There is a convincing line of thinking that regards fear* as the greatest sin; which is opposed by the virtue of trusting in the goodness and love of God.
This implies that we are meant to trust in our own salvation - i.e. be supremely confident that we, our-selves, will be resurrected to eternal Heavenly life; and therefore we ought Not to live in fear of damnation.
Only if we live confidently trusting in the fact of our own salvation, can we make salvation - that is our future Heavenly destination - the basis of our mortal life.
Surely this is what we need? I mean, to live this mortal life in the eternal context, to recognize it as a preparation for the Main Thing - which is post-mortal, resurrected life?
If so, then we should not allow ourselves (as So Many Christians have done, and still do) to mistrust and fret over whether or not we will be saved.
It is a very different matter to live in fear of damnation than to trust in salvation: at best, fear of damnation is merely a double-negative simulation of the positive faith which leads to following Jesus through mortal death to life-eternal.
A challenge to this - which comes to mind - is that someone might have the idea that he can be sure of salvation whatever he thinks, believes or does...
Yet that is incoherent nonsense. Someone who really believes in the salvation of Jesus Christ - in resurrection and eternal heavenly life - will naturally know that if Heaven is a real place, then it is Not something that can be fitted-around our mortal life.
If Heaven is real to us, then we will recognize mortal life must be fitted around Heaven - that way around. If Heaven is really-real then the natural and rational question is 'how we get there'.
Only if Heaven is un-real to us could we have the idea that we would go there whatever we thought/ believed/ did; that we would arrive there whatever direction we travelled; and would arrive there even if we not not want what Heaven actually is.
As I have often said, Christians - like almost everyone - are prone to abuse fear to gain short-term goals (e.g. threatening and scaring people with consequences); whereas what should-be aimed-at is a life without fear:
Without fear because we know (that is, we have solid faith) that God the creator loves us, and is good.
*By fear I mean 'existential fear' - which is a motivational state primarily, rather than an emotion.
“The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you"
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand"
Heaven/ Salvation is not in the future, not in some eternal afterlife, not an after-thought, nor an after-life
God is All, God is Good, which means God must be Here, Now. Since God is Everywhere, then Everywhere MUST be Heaven, so Heaven MUST be Here, Now
As long as we insist on seeing evil, talking (about) evil, analyzing evil, pointing at evil, dissecting evil, how to 'deal with', 'defeat', 'desist' evil, we merely demand it, demonstrate it, deliver it, onto our-selves, our consciousness. Have you ever forgotten about a problem, and then realised it disappeared from your life? Have you ever realised a problem (as all of them are) was of your own making, thinking, and that once you no longer treated it as one, that it was no longer one?
God is Good and God is All - he takes care of any and every Evil - but as long as we do not have faith in God, when we distrust his Goodness, when we turn away from Him - then, we think that Evil is real, and something to be 'dealt' with, to be 'fought' - instead of recognising the All-Goodness of God Here and Now. Is there anywhere God can be Not? Is God not All-Good? If so, then any admission or recognition of evil must be due to a lack of faith in the All-Goodness of God.
Repent, turn away from Evil (thinking about it, talking about it, discussing it, fighting it, analyzing it, moaning about it - how has that ever helped anyone at any point of your life?), have faith in God, so that you may be resurrected in the Recognition that God is Here, Now, and it is Good, All Good
@J - That strikes me as oneness spirituality, with Christian terminology. Christianity is about history, time, sequence. Christianity is rooted in the assumption of a distinction and choice between earthly mortal life and eternal Heavenly life; between a world dominated by 'entropy' and another of loving creation.
I have a friend who keeps sabbath and doesn't eat pork. I know she quietly thinks I'm damned as I do not observe these ceremonial practices/instructions that were for a different time, place, people and purpose, which was, in my view, fulfilled in Christ. It is odd to have a friend who thinks that. I judge things all the time, as necessary in a world of practical decision-making, but I think it could be a greater spiritual detriment to judge other independent (from institutional churches) Christians on salvation issues. To think that one can achieve salvation by (erroneously) following old written words over the embodiment of the living word and then instill fear in those who don't subscribe to the necessity to follow those things today is an insidious "I'm special"-ism that makes salvation a product of works. Which i don't intuitively feel it is. The Hebrews could not successfully follow those 600+ laws, nor can we surmount and conquer the blatant evil that is so pervasive in the here and now. Keeps us in humility and reminds us that we need to be rescued by God's grace, which He'll gladly do if the quality of our hearts and minds is desirous of such mercy, if we are an asset to the kingdom.
I am unsure to keep such a friendship. My hope is that she will see these old laws are for the dead, before the living word arrived in Christ.
Post a Comment