Are there two Christianities?

twoYeah, I know there are lots of denominations … and non-denominations. I know that everyone of us holds life with different hands. But it seems to me, of late, that there are two main branches. One is worried about the sorry state of our souls and the world at large. One sees beauty and the imprint of grace in each encounter. One sees the foundational story of the world as ‘the fall.’ One looks a bit earlier to ‘God saw that it was good.’

My soul has gravitated … or perhaps fled … to the hope of beauty. It has fled to the assurance of God’s creative love, to a redemption that does not deny that things can get ugly – but knows that everything, everything can be turned to good – that ‘all things’ can be turned to work in that direction. In fact, that all things are in the hands of one who can do – is doing – that turning. That ‘all manner of things will be well.’

Is it my own state of privilege that allows me the luxury of that view? Is it that I have not suffered the abuse that makes the ugly so evident? Is it that I have not borne the scars of hate upon my soul?

The thing that mitigates against the conclusion that this hope is a privileged mirage – is the cross. There is no travesty that can keep God’s love at bay. God loves the world that murdered the son. The son promised immediate paradise to the one who hung beside him – and prayed forgiveness to those who drove the nails.

There are some basics, here – faith, hope and love – these three.

The basics do not include guilt or fear. In fact, the trio, above, works to mitigate the fears that would hold me captive. Perfect love, you know, casts out fear. Faith is counted as righteousness.  Hope does not disappoint.

The starting point of my faith is not ‘all have sinned,’ as true as that may be. Instead my faith is born in ‘nothing can separate us.’

[photo by Rev Stan per cc 2.0]

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