There has been much said about this topic, but this morning I felt I needed to do a short blog with a few thoughts to tie in about what I think about our responsibility surrounding righteous living.
In most cases, I would litter my blogs with scripture and evidence, but in this case, i am choosing to trust that you will do some research surrounding what I address here today, also between myself and James on this page, there is a pleather of information supporting this argument. Today I wish to make it plain, and for the limited amount of you who are in the pursuit of truth and understanding, i would love it if we could share this as much as possible.
“we need to allow the absence of shame which was achieved by the restorative power of Jesus to be dictated by the presence of love, we are transformed by love!”
We need to stop teaching, “you are accepted if you behave,” “we are not saved by the repenting of sin,” but our behaviours are directly affected by what we accept as truth.
Here is where I think the catch lies, If love turns us into righteousness, through love (Jesus) then if we make choices outside of love (the symptoms of sin or behaviours of shame) then have we actually accepted said love?
“This is where those who subscribe to the model of acceptance through righteousness begin to think I am a universalist or a heretic. Without reading my context, you would not realise I believe the next statement.”
You see I could be called a universalist, but I do believe in Hell, I just don’t think God sends people to this place as a punishment, but instead like the loving God, He allows us to make a choice, shame or acceptance, it’s up to you. We can take the shame route as a choice and not accept the finality of what Jesus achieved and ultimately decide hell for ourselves, or we can step boldly out from the bushes and shout, “Here I am God, in shame, but I want your presence.”
The choice for shame says “God, I will self-pity until I deem myself to be okay in your presence again, and once I have said sorry enough and felt bad enough I will come back to you, but your love is too much for me right now until I fill the necessary requirements to be accepted.” This mentality is not only a fallacy taught through false doctrine but it spits at the restorative nature of Jesus, and by its nature is self-loathing and self-disqualifying of love that you have received even if you don’t believe it.
I don’t know about you but I’m tired of trying to achieve something that was given freely, but there are some things in regards to our fruit we need to start seeing when this becomes a reality in our lives.
It is not about our behaviour at all, we are all accepted in Love. But we don’t look at the fruit of conduct we look at the fruit of love which should look like some kind of a response. (accepting this provokes righteousness in us)
“When we feel loved by someone, we don’t need to decide not to hurt them we just don’t want to… The same goes with the love of God when we know and accept its a free gift all of a sudden the symptoms of separation and shame die (behavioural sin) and are replaced with eternal devotion” (righteousness)…
Here is the thing some could label this as a hyper form of grace, firstly is grace actually grace if it is not hyper, and secondly, this relational pre requisite on salvation is bigger than following a model of rules to achieve salvation. It places relationship before behaviour and is scary in comparison to the model of dealing with sin, you see the reason religion exists is that people feel safe in the achieving Gods favour model, follow these ten steps and you are fine in His sight. The relational model is undefinable and leaves us in a place of seeking and searching His heart for us and leaves us in a constant state of Growth.
It looks like working our salvation out in fear and trembling (Better translated reverence and awe).
I also want to add the biblically God never separated himself from us in the garden which I love, but when we choose shame, we choose separation. Shame says “I have decided I’m not worthy of your presence so I will hide” – Gen 3:7 so the only way to restoration is to replace shame with love, and this takes time, and that’s why we have grace.
Can we move past our desire to place heavier burdens on one another as to appease the shame and guilt we feel by our own self-loathing nature and dare to love ourselves and one another without restraint, for the sake of the kingdom?