continue their journey up the pyramid and end up in a mansion in heaven with a god they hardly knew.

In summary, salvation is in the message of the Christ that ended on the cross, not just the cross itself.

Copyright 2012- 2015 P N Brohier all rights reserved

 

 

 

 

ABOUT PETER BROHIER

Prime Ministers, Keating, Howard and the Rudd Government have responded to Peter Brohier’s vision, influence or lobbying for low cost access by sea to and from Tasmania.

Uncapped federal funding for Bass Strait has dramatically improved the economy of Tasmania and offered greater transport equity for people and vehicles.

Peter was awarded a major AHA Tasmania award for outstanding services to tourism and for bringing the nation a National Sea Highway. Peter graduated in law from Monash and won the CPA award for top accounting student from RMIT.

Peter, you can, and should - take personal credit for the improvements in Bass Strait fare equality. The campaign you and the National Sea Highway Committee have waged over many years has succeeded in delivering better fares for Tasmanians. Peter, I thank you for your hard work on behalf of this State.  All Tasmanians must salute you for your achievements. Bob Cheek, MHA, a Former Liberal Leader of the Opposition Tasmania.

Mr Brohier has been a very strong advocate for a better deal for people on Bass Strait.  I think he has done a terrific job over the last few years. Through his efforts he is probably more responsible than anybody else for the introduction of the vehicle subsidy, I would think. Paul Lennon, former Premier of Tasmania, Hansard 12 April 2002

"Senator Barnett, I and a few others met with the restaurant and catering representatives of the Australian Hotels Association-tourism and hospitality being a growth area in our home state because of the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme initiated by the Howard Government".  Senator Abetz, Hansard 6th December 2004

Senator Colbeck said the scheme, combined with the Spirit of Tasmania ferries, was the next best thing to a highway link with the rest of Australia.  He said the figures confirmed that without the decision to introduce the scheme, the ferries would not be the success they have been. The Mercury, 13th July 2004

Van Diemen's Reborn Land  “Tourism is soaring, the economy is growing (the forecast is 3.5% next year), unemployment is falling and Tasmanians are no longer leaving home. Introduction of two daily ferry services from Melbourne in 2002, have fed the rush" The Economist, 17th January 2004

“Many new ideas are dismissed, considered too costly, or may just never happen.  The status quo is usually maintained and defended. However, the cost of not implementing some new ideas can be very great. This cost is often never measured.  Some ideas however transcend accepted policy and can be implemented. The idea for a “National Sea Highway" was just one of those – some others appear in this brochure.”  Peter Brohier 2009

My experience as a legal practitioner, designer, manufacturer and retailer, continues to be valuable.  More valuable is my experience a parliamentary lobbyist. Many of the world’s great and timeless stories are about the “pursuit of purpose”. I believe that these stories contain the secret to an extraordinary life. Taking ideas that can change a nation from nowhere to the highest level in the politics is very hard. Key elements of such stories are still just as highly and personally relevant today as on the very day they were written.”   Peter Brohier 2009


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