loving God

Cindy Brandt 08-26-2015

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Aside from Universalists, most Christian traditions contain the doctrine of judgment, although the particulars of how that judgment is carried out varies along a spectrum. Whether it is actual physical torture for all eternity or some sort of separation from God, whether there’s purgatory or a second chance post mortem, there exists a form of judgment within the systems of Christian faith. 

Good parenting sensibilities tell us we shouldn’t shy away from difficult truths, and although we try to be age-appropriate, we are obligated to share even the most unpalatable aspect of the Christian faith with our kids. The problem is: children don’t yet have the emotional maturity and logical capability to process a belief in eternal punishment. Their budding minds can’t reason through the theological necessity of judgment in a loving God. So they panic and retreat into fear. In order to coax them out of their distress we comfort them, it’s okay, Jesus will save you, just believe in Jesus. 

And so it begins — even as kids develop and eventually learn the nuances of Christian life, they are bearing the invisible baggage of fear that had them gripping for Jesus. 

Nadia Bolz-Weber 09-12-2011

When I was growing up, there was a house down the street from us which had slightly tattered window coverings and the front lawn was like a graveyard of broken things. Posted on the fence was a "No trespassing" sign. I remember asking my mother what trespassing was so I could be certain not to do it to anyone who lived in that weird house. When she explained that it meant going into their yard uninvited I thought, no problem. Soon after that, when I first learned the Lord's Prayer, I thought it was weird that out of all the sins that Jesus would suggest we ask God to forgive it would be our trespassing. I pretty much made it a policy to stay out of strange yards, and since no one seemed to wander into ours uninvited, I thought I was covered. Only later did I realize that trespassing was only one of countless was to trespass against others. And now I get it -- kind of. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Jesus always seems to be pairing God's forgiveness of us with our forgiveness of others.

Nadia Bolz-Weber 03-28-2011
Here's a name for you: Rollen Stewart. Born Feb. 19, 1944. Ring a bell?
Eugene Cho 02-03-2011
Hi everyone. I'm currently in Washington, D.C.
Ruth Hawley-Lowry 08-25-2010
[Editor's Note: In anticipation of the anniversary of the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, God's Politics will feature a series of posts on the
Jim Wallis 05-10-2010
Yesterday I heard one of the best Mother's Day sermons I can remember. It was by the pastor at our family's church, Rev. Jeff Haggray of First Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.
Lynne Hybels 02-24-2010
During the past two years, I've traveled internationally quite extensively, focused on issues related to extreme poverty, HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, and war.
Many of us understand God the Father through our relationship with our own fathers.

Thank God for mothers! Mother's Day is an opportunity to make life special for them. It is a chance to celebrate family. I thank God for my mother, who died some years ago. There is one thing I regret: for too many years I did not appreciate her enough and took her for granted. She was always there for us. I thank God for my wife.