Eternal Damnation…..Really
Phil Spohn   -  

What is the content of your faith?  What do you believe in?  The virgin Birth, Satan, Jesus’ atonement for sins of the world, Hell, a God of Grace, the Rapture….these are a few things that some Christians believe needed to be accepted in order to have the proper Christian Faith.  Is faith simply accepting certain church doctrines?  Is faith saying yes I believe in Jesus Christ as my personal lord and savior?  For me the content of my faith does not involve doctrines or beliefs that I can mentally ascribe to.  Faith is a relationship with Jesus.  Faith is a relationship with God.  My faith is a relationship with God that has been grounded in the teachings and life of Jesus.  This is my faith.  An evolving, engaging, dance of God’s calling me through what I see Jesus doing in scripture.  Trying to focus on what Jesus found important.

 

Instead of faith being a mental exercise of believing the right stuff, it becomes a life giving relationship of challenge, encouragement, support and grace.  I often say, “I can’t get my heart to accept anything my mind rejects”.  I no longer struggle with that.  My faith makes sense.  Embraced by my heart and head.

 

Last week in church I addressed the Question, “What is the Character of your God”.  My answer to that question helped inform my answer to this week’s question, “What is the content of your faith?”  So what is the Character of my God?  Do I believe in a God that punishes people to eternal fire because they don’t believe that Jesus died for their sins?  Do I believe in a God who condemns to hell the Hindu philanthropist who is raising money to stop child marriages and sweat shops employing children in his native country of India, solely because he doesn’t believe Jesus is God or, born a virgin?  Wow.  How could I understand the God Jesus professes and teaches about to do such a thing?  Do people get sent to Hell, eternal damnation, because they didn’t get it right on this earth in their, 50, 60 or 70 finite years of life?  Really.  How can we as Christians believe in such a God?  I get tired of hearing that my earthly life is the final exam to get into heaven.  This is not the content of my faith!  How freeing it is not to believe in that type of God!  When I discovered this ‘NEW” God, that radically changed the content of my faith.

 

As I journey in faith, an evolving, life supporting faith, my new challenge is an ancient challenge, understood by many Christians over the centuries, but given wonderful voice through St. Francis, the originator of the Franciscans, “It all belongs”.  It is all part of God’s creation.  I work at seeing this daily.  It’s not this is sacred and that is secular.  This is evil and that is good.  It all belongs, it all is sacred, it is all part of God’s creation.  Tough, tough, tough, tough….but it is a new part of my faith…”IT ALL BELONGS”

 

Is the content of your faith changing…..