12 thoughts I’ve grappled with in 2012

1. God is love and holy and these two attributes complement each other and should not be understood to be in tension with each other.

2. Righteousness is purity in values, conduct and love. It isn’t austere perfectionism.

3. The distance we feel from God is rooted in our own shame and sense of unworthiness. God does not withdraw because of our lack of perfection.

4. The path to righteousness is found in knowing God’s love for yourself and others. When you know such love you begin to exude it and living with that love inspires and motivates wonderful care, compassion and selflessness.

5. God is always with us, but we become blinded to his presence when live in shame.

6. God’s divine judgement will be severe for some, but it will be fair. I expect to find out that God’s kindness and compassion will be much stronger than many religious people believe.

7. The biggest problem in the church isn’t how it organizes itself; it is the use of fear, coercion, and shame to manipulate people in to behaving better.

8. Those Christians that continually offer sweeping condemnations of the church generate much more heat than light and often betray their own theology of God’s grace.

9. Everyone is worthy because the biggest player in the marketplace values us this way.

10. The purpose of the church is to express the fellowship of the Trinity in our relationships

11. The key to faithfulness in church life is sharing truly “good news” and expressing the love and truth of our saviour.

12. The path of deeper faith is to stop using human tools to motivate and manipulate people. When you see people engage in acts of unselfish love free from outsider pressure it can restore your faith in church.

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