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Redemption... hmmmmm!

 If you have been following any of my Musings  you might get the impression that I have some issues with religion.  That could be because I have all kinds of  issues with religion... not the least of which is the incredible distortion of God's incredible plan.... Redemption!

What we have been taught  by our varied christian religious cultures has so distorted  the truth that we have ended up losing the beauty of God's plan... religion has changed the meaning of redemption  from something that is  God centered... to something that is man centered... it has become what I get out of it...  it has become all about me... all about what I get out of redemption... the benefits....

What we then bring as the message ... is a sales pitch to folks... a TV advertisement... a  "how tobook  to sell....sometimes even a carnival... look at what God has done for you, ladies and gentlemen... if you surrender to Christ look at what you get out of it... don't you want to be a Christian too so you can escape  all the realities of life... ???  Just look at all the benefits... healing.... deliverance... all your problems solved... from this day forward....everything going right.... no hell... and eventually the really, really great  and important thing (heaven)... it is all manipulative... cerebral... to convince  (sell) people to make a decision for Christ... and whether they make the decision or do not make the decision... I always walk away somehow feeling so wonderful and superior.... superior  to those I can or can not sell my particular brand .... my brand... my product... and it is always better  than the other guy's brand  of course... and if they don't want it.. then... to hell   with them.... it's their problem...
We need a different message.

Bonhoeffer had some issues with it too:    "Redemption now means redemption from cares, distress, fears, and longings, from sin and death, in a better world beyond the grave. But is this really the essential character of the proclamation of Christ in the gospels and by Paul? I should say it is not."

Bonhoeffer even goes on to call that particular message of redemption a "Myth"....

"The Christian, unlike the devotees of the redemption myths,  has no last line of escape available from earthly tasks and difficulties into the eternal, but, like Christ himself (‘My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’), he must drink the earthly cup to the dregs, and only in his doing so is the crucified and risen Lord with him, and he crucified and risen with Christ. "

I personally believe  that we have been put on this earth to live in the midst of all Satan throws at humanity... drinking the dregs like everyone else... not escaping them... Caleb's mountain is there to conquer, to climb, not to be translated above... we grow  in that process... we die in that process to all our very normal selfish human responses...and God changes us... in the process... He doesn't always deliver us out of it... sometimes we "win"...  sometimes we "lose"... doesn't matter which... He is in control.... He has  His plan... and it isn't mine...

A friend of mine said something like this:  (my interpretation)   "What is the call of God to any person.....called to what.... I believe we are called to getting the debris cleared away from our lives... so we can begin to see the the gospel more clearly.... see what redemption really is about... "

We need to get the debris cleared away... call it what we want... refining in the fire of life... 7 times hotter in my furnace  so we see Jesus right there in the furnace with us.... and if he doesn't deliver me so what... it isn't about my deliverance  from the fire... it's about HIM... I change in the furnace... then maybe people will see a little of Jesus in me ....

Much better than hearing some doctrine  about him.... some sales pitch..... about how wonderful everything will be once I   "accept Jesus"...

:)
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