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Just off the Port Bow—a place of uncertainty, adventure, and insight. Thank you for your ears, eyes and hearts. I hope to bring compassion, grace and beauty to your day.

Antagonistes - Part Four

How does leaning on the side of Grace lead on inevitably to monistic universalism?

Does Christianity hold together in monistic universalism?

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There has to be a simple way to put this.

Any "But" attached to Grace makes that grace conditional.

Unconditional Grace must be One Way Love (PZ). We are talking about God and man, and so, by definition, we are talking "perfect" and "flawed". One way love (is there a better short summary?) can only flow from perfect to less than. Love flowing from humanity is always conditioned by emotional/psychological/archaeological baggage.

Even saying this much assumes a great deal about what we attribute to God, or how we define God. So let's not assume God.

Are there general principles of human interaction?

The contention of Grace is that unconditional love produces good fruit and is entirely compassionate; conditional love produces some form of antagonism, and is laced with judgment.

It is the contention of Grace But that accountability to some standard is necessary to the ordering, appreciation and understanding of things. Goodness proceeds from Do's and Don'ts, Should's and Shouldn'ts.

Unconditional Love knows no boundaries. Grace But is a system of boundaries.

Theism, in its definition of Otherness, bespeaks boundaries. Deism bespeaks limited agency.

Monism, on the other hand, knows no boundaries. Agency, as such, does not exist. Suffering is the singular experience of all. Compassion is the singular note in response to this suffering. (Monism is the belief that Everything, material, immaterial, and spiritual, is ONE. There are no distinctions, no boundaries, and no conditions, just IS.)

Universalism is the belief that God's love extends equally to all humanity and applies to all humanity regardless of our various beliefs of who or what God is. This implies, though does not prove, that salvation applies equally, from God's perspective, to all humanity.

When you lean in the direction of Grace you are choosing compassion over judgment. Whether you are leaning with your theology, your ideology, your relationships, or your self-understanding, you are choosing compassion over judgment; in everything.

You are moving away from the idea that laws and boundaries matter most, and toward the idea that laws and boundaries ultimately do not matter in the face of compassion.

NB, there are laws which always apply, such as gravity. There are laws and boundaries which apply in governance, in family life, in business, in education, and in politics. They matter in context, but they never matter most. This is as true in Borneo as it is in Boston.

I can only assume that all this makes the reader uneasy; and that could be in terms of religion or culture or personal preference. Peter and Gordon did not want to live in a "world without love". Most of us would not want to live in a world without law. We would be lost on so many levels.

Lawlessness is not the direction in which I am leaning. Choosing grace and compassion over law at every turn possible is. And, when I orient my mind, heart, spirit and will in that direction, I find that my theology, philosophy and day to day choosing feels more like monistic universalism.

If compassion trumps law, why would I prefer an "other" god to a "present" spiritual reality?

If grace trumps judgment, why would I consider declaring who is in or out of God's kingdom?

Neither of these questions directly address the specific faith claims of Christianity.

They do beg the question of truth. I am content to affirm that all truth is God's truth; and I am not afraid of truth, wherever I find it. I do believe that Christianity holds together in the monistic universalism I have briefly outlined.

Here are some of my credos.

I do believe that ALL TRUTH is found in Jesus of Nazareth; all the truth necessary to live peacefully in relation to the cosmos; that all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in him (John 1).

I do believe that Jesus' death and resurrection are the eternal and universal seals in the matter of compassion and grace. The one puts the law to death. The other irrevocably links earth and heaven; making them ONE.

I do believe that The Word matters, but not as Law. We have been and are spoken to, called by name, understood, comforted, confronted, and encouraged.

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This feels incomplete somehow. I will add a few addendums. Perhaps this is a case of "seeing in a mirror dimly", waiting hopefully for the blessed clarity of "then".

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Antagonistes - Addendum - The First

Antagonistes - Part Three