In Paul’s letter to the fellow believers in Rome he ask a rhetorical question,“Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” I have seen this verse used time and again to prove God is Sovereign of the evil and the good. That it’s all planed out from beginning to end including those merely playing the villans role. Thank God the bible is full of actual stories that contradict this idea of God as puppet master.
Choice it seems is built into the biblical narrative from the very first story told of Adam and Eve. As Dr. Michael Lodahl put so well in his book (The Story of God) “Scripture Testifies of God not only as the Creator of all things but also the One who has lovingly, compassionately, and freely entered into covenantal relation with the creation.”
Paul’s question rhetorical question is actually taken from the book of Isaiah and not as some might think from the mind of Augustine and Calvin.
You turn things upside down,
as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,
“You did not make me”?
Can the pot say to the potter,
“You know nothing”?
But let us answer Paul’s rhetorical question with one big affirmative Yes!
Wrestle With God just like Job did over Gratuitous Evil.
Wrestle With God just like Abraham who argued with God over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Wrestle With God just like Moses did over his Identity at the burning bush, or as Moses defended others in the face of God’s judgment.
Wrestle With God just like Jacob did over the course of your life and refuse to let go.
Wrestle with God in the Garden as Jesus did, until the Leap of Faith is Required.
Wrestle With God
Wrestle with God until He touches you
and gives you a New Name,
but know this most of the time the God you are really wrestling with,
is the god of your own understanding.
As the Hebrew scriptures teach God creates a material world in balance with the Spiritual one (One Kingdom Under God), as He surveys all that flowed through His great Logos (Christ) God gives it all a Value by calling it Good. Then the story continues and God makes Man & Woman in the Image of the Godhead, decrees they are good and will live as ever-growing reflections of His love and Creativity in the cosmos.
Now death enters the scene through a side door from the trickery of a (The Jealous One) and as both the Hebrew and Greek scriptures teach creation is ruled by this great death principle. Instead of Life alone there is Good and Evil, Love and Fear and all the great dualities death brings into the realm of Life. Behind all that death there is a another more powerful principle which is the principal of Life, which always seeks to overcome and overtake death and all its forms & consequences.
One day in God’s Good time, this Principal of Life is revealed in the form of a Man (Jesus Christ) and He begins to speak the mysteries of God. That He is Life & The Resurrection and that all creation shall one day be resurrected by the power of His Life, which flowed through Him into being at the Point of Origins. Death is revealed to be just a temporary interloper, which although greatly feared is a resting place for those who God loved and called to live in simple faith. Death is but a veil that keeps us from seeing clearly our value to God, His Christ and Spirit. At the Cross it is death which is defeated by the resurrection of the Last Adam and His faithful obedience, with the promise that He was the first but not the Last.
Two resurrections sit out on the horizon for all Mankind, the first for those who believed the tellings of God throughout the ages and lived as stewards of life in this world. They are Physical Israel and her descendants who are always first and then the Church which is the Body of Christ reflected in the gentile nations.
Wait though there is more, for these elect are resurrected for a purpose and not for a proud boasting. There is still a work to be accomplished for like the first Adam and Eve, life must be taken out into the world that it be transformed and death finally defeated. This is the second resurrection where those privileged to be the first like their Messiah humble themselves, to bring Light and Life to those of the second Resurrection.
When God has restored all he has a claim on in Love, then that which refuses life whether it be men or angels are destroyed, for there is no life in them anymore. Then the begining of a endless unfolding of new beginnings begins, and Death is no more! Worlds without end amen, and Glory to God in the highest and to His Christ by the Power of His Spirit.
So Pastor what do I preach and what is my mission in this world today? First Love not love as a theological construct but love as a practical expression of the actual Love of God. Preaching that the vast majority of humanity is going to hell, is a complete waste of time and in no way a reflection of the actual Love and power to save of our God. Our message is everybody and I mean everybody is covered by the finished work of Jesus Christ, not just the potential of his work but its actual effect for all humanity. Paul teaches that in Adam all died so to in Christ shall all be made alive, no if ands or buts, your neighbor is as saved in real terms as you are. Every human being that has ever lived some 10 billion in fact, are covered by the finished work of Christ.
This was the gospel message before we put the work of the flesh onto the finished work of the Son of God! Confessional salvation is a work of the flesh and has been based upon the will of man, rather than the finished work of Jesus Christ. This is why resisting Confessional Salvation is met with such anger and over the top judgmentalism. So much willfulness and presumption is behind our absolute commitment as protestants to Confession Salvation and the great willful question”is Jesus your Personal Savior?” That the threat of Hell is becoming ever more ridiculed as (the Lost) see our religious work of the flesh for what it really is, another Religious Ponzi scheme. The fact that it takes ever more money to prop up this system of the flesh, is something we as the church have become blind to. Point of Truth: The greatest deceptions are always held by those who have the most information but the wrong interpretations.
You see we call people to a relationship to God through Christ, not to get them saved but so that they might be united to a Father God who loves them. That is the message of the Gospel or as Paul said it while we where yet separated by sin from God, Jesus restored that relationship. John puts it this way, “here is Love not that we Love God first but that He Loved us first and paid the full price for our redemption, and not ours alone but the redemption of all mankind.
I am always amazed and how angry Christians get in the flesh when I challenge the free-willful based way they try to get people saved who are in fact already saved but ignorant of God’s love in Christ, which is what we preach. That God the loving Father was in Jesus on the Cross bringing a future order back to the Universe, with all mankind 10 Billion and counting. Now if we could just move past our free will praising Confessional Salvation, and stand and preach the finished work of Christ, we will unite a world of souls. For if the work of Jesus is lifted up, and the true revelation of the crowning glory of His Cross, He will draw all mankind.
Will there be some who reject him yes, those not in the “book of life” but that is totally God’s call at the end of this age. Not a rejection of the free-willful-way of Confessional Salvation we have created out of the Flesh of Theology. The fact that some in the church must cling to “Hell’s Fire”in order to evangelize a Jesus of their theology, is a sign they are in the flesh, which goes back to the Dark Ages.” For they preach a Jesus but deny the full Power of His work, which we preach is fully finished with nothing to add for its completion.
We call people to the water but never do we think that our words or ways are the water!
The Islamic, Zen, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, and Anybody JESUS.
The other day I made a New Friend in Saudi Arabia and it has prompted me to meditate harder in an area I was already flowing in.
Our form of Christianity in America and therefore how we reflect JESUS to the world is to over the top, in your face, bigger is better.
Everything about Faith in America is a Circus with various ringmasters, introducing ever more elaborate acts. Its all sound and fury, shock and awe, intended to say in its own kind of way “who’s your Daddy?”
Now in a world where people walk a little more humble buy several magnitudes to the power, we need to seriously challenge and deconstruct how we Market JESUS.
So I have a Question that I hope will lead to some creative Spirit led thinking.
That question is what does
I want to look at all the ways we tell people how to become followers of JESUS, because and let me be honest here we are dropping the ball big time people.
Let me drop a few ideas into the lap of our consciousness and see what evolves.
What if we encouraged people to know a Father God who according to JESUS is a lover, but we let them do it in secret?
What if we taught them that loving each other in public was the only Confession they needed?
What if we only had to share the Sermon on the Mount with them?
What if we encouraged them to baptize themselves in the privacy of their own homes, whether that is Saudi Arabia or Tokyo Japan? Only with a great cloud of angelic on lookers, in the presence of the Living God?
What if we required no understanding of theology at all, just JESUS introducing them to a Loving God through the Spirit?
What if we did not demonize their Holy Books but told them Love is the only voice to listen to, and if they heard any teaching against love to pray for that person?
What if we built no more churches but became the Body of Christ behind the scenes like Dark Matter in the Universe?
What if we trusted the Spirit of the living God and de-institutionalize this thing called Evangelism?
What if JESUS is the Savior of the world and we have it all wrong, because we are trying to keep our church and theological systems alive?
What if we told people they could go to any place of worship and have a secret as Mary did, deep in their hearts?
What if this changed the world from the inside out?
More to come…