8/4/19 – God Has No Favorites

Posted on : Aug 1st, 2019 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

An awful lot of religions teach that “their way is the only way.”  Not surprisingly the religions that teach this dogma, also teach that they, and only they, have the divine blessing or favor of God, which in their minds is their God.

Let me be absolutely clear.  That is not what I believe or what we believe as Progressive Christians.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard conservative Christians say, “Jews are not saved and are not going to heaven because they don’t believe in Jesus.”   My response to them is always, “You do realize, don’t you, that Jesus was Jewish.  He was Jewish through and through from the moment of his birth to the time of his death.  Jesus was never “Christian.”

That stuns an awful lot of Christians.  It also highlights for us that often times religious people create, name and image God in our own image instead of God’s.

After 911 a violent anti-Muslim fervor spread throughout America, and Christian America in particular.  Some of the things that were said about Muslims made my head want to explode!  Muslims, Jews and Christians all worship the same God.  We have different names for this God such as Mother-Father, Creator, YHWY (Yahweh), Adonai or Allah, but they all are names of the same God.  Instead of condemning terrorism, we condemned the Muslim religion (also called “Islam”).  Muslims didn’t come from Mars, they come from the family of Abraham, as to all Christians and Jews.

In our Jewish and Christian traditions there is a wonderful story about trying to define who God is.  One day, it is told, God appears to Moses in a “burning bush.”  Taking in the fullness of this religious experience, Moses asks God: “What is your Name?  Who shall I tell the people that you are?”  God said to Moses, just tell them “I AM WHO I AM.”

The intent in this conversation is that God is infinite, indescribable and that God is actually “becoming – or coming a new – throughout all time and history.

That’s a pretty wide-open embrace!  But we, thousands of years later, tend to box God into a package that benefits our “rightness; our superiority.”  One of the ways we do that is by claiming that we are God’s favorites.  We say, “God loves us more than others,” or “God only loves us.”  Or, “You have to believe like I do to be loved by God.”

Join us this Sunday as we explore our fifth Progressive Christian Value: “God has No Favorites!”   As the graphic below so eloquently states: “God loves everybody, whether you like it or not!  Or Believe in their Version of it all.”

More on Sunday!

Blessings,

Dan

John 14: 1-14

Jesus said to the disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.  In our God’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.  And you know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Jesus, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”  Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to our God except through me.   If you know me, you will know our God also. From now on you do know God and have seen God.”

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

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