I was talking with a friend of mine and he told me that he wanted to learn more about the Scripture of the Tanakh (he calls it Old Testament still but we are working on it). So I asked where he wanted to start and he said, "Genesis". Well if you are going to start somewhere that is the best place to start.
Translation is Everything
1In the beginning of God's creation of the heavens and the earth.
2Now the earth was astonishingly empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the water. Bereshit 1:1-2
Now I know that may look different for some but this is the Translation to English from the Chabad.org Torah which is what is read and has been read for at least 2500 years if not longer. Here is the ESV Translation:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
What we need to point out is that the first part of verse 2 is very different and can really change the context. The difference is "being empty" verses "formless and void". other translations will go as far as saying "without form". So what is the contextual difference?
Being empty, eludes to the earth was formed and present but in a state of flux and without life or the means to sustain it. Gd was refining the earth. Without form and void can be taken so many ways. Yes, Gd created all things but the Hebrew text is specifically about the earth after chaos because that is about us. We cannot go back any further than that which is what other translations try to do.
The earth has been around for millions of years and we are not the first inhabitants. The writers of the Hebrew text knew this. The Bible is talking about our current circumstance of the last nearly 6000 years. There have been calamity after calamity on this earth that changed the face numerous times and Gd has had to start over each time. We even have one written in Genesis (the Flood).
When we read and study Scripture, the worst thing to do is read through whole sections in one sitting. Take the creation story, we read chapters one and two and say we were created but what does he mean by just good. Isn't Gd's creation perfect? No, we are co- creators with Gd working towards perfection but that is a story for another time.
When asked this question, I usually answer with a question, "Why do you think you exist?". To be certain, the reason we are here is to take part in a greater plan that we attribute to a higher power that helps answer the questions we cannot until the real answer is revealed through the creative process we are seemingly designed to accomplish. We do not need someone to blame for things but rather thank for the experience and the ability to grow.
G-d Listens and Talks to Us
Sometimes we need something other than human interaction to help figure out what we did and also to confess what we know we did wrong in order to make amends and fix it. We need G-d to help us gather the mental strength to not make the same mistakes again. God told Cain that we have the capability to master the evil within when He said,
"Surely, if you do right,
There is uplift.
But if you do not do right
Sin couches at the door;
Its urge is toward you,
Yet you can be its master.” (Genesis 4:7)
Why We Need Boundaries
We were given categories of Laws to mark the boundaries between our good and evil inclinations. Unfortunately, there are people who take this to an extreme and creation goes backwards instead of forwards through committing atrocities that cause a recreation to take place. We also have people that take our human form and perform experiments that are not supposed to be such as changing our biological makeup resulting in a change from female to male and vice versa. The other extreme is to test our capacities for learning and what boundaries are set for our existence. Sometimes we experiment to test our human boundaries for strength or immunity capacity. We also experiment with the capabilities of the mind.
We would not be able to do any of this if it was not part of the process for the greater good of mankind. We need G-d so we can understand the boundaries in which we can have creative freedom. Without this, ultra curious people would test personal ideologies that might be outside our understanding and cause a corruption which could end us.
We need an understanding of a higher power that tests our strengths and weaknesses. We need to trust that this higher power will not let us fail when we fall. We need the moral and ethical boundaries so that we do not take ourselves to places we do not need to be. We need to be kept in check.
We Are Responsible For Our Own Faults and Actions
Do we need someone to stand before the creator in our defense? Actually no, we don't. The Scriptures state that G-d does not want anyone to be responsible for His creation but the creation itself. Can a person step in to save another? Physically and mentally, yes. We have people that that is their job specifically but no one stands before G-d to answer for another's actions and words while on this earth. We are responsible for how our Spirit meets the Maker. He will judge us and cleanse us.
Will We Ever Not Need G-d?
No one knows what will truly happen next. We have multiple ideologies out there but no one is privy to that info. We can hope and guess what may come but only G-d knows the outcome of the plan. I personally believe we need G-d because He is who He is (there really is no other explanation). We are not here by chance, too many possibilities and coincidences tell us we were at some point created in an image that is both physically and mentally based on a design for some greater good. We were created to grow into something even better than we are today. We were created to evolve into what G-d needs us to be.
Grow with G-d and you will see a change for the better. Trust is G-d means you are actively taking part in His overall plan.
Rob, His Servant
When people hear Pathway they think of two different things, a walk way or the path and the way of eternal life being the created Christian idea of a Triune god. There is something, however, that is missed. The Path is the road we walk on of that is our life which is guided by G-d. The Way is believing, knowing, understanding, and abiding by the Word of G-d Alone.
It is our intention to create Paths to show the Way back to G-d through an understanding of the Seven Universal Laws of Man that are also known as the Noahide Laws. These are the Laws that Adam, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Lot, Job, and their families as well as all who lived in those generations knew. Some followed while some took different paths. The Paths at the PWRRC will lead to learning areas, gardens, as well as areas of reflection and worship. Each area will have lessons on the different laws and how we can live in this world while following them. The goal is to bring people out of their idolatress ways and return to G-d Almighty.
-What is the Path-Way Refuge and Retreat Center?
Currently in the construction stage, Path-Way RRC is a place where people can worship G-d without fear or retribution from the world. The world is a scary place and all Children of the Book are under attack for their beliefs even amongst ourselves. This is a place where we welcome all people who fear (revere) G-d and reach back into time past to really get to know our creator.
At RRC the focus is on the Oneness of G-d and how we are all one with Him. We dive deep into Scripture and ancient writings to find out who we are and how G-d desires us to live on this world He created.
What Will We Do at the RRC:
Before mankind used weapons of war, tools were used in all types of agriculture, useful items, instruments of music, and build places to dwell. It is written that this will happen again where weapons of war will be destroyed and repurposed to live in peace with one another once again. At RRC we will help people learn to grow, harvest, and share. Too many children are unaware how to live with the land. Here we will make it happen again so that the generations to come can learn to live in peace without the desire for money or other idols.
We will teach that no one is more important than another as we expand on sharing and trading goods and services. We will teach that all types of people are unique but there is none that have dominance over another. Talents and know-how are gifts from G-d that we share and teach each other, not use for our own self-interests and gratification.
We will support rediscovery for those who have become lost in the land of confusion by helping them find their footing once again.
We know that there will be people against us because some will say that we are a cult or we are brainwashing people. That is far from our intent as no one will be on the land for more than a few weeks at a time. It is nothing new but a return to knowledge that has been lost or taught then forgotten.