Monday, 26 November 2012

God IS...

Gods character - what is it?
What's he like?

Well apparently the bible says he is loving and just and merciful, but he's also jealous, wrathful, angry and well, just about every human attribute has also been ascribed to God at some time in some way.

But there is only one attribute that God IS - and that's love.

God IS love.

He isn't loving, or shows kindness when he is happy, or merciful when he feels sorry for us. HE IS LOVE.

So all the other stuff in the bible? Maybe man, in his attempts to understand the universe, how it all fits together and all our failings, shaped God in his own image. And maybe the biblical record is the account of the discourse between God and man leading up to God sorting it all out, once and for all, through Jesus.

Maybe we read the bible as if every word describing God's character and actions is exactly how He is, instead of thinking its the record of man struggling to define Him through their own understanding.

The only characteristic of God that is valid is love. (1 Cor 13)

Monday, 19 November 2012

Christianity is dead - long live Jesus

Maybe I'm just getting tired and cynical, or maybe I'm really feeling God's heart - not sure...

As I troll the interwebs, looking at the goings on in christendom, I start to feel like its all a farce. All the bickering, the twisted angry people spouting twisted angry doctrines about a twisted angry God. Fighting each other over things that don't matter, swallowing stupidity hook line and sinker. Gullibly believing stuff just because it was how their favourite leaders teach it, or its just the traditions they have been handed down.

Then there's all the political crap that has been wrapped in christian words, supposedly to make godly nations, and supposedly bringing his blessing on the land. And all the money grabbing ministries, and all the "support Israel or be damned" groups.

I look at all this and think, what a mess! Is there actually any truth in this whatsoever? The bible is little use in sorting out the mess because that's the very thing that starts half the problems anyway. For me christianity is dead. Its a corpse that won't lie down because people keep kicking it around, propping it up and putting makeup on it in the vain hope that it will keep going.

But somewhere outside of all that is the light of Jesus. I think the light went out in christainity a long time ago. There are however lights shining in individuals who quietly get on with bringing Gods heart to a starving needy world. And many aren't in the church, and many aren't "christians" (gasp). But they bring Fathers love to all they touch. They bring the miracle of what Jesus did for all mankind to life in all they are and do, and spread that miracle to all around them.

That light also flickers in some of us, and struggles to burn through the walls of christianity, to break free into the world. It is held back by the very religion that tried to embrace it, but ended up smothering it to death.

For those of us who nurture our precious unity with God, who see that flame in others and want nothing more than to blow life into it, can we stand together? Can we leave the rotting putrid corpse of christendom for the vultures, walk away from it, and let Jesus shine? Let his unconditional love for everyone be our sole justification for all we are and do?

I could! I could just walk away from it all and leave it for the fires of Gehenna.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Uniquely the same

This is a tough post. I want to express something that is still forming in my mind and, well, I may be premature, but thought I'd put it out there for some reaction anyway.

What if God wasn't that worried about all our doctrines. I mean really, its not a problem. And I mean things like our current hot topics, healing, universalism, penal substitution, you know all the things that we get so hot under the collar about that completely destroy relationships.

What if we could take a step back from endless eschatology, hermeneutics, exegesis, blah, blah, and find the lowest (or highest) common denominator and just sit there for a while, a long while, and let it become the centrality of all we are, perceive and do.

The problem is of course determining what that commonality is. I think we would all agree its love. But then straight away we have to define love. Well, what if we could take a step back from that as well. I mean, Jesus reckoned we had to be like kids to understand all this. Kids understand love. You don't have to explain it too them. It doesn't need scriptural support or interpretation or theology degrees. Every heart knows what love is, even if they don't give it or receive it themselves.

Yes, this is very simplistic but hang in there. As we grow in our own love relationship with God we can see everyone else on the journey, and know that just as God has taken us to where we are, he will take everyone on their own unique journey. That will give us a freedom to interact with any person at the place they are at on their journey. We don't look down or up to them, or think they are better or worse, or deceived, or holy, or a heretic. Perhaps the only thing we can do is to challenge each other to not stop, to keep asking questions, to be willing to change our minds and keep growing, even if it looks hard!

We should be able to walk with a traditional anglican or catholic just as easily as a baptist or pentecostal, universalist or even someone from another religion, new ager or atheist, and respect the sincerity of their hearts. We should be able to listen to them, hear the underlying questions, the way they are expressed and the way they try to meet their "heart needs".

Then we can begin to feel God's heart for them, but not in a patronising way, but as an equal, a fellow traveler who knows that God is working in and through all things. We are then free to encourage each other to truly seek God's heart of love, to lift each other above our self made confines.

I guess I feel that at some point we can find open hearts, no matter where and under whatever circumstances, and have a relationship with those people at the "level" they are at without condemning or patronising, only a pure desire to help them on their journey to discover the depth of Love Himself, whatever that journey might look like.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Pride and Humility

~ Colin Lagerwall

Pride and Humility are often seen as opposites, yet in reality, they are totally compatible and even imperative to our complete design ...
When both have their source in Truth ....

When we know that our 'Person' is of God, made in His Image and Likeness, there is no greater source of satisfaction than in knowing 'who you are' with nothing missing or falling short in the completeness of your being, an exact expression of your Father, just as He carefully and with intense Love designed every part of you;

And by embracing all of yourself as He has made you, you see how brilliant His handiwork is, and that this handiwork is all of His design and doing, not of any accomplishment of your own, because it is the way he designed and created you, and that it is your birthright .... your 'Person' is of His 'Person'.

With this understanding comes a Humility that has no falseness or self abasement, but a true sense of humble awe that perfectly blends with this pride and joy in your 'Person' , forming a complete and wholesome blend that is best described as your Glory ......

It is Pride without being puffed up, for there is no need to puff that up which is full and complete, for the substance of this Pride is true, yet it carries no arrogance for the workmanship was never of your own doing, you were born that way, just as He made You and designed You ........

It is a unique combination of the full spectrum of high and low with this fullness founded in Truth, and the beauty of understanding it, is that you realize that that which is true of you is also true of All, so there is no need for competing and comparisons, only a sense of deep appreciation for those you meet in your daily doings as you recognize this same Glory in All;

And you realize that the only thing that keeps people blind to their Glory are the lies that they have believed about their Design and their Source, a design that proudly displays the Voice of Truth that says "You are Very Good ..."

And in this place of 'Glory', we find that it has no need for self indulgence, for it is full;
There is no need to acquire popularity, for it's own popularity is complete in itself;
There is no need for abasing itself, for that would be living a lie;

And then from within this fullness of glory that can receive no more, we begin to see that it is a Living glory that is fermenting and bubbling and vibrant and active, it is a life-force that cannot be contained, it has to be shared and poured to a world that was designed to be a recipient of Your glory, a world that is thirsting for this glory of Your Person, and you give and pour because there is no end, for you are intertwined with the Life of the One from whom you came and of whom 'You Are', a one-of-a-kind unique expression of the Author of All things;

And in this overflowing giving of Yourself, you realize that 'Yes, I Am like Him, for I Am designed to be full and complete ..... No! ... designed to be More than full, to overflow with this Goodness of my being and all it expresses, to Others;

For my fullness has no end as it flows through the open-hearted compulsion of Love to empty my Self in others, yet it is an emptying that will not be depleted, for there is a Flow of Life that is always More than can be given ...........

To really 'Be like Him' is to be your Self in full Pride and full Humility, and compelled by the Love with which you are pickled, pouring your Self with open heart at ground level into a world that is longing .....
For You ........!