Perfection

By: Woodrow Lucas

Two of my biggest faults are extremism and perfectionism.  I mean they really harass me in all ways.  To be a perfectionist in a world as imperfect as the one in which we live can be extremely painful.  But even in my perfectionistic afflictions, God has given me a Balm in Gilead.  Universalism, the concept that God is a God of perfect love who perfectly loves all of us, who perfectly gave his Son to die for us,  and will perfectly guide every single one of us to a perfectly happy and blissful destiny, is actually a perfect thing.  It is a perfect truth.  It is perfection.

 

It wreaks of the perfection of God. It is simple enough for a 3 year old to grasp yet in the way it is worked out, it forces us to embrace complexity, upon complexity, upon complexity, until we are operating with the mind of God.  This truth is so beautiful and simple and complex and mysterious and obvious, it wreaks of a better place than the earth.  I wholeheartedly believe that Jesus is Lord.  But the truth of Universalism in my opinion is more important than the truth that Jesus is Lord.  Because Jesus could be Lord, but God the Father, a God of Wrath who is going to burn all homosexuals in effigy.  Because Jesus could be Lord, but God the Father, a God who mercilessly condemns all who don’t believe in him to eternal torment for his own twisted pleasure.

 

But when you tell someone that God loves them so much, that God made sure they have a place in heaven by sending  God’s Son to claim their souls and write their names in the Lamb’s book of life!!  When you tell someone that God loves them so much that no matter what mistakes they make, God will find a way to redeem them.  Then there is no mistake or confusion.  They know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God loves them, and they also have a very clear since of what love really is!!  Universalism is perfect.  And oh my goodness to find a perfect thing in this imperfect world, is quite a blessing!!

The Universalism Road

BY: Woodrow Lucas

Are you afraid of going to eternal hell?  Does eternal hell bother you?  What would you say if I told you that no one, anywhere, would ever go to eternal hell?  What would you say, if I told you that your ultimate destiny is bliss and joy, irrespective of what you believe.  Here is a road, called the Universalism Road, that I ask that you walk down with me for a moment.

  1.  When our children sin, do we punish them because they deserve it, or do we punish them because we want to teach them a lesson?

 

  1. In Luke 23:24, Jesus from the Cross states “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”(NRSV)

This declaration describes the human condition, wherein we really at the end of the day do not know what we are doing.

 

  1.  The condition that results when you don’t know what you’re doing is usually sin.  But Jesus Christ atoned for our sins, knowing that we were really just ignorant children who did not know how to find the path for ourselves.  I John 2:2 says, “He is our atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”(NRSV)

 

  1. Some say that you have to confess or give your life over to Jesus, “Our atoning sacrifice” before you die or you spend eternity writhing in hell.  But 1 Peter 4:6 states,” For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they having been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does. “ 1 Peter 4:6 suggests that if confession is necessary, you most definitely have a lot longer than your earthly life time to confess.

 

  1. Also certain scriptures like Collossians 2:13 suggests that it is more about Jesus’ Faith and his work of redemption and less about our faith that has redeemed us to a brilliant destiny.  Collossians 2:13-15 states, “And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh , God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands.  He set this aside, nailing it to the cross.  He disarmed the rulers an authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.

 

  1. Jesus announced this victory and the redemption that came to all if he got the victory in  John 12:32 when he states, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”(NRSV)

 

  1. Bottom Line Jesus is Lord.  But whether you believe that he is Lord or not, you will eventually know bliss in heaven.  Because Jesus Died for you, and his faith, and his atonenment is sufficient to secure a happy ending for you.  Phillipians 2 speaks of the Happy Ending that awaits us all at the resurrection, where people from every religion, race, color, gender, and political orientation gather to see the lamb returned in Glory and are so full of awe at what they see that “Every knee bows in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

The Gift of Balance

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

God is about a lot of things.  God is about faith.  God is about hope.  God is about love.  But God is also about balance.  Often as we journey this walk of faith, we forget that although balance isn’t mentioned much in Christian scripture, that it is absolutely essential to well- rounded development in Christ.  I have often thought that many Christians who believe in eternal hell are loving in an imbalanced way, where they love God to the exclusion of their human brothers and sisters rather than loving God directly and through loving their human brothers and sisters.  I have often also thought that Christians who have a lot of anger toward God as a consequence of human injustice are loving their human brothers and sisters to the exclusion of God rather than loving their human brothers and sisters directly and through loving God.  The balance of horizontal and vertical love makes for the most fulfilling life.

 

Recently, in regards to balance, I have arrived at some conclusions about gratitude, performance, compassion, vulnerability, transparency, mumbling, grumbling, complaining, faith and presumption.  In the same way as loving God, loving ourselves, and loving others is a multidimensional scenario that requires balance to operate in appropriately it seems that to operate in gratitude, compassion, vulnerability, and faith also requires balance.

 

When we operate in gratitude there is often a temptation to perform and hide our ugliness from God and others.  But our ugliness is part of what makes us the beautiful creatures that we are and you can’t overcome something that you are constantly hiding.  So when we are grateful we need to balance that gratitude with a compassion, vulnerability, and transparency concerning ourselves and others.

 

But as we operate in compassion, vulnerability, and transparency then mumbling, grumbling, and complaining often arises against the powers that be who allow all of the suffering that we are embracing.  Acceptance, helps us to stay grateful even while we are embracing the suffering in our own lives and the lives of others with compassion, vulnerability, and transparency.

 

Lastly, when we engage in faith, that is “the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen” there is often a tendency to also engage in presumption or assuming that things are true that just simply aren’t true.  It is very hard to walk the balance between faith and presumption, because part of faith is making assumptions about reality based on the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  Because we all see as through a glass darkly and then face to face and because we all know in part, it seems as though presumption and faith are natural bedfellows.  But through praxis in honesty, humility, truth telling and truth receiving I believe that it is possible to walk in faith that has a dirth of presumption accompanying it.

 

The true balance that we seek as saints is to walk in gratitude and testimony without performance, to walk in true compassion , vulnerability, and transparency without mumbling, grumbling, and complaining, and to walk in true faith without presumption.  Oh what a gift balance is.