Category Archives: Judgment

DOES GOD JUDGE ME . . . OR DOES HE LOVE ME?

I was raised a “Christian” with certain values, beliefs . . . and an arrogant and judgmental mindset.  Not consciously.  I don’t believe my parents, teachers, or most of the members of my religion intended to be arrogant and judgmental hypocrites.  We did not know better.

As I reflect back, it seems silly that I was unable to recognize that I thought my religion was the exclusive keeper of “The Real Truth,” and – by the exercise of simple logic – that everyone else must  possess less of the truth (or perhaps none at all).  No one in my religion ever explicitly said that.  Perhaps like me, they never really thought about it in those terms.

How Does God Feel About Me?

How Does God Feel About Me?

It seems so obvious now. I don’t know how I missed the realization that a Loving and Just God would not, and could not, “Save” some tiny fraction of Earth’s population and damn the rest of the people who ever lived on Earth.

People He Created.  People He Loves!

And why?  Because they didn’t join (or, in many cases, ever even hear about) His preferred religion.  So they fail.  They don’t receive an “A” in Life.  So God sentences all of them to eternal damnation.

Hellfire for the losers.

Even scarier is the fact that most religions teach that “The Losers” in the Game of Salvation includes the members of every other religion.

So the reward from a Loving God for everybody who is sincerely seeking Him, but chooses one of the hundreds of ‘fake’ religions instead of ‘His Preferred Religion’?

GO TO HELL!

DO NOT PASS HEAVEN.  DO NOT COLLECT $200.

No “Get Out of Hell Free” Cards.

Just Hell for the humans He claims to Love so much.

Heaven’s public relations staff doesn’t even spin it as “A very long, all-expenses paid vacation to a tropical destination ‘down under’!”

Nope.

Just Hell.

Not even a half-hearted, “Sorry, Losers, but we have some excellent consolation prizes for you backstage.”

Just eternal separation from God.

WHAT?!?! 

Courage is Not the Lack of Fear but Moving Forward in the Face of Fear in Love, Truth, Joy, and with Respect.

Fear is the opposite of Love (See, e.g., 1 John 4.18)

That doesn’t sound like LoveIt actually sounds like the opposite of Love — Fear.

Either the Apostle John had a pretty jacked-up vision of what “Love” looks like.  Or Beloved Johnny was having a brain seizure when he penned … well, almost every single thing  he ever wrote.

But wait a minute…

Is there, perhaps, another possible explanation?

Just perhaps, the problem is not on God’s end.  Perhaps I have it wrong.  Perhaps I have attributed God with possessing an emotion and employing a tactic that He is incapable of being or using.  In fact, now that I think about it — I don’t believe God ever employs ‘fear’ as a motivational tool or a strategy to win souls.  He is God, after all.  If He wanted to ensure victory, He could have just designed every one of us sans Freedom of Choice.

No, upon reflection, I think ‘fear’ is the prime and exclusive operational tactic employed by those who wish to deceive us.  Not those who Love us.

Perhaps Big John’s moniker, “The Beloved” was indeed deserved.  And perhaps three of the Youngest Disciple’s words are actually three of the most important words to be found in the Bible:

God is Love.

God is Love.

God IS Love.

GOD is Love.

God is LOVE.

God = Love.

It really is not crucial where you place the emphasis in the above sentences.

What matters is the emphasis you place on the thought it conveys.

A more crucial concept does not exist.

Believing and accepting the proposition that God is Love will change the emphasis you place on the meaning to just about everything you read in scripture; it has the power to change the very essence of the way you relate to God; it can and will change the way you relate to your friends, co-workers, members of other religions, atheists . . . and your enemies.

Embracing those three words will exponentially increase the Joy you experience in your House of Worship.

Ultimately, the proposition contained in those three words has the power to transform an aimless and hopeless Life of fear and depression . . .

Into a Life of Meaning.

A Fulfilling Life.

A Life of Abundance.

I am living proof of that fact.

 

A Life of Abundance

The Abundant Life, the Life Jesus came here to give us, the Life Jesus is Dying for us to accept; that Life begins the instant we initially embrace those three words.

I suspect that we will spend all of eternity learning to fully comprehend the depth, and the breadth, and the beauty, and the Truth, and the Joy expressed in those nine letters.

And one little eternity may not be nearly long enough.

But it all begins with deciding if we believe those three words.

God is Love!

God is Love!

For me, that journey started when I considered that my Mom would Love me every speck as much as she does now if I announced I was converting to a new religion.

Every speck as much.

I know, without question, that my Mom Loves me the same when I do every single thing she expects me to do . . . and when I screw up in the most public, offensive, and despicable ways possible.

Every speck as much.

Her Love does not wane when I ‘transgress her rules.’  It is not diminished when I refuse to follow “her will” for my Life and elect to do what I want with my Life.  Her Love for me would not even be affected if I chose to call some other woman “My Mom” and refused to acknowledge her as Mom.

She would still Love me every speck as much.

Even if I chose to become a mass-murderer and serial rapist, her Love for me would not falter.  I seriously doubt my Mother’s Love is capable of faltering.

She created me.  So Mom Loves me.

She created me.  So Mom Loves me.

Why would I think any less of the Love my Heavenly “Father” has for me?!?!

Let me say that again:  Why would I think that the Dude that Self-styled Himself as “my heavenly Father” would (or could) Love me any less than my Mom?!?!?

HE IS LOVE!

He created me.  So He Loves me.

That is clearly what the Apostle Paul had in mind when he summed up everything he felt was important in being a Christian in a single sentence (notice the word ‘ONLY’ chosen by the man who wrote most of the New Testament):

“The ONLY thing that matters is Faith, which is expressed by the Way we Love.” (Galatians 6.5)

“The ONLY thing that matters is Faith, which is expressed by the Way we Love.” (Galatians 6.5)

Perhaps that is why in the most circulated book and the most popular musical group in history, John and Paul proclaim the same timeless message of Joy and Truth:

“All you need is Love.

Whether it’s the Apostles…or the Beatles… John and Paul got it right:

“All you need is Love.

“All you need is Love.”

From my heart to yours,

 

Scotty b.

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ACCEPTANCE: I CREATE EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE

The Truth is that each of us creates everything that is in our Life.

Accepting Everything The Way It Is

Every single thing:  every person, event and circumstance that is in our Life is there because we created it.

I know, I know:  If you grew up in Judeo-Christian culture, like me, this may seem shocking.  Perhaps even blasphemous.  No one is saying you are THE Creator.

But you are A creator.

Everything in our Lives is present because we created it.  There are NO coincidences.  Luck is something that exists in fairy tales only.

The corollary of that Truth is:  when we attempt to resist things, or ‘fix’ our circumstances, or push people or events out of our Life – we deny our creatorship (again, notice the lower-case ‘c’ in creatorship).

But let’s go ahead and explore the obvious parallel:  Did you ever notice the way the story teller in Genesis describes God’s reactions during the week of creation?  After creating each item, what does God say?

“It is good.”

The storyteller never indicates God said, “Oooh, check Me out!  That is perfect.”

On the other hand, He never says, “Ooops.  Big mistake over yonder.”

He doesn’t say it.  He says after each day’s toil, “it is good.”

When we come to the place where we can survey our Life;  when we can assess everything we have created in our Life:  the Joy, the Truth, and everything Loving . . . as well as the pain, the ugliness, and what we fear — when we can gaze upon it all and proclaim:  “I did that.”  “I created all this.”

“. . . and it is good.

When we accomplish that feat, our entire Life changes.

Instantly.

Remarkably.

And Forever.

When we can accept what is in our Life, without blame or condemnation . . . when we reach the place where we stop judging everything, especially ourselves, and Love instead. . .

EVERYTHING CHANGES.

Guaranteed.  Or you will get a refund of 100% of the money you have spent reading this post!

Love,

Scotty b.

THE VERSE AFTER JOHN 3.16

It must be a tough life to follow the Most Famous Verse in the Bible.  You might be incredible and yet will never get out of the shadow of your more famous sibling and be recognized on your own merit.

Can anyone actually quote John 3.17 by heart?

Just in case, here are the next two verses after John 3.16 in both the NIV and Phillips Versions

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:17-18 NIV

has not sent his Son into the world to pass sentence upon it, but to save it—through him. Any man who believes in him is not judged at all.

You must understand that God has not sent his Son into the world to pass sentence upon it, but to save it—through him. Any man who believes in him is not judged at all. It is the one who will not believe who stands already condemned, because he will not believe in the character of God’s only Son. John 3:17-18 J.B. PHILLIPS

What do the highlighted passages mean to you?   “Not to condemn” and “not to pass judgment on” – these are verdicts that seem like “not guilty,” The way J.B. Phillips translates the last passage seems like “the prosecutor refused to move forward with the case against the Defendant.”

Does this mean that Jesus has done everything for us?  Does this mean that Faith in Him grants me justification under the law?  Is it a complete justification or only partial – leaving me with some work I must do?  Or commands I must obey?

Am I saying the commands are not important?  Absolutely not.  They are important for us to follow so that we lead Lives of Abundance – the entire reason Jesus came here for us!

But I think we do ourselves a disservice when we focus on not running afoul of the Ten Commandments instead of focusing on Jesus.  Which is focusing on Love.

As long as we live here, we WILL sin.  We will have troubles.  We will have trials.  We will have conflicts and arguments with friends, family, and fellow Church members.  And we will break the Ten Commandments.

The question is:  When we do, will we be so distraught that we let it upset our Christian Life?  Or will we apologize to whomever we have wronged, and apologize to God, and then LEAVE IT RIGHT THERE — knowing unequivocally that we are forgiven?  Or do we tend to wallow a bit in how revolting of a Christian we actually are?

The Apostle Paul did not judge himself.

The Apostle Paul came to a place where he said he no longer even judged himself.  Can we do that?  Can we make the choice to be the best we can, but make daily improvement instead of perfection our goal?  Can we choose to be less hypocritical and judgmental?  And more Loving like our Jesus?

Eternally yours,

Scotty b.
about.me/AttorneyBlackburn

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