By Jeremy Barty
- Sally died suddenly; I realized my opinions of Sally had been unfair.
- I would leave next to the flowers arranged around her grave a belief I had held since I was a child.
- In her last years Sally repented (Sally turned) she turned away from her despair (Sally turned and was drawn into a more light way of living).
- Sally died searching.
- For too many Christians, Sally’s destiny was an easy judgment.
- It was a formula. It limited God’s grace.
- By grace I mean God’s unfailing commitment to love.
- Now I have a new formula.
- I believe God will save every person.
- Others, like Sally, long for this salvation, but will find it only beyond the grave
- Many like me have misunderstood salvation- we have thought it a trophy, rather than a gift, a personal achievement rather than a work of God.
- I found myself wishing God could be more like Jesus. At Sally’s funeral, I realized he was.
The dilemma in the first chapter for me is about the dilemma of changing a belief and how when we do this, it is very transformative. Especially if it involves the way we see God.
There was a realization of judgment by the “author” of Sally that he the author was unjust.That his judgment was drawn from an incomplete perspective of Sally.
This for me is the key for a good understanding of our human nature, that judgment with an incomplete perspective is in itself a part of our brokenness. This blind judgment stemming from our knowledge of good and evil is not part of our original heavenly design and results in responses that divide.
The question I would like to have answered is…Did the new held belief of the author move him to a less dual state? (More peace less tension) or is he just moving into the next dilemma? (Perhaps we should mail and ask him/them) the fact that the author needs to find a new formula to replace the existing one is a bit concerning. Life cannot easily be reduced to a set of formulas.
In her last years Sally turned away from her despair, away from some of her dark tension to a less dual, more light way of being, this for me is the evidence of the gift of salvation. This turning, because not connected to a belief in Jesus condemned her in the eyes of many Christians. Yet it could only be God (Jesus) who was drawing her towards the light (himself).
Was it not this evidence of Sally’s repentance (turning away from despair towards the light) that forced the dilemma on the “author” bringing him towards the light also, resulting in him giving up a very dual and divisive belief?
Overall, I enjoyed this chapter because it is a lesson for me in letting go of something that did not resonate for the author any longer and his willingness to risk and explore new and different possibilities based on the evidence of Gods saving grace. This chapter for me is a short story of how we get transformed into Gods likeness.
I really like this new idea (I believe God will save every person) but I must admit I am not really sure if its true or not, but what I can say is living with this belief is a much healthier way of looking at others and it shows good faith. I would prefer to leave decisions relating to these kinds of belief a mystery. For mystery eradicates dilemmas that are only caused by our need to know.
Where there is no doubt for me is that grace saves us – what I mean is that this grace (author explains as unfailing love) will return us to our Eden like state at some stage (not really sure is a return but rather that grace takes us forward into this space).
For me dilemmas are most often caused by conflicting beliefs, we want what we believe to match our feelings and what we do.
How then can we elevate belief to a superior status and disregard the evidence of the light of god in people as not equally important why is it that we say as long as you believe its ok but then not give the same reward to a godly action surely they cant be separate?
This is the same dilemma that the author faces in chapter one where his perception of God and the kind of responses he should be making are at odds, the result is a shifting of a belief that brings unity between his thoughts and responses.
I believe god will save every person, is a thought much more aligned and less dual as it includes and doesn’t divide it paints a picture of a God who has done a work at the cross that has the potential to reconcile everyone too him and as creator of the heart what father wouldn’t want to save everyone.