Posts Tagged ‘Grace’

Grace

January 7, 2013

One aspect of Christianity we are reminded of quite often is Grace, that ultimate act of forgiveness by the Almighty for whatever indiscretions in which we may have been involved. So many preachers tell us we do not have to be perfect to approach the Heavenly Father, Grace is extended even to the most egregious of sinners.

Grace. The Gift to Us All from the Father who art in Heaven.

What a pleasant thought.

But then, usually in the next breath, many will say “but you must first take Jesus as personal Savior and Redeemer.”

And some even go further and say you must also tithe, refrain from working on Sunday, partake of communion, not walk under ladders, step on sidewalk cracks, or sneezing without covering your mouth.

So, which is it?

Is Grace something given freely by the Almighty to everyone or does He have a team of lawyers to nit-pick the fine points of your adherence to a bunch of details?

Actually, it is unconditional and applies to people of any race, nation, age, or religion.

It is freely given so that we might, in turn, give forgiveness unconditionally to everyone by whom we might feel slighted or maligned. Forgiveness is not conditional or it is not true forgiveness.

And Grace is not really Grace with any conditions. Especially not something as minor as deciding which idol you want to interpose between yourself and God.

Jesus said repeatedly that you can easily keep in touch with God, the Father. He did not mention using any mouthpiece, go-between, or secret password.

That little notion was thought up by the early Christian lawyers.

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One Day at the Pearly Gates

December 28, 2012

This is a scene I could imagine…

A line of people stand waiting at the gate and God himself (not Saint Peter) opens the gate, steps forward and embraces the woman at the front of the line. “Welcome home, daughter!”

She looks nervously around. “I never expected to be here. I mean, my life has not been very good… I sold my body on the streets to get drugs… you know, that sort of thing.”

God smiles. “I’m sure you did the best you could. Come on in!”

Behind her a man steps forward, back straight as God hugs him. “I have dedicated my life to your service. I pastored a church for forty years.”

God smiles. “I’m sure you did the best you could. Come on in!”

The next woman steps forward for her hug and greeting. “I’m so glad to get here.” Tears come. “I’ve waited so long.”

God smiles. “I’m sure you did the best you could. Come on in!”

A man steps up next, trying to step back again to avoid the hug, but is unsuccessful. He shakes his head ruefully. “I never believed in you… this… I always figured you were some sort of myth.” He hung his head. “I don’t deserve to be here.”

God smiles. “I’m sure you did the best you could. Come on in!”

****

The Heavenly Father, as most people refer to Him, is just that: a parent. To think that He would refuse entrance to any of His children for any past behaviors, is denying “grace”. There is no hell, no Satan, only the loving Father of us all.

Why then do so many Christians prefer to believe that the wicked, the evil, the grossly sinful, will not make it back into paradise? Why believe that this physical plane should in any way take precedence over the higher spiritual planes when it runs divergent to rational thinking?

Probably because that is what some religion wants you to think: that you can only get to the Father through their intervention. Only they have the ear of God.

It’s a nice fairy tale.

For them.

I suppose they need some reason to feel they are important, making a difference. We all need that sort of thing. It is a very human need.

And this is not to say that the world’s religions have not done good works. To many people, it is the only way they feel they can touch the Divine. That it makes no logical sense, matters not. Logic is an earthly thing, not based in the spiritual.

But we are all children of God, regardless of mindset, health, race, or religious conviction.

And we all get to go home.

Unworthy of Grace

February 9, 2012

There are many different religions who will tell you you’re not good enough.

Heaven will close it’s doors to you and God himself will turn his colder shoulder in your direction.

You will be doomed to the pits of hell. Despair for all of time… yada yada yada.

Okay, that may be fine for some brands of religion. I mean, some people really relish the idea that they are going to get the “good stuff” while their obnoxious neighbor is going to spend eternity in the “bad place”.

What’s funny is the neighbor is probably thinking the same thing about them.

And that’s fine. Some people need that kind of boosting to feel good about themselves and their brand of thinking.

But can anyone actually be “unworthy” of Grace?

I am sure most people would say, “Hitler. No way he’s going to get into heaven!”

Really?

Let’s take a step back for a moment.

Here’s a loving Father, who’s sent the kids out into the world to try and make their way as best they can.

Some begin to doubt their affiliation with the Creator, some even doubting if the Almighty actually exists. All they can see around them is materialism, hatred, pain.

So, a few tend to go astray.

It happens… yes, even in the best of families.

But, one day… the kids come home. And the Father has not seen some of them or heard from some in many a day.

You see, this Father truly loves ALL His children. So, when one arrives at the pearly gates, slack-jawed, never really believing this day could come, ashamed of the legacy they left in their live… How does the Father react?

If you are a parent, you know there is only one way to act: opening your arms to them and forgiving.

Jesus did not base His teachings on revenge and petty judgments, it was all modeled after the Father. Forgiving.

Perhaps if we were all a little more like that, we could find a little heaven before we reach the pearly gates.