I’m not using this article to “preach” against the potential reality of an eternal separation from God. If you hear that, get irate, and don’t read on, then you will have missed it.
Back To Today’s Post:
I grew up in church (a good church of wonderful people) that emphasized – what I would now call – a “fear based Gospel.” The image presented was one of Jesus as our Savior that has as His primary mission to rescue sinners from the lake of fire. (And truthfully using sermon imagery that was originated by Dante’s Inferno).
Regardless of what the separation from God looks like, (I’ll leave that for others to bicker and name call over) I no longer believe that the “rescue from hell” scenario is anywhere near a complete and faithful — nor even primary rendition of God’s desires.
For me, this is a better statement of His purpose:
To give us the right to enter into a loving, living partnership with God that carries out His purposes in the earth and for time without end.
I recognize that there are several good and accurate ways that could be worded. But, for me, it pretty much hits the nail on the head.
[btw…the symbolic picture of the couple at the front of this article is purposely not white. The whole thing is not a white thing. It includes white, anglo saxon protestants, but it’s waaaaay bigger and broader than that.]
For me, the reason for the shift in thinking is a big one. [I state again] I’m not denying the potential of eternal separation from God. However, I also believe that an emphasis on “staying out of hell” as the driving volition behind evangelism does a great disservice to what we refer to as the “cause of Christ.”
I believe it leaves us sin focused. (Even though we would say it’s redemption focused.) I do not believe it effectively motivates present “discipleship.” I believe it, too often, devalues the need for God driven social justice. I believe it fosters an “us and them” mentality that separates us from the very souls that “need saving.” And, I also believe it diminishes the ability to have a rich and meaningful present relationship with our Heavenly Father.
I certainly don’t want – nor will I have – an eternal separation from God. Nobody in their right mind would. But…
You and I have been offered a marriage relationship that embraces life, and love. With God, with each other, and with “the world.” [you know….”them.”]
If we embrace God’s purposes and plans for us, we will be unique. We will stand out. But, it won’t be because of dogmas we demand, but because “they will know we are disciples because of the God brand of active, deep, cleansing, powerful, enabling, genuine love. Oh, and btw…the “God Brand” is the only legitimate, authentic brand….not just a better brand.
What’s love got to do…got to do with it? Everything.
Thoughts? Comments? Your turn 🙂