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Hugh Schonfield - THE MEANING OF A «SERVANT-NATION»

Hugh Schonfield 18.12.2016 20:22
Hugh Schonfield - THE MEANING OF A «SERVANT-NATION»


"Servant Nation" AS A CHALLENGE TO DISUNITED NATIONS AND DISUNITED RELIGIONS in a world where nation-states and institutional religions divert man from his allotted purpose



 An inspirational talk

 

 

FROM THE BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF A «PEOPLE OF GOD»

to the

 UNIVERSAL CONCEPT  OF A GENUINE   «WORLD CITIZENSHIP»

 

A transcript of a talk given by Hugh J. Schonfield (Cluny, France, May 27, 1984)

 

 

[Yesterday, we have gone] far back into the past. Now we have to think how it stretches into the future. We have learnt what it has meant to have a people called by God. But we have to ask ourselves now WHY A PEOPLE ?  Pourquoi un peuple[1] ? Why not some other form ?

 

Because in the way our planet is made, everything is organized in groups, from the animal kingdom up to mankind. And therefore, we have a great variety of species. And this is characteristic of our planet, that there are different species, which begins even in the animal kingdom, with an organized society of the family, and then of a clan, or what you call a tribe. And then there are still greater structures, of the nations. The family of dogs cannot be the same as the family of sheep, and so the world has developed into different nations in the different parts of the world. And it is the right way for every group to act in the manner of the group. So, in order that mankind should be redeemed, God had to create a nation to send to the nations. No other institution could function and this is why Israel was called in the beginning.

 

And then, when we came to the coming of the Messiah, the Messiah was a man who could set an example to the individuals of his people. But he could not save mankind as an individual. Mankind could only be saved if the nation to which he spoke could corporately become a Messianic nation. Because we have now to think not as religions often do, in terms of individuals. We are talking in a collective sense. And if our world is to become united, it will be by an association of all the nations coming to accept the teaching that a nation would give them. What has happened until now – and  we have seen its climax in our time, when  nations have taken a view of authority – we have had the doctrine of the « master nation » which was to control others, and in its own interest, in seeking its own power, and condemning what it could not conquer. And this is the exact opposite of the Divine Plan.

 

Because, from the very beginning of the Creation, it has been a matter for helping one another, of being concerned for one another, of having love for one another. And this has to find its fulfilment in a nation which looks at the other nations with love and with care, with concern, to bring them to the highest point that they can reach.

 

Now, to create a national example, a Messianic example in a corporate sense, something which human beings cannot do by themselves, this can only come  when such a corporate body is able to look at the world with the eyes of God, seeking only the good of others, caring for them. In the world of nation-states, the nations of the world have responsabilites, and are exercising those responsabilities in territories of their own. And so, we have had the process – just as human beings have created all kinds of machines and inventions – that we have created in a nation a national machine which we call a state. A state is making a machine of a nation. And the tendancy, therefore, of the making of a machine, is to lose the soul.

 

Now, we see in the idea of a People of God a people which is released from the idea of the state, which has no territory which it has to protect against others, and which is not involved in this machine structure. It has to be a People of the Spirit which is free and goes everywhere. That is why the Messianic expression of the People of God is developing in this day through individuals all over the world who are called to unite in a nation which has no state, and which is free from the designs of having something to protect for itself against others. Its function is like the priest's function of this priesthood. That is why it goes back to the idea of a holy nation, a Kingdom of Priests, because it is as a VOCATION, a call which it has to carry out itself and which demands the surrender of what is the attributes of other nations. I am talking about the question of territory, so they are located in one area.

 

It was not practicable in any earlier age for this development to take place which has to take place now. It is only as our world has become so much smaller, and we are much more closely in contact with each other, and could communicate immediately with each other, that institutions have begun to develop,  which are indications of the recognition that if the nations do not act together, do not become a larger family, they will destroy themselves. This is why human beeings have been led to create such institutions as the United Nations, to try to suggest that there should be principles of fellowship which should govern the relations of all nations with each other. And not only in this sense, but also in responsability towards the planet on which we live, responsability for its products, for the trees, and the water, and all the natural resources. This should not be controlled by one part of mankind, so they are deprieving other parts of mankind of these resources. And we have a responsability for the animal kingdom, we have a responsability for people who are backward or are suffering. All of these kinds of attitude is something that in our time we are recognizing. They are demonstrated in many institutions and movements that we have created in this century.

 

Now, these are part of the indications of the direction in which we have to go. But what the nation-states could not create was any kind of institution which served them all and which was located in no particular area. The only kind of representative of humanity as a whole , as we have seen, had to be in the first instance a nation which was composed of individuals with a world outlook, a world commitment, and which did not seek anything for itself, but only the good of all, which did not have any enemies, because it did not recognize anyone as an enemy.

 

Now, to make such a nation, it has to be a spiritual process, because we are not looking at things as men see them. We are seeing things as God sees them. And therefore the commitment of this nation is to learn how to see this planet with the eyes of God, with the love of God for mankind.

 

We had this call to start to build the Servant-Nation in our time because the time has come, if this did not take place, the world could destroy itself.  But it is God's desire  that it should move into a future, which would correspond to a Kingdom of God. God cannot be defeated and He sees the end from the beginning. And in the Plan as we have seen it grow through the ages to the visions of the future the prophets represented,  it has always been the ultimate objective of a redeemed world. We are now at the stage where we are called as individuals into this collective responsability. We have even to look at things differently from religions, because religions are things that keep people apart. They are like sovereign states of their own, which they believe better than others, and they have to look after their own interests. The ultimate way of looking at God is not through any theology, which is an attempt to reduce God to mathematics, but to enter into the Spirit.

 

The story in the Bible represents in the very beginning the Spirit of God moving  over the Earth. And everything flows from that. As Jesus brought it, the spirit is free, it moves in any direction. And as you know the word for « spirit » and for « wind » in Hebrew is the same word. So, when we are building the Servant-Nation of today, it means that we have in ourselves individually to acquire a freedom that we had never had. Man has always upheld the ideal of freedom as against slavery and subjection. It has been an ideal that people have set before them. Now, we have to experience that fredon in a completely new way. It has to be more than an ideal. It has to be an actual experience, because only when we have that experience can all mankind matter to us equally. We become released completely from location, we do not any longer belong to an area, not French, nor Swiss, nor German. We are the people of Mankind with resonsability and love for every part of the human kind. We are beginning to be animated by the Spirit of God, as I put it, to look at the world through God's eyes. And this is an experience all of us have to go through if we are to be united with God's purposes. When we have understood this, we shall understand also, I think, why it has been at this time that the Servant-Nation is being reborn. In a context where every individual from any land, from any background, may acquire a universal citizenship, this is why the Mondcivitan Republic has been founded.

 

As you know, this came from a vision [the vision Hugh Schonfield had in September 1938, before the second World War]. But because it came from a vision, it does not mean that it cannot be carried out in a practical manner. And we know that all the elements in our world which God has put there, are for practical purposes. It is a very positive and definite function that has to be performed, and this requires a structure. And when the Community of God [developed?] in the form of a Christian Church, of  what we call a Church, which simply means a community, it was put in front of them that what they are doing is exactly the fulfilment of the intention of the individual body of a person, the body of Christ. It has hands, it has legs, it has a mind, it has a heart, it has veins. It has a central structure we call a government. The body is governed by the brain. The veins and the arteries carry signals, and there is all the diversity which maks the total man. And as Paul expressed it, because the hand is not the eye...Wait a minute [There was some noise in the room.]

 

Question : Why don't you call it the « Messianic Nation » ?

Answer : Because everybody would not know what it meant. Because people would try to put us in a box. You follow the Bible, but the whole world does not follow the Bible.

 

You see, we cannot take on one part of the body. It is still responsible to all the other parts and it does not have to be identical. And so is the understanding, if we look at the structure of a human being, we see in miniature the structure God wants for the whole world. In that sense, the human mind has to represent the Servant-Nation. It has to have a relationship to the whole body, it has to be an instrument for uniting the whole body, so the individual is functioning as a total person in complete harmony with itself. Now I think you can see why we are now – because this is the will of God – beginning to construct, or almost reconstruct, this nation in our time. We have taken the initial steps, but this is like the time of Jesus. It has to happen as it is happening in this room now, with the message going out to the different parts of the world. It is a Gospel, which means a  Good News for mankind, and anyone who hears can choose to respond to this and say : « Yes, I must be part of it ». This is the work of the Spirit. The wind that blows through the world people feel in themselves, if they are called. They have the right to refuse, or become part. And we are at the present stage which is the spreading of the news. This structure has already been arranged, and this is contained in this book, Birth of a World People, which contains our Constitution, our structure in relation the task that we have. And it begins with our principles. There are seven principles. [The text of the principles is then being read.]

 

These are the principles. And of course there is the Constitution, which gives the whole structure of this new nation which is coming into bing. We have found already in the experience that we have had, working in this way, that we can succeed something which would be impossible for any other type of organisation to do.

 

It is natural that the response is more practicable when it is done by someone of the same kind as those to whom it is directed. For the salvation of the human beings God sent a man. He did not send an angel who would have been out of keeping with those to whom he went. Human beings would respond only to someone of their own kind, of their conditions and their circumstances. In the same way, this was the Messianic purpose in the  individual sense which, for Jesus, was represented. Similarly, the nations of the world can only respond to a nation. They cannot respond to an individual or to an institution. They have to respond to something of their own kind, which they can understand and also which can enter into their understanding of their condition. So the peace of the world can only result from  the effects of this people acting in relation to all other peoples, setting a complete national example. It has to be visible. It is not something which is done in secret. It has to be done openly and in public, so that all nations can see it happening. This is a process which takes time, because this nation has to be built up and organized, and present itself to th world so that all nations can see it and constantly, not only see it, but see how it behaves, the ideals which it represents and which it puts into practice; and which therefore can make the nations of the world say : « YES, this is the way in which we will need to relate to one another, because this is the realization of a higher ideal, and all the ideals we embraced until now  used to be [vain?]»...


The following Q&A apparently belong to the same lecture, at least the same occasion

THE MEANING OF A « SERVANT-NATION »

 AS A CHALLENGE TO DISUNITED NATIONS AND DISUNITED RELIGIONS 
in a world where nation-states and institutional religions divert man from his allotted purpose 

Transcript of questions answered by Hugh Schonfield  (Cluny, France, 1984)


HS : In the modern times, there is much more communication, people move in the world as they had never done before, and consequently the old limitations disappear. There is more interchange of populations. Individuals come from one nation and they become associated with one another. They change their way of life. Even their physical appearance becomes identified with the area where they come to live. They are no longer living under he climate under which they used to live. This is something which unites nations, which is part of their natural development, and not part of their form of government. That is when you turn a nation into a state, when you turn something natural into something that is artificial.

 

Q. : So, You could define a nation as a group of persons with the same ideas ?

HS : Certainly, and now in the nation that we are building, it is a nation which has to be representative of all the world, not of one area. That is why it is a world citizens' nation. 

 

Q. : How many members are there ?

HS : I don't know. I never counted them. I suppose that is part of my Jewish background. In the story of Israel, they were told : « You must not number the people ». And there is the story about Stalin. In deciding how much importance Christianity had, he asked : « How many battalions has the Pope ? »

 

Q. : I meant that, at the present time, you tried to make the group bigger.

HS : This is in the sense that you cannot function adequately without a sufficient number of people.

 

Q. : How could someone refusing the idea of God participate in the Plan ?

HS : I don't think such people would be drawn to us, by what we are doing.

 

Q. : To join this project, you need to have a very high spiritual level ?

HS : That's right. Yes.

 

Q. : This project reminds me of the meeting of the Apostles for Pentecost. One must be spiritually inspired to understand this type of project. Without the help of the Holy Spirit one cannot understand the object of such a project.

HS : No, of course.

 

Q. : And no one can control the spirit, where it goes...

 

Q. : There may be people who belong to this Servant-Nation although they don't know it...

HS : Of course, and our job is to reach them.


Q. : And there are people who dislike to obey...

HS : It is true.

 

Q. : If somebody joins the Servant-Nation and does not like to obey... Whom should he obey to?  To God? But you don't see God...

HS : What do you mean by obey ?

 

Q. : To a person or statutes 

HS : But to our Constitution, which is a common thing, which is the kind of thing which we had created together. The Constitution was created in 3 stages . We had a gathering of our people who provided a provisional text...

 

Q. : One has to accept first. The main thing is what is acceptable to everyone, isn't it ?

HS : We have principles. Do you quarrel with any of them ?

 

Q. : No. [Laugh]

HS : I can't say what you do. But this is what we stand to represent.

 

Q. : Can't one say that the purpose of the Principles of the Servant-Nation is to bring back people to God?]

HS : You are trying to turn a NATION into a STATE. In other words, you are trying to turn us into a religion. We must not do that. GOD IS BEYOND RELIGIONS. Because once you put things in he form of religions, it is like putting people in the form of whether you are socialist or conservative, essentialist (?) or communist. People will say : « I want to identify you. I put you in a box with a label. This is so and so, that is what he believes. So if you start doing this, in this kind of way, you will lose the spirit, you will lose the freedom of movement, you will confine people in a limited way.

 

Q. : But order is important to me. By accepting order, you find freedom.]

 

HS : Of course. That is true. But it has to be something volontary. But in the way the world has been acting, if you say I am acting according to God, people will say : « Well, who is your God ? What do you think about him, what form does he take ? », and immediately it puts differences between people. The concept of God is not universally understood in the same way.. You are talking from a Christian viewpoint. You are not talking like an Hindu, You do not talk about Krishna and the other gods. There are many gods. So, which one are you representing when you say God ? You must not be talking like that, because you will not be understood by others.

 

Q. : But if I am talking of the God whom I am feeling from my Christian point of view, if I am ready to fulfil completely what Christians think, Christianity will become credible for muslims, etc. And then they will say : « This is also what I want »...

HS : They use another language of religion.  I mean you are going back before the Tower of Babel...It is only now that there is a beginning of coming to common expression in a universal sense. It is part of the development of our times to regain something which can be a unifying influence, which up to now has been a means of dividing people. I have had trouble in coming here – into a center of religious traditions [Cluny] , which accused the Jews of killing Jesus, which has been antisemitic – in the cause of religions, in the cause of God. What are you to do with these people  when they will be telling you : « Yes, I am coming in the name of God » ? It does not stop them from hating somebody else. We have had the evidence of these 2000 years.  So we now have to learn in our time the GOD WHO HAS NEITHER FORM NOR SHAPE and consequently who can be a representation of the universal and not identified with any particular area or character. And this is going to be a hard thing, this is going to be a very hard thing, for Christians particularly who identified God with the picture of a man. This is going to be very difficult. You have put on the cover of your book « I am who I will be », God without an identification, transcending everything that we can describe. That is why we have to recognize that universal conception that is only beginning to be built today. The human description of God to which men have been attached throughout the ages has to be brought together so that everyone can feel about God in a non human way, and which becomes representative thefore for us all.

 

Q. : It is very hard for Christians, because it is said : « Nobody will come to the Father except through the Son ».

HS : It is very difficult, and this is part of the process that we have to work at. That is why I had to write some of those others books, why the past has been given back to us in a new way, so that we could distinguish between what is fact and what is fiction. This was put into the mouth of Jesus by one man [John the Presbyter]who was not there, and much later. In any case, no Jew would ever talk like that. A Greek would. And it is not only a bad statement, it is a very arrogant statement. It does say : « I and my Father ». In any case, it should have said « my Father and I ». Jesus never said this. If he had said it, it would be found in the other Gospels. And this is one man who had nothing to do with the historical Jesus [John the Presbyter].

 

Q. : The Shekinah is said in Jewish texts to be the unique daughter of God...

HS : This is rabbinical teaching, after the destruction of the Temple.

 

Q. : This is to explain the words : « He who sees me sees the Father ».

HS : This is Greek, you see. . You are in the area of Greek philosophy. That is not Jewish. That is the introduction of Greek philosophical ideas into the story of Jesus.

 

Q: Could you write something clear to clarify this, because there is nothing that has brought more division than this sentence. If, in a striking way,you could bring this out to the Christians...

HS : This is why I believe that so many remarkable discoveries have been made of the documents of that period which can influence us to understand better, just like the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Christians are now discovering that what they had been teaching has gone through a process of change and development from what it was originally. And if one transfers a doctrine to a different envronment where people have a different tradition and a different background, one tries to put it in their own language. That is why I don't use in the sense of other people the word Messianic, because the Greek world and the Roman world found it impossible to understand the word Messianic, and if you transfer the word Messiah into their language, that does not mean anything to them. « Christos » for them is somebody who whitewashed the walls. That was a Christos for them.

Christos had to be turned into a kind of surname. You don's say THE Christ, you say Christ as if it is a surname of Jesus. Now, WE ARE BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND FROM ALL THESE DISCOVERIES THE CORRECT ENVIRONMENT OF THOUGHT. And we are now capable of comprehending it as it was impossible before.

At the beginning of the Revelation, you read the words : « What you see, write it down». I have been trying to do that. I have written books, and books, and books.I have to write more books now, more than I have ever written before. I am hardly stopping. Because I am near the end of my life and the time is short, and I have to do a great deal and the most that I can do is put these things down for them to be available. Because I have had to be called as a kind of bridge as a world citizen. I have been able to live in a Jewish world and a Christian world at the same time.

 

Q. : In your view, is Christianity a religion? 

HS : Christianity, as it is practised, is a religion. It is different, if you speak of the spirit behind it, or the manifestation. It took that step positively at the time of Constantine, when  at the Council of Nicea, the Christian clergymen met together at Constantinople, and they drew up a theology.

 

Q: The Council of Nicea said that Jesus was fully man and fully God...

HS. : I know, of course, of course. And this is a Greek idea. [...]


See more articles of and about Hugh Schonfield and The Servant Nation : 

http://www.global-report.com/thehope/a231-the-divine-plan-of-world-government

http://www.global-report.com/thehope/a177-i-will-build-again

http://www.global-report.com/thehope/a175-the-politics-of-god-epilogue

http://www.global-report.com/thehope/a178-the-servant-nation-in-the-haphtarah-of-genesis  

http://www.global-report.com/thehope/a17-uni-a-universal-new-israel


 



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