Saturday, January 8, 2011

Repentance I

For on this day, in the City of David, is born to you a Savior who is the Messiah. 
                                                               -- Luke 2:11

I think one of the major reasons people struggle with God is that they hate the idea of being judged and the whole idea that God is waiting to smite them for perceived infractions - be they minor or major.  The fallacy in this myth is that God is big enough that should He decide to smite you, He would; probably before you even realized it was coming.  So no part of this hellfire and brimstone breathing deity could be avoided simply by ignoring it or not going to church.  However, I think most us, you sociopaths excluded, have consciences that trouble us.  Because of overly judgmental people preaching overly judgmental messages under the guise of Christianity, we can easily go to the place of "I'm having a really rotten time here with my life, so it must be a punishment for all the things I've done wrong.  Then we proceed to obsess over what we need to be repenting over, so the misery in life will stop.

The word repentance is based on it's meaning of "turning from."  When we repent we look for those things in our life from which we feel a need to turn.  These things are typically viewed as sins that must be acknowledged and abandoned; often we believe prior to God accepting us. A number, sadly a huge number, of people in churches use this doctrine to stay "holier than thou."

I have a couple thoughts about this kind of "church control" nonsense.  First, there are so many ways to sin that no one could begin even to be conscious of them all.  One of the huge drawbacks to being human is that the time-space continuum brings conflicts wherein whatever we might decide it is going to involve a sin.  "Goody two shoes Christians" can never achieve righteousness in their lives, no matter how much they judge me, or how good THEY think they're being.

Second, since I can never know all the sins I commit, I need help in increasing my consciousness of what I am doing to myself and others.  I need someone who helps me repent and to live in the consequences.  To me this is the whole design purpose in God sending a Son.  God personally experienced the bind of living in human flesh faced with the conflicts in love, relationships, ethics, desires, and wants.  God learned tangibly very quickly how conflicted and troubled life can get - to be faced with multiple decisions where none of them make everyone happy or turn out right.  God knows each of our struggles and supplies tools for dealing with messy lives, and let's face it, everyone has some messiness in living.

I hope that through the posts of this blog I can share some of those tools as I've learned them.  I hope by using the comments option here that you might share some of the tools you've picked up.  Living with the decisions we make, having a base out of which TO make decisions is one of the fundamental purposes in having a faith that embraces a larger flowing meaning to life.

Designer of All That Is, thank you for the humility you showed by becoming one of us such that I can be truly understood by You.  Help me in my attitudes, perspectives, and repentance.  Amen.

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