I went to the Apprentice Gathering conference at Friends University last weekend.
It’s been hard to put into words what significant moments took place in my life before during and after the conference but I’m finally ready to try. This is merely the first attempt at deciphering what I’ve been contemplating. I’ve been in a faith crisis for literally 15 years. Growing up in an evangelical church with many loving people, I often felt confused by doctrine. I was taught to believe in a loving forgiving God who sent His only son Jesus to die for my sins so that my loving God the Father could actually look at me (since He being sinless was unable to look at sin-aka me).
My personal faith never coincided with this picture of God the Father. I have a vivid memory of swinging on my swing set at a very young age, looking up at the blue sky, singing songs of praise to God the Father and basking in His love and intimacy. He knew me…and it wasn’t just because Jesus covered me with His blood…He knew and loved me as myself, sin and all.
I had no idea that there was a whole sect of believers who rejected penal substitution, that is, that Jesus died on the cross as the blood atonement for the world’s sins. Instead, through the centuries they preached the boundless love of God who so desperately wanted His children to know how much He loved us, He sent His only son to live and suffer and die like us.
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three in one and equal…there is no hierarchy in their authority. So why do we continually give God the Father a bad rap? He is as loving and forgiving as Jesus and the Holy Spirit, yet we make Him remote, vengeful and unwavering. We insist He is like us…demanding restitution for injustice…expecting begging, groveling, and even human sacrifice. Belief systems that Christians have named “savage” expect human sacrifice. The Divine gives love. God is love. The Divine forgives. Isn’t it interesting how through the centuries we Christians have formed God as a reflection of ourselves? We simply cannot conceive of a loving forgiving God. We must have eternal restitution and a transaction! If I owe something then it must be paid for by God if not by me! No.
No transaction is needed…only transformation . Love changes hearts, minds, and souls, and it is enough. Love is enough. Love is all. I love God the Father, Jesus the son and God the Holy Spirit, blessed 3 in 1…and They love me…and you…period. We are saved by Their faith…not by our own…and there is no place I can go and nothing I can do that will separate me from the love of God. Not even questioning the validity of penal sacrifice.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39 NIV