One comment on “Catching Up

  1. Okay. I don’t know where to begin. there are a couple main points issues we are dealing with: judgement, condemnation, and grace, and I’ll doubt I’ll be able to express my views on them. BUT you make great points and I wish to address them somehow, but I think rather it would be easier to just talk about what I think is true of God in the Bible that somehow relates: God loves, but He also disciplines ( aka exercises wrath). I’m not sure we know how to make those two co-exist in peoples mind, and I’ll explain. I got into debates on spanking versus non-spanking as a disciplinary measure for kids. Some people view spanking as wrong and not as ever being able to be an act of love, ever. It wasn’t used by their parents and they feel it violates kids in different ways. I don’t know if I agree with spanking, nor if it was the right disciplinary measure for me, seeing how it had little effect on me, but I grew up with it knowing it as a form of love, ‘tough love’ as my parents would say. What this means is that real love hurts, as in, you will be called out on your sins and the fact that you are not good, as no one is good ( romans 3) and it will be an unpleasant, painful experience ( but God won’t leave you in it. I went to Blue Ridge Community CHurch on sunday morn and I think you’d like it. He talked about shame. I hadn’t felt shame going into their service, but then definitely was worried I was going to leave it with a sense of shame, which was counter to his goal, anyway…) . I think what you were getting at is that people don’t want to accept the fact they are not good. It’s a hard fact to accept–whether it is sugarcoated in a message of grace or it’s a bitter pill jammed down your throat by a hardliner. The question is, as a Christian, are we going to see the hope in the situation and pray for that girl and pray that God uses her boldness to say what she believes in a way that would glorify him and bring her into a right place before him. Is the guy who is feeling righteous enough to condemn others realize he is in the same boat as everyone else and accept everything he is dishes out and that maybe he is wrong. Maybe God prefers messages of love, because God wants love to be the way that conquers over sin. There’s a time and place for wrath, and I sort of get the feeling that since Christ, God’s wrath has been quelled and he wants to get people back to Himself in a way that is full of love and that is harder and slower and counterintuitive, but I haven’t really been able to format a formal theory on that one. So my reaction: whatever comes about, whether it’s good or bad that it will be used for the glory of god and his kingdom. That’s the prayer, that people would repent and turn towards God. I take the rather hasidiatic (orthodox jewish) perspective–gained from a random experience from one who stayed at our house–that things that happen don’t have to be judged good or bad, it’s how we react to them, or the consequences, that can point to God or lead away from him. I sometimes get confused on whether that’s a secular principle or just what I’ve gardened from reading the bible. Abraham believed God and it was credited it to him as righteousness. he wasn’t good or bad, he did good and bad things, but God credited him righteousness. it’s not up to us to find things right or wrong, we just have to believe that God will. having said that, this brings me to another point I’ve been wondering about: how should “believers” relate to “non believers”? ( to use terms I’m not sure I agree are the best words because it implies an us verse them mentally that is part of what I am struggling to reconcile as something I want to do or not)…as in would Jesus want us to view people in binary codes with terms like “saved” and “unsaved”? i think it’s a yes and no question and I could give evidence for either–which is why it’s all a bit hard to grasp. Jesus died for all, thus all are saved, yet to truly be saved you have to repent and turn away and to get eternal life you have to believe so being saved means eternal life? For me, I’m not sure I’ll completely get it or ever feel like I can make a firm stance on ‘what is truth’ since I feel like I’ll just never know because God’ll keep revealing things to me and He’s infinite. So, I just go back to all the stories in the Bible, especially God’s relationship with Israel : no matter how many times he sent them into captivity for their idolatry/adultry and their He never gave up on them–but he was willing to punish them. There’s also great commentary in the prophets about how he condemns all those ‘wicked kingdoms’ but it always starts out with showing how God blessed them…and how they rejected God….but then in Roman it talks about God redeeming them. SO yes, it’s okay to fling ‘sins’ in people’s faces, because we all sin, but will that really cause them to repent? Won’t an act of love, Jesus’s death do that? But does an understanding of grace work only after acknowledging a need for repentence ? Lot’s of questions to ask. I hope you don’t mind me asking them. I was facebooking a lot and click on your profile and decided to see what’s up on your xanga ( as if i should justify my having read it, oh well!). Oh, and my newest thing is wanting to write a book about how I perceive the world…i put my intro up on my xanga and it turns out i just start writing about God. so, i’m sharing in my own way what I believe. it was fun to see you at 316’s halloween party and mutemath. see ya tomorrow in class?? grace and peace!

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