August 14, 2006

Who Would of Thought?

My buddy Lucas, over at myfourwalls.net has had some interesting discussion over something that has been on my mind lately...universalism. Here are some of my thoughts on something that has come to mind, and brought up in the conversation a bit. Mostly, the world is screwed up because of the church...no this isn't your normal churchh bashing post.

This is my proposal. The church, in the modern period especially, created a sacred space...ie...the church building. All else was secular. Business, homes, markets, etc were all secular places. People had to gather into buildings to experience the sacred...no food or drinks allowed!!!

But inside this sacred place, people found a God painted with a cruel and unusual face. A being that chooses some for heaven, some for hell, all to his glory. It happened, maybe we lost touch with reality... the incarnation, but it happened, and people reacted.

Mostly, they ran from this God. They ran from the sacred into the secular...their place, where it was safe to eat, drink, cuss, and live without the tension that everyone is staring at you, judging you.

So what should we do? First, we could do away with the secular/sacred divide. Let's be the church and worry less about going to some building. Let's rid ourselves of Jesus stickers, shirts, C.D.'s, posters, paper weights, hats, bands, fishes, special movies and music. And redeem where we are. No longer allow normal things to be secular, but realize that all places and things can be sacred, created by God in her presence.

We would also benefit from ridding ourselves from this God of distance, far beyond in the great blue...you'll be lucky if he chooses you. Instead, we should talk about the suffering God, who came as a man to be with us, to redeem us. A God of justice in our affairs, not just in damnation on account of his holiness. A God of grace and love, with us, among us.

11 comments:

Holiday At The Sea said...

joe

i wanted to jot down a few thoughts.

you commented "Mostly, the world is screwed up because of the church..."
i would have to argue with you on this statement and say "no the problem is not the church. the problem is sin that is in the church."

your next comment "But inside this sacred place, people found a God painted with a cruel and unusual face."
who are you referring to?

you then wrote "A being that chooses some for heaven, some for hell, all to his glory." it appears that you are referring to the folks who see God through the lense of the doctrines of Grace. am i correct?

i agree with you in your next statement when you where you wrote that people ran from God, but i differ with the reason.
"Mostly, they ran from this God. They ran from the sacred into the secular...their place, where it was safe to eat, drink, cuss, and live without the tension that everyone is staring at you, judging you."
again, i agree with you however i would say that the people ran from God BECAUSE they were sinful and they loved their sin more than they loved Him.

i dont understand your theology in your second paragraph, please explain.
also she?

i assume that you are referring to the reformers when you stated the following "We would also benefit from ridding ourselves from this God of distance, far beyond in the great blue...you'll be lucky if he chooses you."
if you are pointing to calvinists, i ask you to not view calvinism(piper, mcarthur, sproul, spurgeon, begg, mahoney, joshua harris, edwards, lottie moon, etc...) in comparison with the landmark views that you grew up with. though they are similar in many aspects, overall you have two totally diffrent planets that are literally worlds apart.
last you wrote "Instead, we should talk about the suffering God, who came as a man to be with us, to redeem us. A God of justice in our affairs, not just in damnation on account of his holiness. A God of grace and love, with us, among us."
though i dont know if i agree with you on "a God of justice in our affairs" (simply due to my own ignorance in what you are stating, im sure), i do agree with the rest of your statement where you wrote "a God of grace and love, with us, among us."
i think that ALL reformed folks would whole heartedly agree.
i think that it is important though that we NOT present half the Gospel. the WHOLE Gospel needs to ALWAYS be presented. polishing over sin and the consequences of sin and knowing that sin is ULTIMATLY against God is irresponsible. we need to always remember that we WILL be held accoutnable for our actions/inactions.

Holiday At The Sea said...

joe

i wanted to jot down a few thoughts.

you commented "Mostly, the world is screwed up because of the church..."
i would have to argue with you on this statement and say "no the problem is not the church. the problem is sin that is in the church."

your next comment "But inside this sacred place, people found a God painted with a cruel and unusual face."
who are you referring to?

you then wrote "A being that chooses some for heaven, some for hell, all to his glory." it appears that you are referring to the folks who see God through the lense of the doctrines of Grace. am i correct?

i agree with you in your next statement when you where you wrote that people ran from God, but i differ with the reason.
"Mostly, they ran from this God. They ran from the sacred into the secular...their place, where it was safe to eat, drink, cuss, and live without the tension that everyone is staring at you, judging you."
again, i agree with you however i would say that the people ran from God BECAUSE they were sinful and they loved their sin more than they loved Him.

i dont understand your theology in your second paragraph, please explain.
also she?

i assume that you are referring to the reformers when you stated the following "We would also benefit from ridding ourselves from this God of distance, far beyond in the great blue...you'll be lucky if he chooses you."
if you are pointing to calvinists, i ask you to not view calvinism(piper, mcarthur, sproul, spurgeon, begg, mahoney, joshua harris, edwards, lottie moon, etc...) in comparison with the landmark views that you grew up with. though they are similar in many aspects, overall you have two totally diffrent planets that are literally worlds apart.
last you wrote "Instead, we should talk about the suffering God, who came as a man to be with us, to redeem us. A God of justice in our affairs, not just in damnation on account of his holiness. A God of grace and love, with us, among us."
though i dont know if i agree with you on "a God of justice in our affairs" (simply due to my own ignorance in what you are stating, im sure), i do agree with the rest of your statement where you wrote "a God of grace and love, with us, among us."
i think that ALL reformed folks would whole heartedly agree.
i think that it is important though that we NOT present half the Gospel. the WHOLE Gospel needs to ALWAYS be presented. polishing over sin and the consequences of sin and knowing that sin is ULTIMATLY against God is irresponsible. we need to always remember that we WILL be held accoutnable for our actions/inactions.

Holiday At The Sea said...

sorry about the two posts...i guess that i got a little zealous :)

JoeBum said...

Wow, your thoughts were as scattered as my post was, so I'll try my best to answer you (but not in any kind of order though).

what i'm mostly trying to say is that our actions are directed by our beliefs. we've taught the world that we as humans are so innately sinful that God hates us b/c of that sin.

i forget, but there's a psychological term for it...where you actualize what people expect or call you. We've taught people that they are innately evil, horrible, worthless (esp in the reformed tradition), so they took it to heart...thus the world is screwed up. You can call it sin in the church, i call it belief or teaching.

this idea of total depravity is not biblical, but comes from calvin. we are created in God's image, declared good, although we may be broken we are still in imago dei.

"lenses of doctrine of Grace"...no...doctrine of predestination, not grace. It is not by grace that someone goes to hell.

I don't think people always run from God b/c of the sunday school answer, "sin." There have been way to many repudiable reports showing that americans respect jesus, but hate and/or fear evangelical Xns. hence, again, we are the problem.

I referred to God as she/her, b/c he/she is genderless, so it doesn't matter, other than God is my heavenly father and mother. my provider and nourisher.

i don't view calvinism through the landmarkist views i once had (even though they were not calvinists).
I've read my deal of Calvin, Spurgeon, Piper, Carey, and Edwards to understand TULIP and Calvin's theology before Dort.

Sorry about all that, hope i answered what you were getting at.

To you I would ask what is the FULL gospel, as opposed to half. Jesus in mark 1:14-15 says the gospel is, "the kingdom of God is near, repent and believe the good news."

Holiday At The Sea said...

joe
i will not have time to reply today due to having a meeting in "truett town":) today.
i look forward to answering your questions.
i apologize i always thought that landmarkist churches were calvinistic.
i can see from your reply that we will not be able to reach many agreements theologically so my next response will be short (ya right) and sweet :).
Gb,
mjl

JoeBum said...

I don't agree holiday, we would agree on many things i think, it's just with my posts i like to push the envelope to get me and others to thinking, and then be challenged, so i can really think through what i'm trying to say.

I highly respect the reformed tradition, some of my closest friends are 5 point, and i used to be.

i agree with the nicene creed, you?

yeah, many if not most landmarkist seemed to be calvinistic, just not the one i used to be affiliated with.

Good luck in waco.

and please respond to what you don't agree with so we can hash it out, no holds bar :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for the pleasant reply.

i really dont want to "hash" it out on some things. i think that if i got started i dont think that i would be God honoring.

i do have a moment as if you havent guessed to jot a few things down between appointments.
as far as the first point of calvinism i think that it would be best if we handled it on my blog "miracle max". i will repost it today sos thaat it will be at the top of the screen.
the burden of proof is on you my friend :) .

you wrote "we've taught the world that we as humans are so innately sinful that God hates us b/c of that sin."
who teaches this? i have never heard that.

you wrote ""lenses of doctrine of Grace"...no...doctrine of predestination, not grace. It is not by grace that someone goes to hell."
your right. reformers NEVER have stated such. please reread what i wrote on lucas blog about double predestination...a sixth point of calvinism...


you wrote "I don't think people always run from God b/c of the sunday school answer, "sin." There have been way to many repudiable reports showing that americans respect jesus, but hate and/or fear evangelical Xns. hence, again, we are the problem."
are you suggesting that if people were not sinful they might/could still run from God?
i say that they run from God because they are sinful and would rather die in their sin because they are slaves to sin, they love their sin and dont want to have anything to do with something that is utterly totally disgusting to them...holiness.
they run from holiness because of their sin.

to answer your question about "half the Gospel", refer to this. maybe it will do a better job of explaining what i mean... most of the comments help clarify. i dont have time at the moment to write further.
take care and God bless,
mike

Holiday At The Sea said...

im sorry i forgot to sign in on the answer above.
also i forgot to give the address concerning "half the gospel".
here it is...http://www.sliceoflaodicea.com/archives/2006/04/jc_ryle_how_the.php

Holiday At The Sea said...

joe
im looking forward to hearing from you amigo.
ill likely be away from my computer until monday. i will try to check on my blog as well as yours to see where we are.
have a great weekend!
oh yes please read my entire post before responding :) .
mjl

JoeBum said...

sorry have really responded. things got crazy again. we'll see what happens.

Holiday At The Sea said...

joe

i understand how things have gotten crazy with you, and i understand you have little time to respond (which i am sorry to see). I DO understand because that happens here ALL the time.

when you get time to respond please do so. i look forward to engaging with you on this subject.

again the burden of proof lies with you :).

mike