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belief in something positive

In my life I have been confronted with two main different views about why we believe in Christ.

One view could be characterized as the positive one - we believe in Christ because He loves us. Salvation here means to draw this love of Christ in God into our lives so it would manifest here for our sake and, also, for the sake of our love for God that is supposed to increase.

The second view I would characterize as a negative one - we believe in Christ because if we do not do so, we get punished or at least our sins are not forgiven.

In the first scenario, we believe in God because He is good. In the second scenario, we believe in God so He would not be inclined to evil towards us.

I think the major problem an inquiring person might have about salvation and the complexities surrounding it, would be to know how he could escape being the recipient of God's evil in the face of their badness, sins, shortcomings, unbelief, and such.

The question is also, how can we have belief in Christ if we or those people we might care about like our maybe unbelieving friends and family, are threatened with things as severe as hellfire punishment if we cannot right away have perfect faith? And if we are supposed to at first GROW such a perfect faith, how is that different from being put in hell in the meantime? If God comes to fight with us, my only means of defense would be to withdraw my faith as a gut reaction of mine. If God comes to love us, this is out of the question really and every evil inclination towards God that would remain would simply be a temporary insanity.

How can we serve God if we in our ministry still cling to the negative view of salvation that I presented? When God loves mankind, how and why could we take away from it?

How strange and awesome!

How strange and awesome is the coming of our Lord!

At His birth, our lady, the blessed virgin, St. Mary, a daughter of the race of dust, suffering hardship at the hands of rulers uncircumcised in the flesh and heart, this daughter of Zion, in an unspeakable, fearsome and mysterious manner gives birth to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Though a lowly virgin and handmaid of the Lord, she becomes the Mother of the Unoriginate Word that proceeds from the mouth of the Most High.

How strange and awesome is the ministry of our Lord!

At His last supper, our holy and pure fathers, the apostles, suffering insult by the profanation of their temple by corrupt men, in an unspeakable, fearsome and mysterious manner become priests ministering with the eternal High Priest in the awful Sacrifice. And receiving the bread and the wine from their Master, they became annointed vessels of gold, bearing the Body and Blood of the Lamb and their bodies were transformed into living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.

How strange and awesome is the indwelling of our Lord!

At the pouring forth of His Spirit, our holy and pure fathers and mothers, the first-born of the new Covenant, sons and daughters of the Twelve Tribes that trembled before the Lord of Sinai, in an unspeakable, fearsome and mysterious manner received the indwelling of the Consoler, the Holy Spirit. Behold, they are made to stand and sing praises before the Lord of Zion. Though they were suffering from the division of many tongues because of the curse of Babel, they were made one mind and one heart by the one Spirit by means of many flaming tongues. Though they were surrounded by the darkness and lawlessness of the nations, they have received hearts of flesh inscribed with the Torah that brings light and the law of Christ to all. The Holy Spirit which, in the beginning, brooded over the face of the abyss and wrought the universe, fluttered upon the apostles and they themselves became first fruits of the new creation.

How strange and awesome is the calling of our Lord!

I, a great sinner, son of the race of dust, born to a nation of gentiles, in an unspeakable, fearsome and mysterious manner, received the baptism of Christ and the anointing of the Spirit. I was ransomed from the wages of death, received the consolation of forgiveness, was grafted unto the olive tree, and I was born anew from on high, a son of Israel, Isaac, Abraham.

Though I was born according to the flesh of Adam into the darkness of sin and death, the old man was judged and put to death and I was raised up in Christ and received the light of immortality, incorporated into the mystical body of the new Adam.

Though my fathers, the children of Tubal and Tiras, Japheth and Shem, Noah, Seth and Adam, suffered in exile, far from Eden, I was brought from the ends of the earth and made to walk past the cherubim with flaming sword and to drink of the river of the waters of life, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, gushing forth from the right side of the Temple of His Body. Beside this river was the Tree of Life and I was made to eat of its Fruit and was healed of all sickness.

Though I bore the mark of Cain on my forehead and was trapped in the cycle of death and though I was ignorant of God's name and forbidden to utter it, He wrote His unspeakable Name upon my forehead, made me a Tabernacle of the Presence and annulled the curse of Cain, annulling death from death and making of my death a new birth into life.

Though I was outside the banquet hall, I was welcomed into the wedding feast of the Lamb and bade to eat at the holy Table. I was black and beautiful and He, greatly desiring my beauty, crowned me with a wreath like a bridegroom and adorned me in jewels like a bride and the royal handmaidens escorted me to the bridal chamber of the King.

Though I was defiled and stripped naked by the worship of idols, I was washed in the bronze sea, annointed with olive oil, pure myrrh, sweet cinnamon, cassia and many spices and fragrances. I was clothed in the garments of salvation, wrapped in the robe of delight and was made to put on Christ Himself. I was made to stand in the holy courts of His Temple like the sons of Levi and the sons of Aaron, offering the incense of prayer and the Thanksgiving sacrifice of praise.

Though I stood in the court of the Gentiles, I was brought into the Holy House, made to go beyond the veil and fall before the cherubic throne, beholding the Lamb sitting thereupon and singing in the company of the angels and the holy ones, their voices thundering about, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign forever and ever. Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb."

Mar. 13th, 2016

I like the many Christs and Jesus people
that also visit America
sometimes, when they listen
to the fathers in greece and russia
this was not hard to guess
many became prophetic, many became unwise
like the book you worship
like the bad soul you revere
1 truth out of a hundred?
that is your smelly gun!

---------------------------------------------

you can do differently
in the world of god
where god is a name
every god likes
our sweet harmony
sees the gay needs
and the happy needs
and the children needs
for the glasses of sexuality
that we deserve to be able
to really understand!
I think I am no more a christian. For me this is about people on this world who were also like Jesus. Some of them knew more than Jesus, some did not. The biblical Jesus was not the only good guy and demigod. The bible has certainly been forged. This is not Jesus' fault but we need to learn to embrace other gods as well as the jewish gods. It is time for change, for much change. Please dig into mythologies, people. These books are better than the boring or scary bible that we know. Read also comics. Read lexicons. It's better than this freaky story of the guy and his cross. It was good and important, but please don't care for this one Jesus demigod anymore. There were others like him in Judea who knew wisdom in a more wholesome sense in that old time.

poem

I cannot always love the Christ and be so clean
I cannot always shine the Allah into me
I do not want to eat bubble gum every day
and Zoos have always better benches and a greater park
go away, little boy of anger and love and honesty
I do not want to catch your butterfly and your elephant

you do not understand, your head is lost in the wrong manger
and you had the wrong implant in the earlobe
thats why your mornings are not beautiful

go to theologia crucis
and then the doors open up again
in difficult america where the good God reigns with difficulties...
I believe much has been written about what is called biblical radicality. At places this has been wrong and was inspired by a reading of hebrew and greek scripture that was stuck with the literal as opposed to also considering the further and deeper levels of meaning in scripture. But at places this was quite apt.

I had an experience of that on the weekend. I had been very down and scared of my future and feeling lonely. I missed God and wept and prayed, but yet God would not come to me. I decided to continue trust him, like it says in the psalms at times, to trust God even when our life and heart is failing us.

Eventually it became late evening and I went to bed and slept.

In the morning things were much better. I had true faith again, in the God of goodness, love and mercy who exercises justice and kindness on Earth, like it says in the book of Daniel. It's like just 12 hours ago I felt like wanting to die, and now I am sitting here in faith and reliance on God and even with good feelings in my soul. It just came up, it was like a hill had grown in me and I had become as rocky and tough as Jesus is, or rather, Jesus grew in me again and replaced the feebleness of mine with His strength.

I must say that I am thankful to a particular book I am usually reading when I get tired of religion, Gerry Beauchemin's "Hope beyond hell". It describes a God whose justice is remedial and not simply punitive. Who sees things we do not see and whose ways of love and forgiveness are higher than our ways. This is where sometimes a human might loose it, we see such evil happening and God tells us to keep on loving and praying and believing. The thing is, the lover and the believer keep themselves pure. They can, if they are courageous and bold enough, speak out against the harshness of men in order to create at least for some a new trust in God and humanity.

the good and the evil

Is something evil because it is absolutely and by itself evil, or is something evil because God says it is?

I've recently read something from William of Ockham, an english theologian of the medievals. He argues that God is never obligated to do something. Basically, God would have no "duties" and would not even be obligated by himself. When something is good to do for a human, then only because God has commanded it. And if God were to change his commandment, the matter that once was good would not be good anymore. For example, God said "thou shalt not kill", and that's how killing is evil. But if God were to call us to war and to say, "you shall kill", then killing would be good.

I think this is really a dangerous proposition because it turns God into a very capricious being and it would make Him incredibly proud and we could not say anymore that HE IS LOVE.

But how to formulate a better theology? It is hard to really prove metaphysically why something would be good or evil except by inference from God's principles. Does it make sense to say that God has ideals and that His will is for us, together with Him, to realize these ideals? Is it problematic that it is thus true to say that God needs us men to realize His ideals?

the many metaphors in the bible

I am currently investigating reading the bible, especially the Old Testament, as a work of artistic and spiritual metaphors. This is really eliminating to take the bible literally with all the death threats and the violence.

As an example, take the OT verse of eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, bulge for bulge. In Hebrew, these words have many other meanings than the original one. Basically, this is not about retributive justice but about an enlightened way to find justice. It is about finding the point of views (eye), the matters of disagreement (tooth) and settling them and finding friendship (bulge).

Yes, you can believe it. The Hebrews were not as barbaric at first to cut off hands and gauge out eyes. They, at least at first, believed in an enlightened and philosophical solving of their disputes. Everything was supposed to serve the peace of God.

And there are more examples of that. Sarai means "one who directs" while Sarah means "one who inspires". This is about what is better, should a leader simply boss his subjects around or should he inspire them to ideals?

This is how the OT must be read, especially the Law of Moses which in this way turns from an extremely harsh jurisdicial system to a peaceful and smart social system.

loving God and men

I'm currently in a kind of transition period. I used to treat God as someone I would have to believe in, my relationship to him was between Him as the authority, and me as the loyal subject. I'm not sure I can convey this right but what I was shunning back from was to love God. And I don't know how to do that really, there is a blank space in my mind about this. One could say I often saw myself as a more or less willing servant of God, or soldier in God's army. But lately I am persuaded that this can't be it, majorly because Jesus tells us to approach God as our Father who loves us, as someone we are supposed to love too. But as it is I love other things more than God, my family, my hobbies, my beliefs, etc. I have not yet gotten into the tenderness, the affection for God, the receptiveness to him. Yesterday when I thought about this I actually had to endure an attack by the devil. I saw pictures of sexy women in my mind, and heard the devils voice say, you can be like one of them if you come to me instead of to God. For those who don't know me, I am an "unwilling transgender".

That means, I am transgender although I don't like it. You don't have to worry, it is not that I feel repressed or oppressed, it's just that I experience my transgender side as unfriendly to myself and way too loaded sexually. I really like to enjoy my male gender and I am happy when I don't have to endure my inward false self to project transgender things on me. They only arouse me and in that mood I cannot be reasonable very well. It's not an authentic transsexuality like Susannah here has it. Either way, the devil seemed to use that stuff to tempt me. And God said, love me, rely on love more than loyalty faith. Know that your real self is hidden in me. That also rang a bell in me, that only with God can I actually know myself at all. That is also in a book that I am reading currently, "The Orthodox Way" by Callistos Ware.

I picture loving God as a means to experience the perfect love which according to Apostle John drives out fear. I did have many problems with religion-inspired anxiety and fear. For example, my whole extended family except for my mother is unreligious and enjoys happiness and peace, and there I am as the christian oddball that cannot be happy because I slipped into a version of christianity with harsh doctrines that don't give me life. In my mind I entertain freedom, justice, love, beauty, harmony and all that, but in my body I feel the anxiety and the rebelliousness of the flesh. Callistos Ware says we need to kill our flesh in order to have a body. That is also one of those things I am mulling over since some time. Apostle Paul argued we can kill the flesh with our spirit, but as it turns out we have to do that repeatedly, it's not a matter of getting rid of the flesh for good because it's apparently surviving the spirit's attempts to reign it in and to separate us from it.

How do you love God? How do you escape the meagre theology of being God's servant and slave and not really a recipient of free and intimate divine love?

what faith really is!

Sometimes in christianity faith is made to be our end of the bargain of salvation. We give God faith and he rewards us with salvation. But this is not quite correct, because in a concept like this faith is made like a deed, almost like something from the law.

But instead faith simply means grasping that our salvation has been decided by God already, on the cross, in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul attempted to make this clear in many of his words, but he had to use OT scripture as his material, and in OT scripture the faith things of Christ are not revealed yet so the scriptural material was not as rich as he would have it.

Again, faith does not mean a deed that means so much to God that he would save you. Instead faith taps into the salvation that has already begun, at first in the cross of Christ and then in the life of Christ.

Christ does not mean a change from action things to belief things.Christ means a change from man-focus to a God-focus. Instead of being about what I have done and is thinking (including my faith), it is about what God has done, and is thinking. It is not about my love so much anymore, it is about God's love that loves me and inspires me to love God back. Every event in me of faith and love must be inspired by God's faith and love. He loved us first.

Now there might be someone who expresses no belief in Christ. Since we cannot see Christ we cannot well prove him except by what we have learned, by what we have become in Christ. We ourselves must be little Christ to show what God has made us to be and, most importantly, what God thinks of a man, which are loving and faith and kind thoughts.

What would it mean if God were to hate a man? This is downright senseless that God would hate someone. This big God who created the cosmos and who created us in the wombs of our mothers, why should he hate us? He sent Christ to the cross for us, gave his own son so that we might be saved easily from our sins. We are not innocent but we are declared innocent, not in order to betray truth but to add to truth the loving thoughts of God!

Our faith simply attaches to something that is bigger than our faith. God's free grace and his free love. God looked down on Earth and saw us imprisoned in hatred, sin, evil and hopelessness against the face of death. So he came down and conquered death, and the devil who was a mighty evil angel that had been able to snare us awfully. But Jesus threw him out like it says in John, that it was the judgment that went through the world on the day of vengeance that was Good Friday. Because the devil was really worse than us, even when we were sinful.

And on that Cross Jesus Christ even forgave his murderers. Christ did not love himself on the cross. He did not think of avenging himself. Instead he thought of those who hated him and did not hate them. Instead he said, and he means that for all sinners, "Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing!".

And then, the resurrection! What a wonderful Easter Monday this was. Jesus rose from the dead to show that the forgiveness for all that he had won at the Cross, was not to be a one time thing. He was raised from the dead to show that forgiveness and love were to continue, and if you can trust him, that we humans don't have to fear death anymore and can know that we will live forever in the vast and beautiful realms of Heaven, with this Christ who loves us and has the strength and the love to save us always!

To know these things is faith, and it is more that this faith is part of salvation than that this faith causes salvation. We can know that everyone will find this faith eventually because the salvation of God will not rest until someone has this faith and can bow his knees to God and recognize his lordship. God is a righteous king who wants an earned lordship. He gives us salvation, so we can have faith!

God bless you!

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