Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Abi ponders the roots of sin....

With gratitude to Mont Smith, Scott Bartchy, Scott Peck, Alan Hirsch, Paul Young, Wayne Jacobsen, Penelope Wilcock, Baxter Kruger...and so many others who have challenged my thinking. Thanks be to God....

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I have come, over the past 20 years, to believe that understanding sin requires that we back up and understand the primary will of God...so that we see clearly the target that sin misses.

Belief is certainly part of the will of God, but perhaps that is too narrow, or not specific enough. What is it that we are to believe?

Scripture tells us repeatedly that God is love. Love is a relational term that needs the context of the Trinity --Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- for proper understanding. Too many see God as alone and distant in his holiness (Greek thinking) rather than engaged as an eternal relationship of love that includes all creation.

If God is by nature a loving relationship of mutuality and equality, where there is such unity of desire that can only be described as Oneness, then we have to ponder the meaning of creation.

I believe They created in order to share Their life of loving relationship with humans. History has been the process of humanity's education. And this is where sin comes in.

I believe that the problem of human sin is one of laziness -- of taking the easy way rather than embracing the necessary work of growing through loving relationships. This laziness partners with a desire for independence, because it seems easier (better!) to do things our way instead of entering into the growth required by love that fosters the other's best interest and finds a way in unity. This is why sin almost always is manifest as coercion -- trying to get our way by force.

This coercive way is sin because it misses the mark of loving the other as we love ourselves. It weakens or destroys relationship and introduces fear...and I don't mean holy awe....

And when we are afraid, we trust less...and, boom -- we get unbelief.

The serpent sowed seeds of fear by suggesting that God was not to be trusted -- that he was holding something back -- and the rule against eating of the forbidden fruit was a form of coercion. Laziness took that seed and gave it place instead of running straight to God for the truth.

The serpent stole their innocent dependence on God as Guide and they turned to independence instead of growing toward greater interdependence.

I have come to realize that much of Western Christianity is mired in the unfortunate blending of Roman/Greek philosophy, which forms a pair of legal/rational information-as-knowledge contextual glasses. This moves away from God's Hebrew experience + information = knowledge philosophy, which is founded on cHesed -- gracious loving-kindness -- within God's series of covenants. When that happens, misinterpretation will follow about the very nature of God and humanity...with the horrific results too many accept today as God's will. So very sad....

Only by the continual renewing of our minds by the Spirit will we have eyes that can see the Truth in Jesus, and this calls us to die to self so that we can be alive in Christ.

Lord have mercy on us in our blindness...and lead us out of the darkness of our own fallen thinking!


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