A Product of Free Thinking. It’s Pretty Nice.

Posted: July 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

I am writing a blog about things I have been busying my mind with recently. A lot of them, as the title suggest, are products of me really examining the darker crevices of thought that I haven’t allowed myself the freedom to explore yet- the reason being fear, guilt, or incompetence. Different areas of theology and culture that have not been too popular in the American South are flooding to my mind thanks to the easy access of books and the unquenchable understanding that, “maybe what I know now is not all that is out there. Maybe there are slices of truth to be found in the most obscure locations.”

I’ll just give you the Top 2 for right now. More to come later:

Views on Salvation

Partial thanks to Rob Bell’s Book, Love Wins, for being the gateway book to my free thinking form- the cannabis of progressive literature; I have grown to appreciate the teachings of Christian Universalism. Not all credit goes to Bell (I am more educated then to mindlessly assimilate the teachings of just one person) but by reaping great insight from people like Tony Campolo, C.S. Lewis, and the great George MacDonald I have been attracted to thinking about a God whose love is greater than what has been communicated to me in the past. Just think, which God is more loving: a God who allows SOME into eternal bliss or a God that allows EVERYONE? If God is love then shouldn’t this God epitomize the most perfect form of love? What about justice, you say? Justice was achieved when God slaughtered Jesus- just as one man’s sins brought all into sin, so one’s man’s righteousness justifies the many. This, for me right now, is a beautiful message.

I still believe that people have a choice to receive heaven and hell, both in this life and the next. Fire in the Bible is symbolic for purifying the impurities. So what if hell is a type of purification instrument that allows people to freely accept God, even postmortem (after death). Right now I refuse to believe in a God who created humanity out of love and will just allow them to experience torment forever. Dang, crazy right?

Ministry

This one will ruffle some feathers:

I don’t think that there should be as many professional ministers as there are. The mind set of students needs to be that they are ministers even in a “secular” job. That way you aren’t receiving a paycheck to say Christian things but are saying them because a Christian is who you are, not what you get paid for being. So this philosophy of ministry allows more people to be business men and fund the Kingdom of God with both their time and money and not rely on the church to make their cash. You can minister just as much in a “real” job as you can as a churchman. Believe me, I am doing it right now.

However, some people should be ministers. Some people are really talented and the church needs those talents. I think those people rise to the top, not by their education alone but by the testimony of people who know them- their gifts are evident.

 But a lot of people who do ministry don’t have gifts that are evident. Their abilities to do what ministers do should not be compensated. Why would they need to be a youth minister in the first place if every believer did their job as a minister? The work load doesn’t have to fall on one person but is shared among the priesthood. That way the guy who sucks at youth ministry can find something that he is actually good at (I believe that everyone is good at something, most people just don’t explore). This would also save a lot of churches from having to pay salary and benefits to their lower-level ministers and use that money for more tangible good.

Overall, what I am getting at here is that people need to stop committing themselves to “ministry” and be a minister in a job that suits them. Use your career as a platform and don’t settle with the easy out of working for a church. The church should function as an organism and not an institution.

Ok, I am done displaying my ignorance. More to come later!

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Comments
  1. Shane Gibson says:

    Hi Isaac,

    Your cousin-in-law Shane here. I think you may be interested to read some thoughts from St. Isaac the Syrian, a seventh century saint from Nineveh. His thoughts on salvation are outside the bounds of official orthodoxy, but they are based out of his deep experience in the life of prayer and God. He is one of the theologians of God’s mercy par excellence.

    There’s a small collection of some choice quotes here: http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/the-audacity-of-mercy-st-isaac-the-syrian/

    It’s been interesting to read some of your thoughts here and on Facebook before. Many of your questions and concerns are what let me to find a home in the Orthodox Church.

    Hope you’re doing well. Maybe we’ll see you sometime soon.

    Shane

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