Reading my post from earlier today I thought it was a bit poor that I didn’t at least make an attempt to explain my take on the actual Christian Gospel message. I found it really hard to do this while avoiding theological jargon. So, imperfect as it is, here is a brief outline:
You will notice that being ‘pious’, performing public acts of charity or being kind to old ladies and young children, or handing out food to the homeless, or saving the world or whatever doesn’t seem to figure in what follows. Of course none of those are bad things. They just don’t affect my acceptability to my creator. In fact, what I do, my actions, have no currency at all.
That is why the Christian Gospel is good news to me. It tells me my innate sinfulness, from which I cannot free myself, is no barrier to God’s love and acceptance.
I have not created God. It is God who created me purposefully with love and care.
God’s creative and loving force works through me, in spite of me. By myself I can’t respond appropriately to God’s love and being human, given the choice, will always find a way to put myself ahead of God, in place of God. This is called sin. To be human is to be sinful.
Left to myself I can’t achieve the purpose for which I have been created, which is to be in communion with God. God knows this and has already acted to make it possible for me to have that relationship. Because of what Jesus has done in sacrificing himself to atone for my sin, I am God’s child. The same is true of all other people, who are therefore my spiritual brothers and sisters.
My achievements, wealth and status mean nothing. It is God’s achievement through Jesus in bringing me to himself that means everything.
That’s it in a nutshell. More words than I would have liked but it’s hard to leave stuff out without compromising what I wanted to get across. Of course it will all appear pretty much offensive nonsense to someone who doesn’t appreciate or accept their own sinfulness. To such a person the Christian Gospel will seem to have nothing to say.
Hopefully that made sense! At least it gives my previous post some perspective. God bless you whatever your beliefs, and good night.