But isn’t that what Christians yearn for … ?
To be free of guilt and sin – full of love without condition – of adoration in infinite eternity?
Just not here on earth in my mortal finite life. My mortal finite life of sin and burden, service and inequality, of the inhumanity of pain and suffering, of unfairness and unjustness, of self-centredness and closed-mindedness … here in this Garden we blighted with original sin for ever and ever and ever, amen.
I used to buy into all that.
The bible AND relationship with GSHJ has been more than enough to un-buy (unbind?) me.
Relationship is the key for me. Because without relationship the bible is what I was taught AND can only ever be what I was taught:
“Bilblically Correct, Paul – and God help you if you ever think otherwise!”
But which bits?
Because the Garden / Tree / Creation (in seven days) are allowed theological “poetic licence”, whereas The Cross / Resurrection / Salvation are not.
Because “that” happened as written in the Word of God. Fact.
I was brought up on a bible that is a total pick-and-mix. A taught pick-and-mix. A bible legitimate to question in private but far less so in public. A bible that, when in the pulpit or congregation (real or virtual), is fact.
Most of it.
So to God Soft Hands Jesus (in my case). And an ongoing washing away of my personal comfort zones of sin and guilt.
Not by blood freely spilled – not be grace freely given – nor by any of the comforting platitudes we clothe ourselves in – the rites and rituals of much that is “worship”.
Simply with One who has slowly and inexorably peeled away layer after layer of my religiously required sin and guilt. One for whom “eternity” is now – for whom love without condition AND grace freely given are one and the same – for whom neither are exclusive and distant – but something now AND for all. And more importantly –
THAT is something I was taught to resist in this corporate religious culture – this secular culture – in all faiths AND much secular society.
Taught to resist being free of guilt / sin. Taught to fear the absence of sin and guilt. Because once that goes – what is left?
Love without condition (or grace freely given if you prefer), Paul.
No blood spilling necessary. No salvation necessary. No dogma / ologies / isms / verse-offs / correct-incorrect …. nothing is “necessary” other than one thing … For you to “allow” – now – today – in this moment and the next.
And I have found THAT is where eternity is found (in this life) … love without condition (in this life) … where freedom lives (in this life)… where love is found right now and for ever in this (supposedly) sin-fueled-finite-life of burden.
And on this I am MORE than happy to be judged “biblically incorrect”.
Because my relationship has shown me that being biblically correct doesn’t matter – is irrelevant – is missing the whole point.
My relationship with GSHJ has challenged me – has taught me to put down this unhealthy relationship with sin and guilt – has taught me to pick-up love without condition – and to actually live in the eternity of this moment.
Now and for ever …
I am happy to be wrong. Happy to be unchained AND unbound by anything AND everything that keeps me from love without condition right now, because …
Isn’t something distant and unattainable.
Is who I am right now.
If I allow.