And what is “God’s will”?


“If you cannot accept these things then we can be friends, but we are not brothers.”

I read a few blogs and within almost all of them are bits I nod with and bits I don’t.  And behind each response I hear the whisper “What’s not too like … ?” And I move on – sometimes touched – sometimes stirred – always more connected.

And occasionally I find a phrase itching.

An itch that will not be still.  An itch that says: “Be still and know that … I am itching too.”

“If you cannot accept these things then we can be friends, but we are not brothers.”
Taken from: “July 26 – Believe and Declare”, The River Walk, BJ.“

Why the itch?

Because “the friends who cannot be brothers” are Muslims – not Christians.  And Muslims don’t believe what Christians believe.  That is why Christians can be friends with Muslims – but not a band of “brothers” in God.

I used to think that.  I was taught that.  I was taught that the Christians had the biggest baddest bestest God of All Gods!  We had the One True God – all others were pale imitations (and to be avoided like an STD).  God was a jealous God  – THE biggest baddest bestest MOST jealous God (of All Gods).

And I was to be roasted on the eternal spit if I so much as looked – let alone touched!

Today I was walking around our town.

There is the Baptist church, Methodist church, Evangelical church, Church of England church, in fact there are churches all over the place.  And all of them have big signs proclaiming their business.   And their business is “our denomination” … our “ology” … our “variant” …

None headlines “The One True God” (who denies me brotherhood with any but my own kind).  All prefer to distinguish their differences rather than proclaim their commonality.

Why is that?

Are WE not “brothers” of the same religion and faith?   And why all the differences that WE like to shout about – rather than the “God thing” WE ALL BELIEVE?

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Jesus was asked a question about brothers, and in Matthew replies:

“Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

And in Mark: “Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

And what is God’s “will” … ?

Love is God’s will.

Love without condition.  Love without differentiation.  Love without MY conditions.

And if I read it right THAT does not require me to make God small enough so that I can pick and choose just who is and who is not … my neighbour … my brother … my cousin twice removed … my blood or spiritual family.

Because that is NOT love without condition.

So if we prefer conditions … then the bible is full of them.   Most of them WE don’t worry about any more.  Too old.  Too “desert”.  Too not who WE are today.  Too “religious”.  Too “Pharisee”.

Yet are these not our biblical brothers – the very same brothers “our religion” commands ARE “our brothers”?   The SAME “brothers” that we don’t believe have it right anymore?

Because how many more “faith groups” must I be denied brotherhood with … how many more have to be just like me … have to believe what I am taught to believe today (just without all that “2000+ years ago” stuff we have quietly dropped) … ?

Because that is NOT love without condition.

I think anyone who loves and seeks love without condition IS my brother AND sister AND mother (AND father).

Why?

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That’s why.

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One thought on “And what is “God’s will”?

  1. You said above that God’s will is that we love. Yes, I fully agree.

    But then you qualified that, “love without differentiation”. No, I strongly disagree.

    Scripture makes it very clear, time and time again, that there is a real distinction between those who are and those who are not children of God.

    Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

    John 1:12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

    Romans 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

    Galatians 3:26, 29 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith… If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    Philippians 2:14-16 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.

    1 John 3:10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

    1 John 5:18-19 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

    And then the scripture you pointed to yourself where Jesus says that his brother and sisters are those who do the will of the Father. The clear implication is that those who do not, are not. Clearly, God makes distinctions. Doing so does not mean He loves anyone any less. In the same way, acknowledging that someone is not part of my spiritual family, that they are not my brother, does not mean I love them any less, simply that I acknowledge and respect those differences as well as what those differences imply.

    Like

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