Article: God’s Love Revisited

 

Who deserves to be lavished with God’s love?
Christians?
Good people?
Kind people?

Many of want to be arbiters of God’s love. We see it as a commodity to be managed and/or dispensed. Last Sunday, I talked about John 3:16-17 which is: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 

 If you were there you will remember that I said, “We don’t believe those verses.” ( https://benbergren.com/sermon-the-essential-teachings-of-jesus-love/ )All we have to do is look at the way the Christian family is quick to judge if not pronounce eternal damnation on groups of people for a whole bunch of reasons. This judgment often includes other Christians who are practicing their faith in a way we don’t agree with.

It also shows up in a lack of compassion for those who are struggling… as if struggling is a sign of God’s disapproval. If you didn’t know, that is the heresy of works-righteousness. I’ve seen this most recently in the lack of compassion and lack of moral outrage over separating children from their parents at our United States border. No, I am not advocating open borders or a lack of punitive action for those who break the law.

Separating children from parents and incarcerating children is an ugly thing. It shows a lack of care for the well-being of children who are only following their parents. Add to that Judge Dolly Gee ordered the government to obtain consent or a court order before administering any psychotropic medications to migrant children, except in cases of dire emergencies because they have been administrating psychotropic medications to children who have been separated from their parents at the border What??? Why is the church silent? This isn’t about politics. This about how we care (or not care) for children. Does God love these children? God absolutely loves those children as much as God loves our children.

We are not in control of God’s love. We are not in control of God’s judgment either. Any judgment we pronounce is our own and we must not presume to speak for God in such important matters.

Jesus calls us to love others as God loves the world. Maybe we can’t love everyone, but we can be loving. Don’t miss that. I fully acknowledge that because of my brokenness I am not able to love everyone but it is possible to for me to be loving in my all my interactions. Sometimes that includes speaking up on behalf of others. But it always means not pronouncing eternal judgment on others.

God bless you,

Pr. Ben

 

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