God for Everyone
A few days ago, CNN warned us that violent attacks are being planned against "liberal" Christian churches this weekend. Conservative Christian groups are planning the attacks against progressive Christians whom they declared as their enemy. The terroristic acts of arson, murder, and mayhem are to asperse those who are not in their churches.
The doltish conservative theology claims that they are the only ones good enough for "heaven," and everyone who disagrees with them is all going to burn in "hell." They make this preposterous claim by stringing together several misinterpreted phrases from unrelated verses. This perversion of scripture has led to the abasement of the Christian faith and the Word of God. The sober and judicious of the world deny Jesus because of the ludicrous conservatives.
The early church struggled to explain who would be accepted by God. The Council recognized the work of the Spirit was well beyond Judea, and they established a new foundation for a new religion. To them, evidence was indisputable; people who were not of Hebrew origin believed in a Hebrew prophet. They were moved by the teachings of Jesus and the enchantingly revolutionary life of the disciples. The faith of non-Jews could not be denied, and the disciples admitted that the Spirit moved the hearts of Jews and Gentiles alike.
The new religion was radical in that it was global mythology. They were explaining the relationship between God and all human beings. Previous religions, mythology, or folk talks of a group of people, only explained how a group of people of an area dealt with the mystery. Disciples now declared that the God they believed in could work in people's hearts no matter what country they lived in, how they looked, what language they spoke, what religion they identified with, or what religious practices they followed. The only condition was God and nothing from human standards.
The early church also realized that God's acceptance was not based on any actions of the believer but was only based on the work of the Spirit. The early church simply invited people to come and worship, but they did not declare who was a believer and who was not because they recognized that it was the work of the Spirit, not humans.
The antagonistic relationship conservative Christianity has established with the world does not honor God, but as the Church of Jesus Christ, we must build a peaceful relationship with those around us. The Christian Church as an institution has lost credibility with the world, but our focus is not saving the institution. We are to work to help the Christian faith build a peaceful relationship with the world as we exemplify Jesus in our world.