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.