Sunday, October 26, 2008

If I were teaching an honest seeker about the old rugged cross and how that nothing but the blood of Jesus cleanses from sin; they might commonly ask about the person who has never heard of that name above all other names, and I may be presented with an extreme case such as the one where a maiden who had vicious and demented parents kept her locked up in a closet most all of her life, and when at the age of 24 through lack of sun and exercise, she drew her last breath. Never having any moral training or never hearing the name of Jesus. “What happens to her?” the seeker may well ask. I would answer something like this –

When this maid’s body breathed her last, and she lay in utter darkness, she would be awakened by a strange sound, a rustling; and then warmth on both of her arms. As she opens her eyes to determine this sound and feeling, she would find the rustling to be of angel’s wings, and the warmth to be the everlasting arms lifting her and transporting to a far away place. She, being held in the arms of the angles would see a distant light increasing each moment, when the destination nears and the light, which has now grown intense, has suddenly a shadow over it. She asks the angels “what is that shadow?”, they reply, “That is the shadow of the cross.”
“Where are you taking me?” she asks.
There is an old, old story that will be told you when we arrive and we will sit at a table prepared for you, and there will be bread broken for you that will end all that has an ending; and there will be a cup there that will cleanse all the memories of evil from you and wash your heart white as snow. And on that day she will hear the everlasting gospel and take her first communion.

You may ask how I come to this conclusion, and I will say that as I read the Bible this story lifts from nearly every page. When I approach a mystery, I first lay out all that I know to be absolute, and within that context I fill in the gaps with the principles clearly taught. In addition to the scriptures and Biblical Spirit, I add my observations and experiences.
I see working in me, at times, a spirit so merciful, so compassionate, with such tender concerns that I am left with wonder and thankfulness. Because I know this is the heart of God moving and loving through me. When Jesus spoke with the woman caught in adultery, I see this same spirit, and I see it taught all through the Bible as well as working in me.

If a maiden in Rwanda, who never heard the name of Jesus, and was raised to believe in statues and idols, is caught in a civil war, and she is chased by a butcher with blood lust in his heart, a machete in his hand, and he overtakes her and brutally murders her; everything within me knows that Christ will not raise her up and continue a greater brutality by sentencing her to an eternity of far worse torture.

I know what spirit I am of, and I know in whom I believe.
This maiden will have the same opportunity as the person in my first example.
This is inbred in me by every word and story of the Bible. And when I hear of God’s wrath and vengeance, I interpret that in the context of Love. I do not interpret Love in the context of wrath. Will there be wrath and justice for those who shed innocent blood? Oh yes! a fearful and terrifying wrath where justice will finally prevail.
You may ask, “What if the butcher had been raised in an environment where his actions were either forced or brain-washed in him so deeply that he was able to commit heinous crimes?” I look for no hope for those that perpetrate crimes without remorse. I admit this brings up many confusing questions, but I will leave that to another.

Now, if I am wrong, and Christ, who I believe is the incarnate God, is found to be less compassionate than I studied Him to be; I will be scolded. But if I am right and this is the nature and reasoning’s of God, then what have some made him out to be???????

I could go on at great length on this subject, but these are issues we must each consider and search out. This is one lone Oregon man’s opinion.
Photo taken from internet


Anonymous said...

If I am understanding your position correctly, you believe that if someone dies (never hearing the name of Christ) and has been a relatively good person; i.e., one who has never committed a heinous crime, they will be ushered into Christ’s presents and reconciled to God.

I am assuming you believe that this “way to Christ” would only apply to those who have truly never heard the Gospel, not to those who have heard it but rejected it to follow their own reasoning or a different religion. Yes?

So, in a nutshell, you believe that all men fit into one of two categories and God deals with them differently: 1) Those who have heard; and 2) Those who have not heard, yes?

FCB said...

Hi Anon,
I knew you would be back on this one because it is such an important issue. I'm not sure I would put it quite that simplistically, although my illustration conveyed that. I think when one dies having never heard the gospel, that somehow justice demands that they have opportunity to hear. Now how or where that takes place I don't know. I realize in my illustration it implied that this young woman was automatically ushere into forgiveness. It seems to me justice would demand that she or anyone, would have an opportunity to hear in a like manner as we. If one has sought God with the light that God has given them, through nature or religious paths, even though partial and imperfect, that this will be considered a response to the gospel in principal. Ignorance aside, it is always a heart condition. A misled heart can be pure though believing error. We all fall into that catagory. I'll leave that first part and see if I can articulate the second --

If one has abandoned all the callings of God, and I believe God does call all people and give equal opportunity to believe, even if they have imperfect information. One that has violated conscience and the enlightenment given by the Holy Spirit, through means other than the gospel, but using the means available to them in their circumstances, and refuses to follow after that enlightenment, and hardens their heart, whether they commit heinous sins or not, will not receive the gift of Eternal Life offered by Christ to all who believe.

So, as I re-read those thoughts, I think we are all in one catagory; do we follow after Christ?, even if we do not know it is Christ who calls. Christ is the light of the "world" and He loves and calls all peoples regardless whether a missionary has reached them with the fully comprhensible life of Christ. I think that is a fair estimate of my belief, but I must say this is the first time I have presented this opinion and I look forward to your comments.
In Christ,

FCB said...

Hi Anon,
I neglected to ask you what your position is regarding the scenario I gave with the young women?
God Bless,

Anonymous said...

What is my position? I don't believe that I have a position. Perhaps it's a cop out, but:

I simply trust God with her soul.

The other question to ponder would be, what happens to her demented parents. Can God forgive them should they hear and respond to the gospel? Can God forgive them if they never hear the gospel, but did what they did because they were both severly abused and beaten as children and never learned to love?

I do believe that those who have heard the gospel and rejected Christ will not see the Kingdom of Heaven and they would be better off had they not heard.

Christ our Lord speaks to many of these issues in a rather hard hitting way. God's Word is sometimes hard to swallow, but I bow down to Him and Trust Him completely with my soul and with the souls of all of His creatures.

I do feel that He has the right to do with us whatever the heck He wants to. I am thankful that His perfect justice and His perfect mercy collided with perfect harmony at the Cross of His beloved Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

FCB said...

Hi Anon,
Good points on a difficult issue, but I think an important one, especially in regards to those who have no trust in God as yet. I agree with your statement about trusting he soul to Him; where I differ with some Christians I have talked with in the past is that they think God lives by a different standard of Justice than what he teaches us in the Bible. It often comes under the "His ways are not our ways" unbrella. I once thought that, but becasue his teachings are so numerous and clear on what justice is, and that he prioritizes Justice as one of his top ten priorities, I find it inconceivable that he lives by a different definition; but rather that he lives by the definition he gives to us perfectly, without the bias we may have being human. I don't consider this to be an essential part of our faith, or unity, but I think it is extremely important in shaping our view of God and certainly the views of a stranger to God and his love. Some things we know for certain; that God is good, he is just, he is merciful, he is love and he teaches us in great detail how we are to treat our enemies; and I have no doubt we will fall down in full worship when we see the fullness of His mercy displayed and the far reaching effects of his blood.
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts,

HAINAngel2000 said...

Fred this is a very powerful post. I agree the Lord has mercy on people that suffer. I feel like God would see her as a child as she had no training, she was in severe abuse and had no way of ever learning. I also believe God visited her, he is planted in us. He is there for us. I feel he was there for her. We don't know that she didn't see God, or angels God sent. We all know we have our very own warriors fighting for us in the spiritual realm. I don't doubt at all that God was there with mercy and grace in this situation.

FCB said...

Hi Mary,
Thanks for your comments, I agree with you that "God visited her", in one way or another. It reminds me of the man left on the battlefield after a horrific attack and all his fellow soldiers fled to cover and left him alone, severly wounded and in harms way. But out of the safety his closest friend crawled to give him aid; and the last words his friend that was wounded said were - "I knew you would come."
Love Fred

Donna said...

This post was absolutely mesmerizing. I felt like I was reading a published work....

I do believe that God is just and His ways above our ways. In other words, when we condemn and put people in a box...He unchains them and let's them run free and yells after them "Live Abundantly!"

I have to say this...we are such fools sometimes.
To think that we can measure God. I tend to be black and white.....but God freed me from such religious mish mash and set me in the middle of His rainbow with colors yet to be discovered!

Oh I could say so much more to those who put God
as a Zeus Wannabe.

I agree...God is Holy,..but why do we associate Holiness with anger? God had his own son murdered by the hands of His own creation ...and then He forgives us? If He had a reason to strike us down...I'd say that would have been it.

I better stop, my soap box is about to tip over..

Ms Twilight Zone strikes again.