The Christmas Story – indeed the Bible Story – doesn’t obligate me with should, must, have to, call yourself a “Christian” … Even the infamous cross-carrying is “light” … And as for “family” and who is and who is not … it seems we all are no matter where or who or what or why. And as for “the greatest of these is” … I find Love unable to distinguish between you and me – between what I am and who I should be – between I am correct and you are not.
A few years back I bumped into the theology of “universalism”. The bumping was of others telling me I was touting universalism (which I never knew existed) as a theological-ism. And it seemed a controversial theology-ism. An incorrect ism.
Which I find odd.
Because everyone touts “all are welcome” … all preach “I was loved before I was even conceived” – all teach we have been saved by grace freely given – that grace meets us where we are and leaves us somewhere else – all that “unconditional good stuff”.
So – now I know about it – I think that universalism has a lot going for it.
But I am wrong.
I was told that the (transaction) of being saved is necessary for “Love” to be a two-way thing. That – although God loves us unconditionally (is there any other kind of Love?) – we can’t Love (apparently so) Him unless we’ve been saved. So universalism doesn’t work because it lacks the transaction of saving.
Which makes it wrong (theologically).
All are not welcome (unless you buy into our beliefs) it seems. And “Love”is indeed many things (according to qualified theology) it seems. Indeed “the Greek” is used as theological evidence of Love being not one thing but many things.
Is it just me or isn’t all this a tad Pharisaic? All this hair splitting – this belief splitting – this (alleged) evidence splitting – this Love (is not always Love it seems) splitting.
All because being theologically (biblically) correct is to define sin as more powerful than Love – or else why aren’t we all capable of “Love without condition” (without the need to be saved)?
We are – but we never admit it. We keep it for those we call family – and that is a very small and select circle. Not the Jesus Definition of “family” (or Love) at all.
This Christmas I have no should’s or must’s or ought to’s – I have no I call myself this or that or the other. I have no burden to carry or obligations to fulfil. But I am excited. And I can feel the fun tickling around the edges. And it is connecting. It is liberating. It is universal. Because I have nothing I believe in me that requires Love to be conditional. Which makes family and Love … Love and Family … A family of all – near and far – without heed to biology or science (or theology) protestations.
And the oddest thing of all I find is …
That THAT is the message of Christmas and the whole bible and all of the God stuff. Not the sin and the saving – but the Love and family where all are welcome no matter who what or why.
But I must be wrong because that strays into universalism – and I am not qualified in theology or God or the bible or anything …
And that makes me wrong (allegedly).