This a.m. I did a fair bit of Bible study and web reads on several doctrines and bits of books, etc., largely on universal salvation, more correctly stated “universal reconciliation”.
If we wish to do away with most all Christian concepts of sin, repentance, judgment, hell, violent acts and war, we must now live without, away from and outside The Bible and the God both Testaments depict.
All of my years of life experience, study of history, in and outside “the church”, even in and outside of religious belief entirely convince me the problem is neither God nor The Bible. The problem is
I think isogesis and not exegesis is part -but only part of the issue.
We would love to believe and live as though our problem is others, their interpretation or ignorance. Our “problem” is with us.
Us vs. God.
One simply cannot wish away the verifiable harsh and violent stories in the “secular” -or- religious world. The same goes for either Testament. ALL allegories? All symbolic, parabolic? Really?
I fully get how evil or merely selfish people, governments, etc., have misused this or that verse to proclaim facism and misery. Got it.
So… re-interpret to somehow solve our displeasure?
We want a kinder, gentler, cosier God who in both character and certainly activity does as we think He ought.
Our box is laced with holes, contradictions and a deep-seated sense of our own (fully false) diety.
We want our own desired:
life on earth
experience in the hereafter
sense of personal justice
validated, maintained and in our own total control
We never had nor shall have any of these (in terms of absolute control) but we are sometimes thoroughly alarmed, brutally enraged, willing to totally hide in a hole, or wage all-out war, kill and destroy for them.
Life pretending to be God is a life of sheer, and in the end, shocking pretense.
It is neither safe nor relational as far as personal relationship with Jesus Christ can be. It comes down to love or self. Love OR self.
About Jesus, C.S. Lewis wisely wrote, Aslan “is not safe, but He is good.”
Is it not yet clear to us that our definition of both “safe” as well as “good” is often quite different, even in opposition to both His definition -as well as in opposition to Him?
As I once again considered the God of The Book, other books, various doctrines and the nature of God and humans today, these thoughts kept popping up.
If we will love, reverence, respect, walk with this God Who “is a consuming fire” we will one way or the other, be consumed. And no, I am not referring to annihilationism.
Biblical love and truth, certainly in part -require an integrity that “suffers long”.
In our desire for meaning and life, the culture eventually invents a god unlike the one and only God Who cannot be invented.
Love, God’s love, comes with a cross. Easter comes later 🙂
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