A couple of things that I have been struggling to express for a long time fell into place for me.
The problem all began back in "the garden" (I don't care whether it was a story or a fact - doesn't change anything) when Adam and
Basically, they wanted to know the nature of everything in terms of two defined moral and ethical standards, standards they could describe in black and white - standards that required no decisions based on relationship, empathy, love or passion.
Just Good or Evil.
They walked away from relationship, and this is the whole basis of human thinking ever since. We are obsessed with defining everything in terms of good - evil, moral - immoral, ethical - unethical, ad infinitum...
So the greatest challenge to christians is the whole concept that Jesus completely did away with anything to do with that Tree. He didn't come to help us make better decisions about good and evil, right and wrong. He didn't come to give us the strength to choose good and right. He didn't come to give us the power to resist evil and bad things. He didn't even come to help us sort out our problems.
He came to rip out the tree by its roots!
EVERYTHING Jesus did was to reveal/point us to our unity with God (that was established before the foundation of the world...) - i.e. relationship! There is no more right or wrong, good or bad - there is only relationship with God. Relationship with LOVE himself (I only use the masculine pronoun because english doesn't have a non-gendered personal pronoun).
I will never get anywhere if I keep thinking about how sinful I am, how much wrong and bad I do, how bad everyone is, how right or wrong/good or evil the world is etc. That thinking is anti-christ. It is negating everything God did in his Jesus manifestation.
Yes, I know, the first thing that pops into my head is "what about the wrong/bad/evil things that people do - that I do?" But let's stop for a minute, and look at this. Everything is lawful/permissible but not everything is a great idea. Some things have crappy, and even horrific consequences. But the good news is that doesn't affect our union with God in the slightest - not one little iddy bit. So He's cool with whatever, but we do stuff that doesn't help ourselves or others - its not "beneficial". In other words, its not love - it doesn't come from (yes you guessed it) relationship!
So now what? Be responsible for the mess you make, in the full knowledge that you and those affected by those non-beneficial actions are actually completely loved and also free from the nasty tree. If I don't forgive myself, I'm saying I'm more important than God, I have greater power and authority, because he GOT RID OF THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. He doesn't even judge me, because he doesn't see us in that light.
I make bad decisions because my mind IS BEING RENEWED to realise my unconditional love union with him.
This is not making light of the messes and damage we do through stupid actions. It is the only solution!
Here's my idea of how things work (very simplistic, cos if kids don't get it, it must be wrong).
- No good or evil - just love union with God
- I can make decisions/actions that do not benefit me or someone else
- I take the most loving actions that reflect my union with God to reconcile those affected and fix the mess
- I love those affected by the decision - including myself - and move on, refusing to be judged further on the matter by anyone - including myself.
- All my actions are to be governed by love relationship, NOT by right or wrong, good or evil.
This may sound petty or stupid and just ignoring huge amounts of "reality". But its the only way forward. I am no longer to think in terms of sin. God doesn't, so its the height of pride and arrogance for me to think that way. In fact its denying everything God established "before the foundations of the world" for us to live in unity with him and everyone else.
My un-renewed mind still wants "good and evil" because it gives me the power to judge and condemn, myself and everyone else. But Jesus grabs us by the hand, pulls us into the arms of God and only ever tells us about how much we are loved. That alone bring us to repentance, and repentance just simply and purely means changing our mind - that's it, no guilt and remorse, shame or self flagellation, just changing our mind about being separated from God in any way.
I am whole, loved and complete. I'm still being renewed to this fact, but that does not change anything. Jesus restored us to relationship - end of story. I will not hold anyone in judgement, and I will not allow other's judgments to affect me.
The more I awake to my intimate union with God, the more I will be love, with no thought of good or evil.
This is true freedom. A license to sin? Sorry, I don't know what sin is any more.
And this will annoy a LOT of people.
And this will annoy a LOT of people.