Sunday, July 26, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
So great is his unfailing love.
If the "grief" described here is the sufferings of sin and death in this life, how then will God show compassion if most are doomed to torment for all time as a result of those very things? Not only does that make no sense, but it completely contradicts the prior sentence which says for men are not cast off by the Lord forever! No evil that will ever exist, is outside the power and purpose of God almighty...not even "Hell". 1 Samuel 2:6 is a great example,
The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol [translated as "Hell" often] and brings up
This verse could be interpreted like this(according to my theology): God may allow death, but he will make those people alive again. God may allow people to go to "Hell", but will bring them up from it as well. I think this fits quite nicely with my belief, that all humanity is eventually saved unto God. Because if the result of evil is ultimately and completely overcome by God for his glory and to mans benefit(as I believe), than Gods allowance of evil and the devil is of no moral compromise to me. Its like when a child does something wrong, like touching a hot stove for the first time, even after their father told them not to. The parent may have watched it happen, but only does so, because they know that it will only temporarily harm the child and that the child will learn what not to do because of it. Such I believe is a similar reason(though much more complex and varied), for why God allows evil and its griefs in this life. We can run from sunset to sunset searching for thrills that will only bring us down and cause us destruction, but God allows it knowing that we must (and will) come to understand our need for the perfect thrill, the perfect high that is found only within His presence. From the very moment he called us into existence, he knew all that we would do and all the destruction that would result from it...yet allowed it because the end result would be a loving and lasting relationship with all of His creations.
That is the God I serve and love
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
This quote, at one time, greatly offended me. It seemed like a bash against Christians and made me think,
Even though Gandhi did alot of nice things, he sure is going to Hell!
But as time goes by, Ive come to greatly identify with the statement. And ive begun to understand why many people can find the person of Christ so compelling...while finding the religion that bears His name and His followers quite distasteful.
I suppose in one way Ive never quite felt like I "fit in" with the Christian community even from my early days of being a believer. Yet even long before I came into the belief of universalism, I've felt less and less like I can relate to other Christians. We (apparently) serve the same God, believe Jesus is the way of Salvation, hold to the Bible as truth...yet when I go to church or talk to other Christians I feel more frustrated and suffocated, than I do encouraged. I feel like were on two different wave lengths when in theory, were supposed to be on the same one.
As to any one reason why I feel like this, I suppose there isnt just one in particular. If I were to rattle off every reason why I'm not crazy about Christians in general, I'd be here all night writing this thing. But I will say its not really a "all Christians are hypocrites!" mentality that Im dealing with. There are many wonderful Christians I know trying to serve the Lord and really do love Him and other people. I dont doubt the good intentions of many Christians I know (whether I agree with their methods or not).
I think what it really comes down to though, is the fact that Jesus, and the beauty of Gods love, stretches so far beyond the concrete walls of church, our religious rituals and our padded Christian subculture. I've come to a point where none of that is very appealing or edifying to me...because God and His love are not confined to that system. That system of rules and organization has been too often equated with having a passion for God. For example, if you dont go to church regularly, or involve yourself with church activities, or listen to Christian music, or hold the same beliefs as other Christians...you're love of God comes into question. Ive become disillusioned with the system of Christianity we have made for ourselves, and that has caused some people to be concerned about me. Nevermind the fact that now I feel freer and more able to love and seek God, I dont believe and do the same things other Christians do! So that seems to put me on some sort of mental prayer list.
Its so backwards to me...Christians seem to be more concerned with people subscribing to their brand of faith than they are with people seeking God. They wouldnt say that, but that is what Ive seen, especially now that my beliefs dont identify with the typical religious crowd.
But when I remind myself that Jesus himself never identified with the typical religious crowd, I realize that Im probably on the right track. All throughout the gospels it seems that Jesus is pitted AGAINST the religious people and their laws. Jesus would acknowledge scripture and their laws, but he would always show how a love for God and for others far out rooted the rules and rituals of religion. Jesus was a dangerous adversary to the rich religious crowd and to their power...which ultimately got him plotted against and killed. And that is probably why Gandhi liked Christ and not so much the Christians. He saw in the character of Christ a loving person that was beyond religion and was willing to love and show people truth regardless of their sins or social status. Yet when Gandhi saw the Christians, he saw people overly concerned with everything BUT loving people more often than not.
With all that said, I think its time for me to put more time and energy in seeking and loving God, and helping me express his undying love for others.... rather than pleasing other Christians by subscribing to their doctrines and practices.