Friday, January 30, 2015

An EfM thing 2.0

So following an Ordination last night, I received yet another email this morning from Xxxx saying:
“Ordinand’s response:
I am willing and ready to do so; and I solemnly declare that I believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation; and I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church".

I Am, the one true God of Hebrews (Jews) and Gentiles (Episcopalians).
It's a Holy Bible thing.

What say ye?

In reply I offered:
Agree absolutely with everything she pledged.

Perhaps my position is better stated by saying: "I (again an 'I' Statement) believe when one tries to LIMIT the scope of God, His love and reconciliation strictly to those who acknowledge Holy Scripture as the ONLY path to relationship with Him; they are saying He will not offer His riches to those who know Him (by His love) in another incarnation and in doing so limit the breadth of His sacrifice on the cross." Words like "whole world" and "all" cause me (yet another "I" statement) to believe His love and forgiveness are without limit. "In My Father's house there are many rooms" leads me in that direction, as do the parables of the workers, the prodigal son, the lost sheep and others.

All in, all done, it boils down to my understanding (and mine alone) of our call not to judge but to forgive. As imperfect beings, if that is our call, I see Him able to reconcile ALL. But, that's where I'm coming from and that doesn't mean I'm right and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong. We are all called by Him and we must each answer in our own way. And in His wisdom, I trust He will accept that which is truly in our hearts and minds.

Thanks be to God!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

An EfM thing

Last night during EfM, the concept of redemption, salvation & reconciliation arose. Ever the contrarian, I offered my position from a Universalist perspective. A group member and close friend, who is almost a literalist when discussing matters of Holy Scripture took a rather opposite position. I received the following from him this morning and offer my reply.

God spake these words, and said:
I am the Lord thy God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the
house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods but me.

Lord, have mercy upon us,
and incline our hearts to keep this law.

Book of Common Prayer
page 317

To me this is enough for me to believe that I Am is the same God to both
Hebrew ( Jews ) and to Christians. ( Episcopalians )

What say ye?


Xxxx, in reply to your email:


My position; however, is that "I Am" is “I Am” to more than just Christians and Jews.
On a strictly personal basis (an "I" Statement, if you will), it comes from my belief that “He” who created, loved His creation, pronounced it good and to reconcile that creation totally, chose to “become incarnate &/or send the Son” that His creation might again become one with Him.

I believe (another “I” statement) that in creating mankind with free will (which I see as a necessary absolute if we are to love Him) His love is infinite and His desire and objective is total reconciliation of that which He had already pronounced “GOOD”.

AND… that’s where I can become comfortable and rest in the mystery. Certainly I don’t possess any special knowledge or understanding though I enjoy considering and theorizing what might or might not be; but, it’s only theorizing from a place of VERY LIMITED understanding of that which is far beyond our comprehension.

In summation, I DO firmly believe that salvation comes through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. However, how “I Am” ultimately chooses to effect that salvation is way beyond my pay grade, so I’m content in knowing and believing in my redemption and holding a personal belief that the God I know, the God of love, will in His own time and manner return ALL things to Himself.

Regarding Universal Reconciliation
Though I hate “proof texting” for it always takes things out of context, the following are a couple of sites from the web which one might consider in partial validation of Universal Reconciliation; which is not to say that I am right, but simply offer some measure of support to my position. Again, we can find all sorts of thoughts and beliefs in Scripture to lead us in any direction we desire; but, ultimately it boils down to a personal understanding (and mine alone) of my relationship with Him and I choose a God of love over One seeking justice or demanding obedience.

Peace & grace, y'all