Reblog: Just ‘love the sinner’. Period | Sojo.net

The real problem with “Love the sinner; hate the sin” is that hate comes so much more naturally to us. . .

And when you start hating sin, you’ll find it is oh so much easier to hate other people’s sin — i.e., sins toward which you have no particular inclination — than your own. Which makes you no less sinful than those you judge, but a lot more hypocritical.

I say let’s focus on just trying to “love the sinner” for a while. When and if we get that down — if we learn to truly love sinners as Jesus did — then maybe we can talk about hating their sins.

Read the whole post here.

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Love

“That love of God is hard and marvelous. It cannot and will not be broken because of our sins.” – Julian of Norwich

Reblog: John Watson: Sympathy for the Devil | Red Letter Christians

So, perhaps we should mourn Satan, the only named thing in all of Creation whose fate is foretold, inescapable, disconnected from grace, from free will, from salvation. Some early theologians found this idea so abhorrent, they imagined some kind of ultimate redemptive grace, even for Satan, maybe even especially for Satan: a true, pan-physical universalism.

Because with Satan, there is an ultimate conundrum. He is part of Creation, part of God’s plan. Evil is meant to be amongst us. I cannot fathom a theology in which there was a cataclysmic “whoops” in the Garden, and the Creation since then has been going completely against His plan, with Him staring on helplessly. So, if there is meant to be evil, there is a reason for it, far from our understanding as it may sometimes seem.

So, if we love this doomed creature, does that play into his hands? I think at heart that this is a Pharisaical idea, that we need to avoid contact with evil. Jesus encounters evil time and time again, and greets it time and again with agape. Even in the wilderness, there is no hate. I’ve always been struck by Jesus in the wilderness. It runs as an extended, lengthy debate, not as an epic battle. Why? Because Satan has no hope for victory. Jesus is calm, because he has no cause for alarm. And on the cross, that victory is made eternal. On the cross, we share in Jesus’ victory. It is our right.

Interesting perspective–read the whole thing: John Watson: Sympathy for the Devil | Red Letter Christians.

Reblog: When It’s Not Enough – CulturalSavage

Days like Monday though, they are a whole other beast. Days like Monday claw at my skin and bones, leaving me laying on the floor in a hoodie and pajama pants, head covered, eyes closed, wanting to sleep and never wake up. Depression like that leaves me with hours of nothing, trapped in my own head and the ropes of sorrow and despair tightening around my wrists, looping into a noose around my neck. On days like this, my medication isn’t enough.

Neither is Jesus.

I know that’s not what I’m suppose to say. I’m suppose to talk about how Jesus is there for me in my darkest times, how he brings me hope and peace, how I can survive this depression because of him. But today, if i was to say that I would be lying.

Depression makes me lonely, and Jesus isn’t in the room when I can’t get up off the floor. There is some sort of cognitive assent that he is everywhere, but the theology of an omnipresent divinity doesn’t make me not want to cut my flesh to feel something better than emotional pain. The words of Christ about his sending of the Spirit so that his peace would be with us does nothing for me when I’m too sad to move. The memories of times with God’s presence, of leading congregations in worship of Jesus, of illuminating the scriptures to people, these memories do nothing to comfort me. In the utter, bleak smothering of weight, sadness, pain, and lifelessness what can I do to find comfort?

I’m tired of the assumptions that I can fix my self, that I can find my own comfort, that I am capable of surviving days like my hard Monday.  Do you have any idea how much pressure that puts on the one in their suffering? It’s hard enough to get out of bed, to get a glass of water, to interact with my family, and you expect me to find comfort, something that is utterly devoid from my current experience? The only comfort I can think to find is a bottle of strong booze, a blade on my skin, or forcing my self to stay asleep hoping it might just be over. In these moments, I am incapable of comforting my self.

I need you.

Hear this very carefully: you are not the missing piece to my happiness. I don’t expect you to magically snap me out of my depression and set me back into real life. I don’t expect you to know what to say or what to do. I don’t expect you to even want to be around me when I am in the middle of these hard days.

But I need you.

Please read the whole post. It’s bravery in action: When It’s Not Enough – CulturalSavage.

Reblog: 3 Things to Do in the Face of Disappointment | RELEVANT Magazine

It’s also important to remember that God didn’t disappoint you—life’s circumstances and people disappointed you. When something bad happens in life, it’s not a time to blame God, it’s a time to run to him.

Three positive ways to deal with disappointment: 3 Things to Do in the Face of Disappointment | RELEVANT Magazine.

A relentless love

But the great thing to remember is, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.

Mere Christianity, CS Lewis

Reblog: An Angry God Vs. A God Who Gets Angry | The American Jesus

God is certainly angry in this passage, but what God is angry about is absolutely essential for understanding both what makes God angry and God’s essential nature. If God loves as much as we believe he does, then it makes sense that God would get angry when the object of his love is hurt, neglected, oppressed or abused. But it is critical that we understand that the beginning and ending point of God’s anger is God’s love. God’s love spurs God’s anger only to bring about a more loving world.

Do yourself a favour and read the whole post: An Angry God Vs. A God Who Gets Angry | The American Jesus.

Reblog: When we weep {And then there are no more tears} | acupofbliss

You see, one can choose to die of a broken heart or one can choose to be reborn out of the shattered pain. Choose to live again. Choose to beat in tempo with the ebb and flow of the stream of days.

Yet, when this type of transformation is made, it is not our heart that beats again, but rather HIS. You see, when the heart has felt so much grief, then it can’t just resurrect itself again. It’s lost its rhythm. It’s lost its timing. It’s forgotten the pulse of life, of hope, of joy.

I think that is when the Creator of the Universe leans down, wraps His arms around His child, and breathes once again into his mouth. Returns the air that was so cruelly sucked out. I believe He presses down on the panting heart and pulses with it until it can once again operate on its own. All the while, He holds and rocks. Rocks and holds. Whispers words of Love. Sings over His dying child until the child remembers his own song. The words of joy that lilt and skip over the mundane moments.

There are no words for how true and painful and beautiful this is. Thank you, Lauren. Read the whole post: When we weep {And then there are no more tears} | acupofbliss.

Four degrees of love

What are the four degrees of love? First, we love ourselves for our own sake; since we are unspiritual and of the flesh we cannot have an interest in anything that does not relate to ourselves. When we begin to see that we cannot subsist by ourselves, we begin to seek God for our own sakes. This is the second degree of love; we love God, but only for our own interests. But if we begin to worship and come to God again and again by meditating, by reading, by prayer, and by obedience, little by little God becomes known to us through experience. We enter into the sweet familiarity with God, and by tasting how sweet the Lord is we pass into the third degree of love so that now we love God, not for our own sake, but for himself.

Blessed are we who experience the fourth degree of love wherein we love ourselves for God’s sake.

–Bernard of Clairvaux

Easter

Easter eggs

In my Bible, up to about chapter twenty-six of Matthew, there’s a lot of underlining and many brackets and hearts and crosses and sticky notes in the margins. But from chapter twenty-six till the end the pages are bare, like they’ve been struck dumb by the words on them. Here is no pithy wisdom to highlight. Here are no neat parables to break into smaller pieces, intending to chew at them throughout the day. These last few chapters are the brutal, beautiful climax in a story that was eternity in the making.

And it’s a love story.

Have a blessed Easter,

Liana xx