Virtue-The Church You Want to Join-Recognizable, Personal Survival

   Here is an absolute for you; one day you will be all you are going to be. You will live with what you are going to be for eternity. You will not cease to be you.

   You and I should work on us.

   By this, we mean we should cooperate with God as God remakes us. We are not pre-existent. Tennyson was wrong when he wrote:

Sunset and evening star,

  and one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning of the bar,

  When I set out to sea.

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,

   Too full for sound or foam,

When that which drew from out the boundless deep

   Turns again home.

   Tennyson, with others, mixed Platonic mythology of the pre-existence of the soul, with Medieval Catholocism and Modern Idealism, to create a cult of death in which the human soul takes the place of God and the human body is condemned never to be redeemed. Simply put, Tennyson made poetic the vision of the lonely soul cast adrift to find its own purpose apart from any external source.

   Scripture teaches God intends for us to live in our skins. The First Witnesses recognized Jesus after His resurrection by the scars in His body and by continued mannerisms of His flesh. I will recognize you in the new earth. Between the passage from life to death and from death to life is the work of Jesus the Christ. If we would have life, we must cooperate with Him in our salvation.

   If we look back at Original Human Sin (only back and only at human sin) to impose damnation on unbaptized infants (inherited guilt), the awkward doctrine of infused grace (gratia infusa) make both (impelled) thoughts as if they are physically transmitted to the soul, freeing the spirit but condemning the body.

   The Free Church takes all this, accepts man as created being marred by personal choice and offers a vision of change by active cooperation, often mistakenly called "choice" or "free will." Cooperation is the result of a restored personal relationship with God, the "I-Thou," wherein each soul is forgiven, one at a time, to walk cooperatively with God.

   Yet, there are "parts" of us, the KJV's "members" of the body (organs) that remain remarkable uncooperative with God. Biology oft overcomes virtue. Religion is useless if it is only meant to keep us in line. At the very least, its ability to enforce discipline is a remarkable failure. Faith relies on grace for its rescue and only then discipline for its survival. Cooperation with God is not easy. God offers everything but He seems to require a great deal of us, as well.

   God is always going somewhere. Abram sojourns and the whole tribe is obliged to wander with him. The universe expands by the moment.We ride along with it, precariously perched on a tiny green dot.

   God is hard to catch. He takes long strides.

   An eternity of chasing Him may be required. One Unday in eternity, we may snap to, suddenly realizing God is not apprehended in what we do but in what we neglect, after a million Unyears or so.

6 thoughts on “Virtue-The Church You Want to Join-Recognizable, Personal Survival”

  1. Just thinking out loud here (a pastoral job hazard for sure). . . God is presented as one who wants to be known (I am the Alpha and Omega). At the same time God is much greater than our ability to comprehend His being (Jobs learns this at the at the conclusion of the book).
    Theology, itself, choses to define God and his plan — that’s the goal of theological discussion. Yet the statements you make such as, “God is hard to catch. He takes long strides,” and “An eternity of chasing Him may be required” truly resonate with God’s (seeming) desire to be known, yet unknown.
    The most faithful among us that I have known do not try to take faith out of the word itself. They leave plenty of room for God to be God, while at the same time living as they should in a way that reflects his stated standards.
    MR

  2. I think this would be a great place to stop and read or watch Eldredge’s Epic for those who have not. If anyone would like to borrow it let me know. Beware it has brought more than one wandering soul to a Mighty God with a wonderful eternity planned for us. Heck, I even let an atheist borrow it and baptized him last sunday. So who knows what could happen.

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