Peace and goodwill to all


No matter how loving we become as we approach the “season of goodwill” … no matter how many carols we hum to ourselves through the days … no matter how generous we are to others … we still cling to sin and sinning and sinners … 24/7/365 we NEED sin in our lives. I have always found that to be weird in this Christian living (and especially at this time of year).

I hear my saved brothers and sisters tell me that if everyone gets to heaven without needing to be saved that is not fair (although “not fair” is never spoken aloud). I hear that “being saved” – receiving unconditional love – comes with conditions. I need to give up sinning with aforethought. I need to believe in God as written in the Christian Tradition. I will keep on sinning. I will need to keep asking for more forgiveness. I will need to go to church (usually). I am allowed my accidental sinning (because we have no control over that – Adam and Eve you see).

Unconditional Love, The Christian Way.  Happy Christmas and goodwill to all.

And then He laid these verses in front of me, smoothed them flat, and waited.

“One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting nearby (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Just then some men came, carrying a paralysed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you.’ “ Luke 5:17-26

And I hear the Christian Tradition ringing in me ears:

See Paul – there it is in black and white: “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” Our “religious contract” says sin sinning and sinners. Christmas or no Christmas. Even with that cute stable included. That is “why” the cute stable. We are all sinners. We cannot help but sin. The Great Fall was the beginning. The bible says so.

And “that” pierces my heart every time.

“And mine, Paul. And mine. Back in the day I met each one in their own time and place.
Their time? The sins of the father was visited on the sons for generation after generation. You call that (in your time) barbaric and unloving.
Their place? I healed that “inherited sin” of physical and mental impairment, so they would be integrated again, not outcast (by religious law) any longer. You call that (in your place) ignorant and unfair.
And yet …
For both of you, this absolute dependence on sinning passed down as punishment never goes away. It is simply debated and updated by each generation. Which means that I have to “forgive your sins” all these thousands of years later. What is it you all quote … ?
Saved by Grace freely given?
Fine words.
Which means – in your time and place today – that the sins of “Adam and Eve” are visited on you and your sons generation after generation. And despite “that” you see me as a new and upgraded fluffy loving God. You call me your new and enhanced living God.  All whilst telling me that I have to punish your “sin” generation after generation. I see that as no different to the “barbaric and unloving” dusty peeps you see.  Because I see that you (also) have perfected a religious system where you are allowed to sin (because you must) and I am bound to forgive (because I must), and which you call educated and fair.
And which I don’t.
I see that as no different to “that day and that roof”, to that “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.”
Christmas? Babies? Cute stables? Goodwill to all men? And still sin, sinners and sinning. Ever thought that is down to you and not me?”

And as I put down my deconstructed bible verses this morning I ponder again …

Why do I “have to” cling to sin (as an addict clings to their addiction)? Why must I “live in sin” rather than love without end (I read throughout the bible). Where is real “goodwill to all men” in this system that means I inherit (along with my children forever and ever) Adam and Eve’s punishment for sin, sinners and sinning?

And just how is that any less barbaric than “their” being taught “inherited physical and mental impairment” was “their” punishment (for sin by somebody sometime in their own past)?

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9 thoughts on “Peace and goodwill to all

  1. I’ve always thought that since Jesus changed everything up we are no longer born into sin, but born pure – without that generational sin of Adam and Eve. He washed all that away with his own sacrifice. So if he did that so…well, sacrificially, why then do we still talk about being born sinners? It seems that would negate what he did? I mean, that substitution stuff was only part of what Jesus did – the bigger part was to bring us back into a reconciled and loving relationship with our Father. And why can’t we get that? Have we closed off our hearts so much and for so long we simply can’t feel His breathtaking, lavish love anymore?

    • Easy there Susan, don’t want to be a killjoy at Christmas! 🙂

      And yes yes yes. I often wonder if it is a commitment issue. If we admit to be “that ” loved, then everything says we have to respond: logic, commonsense, love, humanity, our soul, our heart and our brain.
      And the illogic, the nonsense, the laziness, the calculation, the get out: “Anyway – “committing” is something I did with my partner – and look at the grief I get from that!”
      What other reason is there for preferring sin-by-default over unconditional-love-by-default than … “commitment issues”?
      Because if it is – then this has to be rewritten: “I have come to Lord” and replaced with: “The Lord wants me to come to Him – but I just don’t know”

      • Well, you might have something there, Paul. Just as in any other relationship, are we (to use a tired phrase) “all in?”

        Certainly, there are times of doubt, times we need reassurance, even times we may argue. But if, as you state, the Lord wants me to come to Him, can we have one foot in and one foot out? If God is Love, then when you say ‘Yes’ you’re saying ‘I will live by love because I know You are Love. But if you continue to live by fear and sin, then you haven’t committed. You’re living an adulterous relationship with Him.

        I think if we answer “Yes” we must make the commitment because we know fully who He is. He is Love, therefore, we must live by love, even though there may be “grief” at times. The overwhelming roots of our life is love.

        • Or is it? I get the impression that “being saved” is the “overwhelming root” for many. And if there is anything in that – then it is like saying “I do” and then living as though the rest will happen by itself.

          Commitment issues and complacency. Isn’t there a lot of that in the divorce courts?

          • Yes, there is. And for some, being saved is the end all/be all. They don’t understand it is not “just about you.” We have clear instructions. “Make disciples.” “Reconcile everyone to God.”
            And how can we do that? We can’t do that through anger, hate and accusation. Only love is the answer.

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