The Mortal Sin of Belief

In the last couple of posts, I have perhaps opened a small can of worms by suggesting God, as supreme author of life, is responsible for the bad things that befall us. The thought is reasonable, and  — the more we contemplate God’s omnipotent and omniscient nature — inescapable.

But what is it about the idea that God has some part in the difficulties that befall us, that causes us pause? I believe the answer is: We fear this must mean that He is bad, no better than the devil. It would seem to suggest, at least on the surface, that He endorses the bad. That He intends for us to suffer.

But our misgivings go deeper than this. To allow the possibility that God is involved in the bad is, for many of us, to commit the mortal sin of questioning God’s goodness. Because faith is foundational to Christian doctrine, attributing God to the bad is seen as a failure of faith. We refuse to set foot in that direction.

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Hiding under the Umbrella

Christianity is not about following the rules. But it is not about following no rules, either. Nor, following principles derived from Scripture that promise to achieve success in the Christian life. It is much simpler. It is about remaining. The quality of the Christian life rises and falls in relation to our ability to remain in the place Jesus has for us, a place that is not a concept or idea but a reality, more real in fact than the physical universe that surrounds us.

We have recently been discussing the voice of God and how it is is the only means of effectively living out the Christian life. It is God’s Spirit that that leads us into a place where all things are available to us.

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Defying Gravity

Last time, I shared a bit about my personal journey to understand what it means to remain in Jesus, and my coming to understand that when Jesus said “if you obey my commands,” he was not talking about obeying all that he taught which is recorded in the Bible (or even obeying the Bible itself) but rather obeying His voice. In fact, it is only by hearing and obeying God’s voice that we can ever move into the deeper abundant life Jesus promised.

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The Most Depressing Scripture Ever

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. . . . apart from me, you can do nothing. . . . If you obey my commands, you will remain in [Me]

For years, I considered the above-quoted scripture as the most depressing passage of the Bible ever. During my regular Bible-reading, I would happen upon this passage, consider the prospect of remaining in Jesus, and conclude it was an impossible task — at least for me. After all, how was I suppose to obey Jesus’ commands, just as He had his Father’s? How was I suppose to be that good? Maybe one day I would achieve that level of perfection, but certainly not now.

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