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Brent Stanfield -“Darkness, evil, and sin are merely the absence of God. That is why we call them ‘ungodliness’ “.
I would call it absence of awareness of God. But for me God is all. Nothing is not God. The dilemma of mankind, is a dilemma that God shares.
Love and redemption are built in. The Father and the Son not different.
“All things that do not abide in God are nonbeing, lies, and darkness.”
So much of Christian theological debate seems to reinforce the illusion of separateness. Even at these rarified levels.
Brent Stanfield – “Nonbeing is separation from God. I can agree in a sense that God is all in all. But that means that where there is ‘lack”/’evil’/’nonbeing’ there is separateness from God and it is not an illusion.”
For me it is like the confusion caused by a hall of mirrors.
Each mirror believing that it’s image is real. Something in and of it’s own self.
This is the illusion of separation. The root of sin.
If the separation were real there could be no realization of the seamless identity in God. No Christ.
God is the all in all. Including the seeming lack of being, as you call it; the suffering of our lives and the dream called death.
God’s love is not love of, or for, anything or anyone, but rather the very fabric of eternity.
frjohnmorris responding to StevenLong – “The problem with people like you is that you presume to interpret the Scriptures for yourselves and ignore the way it has been interpreted through the centuries as expressed through the Holy Tradition of the Church. No contemporary theologian has the insight that the Holy Fathers and 7 Ecumenical Councils had on the true meaning of the Holy Scriptures. Do you actually believe that the entire Christian Church was wrong until John Calvin wrote his ‘Institutes’ in the 16th century? All of the ancient Fathers of the Church affirm free will. St. Irenaeus of Lyons who learned from St. Polycarp who learned from the Apostle John affirmed free will. St. Irenaeus’ credibility if far greater than that of John Calvin.”
Fr. John W. Morris
But you said yourself that salvation comes by Grace.
Scripture, Church and Holy Fathers. This is what we concern ourselves with while Grace ripens our hearts.
Even an illiterate, deaf, blind and mute life may awaken to the infinite God.
I have liked much that you say. But then you burden me with Tradition.
StevenLong responding to frjohnmorris – “And you just proved what I said. I pray that you will find true salvation through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and follow Him rather than your tradition.”
He is no more bound than you.
I have never understood why Christians refer to Christ as “Jesus Christ”.
He shows us the nature of our True Self. But we make him a god instead.
The Irish Atheist responding to Guest – “Well, Calvin God must’ve thought my flaws were just too much for his delicate sensibilities. I guess I’ll just enjoy what time I have until I’m slow roasted over an open pit of torment.”
Guest responding to The Irish Atheist – “The beloved King David was a womanizing murderer. There are no flaws too great.”
He is not apologizing, just highlighting the strident absurdity of much that is being said.
There’s too much certainty in flatland, about what the shadows mean.
N Good – “God is a person with a character that is perfect and flawless.”
I wish I could help people think more in terms like:
“God is the Entirety”
“God is Existence”
“God is Self”
“God is Infinitude”
“God is All”
So many squabbles are then resolved.
Nothing is not God. Jesus as Christ knew this. We are suppose to as well.
It is not redemption to be addicted to a soap opera version of Salvation; With winners and losers.
“A person whom we can approach but never understand, whom we can love only because He has first loved us,…”
If you cling to your separateness then you cling to the original sin; The ignorance of our seamless non-separateness.
Jesus demonstrated that this does not have to be so.
It is not us who God loves. God is us.
“…a person we can know and be known by on a very intimate level, but never a person that we can change.”
God is Change – Infinitely, and therefore utterly Still. The eternal present moment.
At least that’s how I’ve come to know God through Scripture and His Spirit.
Leave the scriptures behind then.
Grace is sufficient.
Brent Stanfield – “why doesn’t he ensure that he brings about the circumstances that would cause everybody to repent and believe? Is he powerless to do it? Or might he have other purposes?”
The circumstances already exist. We always have the nature of God to turn to. When the suffering and foolish hubris of Man’s way becomes all too clear, we will.
When we do, is it not God that does so? Is it not Man that stops turning the wheel of Samsara?
Those that have difficulty will most surely be assisted by those who have found it easier.
(Responding to Brent Stanfield)
Ah, now I’m starting to get this stuff. It is rooted in the idea of eternal death; An end point when the whole show wraps up.
Condemning creation to eternal relativity. Divorced from the absolute.
This can not be true. Sorry, whatever happens next, we are all in it together.
God’s love is only subject to degrees of gradation in man’s way of thinking. Those limits are transcended in Christ.
If the Bible confuses you, then burn it.
If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t force it. Go bare footed.
If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.
Brent Stanfield – ” My logic leads to the unavoidable conclusion that God willingly created conscious beings for a just destiny. If the destiny is horrible it is because the creature is horrible. “
If our “original sin” is to forget that we are seamlessly not-separate from God, then all our actions from that point on, reflect our self serving viewpoint.
We are not “horrible” in our essence. The horrors as well as the virtues are still, in truth, seamlessly not-separate from God.
The redemption of Christ, is knowing that the Self of God, is our self. In this awakening, “it is finished.”