Just a thought or two...

Here is a question that seems to have escaped notice from quite a lot of people. Have you ever noticed that all of the judgment scenes in the Bible have nothing to do with what one believes? Every one of them has to do with what one has done for the poor, widowed, naked, hungry/thirsty, imprisoned, sick, etc. What should we make of this? My thoughts are just now forming, but here is my take on it.

The gospel (i.e., 'Jesus is Lord') is a statement of fact. It doesn't matter if one believes it or not. One can choose to believe that gravity doesn't exist but that doesn't change the fact that it does. So, the 'belief' part of the modern gospel might not mean anything. Jesus is creations rightful High King. Period. So, the most obvious question would be, since all of creation is living under his rule, 'What are the requirements for living within this kingdom?' Ah... that is the right question. That question makes the biblical judgment scenes make sense.

But what does this say about mission? To me, it says that we need to rethink how we do mission. We need to retool how we do mission. The focus must shift from ones acceptance of certain belief statements to how one treats other people (whether neighbor or enemy) and the rest of creation. Most certainly we need to tell people that 'Jesus is Lord'. That this 'very good' creation is under his rule. But the idea of an individual salvific experience separated from the rest of creation can miss the point. Likewise, the idea of just doing 'good works' would miss the point as well. Both of these things, belief (acknowledgment) and actions ('good deeds') are needed. Nay, are expected. That is what living within the kingdom means. It means acting like one believes the 'good news' that Jesus of Nazareth is Master of the creation and being about what Jesus deems worthy. For a good look at what that would be, all one would need do is look at the 'gosples' found in the New Testament. Specifically, one could read the 'Sermon on the Mount' or the 'Sermon on the Plain' to get a very good idea of what is expected of the people living withing the 'very good' creation of Jesus.

Blessings of God be with you.



Assentia said…
If the attitudes we see around are how we implement the command to love our neighbours like ourselves, then there's a whole lot of self-hate out there.
Odysseus said…
Good insight. I think a lot of us ARE filled with 'self-hate'. And, it could all go back to Augustine. I mean, if we continually tell people that they are 'animals' why do we act surprised when they act like animals? If, on the other hand, we told people that they are image bearers of God (or the Sacred or Divine or whatever), and that, even though their is a lot of falseness in them, buried deeper than all of that falseness is the light of God (or the Sacred or Divine or whatever), I think that our attitudes toward ourselves and our neighbors would change, dramatically.


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