God’s Wrath vs. God’s Grace…….

The following is part 2 of a  series of posts which will subsequently be compiled as an In-Depth report here on RJsCorner came from my other blog RedLetterLiving.net.

If Grace is true“How can you believe that God’s grace isn’t sufficient, that many of God’s children will languish in hell forever, that they’ll never be restored to their Father, that evil will claim victory in so many lives? How can you believe that?”

Gulley, Philip; Mulholland, James (2009-03-17). If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person

Some think the idea of universal salvation is a new thing but in reality it goes back to the founding fathers of the church. Origen and Gregory of Nyssa believed in the salvation of all people. But of course we know that the champions of God’s grace were often silenced by future theologians especially by those who followed King Constantine several hundred years later. Much like the old saying that “history is written by the victors”, much of Christian dogma was written by those who charged their opponents with heresy and got that claim to stick.

As I have mentioned before I am still wrestling with the idea of universal salvation. It is easy to show with pride how I am saved while so many are damned to hell for eternity.  Like the return of the prodigal son I don’t want to admit that some who have led totally broken lives will  somehow sit alongside me in God’s presence.

In the end I simply will not diminish God’s grace in order to sustain the belief of God’s wrath.  I want to finish the post with some final words from the book that took hold of me and shook me.

I insisted we were free to reject God’s grace. It never occurred to me that God might be free to reject our rejection.

Who is more powerful God or human will? I think I know the answer to that question….

Cigarette Aren’t Addictive..

2017-07-18_16-47-44.pngI still remember the words in this blog’s title coming from each of the cigarette company CEOs while testifying before a congressional committee in 1994.  They all stood up and swore that cigarettes addiction was a fallacy.   About that time I had been free from cigarettes for about two years after 25 years of use.  Breaking that addiction was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  To hear those seven guys tell me that lie shocked me but it wouldn’t by any means be the last time that happened

As Yoggi Berra used to say “its daja vu all over again” today when I listen to all those people around Mr. Trump say they have never heard him lie I think I am living in an alternative universe. We somehow went back 23 years in time! Maybe all those seven CEOs now work in the White House?

2017-07-18_16-36-12.pngBut then again it also reminded me that even though it seems worse, things are not that much different than they were then.

The GOP continues to be a party for the rich and they are willing to toss everyone else aside because the rich are the true capitalists who make this country great. Or maybe it is  that we need to give them more money so they can spend it and it therefore flows, or should I say trickles, down to the rest of us. We just never seem to be able to get some sane people into our nation’s capital, especially in the Republican party.

One thing that has changed is the the Democratic party seems to no longer be for the working class guy but instead is now a champion for those along the fringes of society.

It is being said that with all the gridlock in our nation’s capital that all it would take is the election of six Independent senators and they could pretty much decide the direction of pretty much all legislation.  Maybe, like Britain it is time for a strong third party in the USA.  I would likely even contribute to one of them even if my state of Indiana would never have the guts to elect one.

🙂 🙂 Cigarette aren’t addictive, and Donald Trump has never told a lie 🙂 🙂 

 

 

Universal Salvation… If Grace Is True

Universal Salvation is not believed by many current Christian denominations but I became convinced to make it my worldview primarily by the book cited below. The following series of posts which will subsequently be compiled as an In-Depth report here on RJsCorner came from my other blog RedLetterLiving.net.

Gracae Book CoverI’ve never experienced a God of wrath. I’ve heard such a God preached. I’ve read of such a God. I’ve encountered wrathful people who claimed to be acting on God’s behalf. I’ve even allowed such sentiments to tarnish my view of God. Yet, in the midst of all these distortions, I never experienced a wrathful God.

The God I’ve experienced is the God of Jesus—a God of unlimited patience, infinite love, and eternal faithfulness. Jesus described a God who waits long through the night, with the light lit and the door open, confident his most defiant child will one day realize his love and turn toward home. Jesus revealed a God who loves the unlovable, touches the untouchable, and redeems those thought beyond redemption. He said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you” (John 15:9). My earliest experiences were with the love of Jesus.

I want to start off this mini-serious around the book by Philip Gulley and James Mulholland entitled If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person with a quote from the beginning pages. Being I buy most of my books from Amazon I can review a few pages to decide whether I want to purchase the book.  When I read these words I knew this was a book I wanted to learn more from.

I must admit that most of my church experiences have not aligned with the assumption that God will eventually reconcile all souls back to him. Especially from my Protestant years, I was taught  that I was to fear a wrathful God who would send me to an eternity of pain and suffering if I didn’t do what the church leaders told me to do. I was told to fear the power and wrath of God or risk eternal damnation. I was told that God only viewed me as worth no more than a piece of snot but he loved me anyway.

I was told that all the bad things that have happened in my life was probably just God getting back at me for things I had done in my life. It was his retribution for not being perfect. But even with all this rhetoric about a vengeful God I, like the quote above,  can’t say that I have ever really experienced a God of wrath.  I have encountered wrathful people inside and outside the churches I have attended over the years. They insisted on telling me week after week that people like us, that is those who made a declaration of faith in the beliefs they espoused and attended their particular version of church were saved from God’s wrath but just about everyone else would not make the cut.

When I dared to go off on my own and study the words of Jesus without those fearful words being chanted in my ears I discovered a different God. Now I will admit that there are some words attributed to Jesus that I can’t yet understand (I will have to do another series on that topic) but the vast majority that I do presently understand is about a God of love. One who has an agape, that is unconditional and infinite, love for me and all those he created.  With this new view of God I am beginning to align with Mr. Gulley’s notion that God will save every person.  How he is going to do that is not up to me and my petty understanding of him.  I just know that he is an all powerful God and if he loves us as the Bible proclaims then he will eventually bring us all back to his fold.

Leaves Of Grass and Other Unfinished Things…

2017-07-16_08-41-25I’m sure there is a name for someone who can’t stop working on something and to call it finished. I looked around but couldn’t find the word.  One glaring example of this was Walt Whitman’s collection of poetry called Leaves Of Grass.  Never mind that it was a book of poetry that was very unconventional in its time and that the subject matter was often sexual in nature, the point of this mention is that he just couldn’t finish it. It did major changes throughout its eight editions or so.

 

RJC FlaSH.jpgNow finally getting down to the point of this post and that is to tell you that I have been spending quite a bit of time lately making the On the Road & In Depth Reports pages that now reside on the right side of my home page. These pages started out as individual posts but I am in the process of significantly expanding  and in some cases compiling several posts into one topic and turning them into more detailed stories.

Given my innate editor nature, they will likely be changed on a regular basis.  I need to tell the whole story and my five hundred word limit on individual posts just doesn’t allow that to happen. I, like Whitman, will likely not be able to  stop editing and expanding these reports.

The list of topics will increase as time goes by.  When I have added new ones or significantly changed existing ones I will likely feature them in the three boxes just below the Home Page blog header.  I hope a few of you will take the time over the coming months to browse through the list.

Not Good Enough For Me..

Snippet BannerI gotta send you this snippet about the Republican Healthcare plan that no one seems to like, except that 25% of us who ignorantly cling to this president. But the key that hopefully locks this plan away is that the Senate bill has hidden text that exempts them and their staff from having to use the plan they are trying to push down our throats.

See this link for a video about that.

Not Good Enough For Me

2017-07-15_08-02-52.png

I just pray that there are at least a handful of GOP senators who have the welfare of their constituents in their hearts. Yes, we need to be looking for ways to reduce our healthcare costs so that they are similar to the rest of the world, but taking away healthcare to 20 million of our citizens is NOT the answer.